Activities Festival

Sugar family festival at Museum of London Docklands 8 & 9 June 2019

Discover London's historical relationship with sugar during Museum of London Docklands’ two day family festival on the 8th and 9th of June 2019 through various activities and events for little people and their adults.

The family festival will have an array of activities on offer from workshops to arts, crafts and performances. Families can explore London’s relationship with sugar – but beware the story hasn’t always been so sweet and some sessions will look at the dark history behind this treat. The Young Londoner has compiled all of the activities taking place throughout the weekend below – so get your little Londoners ready and be prepared to be surprised, entertained and educated at this lively family-friendly festival.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Enjoy captivating performances by children and adults from the local dance school Ruggieri Dance Academy. From ballet sugar princesses to hip hop sugar factory workers, enjoy this showcase of local talent. Performance is suitable for all ages.

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12:30-1pm

Where: Wilberforce Theatre (floor 3)

Caribbean Lime Sweets

Explore the history of sugar from the cane to our tables looking at the different processes of sugar making throughout the ages. Then make your own bag of yummy traditional Caribbean Limes to share, taste and take home! Ticketed workshop – collect a free ticket from front desk, ages 5+

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 2.30pm, 1.15pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm (30 mins)

Where: Jack Petchey room, basement

Sugar Science: Sherbet

Make your own sweet treat using icing sugar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda and add sugar to make it taste good, then find out about the science behind the fizz! Drop in workshop ages 5+

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-1.45pm and 2.15-4pm

Where: Quayside room (floor 3)

Sugar taste test

Can you tell the difference between low and high sugar foods? Taste a range of foods and drinks that will test your taste buds, and teach you more about sugar in the food industry. This activity is delivered by year 10 students from School 21 in Stratford. Drop in activity ages 5+.

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-1.45pm and 2.15-4pm

Where: Quayside room (floor 3)

One lump or two

Discover some of the beautiful ceramics on display and design your own collage teacup to take home. Join ‘The story of sugar in five objects’ tour to find out about these objects in more depth. Drop-in craft, ages 5+

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-2pm and 2.30-4pm

Where: London, Sugar and Slavery (floor 3)

Sugar sculptures

Sugar sculptures were popular at grand feasts from the Renaissance until at least the 18th century. Make up a sugar mix and shape your own sculpture grand enough to take pride of place at any feast. Drop-in and suitable for ages 3 and over.

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-2.15pm and 2.45-4pm

Where: Quayside room (floor 3)

Processing plants

Just like sugar is extracted from sugar cane, many other materials are extracted from plants. Learn about some of these and then make your own plant based inks to paint with. What colours can you extract? Drop-in craft, ages 3+

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-1.15pm and 1.45-4pm

Where: Quayside room (floor 3)

The story of sugar in five objects

Join a family friendly tour led by museum staff and learn about the story of sugar in London. This tour has been specifically designed for families with kids over 5 but it covers some sensitive topics relating to the transatlantic slave trade.

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Where: Meet at front desk

Reflection room

In the 17th and 18th centuries, enslaved Africans were moved from Africa to the Caribbean to work on sugar plantations. Spend some time learning about this history through reflective activities, and make the most of this quieter space with some books and soft toys. Drop in area suitable for all ages.

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-4pm

Where: Pocahontas room, basement


The Brookes slave ship diagram displayed in the London, Sugar and Slavery gallery on floor 3 depicts the inhumane manner enslaved Africans were transported across the Atlantic, as if they were cargo rather than humans. This reflective art activity uses printing to explore identity, individuality and dignity. This activity has been specifically designed for families though please note it covers sensitive topics relating to the transatlantic slave trade. Drop-in craft, ages 5+

When: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June 12-1pm and 1.30-4pm

Where: Pocahontas room, basement

The Amies Freedom Choir performance

The Amies Freedom Choir brings together women from across the world who have experienced difficult and traumatising backgrounds. They meet weekly to build a repertoire of songs, vocal and choral skills as well as to develop musical and cultural understanding, confidence and creativity.

When: Saturday 8 June 2.30pm and 3.30pm (approx. 20 mins)

Where: Café, ground floor foyer

Ma Cas storytelling

Ma Cas travels around the sugar plantations of the Caribbean making soup to keep the plantation workers strong so that they survive. Her secret ingredients are songs, words, thoughts and ideas that help the workers nourish their souls as well as their bodies. Join her as she shares some of her favourite stories from the Caribbean, as well as hearing about her life on the plantations, in this family friendly storytelling with poetry and song. Ages 5+

When: Saturday 8 June 1pm and 2pm (approx. 20 mins)

Where: No.1 Warehouse (floor 3)

The bitter sweet history of the sugar cane industry in the Caribbean

You are invited to a Caribbean tea party, taste some traditional Caribbean favourite cakes and desserts while sipping a popular Caribbean beverage. Watch our short film ‘White Gold,’ about Sugar production in the Caribbean from the time of enslavement on the plantations to a piece of cake on a plate. Delivered by Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum. Suitable for families ages 5+ and adults

When: Saturday 8 June 1.30 and 3pm

Where: Check upon arrival.

The Kavum Cake Tree and the Pastry Girl

Join storyteller Debbie Guneratne as she tells stories of how sugar can make your dreams come true or your worst nightmares begin. Hear how sugar can sweeten love and Rakshasas make Kavum to trap children. Suitable for ages 7 and above.

When: Sunday 9 June 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm (approx 30 mins)

Where: Warehouse of the World (floor 2)

Pastry, pancakes and popcorn people

Make your own collage character to take home – will yours be sweet or savoury? Drop in crafts for ages 3 and above.

When: Sunday 9 June 12-2pm and 2.30-4pm

Where:  Warehouse of the World (floor 2)