Activities Festival Free

The Young Londoner picks of top events and activities at Open House Families 22 and 23 June 2019

After a successful festival launch in 2018, the charity behind Open House London is excited to bring back their fun filled weekend of architecture on the 22nd and 23rd of June to inspire and excite the next generation of city-shapers.

There are over 40 different hands-on creative activities and experiments designed and led by some of London’s most influential architecture practices. Activities include storytelling and messy play sessions for under-fives, city trails and art workshops hosted in iconic cultural venues across London including St Paul’s Cathedral, The National Gallery and the Royal Academy. We have picked our favourites below:

Let’s build London

Follow a real town planning brief with Chapman Taylor to create and construct your own 3D skyscrapers, swamps, hospitals and houses around the river Thames! Suitable for ages 7+

When: 23 June 2019 11am-4pm
Where: Cabot Square, Canary Wharf

Minigolf Par-tee

Orms bring London town to the world of mini crazy golf! Families can enjoy putting around town with obstacles such as Big Ben, the London Eye, the Gherkin and Tower Bridge. Happy golfing. Suitable for ages 7+

When: 22 & 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Gasholder Park, King’s Cross

Let’s go LEGO crazy

Get the whole family involved to build the tallest LEGO structure. Can you build taller than One Canada Square?

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Adams Plaza, Canary Wharf

exSTRAWdinary rollercoasters

Come to the AKT II Funfair Factory and learn some straw-ctural engineering skills using paperclips and straws. It’s like Lego, but better. Suitable for all ages.

When: 22 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

Architecture Parade

Design your own London Skyline and turn it into a paper crown to wear and take home with architects Jestico + Whiles. Suitable for all ages

When: 22 & 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

Above and Below Ground – Family Day

This family day will explore above and below ground, past and present, from Roman to modern London. Inspired by the Guildhall Art Gallery’s collections families will help create an art installation on the architecture and engineering of London. There will be ongoing activities throughout the day as well as storytelling and a family trail.

When: 22 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Guildhall Art Gallery

The day the flowers came back

Come and make your own meadow of plants, trees and flowers at this drop-in workshop on the roof garden. Hear the magical Australian tale of the day the flowers went missing and join the brave children on their adventure to bring the flowers back. Suitable for ages 0-5.

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Canary Wharf

Go green!

Help Tate Harmer reimagine the city as a greener place to live, work and play! Together with other families; add grassy parks, greenhouse topped shops and plant filled cafes to form a gigantic green city. Suitable for ages 10 and above.

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Here East, Stratford

Drop-in Design: Shell Lace Structures

Take part in this tactile building activity for all the family. Work with Tonkin Liu architects and use play-doh and card to create your own shell lace structures inspired by nature.

When: 23 June 2019 10:30-5pm
Where: V&A Museum, South Kensington

Architecture Weekender

Explore architecture as a family, contribute to a collaborative sculpture and use sound to tell the story of a building. A family-friendly tour will take place at 11am – 12pm on Sunday 23 June. Suitable for all ages.

When: 22 & 23 June 2019 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30 – 3.30pm
Where: Pitzhanger Manor

Grow your own City

Using beautiful and functional origami, transform, fold and construct paper into magical urban landscapes with Studio Sanshea and Elden Croy Architect.
When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf

Architecture Adventures

Families can enjoy working together to design their own churchyard and include what they would like to see in years to come, there will be a mini-architects soft play area for under 5s with a variety of soft, sparkly and squishy building shapes.  Families can also have fun building wooden arches just like the ones Sir Christopher Wren used to construct the Dome of St Paul’s. Families can take part in a mass drawing workshop to capture the City’s incredible skyline and you can take a selfie with Sir Christopher Wren (the man who designed St Paul’s)

When: 23 June 2019 10am til 4pm
Where: St Paul’s Cathedral

Light and colour play

Love colour? Transform Here East with architects Hawkins\Brown by creating patterns and skylines on the ground floor glazing of the building to project colourful sunlight and shadows into the space!

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Here East, Stratford


Paper straws, masking tape and sheer determination… let’s build a city of straw-scrapers!

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Adams Plaza, Canary Wharf

High-rise LEGO Challenge

Get the whole family involved to build the tallest LEGO structure in the park! Can you construct a tower as high as the gasholder?

When: 22 & 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: Gasholder Park, King’s Cross

Footprints and Headspaces

Join Oxford House for a weekend of celebrations to mark the 127th anniversary of the building’s opening and the completion of its National Lottery Heritage funded restoration.  Discover the stories of Oxford House in immersive exhibitions and create your own story boxes to add to the collection! Families can also take part in a family-friendly tour of the secret chapel and roof terrace with panoramic views of London.

When: 22 & 23 June 2019 10am til 2pm
Where: Oxford House

Family Day: Build a Story

Take part in an exciting family day inspired by the magic of storytelling and join the British Library to make, touch, sign and explore, as we create, share and celebrate stories. This event is fully accessible for families with deaf children, parents and carers.

The family day will include activities run by: British Museum, Camden Advisory Service for Deaf Children and Young People, Camden Family Learning, Camden Speech and Language Team, Cochlear Implanted Children’s Support Group, Foundling Museum, Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, Holborn Community Association, House of Illustration, Jewish Museum, London Transport Museum, Maths on Toast, National Deaf Children’s Society, North London Deaf Children’s Society, October Gallery, Origami Society, Royal Association for Deaf people, SOAS University of London, The Postal Museum, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation – Heritage Project and University of Bath. Suitable for all ages

When: 22 June 2019 12pm til 4pm
Where: British Library

Ice-cream architecture

Work with artists and architects from STORE Projects to push the boundaries of the building process and discover how architecture can inspire designs for eating. Play with scale, texture and colour in a series of activities, then turn your ideas into ice cream cones! Produce your own ice cream flavours that are inspired by works in the show and the architecture around you. For more information about this event please visit their site here.

When: 23 June 2019 11am til 4pm
Where: The Bartlett School of Architecture 22 Gordon Street London WC1H 0QB

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