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The Great Exhibition Road Festival – family friendly events

The Great Exhibition Road Festival brings together science and the arts in a unique programme of creative workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances - all in the spirit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s vision for the Great Exhibition.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free three-day celebration of curiosity, discovery and exploration in South Kensington and there is loads on offer for adults and little ones and everyone in between. We have selected our favourite family friendly events and activities, exhibitions and workshops throughout the two days.

WHOOSH-CRACKLE-POP!

WHOOSH-CRACKLE-POP! is a play space for 0-3s and their families. Experience a world of exploration and experimentation to discover how very young children feel about their breath, breathing and their lungs. Created especially for babies and toddlers with researchers from the Breathing Together research project.

When: 29 & 30 June at various times til 3:30pm
Where: Princes Gardens
How much:  free

Robot Zone

In the Robot Zone you can see, touch, explore and learn about all the innovative robotic research being undertaken at Imperial College London. Get up close and personal with robots of all sorts that are pushing the boundaries of what we can do with robotics. From our virtual reality headset that puts you in the shoes of an orthopaedic surgeon, to getting the chance to wear an exoskeleton and control a robot, there’s something for everyone. Most suitable for children age 7+.

When: 29 June 11am til 5pm
Where: Imperial College London
How much: free

V&A families: The imagination station

This is a family activity created by the art collective Fallen Fruit. Fallen Fruit are part of the V&A exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate. Please note, in the event of wet weather this activity will take place in the V&A Sackler Centre.

When: Sunday 30 June 10.30am til 5pm
Where: V&A Workshop tent, Exhibition Road
How much: free

Nature Live

Scientists from the Natural History Museum will take to the stage in the Museum’s Attenborough Studio to share stories and insights into the natural world. Check the Museum’s website for timings, scientists and topics.

When: 29 & 30 June 12:30 til 2:30
Where: Natural History Museum, Attenborough Studio
How much: free

GREEN SPACE

GREEN SPACE is an installation that explores the health benefits of green spaces in cities and how we connect with nature in an urban environment. This collaborative project brings together the work of Imperial College London researcher Charlie Roscoe, artist Enya Lachman-Curl, designer Robbie Thompson, musician Robbie Parks, and Science Museum curator Rupert Cole. Explore 360-degree oil paintings which are a contemporary interpretation of green space, which are accompanied by a soundscape which combines meditative synthesisers with delicate piano motifs.

When: Saturday 29 June Sunday 30 June 11am til 5pm
Where: Imperial College Road
How much: free

Nature Zone

Go wild at the Nature Zone on Exhibition Road and meet real scientists and find out about the amazing work they do with animals and in the environment. You’ll be buzzing when you see their dragonfly experience, and find out all about the crater that was responsible for killing the dinosaurs. Hands-on activities include an ecology video game and handling 3D models of crystals.

When: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June 11 am til 5pm
Where: Nature tent on the Exhibition Road
How much: free

Queen Victoria exhibitions at Kensington Palace

Discover the real Victoria with two new exhibitions at Kensington Palace. 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of her birth at Kensington Palace and these two new exhibitions explore her childhood and her private/public image. Exhibition entry is included in your ticket to Kensington Palace. HRP Members go free.

When: 29 & 30 June 10 am til 5pm
Where: Kensington Palace
How much: £18 for an adult book here

Create and make

Join the Design Museum for an afternoon of playful paper craft activities and take home your own paper craft inventions. Suitable for families with children aged 5 to 11. Booking essential for groups of six or more children.

When: Sunday 30 June 11am til 4pm
Where: Design Museum
How much: free

Malaria Area

Immerse yourself in the malaria parasite’s journey through humans and mosquitoes, and help us answer key questions to control the disease. Experience a swampy mosquito habitat where you can see the mozzies up close, find out how attractive you are to a female mosquito, and learn about all the tools we have to help prevent malaria transmission. Lab coats then await you as we invite you into the lab to look down a microscope to detect the parasites, and once you’ve learned to read the signs, see if you can diagnose malaria in a patient.

When: 29 & 30 June 11am til 5pm
Where: SAF Mezzanine at Imperial College London
How much: free

V&A families: The fruit and veg olympics

Who will win ‘Most Sustainable’? And who will be a rotten loser? Through these gruelling games, silly songs and fruity friends, Wonky Table Theatre Company will really get to the bottom of what we eat. This is a deaf-friendly performance, with spoken English and British Sign Language within the performance.

When: 29 June 11.00-11.45, 13.00-13.45, 15.00-15.45
Where: V&A The John Madejski Garden
How much: free

Curiosity zone

Join us in the Curiosity Zone for exciting demos and experiments, creative workshops and performances, all designed especially for families. From racing hydrogen powered toy cars, to making your own earthquake or extracting DNA from strawberries, get hands-on with science. Join us for a packed programme of performances in our exciting Space Shed, hop on board the Invertebrate Bus or try your hand at brass instrument playing.

When: 29 & 30 June 11 am til 5pm
Where: Princes Gardens and in a marquee on Exhibition Road
How much: free

The Space Shed (How to save the planet)

In 2010 Jon Spooner accidentally set up his own space agency, based out of the shed at the bottom of his garden. Since then, the Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA) has recruited thousands of Agents and the British astronaut Tim Peake is our patron. Jon tours to music and science festivals in UNSA’s spectacular mobile headquarters the Space Shed hosting conversations with inspirational scientists.

For the Great Exhibition Road Festival, The Space Shed lands to host two days of space-based entertainment for all the family.

When: 29 & 30 June 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00
Where: Princes Gardens
How much: free

Hands-on nature with the Royal Parks

Can you find food like a bird or jump further than a grasshopper? Get involved in The Royal Parks’ hands-on activities and you’ll never look at a park in the same way again. Pot a pollinator-friendly plant to take away with you and hop aboard Mission: Invertebrate’s fantastic Bugmobile to unearth the park’s smallest inhabitants and the places they call home.

When: 29 & 30 June 11am til 5pm
Where: Princes Gardens
How much: free

Brass explosion ‘have a go’ brass instrumental workshops

A hands-on brass instrumental workshop, led by the Royal College of Music’s innovative Learning and Participation Department, ‘RCM Sparks’. Work with RCM Brass students in collaboration with Amersham Band. Discover how to play a whole range of brass instruments and play like James Brown’s horn section! These 20 minute, drop-in workshops will take place throughout the two days. Listen out for the fanfare heralding the start of each workshop!

When: 29 & 30 June 11am til 4:30pm
Where: Princes Gardens
How much: free

Peter & the Wolf Live

The perfect opportunity to learn more about the wonderful world of orchestral music through one of the most beloved stories of our time. This screening of the timeless Oscar®-winning animation will be accompanied by Prokofiev’s indelible score, performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Suitable for 7 years plus.

When: 30 June 2.30 til 3.30
Where: Royal Albert Hall main auditorium
How much: £17 book here.

Butterflies and moths

Discover the wonderful world of moths and butterflies and find out which species live in South Kensington. Natural History Museum scientists will use sweep nets and moth traps to safely collect them throughout the festival, so drop in and take a look at what they have found. Learn about the work of a lepidopterist and hear about butterflies and moths from around the world.

When: 29 & 30 June 11am til 5pm
Where: Exhibition Road Nature Zone
How much: free

Stego-jigsaw-rus

Get hands-on and have a go at building a 3D jigsaw of a Stegosaurus and a Pliosaur and find out all about what life was like in the age of the dinosaurs.

When: 29 & 30 June 11am til 5pm
Where: Princes Gardens
How much: free

Body and mind zone

In the Body and Mind Zone, experience the ways scientists and medical staff learn about our inner workings and find out all about ground-breaking new approaches to treatments and patient care. Kids can play a special version of snakes and ladders with the Clinical Trial Myth Busters or enjoy a fairground of heart-related games and circus attractions. There will also be artwork inspired by living with asthma in air-polluted parts of the country and a patient-led portrait exhibition, ‘The People Who Are Keeping Me Alive’, featuring photographs of the hospital staff involved in their care. The Body and Mind Zone will also offer you the chance to think about your well-being with our Centre for Performance Science, where we will be looking at how engaging with the arts can boost mental health. This activity is most suited to children age 12+.

When: 29 & 30 June 11 am til 5pm
Where: Imperial College London
How much: free