Autumn is here and although some us are just recovering from summer – there’s a bunch of brilliant activities on this October to keep the whole family entertained.
Gillett Square will transform into a playground for children and families to enjoy with unique play equipment SNUG. Durable and intriguingly shaped equipment transforms the square into an adventure wonderland for children to discover, create and enjoy. There will also be table tennis, foosball and opportunities to try out other activities.
When: From 3 October on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month from 3:30 til 6:30
Where: Gillett Square in Hackney
How much: free more info here.
Families Create Frieze Sculpture
Be inspired by the shapes, materials and textures of the Frieze sculptures and landscape to create your own sculptural pieces. Combine these with found objects to produce special sculptural sun-catchers. Find artist Rosemary Cronin in the centre of the Robert Indiana work, ONE through ZERO (1980-2002) in order to take part.
When: 5 October 2pm til 5pm
Where: Zabludowwicz Collection
How much: Free but booking recommended. More info & booking here.
Junior Lawyers Club
The Junior Lawyers’ Clubs runs workshops with fun, fast-paced activities and role-plays for children aged 8-14, building confidence in debate and public speaking skills, creative and critical thinking and soft skills such as leadership and teamwork. Every workshop is different – you might find yourself running for election, pitching a new invention or putting forward your design for a new restaurant. The aim is to have fun whilst developing a range of transferable skills.
When: 5 October & 19 October at 2pm or 3.30pm
Where: Mansel Road Centre, Wimbledon SW19 4AA
How much: £22 more info and booking here.
Family Sketching Salon at the National Gallery
Capture the gallery’s paintings in this session where kids and adults are invited to get doodling, drawing and sketching. Try out tools and techniques with an artist to discover creative ways into wellbeing. Suitable for kids aged 5 and up.
When: Sunday 6 October 11am til 4pm (drop in)
Where: National Gallery
How much: free more info here.
Family Barn Dance
Get dancing with the kids and take part in lively dances from all over the world in a fun environment.
When: Sunday 6 October 3-5pm
Where: Cecil Sharp House
How much: £8 for an adult £6 for a child and £2 for under 2s more info and bookings here
Chelsea History Festival
Immerse yourself in a celebration of history, set in the heart of Chelsea. There’s loads of events taking place but our favourite family activities are on Saturday October 12th and include the Medicine Through Time free workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden, the Marching Drills and Giant Games for Little Soldiers at the National Army Museum, the Hidden History Hunt and British Army Jazz orchestra at the Royal Hospital.
When: 9-13 October
Where: throughout Chelsea
How much: Family favourites mentioned above are all free but full schedule is here.
Family Concert: Giddy Goat
This musical story follows the trials and tribulations of Giddy, a young mountain goat who is scared of heights. Based on the book by Jamie Rix and Lynne Chapman*, with specially composed music by Paul Rissmann, this tale of facing fears and making friends is an ideal way to introduce children to classical music, with plenty of audience participation and projections of images from the story.
When: Saturday 12 October 3pm
Where: Wigmore Hall
How much: Adults £12 and kids £10 more info and booking here
RBC Race for the Kids & Family Festival
Come along and run, scooter, walk, skip or amble along for Ormond Street Hospital Charity. Fundraising has made all the difference to kids with rare and complex conditions from right across the UK and it’s a great opportunity to get involved and have a fun day out (there will be family friendly festival style entertainment to keep the kids busy – plus it’s in Hyde Park which is beautiful in autumn.
When: 12 October 10am with entertainment til 2pm
Where: Hyde Park
How much: £25 for adults & free for kids more info here.
Zippos Circus Show & Open House
Ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE will present Germaine’s Footjuggling and Toni’s Knife Throwing, and of course the Globe of Death, close up! We will also also introduce Open House visitors to the circus children and the whole circus “way of life”.
When: 15 October
Where: Finsbury Park
How much: free but register here and if you wanted to go to the evening show tickets start at £9 for adults and £7.50 for children with under 2s going free. Use Code ZIP50 for 30% off all tickets. Full details & bookings here.
Children and their families are invited to join Family Artists-in-Residence One of My Kind (OOMK) and form a collective based on shared beliefs, hobbies and causes. Through the workshop families can design a manifesto, create membership stickers and distribute their materials to prospective members.
When: 12 & 13 October from 1pm til 5pm
Where: Serpentine Gallery
How much: free
Under 5s at Kenwood House
See autumn in full glory on Hampstead Heath and take your under 5 along to Kenwood House session where you can expect crafts, music and storytelling. More info here.
When: 18 October 10:30 til 11:30am
Where: Kenwood House
How much: £2
Reggae Tots Halloween Party
Get your reggae moves and groove with the kiddies in this fright fest in East London celebrating all things Halloween. Family fun includes face painting, UV lights, bubbles, balloons, confetti and giant parachutes in a rave style atmosphere with some of the UK’s top DJ’s all playing the best in Reggae & Dancehall!
When: 19 October 12 til 2
Where: Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
How much: £9 for kids and £10 for adults
A mini indoor festival during the October half term with inflatables, giant lego, soft play, rides and performances. Plus this year, they’ve also teamed up with the Digital Kids Show to offer families even more activities and experiences including a gaming area which will have all the latest games on Nintendo Switch and Xbox with Minecraft, Mario and more.
When: 19-21 October
Where: Excel London
How much: £13.20 for adults and children over 2. More info & booking here.
Fairytales of the turntable
Part of the Southbank’s Literature Festival, this free dance and music workshop places the focus on all things fairy tale. Led by ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, families will work with a dancer from the theatre company to learn some new moves, inspired by ZooNation’s productions Into the Hoods, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Tales of the Turntable. After the workshop, there’s a chance to fill the floor and share your dancing with our live DJ and MC set.
When: 21 October from 10:30am
Where: Southbank Centre
How much: free
Musical workshops aimed at children aged 2 to 4 and their parents and carers. Hear live music performed by Academy musicians and join in with percussion-based play with a different theme each time.
Where: Royal Academy of Music Museum
When: 18 october – 29 November
How much: £3 for kids and £5 for adults more info & bookings here.
Celebrate Musical Theatre
The current temporary exhibition is a celebration of musical theatre and this event, aimed at children aged 5 to 8, encourages singing, craft activities and exploration of some of the key songs from famous musicals.
When: 22 October 11:30 til 1pm
Where: Royal Academy of Music Museum
How much: £5 per ticket more info here.
Play Well will explore how play transforms both childhood and society. Using toys, games, artworks and design, this exhibition will investigate how we played as children and how we play now we’re grown up: developing social bonds, emotional resilience and physical wellbeing. By featuring video games, playing blocks, comic strips and images of people at play everywhere from playgrounds to refugee camps, as well as a newly commissioned play space by artist Adam James, we invite you to consider the impact of play in our lives. More info here.
When: 24th October til March 2020
Where: Wellcome Collection
How much: free
Horniman Halloween Fair
Join in some fiendish fun at the Horniman’s Halloween Fair. Meet creepy crawlies up close, enjoy spooky storytelling and rides, plus visit the arts and crafts markets and sample some fabulous food. Come dressed in your best costume and join in the Halloween happenings!
When: 26 & 27 October 10:30 til 4:30
Where: Horniman Museum
How much: free more info here
Family Fun Day: Astonishing Archeology
Discover what’s hidden beneath our feet without having to do any digging. With tours, trails, crafts and real artefact handling sessions, this family fun day is all about archeology! Come and learn and discover Fulham Palace Suitable for ages 3 and above
When: 27 October 11am til 3pm
Where: Fulham Palace
How much: free drop in.
BFLF Halloween rave
Come rattle your bones alongside the world famous Big Fish Little Fish at their Halloween Spooktacular family rave with acid house, techno, drum n bass and more in 3 rooms with live DJs. Dance together on a dance floor filled with bubbles, balloons, glitter and topped by the parachute dance in this amazing under the arches venue! Get creepy crafty on the Captain Cookie Craft tables and enjoy the Villa Pia baby chill out or play areas.
When: 26 October 2pm til 4pm & 27th October 2pm til 4pm
Where: Lighbox in Vauxhall on Saturday and Queen in Hoxton on Sunday
How much: £10 adults and £7 for kids
Family fun day : chaos, contagions and cures for catastrophe
Expect a fun and interactive day exploring medicine, engineering and science to save the world! Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 7–12-year olds though older and younger siblings also very welcome. All under 18-year olds must be accompanied by an adult. Ri Young Members enjoy Family Fun Days for free, but don’t forget to book tickets before taking part on the day. More info & bookins here
When: 26 October 11am til 4pm
Where: The Royal Institution
How much: Standard £16 and concessions £10 with kids going free.
Rise & Fall Show
A mesmerizingly beautiful poetic show about holding on and letting go. Come and explore an ecosystem of balloons: universes in miniature alongside Page One Theatre. In Rise And Fall you’ll meet all manner of balloons from small floating moons to vast bouncing orbs. Forever expanding and contracting, balloons are free to float, fly and sway. Hold your breath and go sailing away. More info & booking here.
When: Sat 26 October at 2pm & Sun 27 October at 10am & 12:30pm
Where: Greenwich Theatre
How much: £11 and concessions £9
BSL Family Workshop: My Story with Christopher Sacre
Explore the House of Illustration and learn new techniques using both British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English with artist and educator Christopher Sacre. Draw, create and socialise with other families in this hands-on workshop tailored for children aged 5-10 alongside their parents and carers. Both hearing and deaf families are welcome.In this month’s workshop, we’ll be illustrating our daily lives, inspired by the systematic designs and layouts of Marie Neurath: Picturing Science. Your ticket includes entry to this and other current exhibitions.
When: 27 October 11 til 1pm
Where: House of Illustration, Granary Square
How much: £5 for an adult and child