It is July 4th and many places are opening up for post Covid-19 socially distanced days out. So we are back with our usual pick of events and activities (although slightly different than the norm). Our selection for July includes outdoor fun in the sun, farms and adventure play spaces as well as museums and art galleries (plus a few at home activities thrown in for good measure.) We are sure you will find something to enjoy with your little Londoners.
The Sculpture Park
The sculpture park in Farnham is the world’s largest all year round sculpture exhibition and it is open for socially distanced visits. Get your fix of art through a variety of bronze, wood and stone sculptures from animals to abstract and everything in-between. All of that whilst enjoying the great outdoors.
When: Open from the 1st of July 10am til 5pm
Where: Farnham, Surrey
How much: £10 per person and children under 4 going free. Full info and advance booking can be found on their website here.
Get your most colourful garb on and celebrate online until the 10th of July with a variety of virtual parades, performances, workshops for the whole family. Plus Mama G has a Pride Family Party on Facebook from 9am on the 12th of July.
Where: at home
When: until 10th July & Mama G Family Pride Party on the 12th of July.
How much: free
Explore London from the capital’s waterways with this self manned boat where you become the captain and sail away down the Thames. With both sites in Paddington and Kingston now open so you can roam the canals around Little Venice, London Zoo and Camden Lock or venture past Hampton Court Palace.
When: Ongoing throughout summer whatever the weather
Where: Paddington & Kingston
How much: £89 for two hour trip
A fun free day out for the whole family where it is easy to socially distance, doesn’t require booking ahead of time and can be combined with a shopping trip at ICON at the O2 and a Thames-side picnic. Find out about our socially distanced day out here.
When: Open daily unless weather conditions prevent it running
How much: £3.50 each way with kids under 5 going free.
The Royal Air Force Museum
The museum is opening up from the 4th of July. Explore 100 years of the RAF, have a picnic and let the children enjoy the play space with models of iconic aircraft, climbing walls, tractors and helicopters. Tickets must be booked in advance here.
When: from 4 July 2020 onwards
How much: Free but parking costs £4
National Army Museum
The museum is opening from the 7th of July so you can take your little trooper along to explore the history of armies and battles throughout time. Although Play Base and the cafe will remain closed for the time being, there is plenty to keep older children entertained on a rainy day. For bookings and more information on what to expect from this socially distanced day out visit their website here. There are also lots of activities for families on the National Army Museum website that can be enjoyed at home including a scavenger hunt, learning to draw or creating a parachute
When: Open from the 7th of July 2020
How much: free
The Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum is reopening on the 8th of July and you can take an stroll through the Portraying Pregnancy exhibition. This major exhibition explores the representations of the pregnant female body through portraits, over 500 years, from Holbein through to social media. Portraying Pregnancy, is curated by Karen Hearn and brings together, for the first time, rare examples of these portraits provide an exceptional opportunity to showcase and articulate contemporary issues of women’s identity, emotions, empowerment and autonomy over a 500-year context.there is also a Jaqueline Wilson competition available via their website here for older children.
When: Open from 8th of July 2020
Where: Foundling Museum
How much: £13.20 and concessions are £9.90 more info and booking here.
This family run park in Hertfordshire has zoo where you can roam amongst the UK’s largest and most spectacular animatronic dinosaurs. There are a variety of animals around, from zebras to farmyard and reptiles to birds of prey. You can also feed animals in the farmyard and have a splash in the aquatic adventure play areas.
When: Open daily
How much: Tickets are around £20 with under 2s going in free. More info and booking here.
A lush way to get your tropical plant fix alongside a spectacular view of the London skyline. It is free and the coffee is strong and cheap (and they will be opening up the sky bar from the 8th of July in case you want something stronger.) Tickets are released every Monday.
Where: Sky Garden
How much: free but tickets must be booked in advance here.
The Barbican centre reopens from Monday 13th of July and the Conservatory is going to be open every single day. Yup you heard that right. Explore the oasis nestled within this brutalist masterpiece. With over 1500 plants and three different ponds filled with koi fish, you may be able to convince yourself you are in a tropical jungle rather than a concrete one. You can book your slot here. The Masculinities exhibition has also been extended until 23rd of August.
When: Ongoing from 13 July 2020
Where: The Barbican Centre
How much: free
Cutty Sark is opening back up and children go free until the 21st of August with a paying adult. Climb on board the world’s only surviving tea clipper and explore to your heart’s content. Alternatively you can enjoy the museum from the comfort of your own home with their Toddler Time Online, Deep Sea Dancing Sessions and Bedtime stories with Ted the astronaut as well as lots more. Royal Museums Greenwich online programme can be found here.
When: Cutty opens on the 20th of July.
Where: Royal Museums Greenwich
How much: £15 for an adult and children go free until 21st of August. Book your tickets here.
The British Library
The British Library is opening up some of the rooms from the 22nd of July and in the meantime you can explore lots of their activities online including sensory activities from their sound collection, illustration workshops from famous children’s books and printable activity packs which can be found here.
When: from 22 July 2020
Where: British Library
How much: free
Culture Mile Art Trail
The City of London’s cultural district stretching from Farringdon to Moorgate, have got a brilliant art trail of 12 installations between Millenium Bridge and Barbican Station. They are outdoors, can be climbed on and go past several attractions including St Paul’s Cathedral, Museum of London and the Barbican Centre. If you prefer to stay indoors, Culture Mile has you covered with the series of Play Packs they have created for young people and their families. More info via their website here.
Where: within the culture mile
How much: free
Drive in Theatre & Cinema
Drive-in Cinemas are the post-covid-19 mushrooms after the rain and popping up all over London. Catch movies at Alexandra Palace in your car. The Drive-in at the Troubadour is your chance to experience drive in cinema in July. Peter Rabbit is showing on the 4th as well as a variety of movies including Sonic the Hedgehog on the 11th of July, Paddington Bear on the 12th of July and Aladdin on the 14th of July. More info and bookings here.
When: Various shows throughout July
How much: £35 per car
Don’t despair if you don’t own a vehicle because Free Range Club brings you movie stars without the cars in parks throughout London. From Three Mills Island to Blackheath Common and Brockwell park.
When: Throughout July
Where: various London locations
How much: various depending on film and location. More info via their website here.
Canal Museum is opening from the 17th of July on Fridays and Saturdays only and you can spend a couple of hours learning about the ice trade and the history behind the canal. A trip here can be combined with a visit to Canopy Market where you can purchase some delicious produce and eat it poolside at the new installations at Granary Square.
When: from 17 July onwards.
How much: £5 for an adult £2.50 for a child. Tickets must be booked online here.
Kentish Town City Farm
A socially distanced farm visit is on the cards as Kentish Town City Farm is open to the public. Interact with sheep, goats, ducks, horses and donkeys (although donkey and pony rides are not operating for the foreseeable). Still a lovely day out in the UK’s first ever city farm.
Where: Kentish Town
How much: free but tickets must be booked here.
All of the Tate galleries will reopen on July 27th and you can expect all the pre lockdown exhibitions including Andy Warhol and Kara Walker at the Tate Modern and Aubrey Beardsley and Steve McQueen Year 3 at Tate Britain. There are also some brilliant at home activities on the Tate website. These include spin paintings, edible chocolate art, Gerhard Richter inspired marbled paper with foam, Warhol inspired artworks, an Eduardo Paolozzi robot and lots more.
When: from July 27th
Where: All Tate Galleries
How much: depending on the exhibition. For more details or to book a tickets visit their website here
This family favourite book can be brought to life with family friendly sculpture trails throughout the country courtesy of Forestry England, but do check ahead of visiting as in some areas the sculptures are cordoned off or have been taken away for refurbishment. Horsenden Hill Gruffalo trail is probably the closest to Londoners and gives you the opportunity to combine time in the great outdoors with a classic family favourite.
Where: Throughout the UK
How much: Varies (a small contribution if any)
Historic Royal Palaces
Historic Royal Palaces are reopening. Tower of London is opening from the 10th of July, Hampton Court Palace (including interiors) will open from the 17th of July (although the Maze and and Magic Garden will remain closed) and Kensington Palace will be opening from 30th of July.
When: Throughout July.
Where: Various London locations.
How much: Depends on your visit. Check out their website here.
ZSL London Zoo
Have you missed the Zoo? Us too! Well say a big warm socially distanced welcome to the animals as you go about visiting the Zoo in the post-apocalyptic time of Covid-19. It will be quieter than usual for this time of year, with social distancing in place, hand sanitiser and many of the play spaces closed (at the time of writing). BUT the Zoo is always a brilliant day out.
When: Open daily 10am til 6pm
Where: Regent’s Park
How much: £27 per adult and £17.73 for children over the age of three. Under 3s go free. More info and bookings via their website here.
Old Macdonalds Farm & Fun Park
Eeeii eeeiii ioooo this park is reopening on the 10th of July and you can expect animals, rides and adventure play as well as children’s characters (Hey Duggee is paying a visit in August) ride on tractors and outdoor soft play.
When: from 10th of July
How much: £16 for adults and £15 for kids. Book tickets in advance here.
Scenes in the Square
Scenes in the Square brings us our favourite film characters (in statue form) to Leicester Square. The cinemas may still be closed but you can spot Bugs Bunny munching on a carrot, see Gene Kelly hanging from a lamp-post and sit on a bench next to Paddington Bear. More information on Scenes in the Square can be found here.
Where: Leicester Square
How much: free
This adventure farm in Essex has animals, adventure golf, sand pits, take-away food and an adventure playground on site. A great day out that is close enough to London.
When: From Sat 4th July daily from 10am til 5pm
How much: £6.99 per person. Tickets must be booked in advance via their website here.
Pick your own farms
Pick your own farms are a great way to educate children about food and get some yummy produce on your plate. We recently visited Parkside Pick Your Own Farm in Enfield but there’s lots around including Garsons Farm in Esher, Hewitts Farm in Orpington and Crockford Bridge Farm in Surrey.
When: Most are open everyday other than Monday.
Where: Throughout London
How much: varies
Lockdown festival with Camp Bestival
This award winning festival organised by Rob da Bank and his wife Josie takes place on the beautiful grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset on the 30th of July until 2nd of August 2020 and is THE festival for families with children of all ages. Unfortunately it has been cancelled this year BUT their Easter Lockdown stay at home sleepover is immense. There are tons of activities and videos available on their youtube channel to get you celebrating your own mini festival from home. From fitness classes with Mr Motivator to clay model making from the creator of Wallace and Gromit there are an array of fun activities, theatre shows, cooking classes, festival face paint and loads more. Get a teepee up in the living room and spend a day glamping from home.
Where: at home
How much: free
Escape to the botanical gardens to get your fix of plants and fungi from around the world. Enjoy a socially distanced day out in the beautiful surrounding of Kew with big open spaces, hills, trees and plants from around the world. At the time of writing the Restaurants and Children’s Garden remain closed but we are crossing our fingers and toes in the hope they open late July/early August.
When: Monday to Friday 10am til 7pm
How much: £16.50 for adults, £8 for a young person between 16 and 25, £4.50 for children between ages 4 and 16, free for under 4s and NHS workers. More info and bookings here.
Little Angel Theatre
This Islington based puppet theatre for young people remains closed for the foreseeable but they have a range of production you can watch online including Jon Klassen’s ‘I want my hat back’, ‘This is not my hat’ and ‘We found a hat’. Their stay at home activity guides will keep the kids creatively entertained on a rainy day with puppet making sessions, paper dolls and loads more. Check their website here.
Where: at home
How much: free
Museum of Steam and Water
The gardens at this small privately run museum are open and free for families to enjoy every weekend throughout the summer months from the 16th of July.
When: 16th of July until 29th of August from 11am until 3pm
How much: free more details on their website here.
This interactive farm in Surrey has a range of interactive experiences for the whole family. From tractor rides, outdoor adventure play and a variety of farm produce on sale. The tearoom and indoor play spaces remain closed at the time of writing. There is a colouring competition for those interested in winning a free ticket to the farm – details here.
When: Opening from the 4th of July
How much: £8.25 for adults and children over 2 years of age, £210 for children aged 1 with infants under one going free.