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Family friendly London events and activities October 2020

October is here and it is a good one. The Natural History Museum ice rink is opening this month, there are lots of exhibitions, Halloween activities and celebrations throughout London, family friendly half term events, afternoon teas and so much art. So here are our top picks for young Londoners and their adults to enjoy.

Black History Month

October is Black history Month and this year there is an array of activities, exhibitions and events for the whole family. From crafting fun to major art retrospectives, talks and tours. Check out the Black History Month website here to find out more.

London Animation Festival

Puppet Barge is reopening with an exciting 45-minute programme of award-winning animation from across Europe.
When: Saturdays and Sundays until 25th of October at 11am and 3pm
Where: Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice
How much: £13 for an adult and £9 for a child. More info and booking here

Kensington and Chelsea Art Week

This outdoor arts festival will bring the streets in this Royal borough to life with a variety of artworks, walks and trails both in real life and through digital platforms. Expect installations, window displays, murals, graffiti workshops and community events celebrating the NHS, the Black Lives Matter movement and referencing Covid-19.
When: 1 until 11 October
Where: Throughout Kensington and Chelsea
How much: free. More info here.

KidZania

Kidzania is a replica city for children where interactive hands-on play is combined with educational experiences. Kids aged 4 and above can have a go at different activities and play pretend in different roles ranging from aviators to teachers, journalists to broadcasters, drivers to firemen and so much more.  It is fun, loud and reopening this October in a covid-secure way. They are also offering Key Workers free tickets in the opening week. More info here.
When: from 1st October 2020 onwards
Where: Kidzania Westfield
How much: tickets start from £16 more info and booking on their site here.

Dub London: Bassline of a city

Explore the influence of dub reggae music on the cultural and social impact in London communities over the past 50 years.
When: 2 October 2020 – 31 jan 2020
Where: Museum of London
How much: free but tickets must be booked in advance here.

Zippo Circus

Expect a family friendly delight of comedy, daredevils, motorcyclists, aerialists and acrobats in this fast-moving spectacle like no other. This year’s colourful production is presented by Zippo’s first ever female ring mistress so that in itself should be a treat.  
When: throughout October
Where: Peckham Rye from 1st until 6th October and Broomfield Park from 8th until the 13th October.
How much: tickets start at £10 but you can use our exclusive 30% Discount code ZC35 for online bookings for all venues this year more info and bookings here.

Mayfair Art Weekend

As well as the late opening of galleries on Friday 2nd of October 2020 you can expect a family friendly sculpture trail that is available to view throughout the month at your leisure.
When: 2, 3 and 4th October
Where: Throughout Mayfair
How much: free more info on their website here.

Alice in Wonderland

Don’t be late for this very important date! Be transported down the rabbit hole into a world that is a little less crazy than ours has been in the past few months. Expect the usual cast of characters as well as colourful costumes in this super family friendly ballet recommended for ages 2 and above.  
When: 4 October at 11:30 and 1:30 at Leicester Square Theatre and 29th October at Stanley Halls
Where: Leicester Square Theatre and Stanley Halls
How much: adult £20 children £17.50 more info and booking here for Leicester Square and here for Stanley Halls.  

Sunday Afternoon Art

Join in this free family friendly activity at Orleans House Gallery where in anticipation of their next exhibition Octagon 300 which celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Octagon room, little Londoners have the pleasure of turning things a little (or a lot) pink. Recommended for children aged 4 and up.
When: 4 October 2 until 4.20
Where: Orleans House Gallery
How much: free but tickets must be booked in advance here

Frieze Sculpture 2020

This outdoor art gallery is coming to Regent’s Park English Garden and you can expect lots of masterpieces from the likes of Lubaina Himid, Richard Long and Rebecca Warren, among others. The works included in Frieze Sculpture will also have a virtual presence on the Frieze Viewing Room platform enabling audiences across the globe (or in self-isolation) to view and interact with the works online.
When: 5 October 2020
Where: Regent’s Park English Gardens
How much: free more information on their website here.

Cutty Sark

Take the kids on an educational trip to see the exquisite design of the oldest surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark. Meet the characters on board the ship, learn some history 
When: Throughout October
Where: Cutty Sark, Greenwich
How much: Adults £15, children £7.50 more info and booking here.

Summer Exhibition 

For the first time in history the summer exhibition is going to take place throughout autumn and winter. This arts festival is a joyous delight where you can find a variety of artworks from both emerging and established artists. 
When: 6 October 2020 until 31 January 2020
Where: Royal Academy
How much: £20 – £22 and everyone has to book a timed slot here.

Knebworth House 

The Park, Gardens, Dinosaur Trail and Adventure Playground will be open weekends in October and daily during half-term. The maze, drop-slides and bouncy castle remain closed due to social-distancing.
When: ongoing until 30 october
Where: Knebworth House
How much: Park, Garden and Dinos are £10 per person, more info and booking here.

Bruce Neuman at Tate Modern

Immerse yourself in neon light installations, poetic sculptures and pieces revolving around sound and moving images. Bruce Neuman is coming to the Tate for the first major exhibition in London for more than 20 years. Should be a goodie.
When: 7 October 2020 until 21 Feb 2021
Where: Tate Modern
How much: £13 or free for members. More info and bookings here

Free minigolf 

Trial whether your tots are into mini-golf at this free course in Canary Wharf. It has recently had a make-over and now has 9 classic holes to play through including loop-de-loop and the death drop. You can also check out the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, pop into Museum of London Docklands or enjoy the children’s art trail or colourful ping-pong tables whilst in the area.
When: Daily 12pm until 6pm until 30 October
Where: Bank Street Park, Canary Wharf
How much: free more info here.

Octagon 300

Art group Alice in Hackneyland draws on 300 years of history of the Octagon room establishing an artistic dialogue between Baroque and contemporary art to create a mesmerising, immersive, sculptural tableau through use of colour and illusion.
When: 13 October – 21 March 2020
Where: Orleans House Gallery
How much: free more info and bookings here.

Brick or Treat

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort will be transformed into a pumpkin-filled wonderland for what is sure to be the most frightfully fun event of the year perfect for the young, and the young at heart!
When: 15 October – 8 November 2020
Where: Legoland Windsor
How much: Tickets from £39 more info and booking here.

Halloween Festival

Expect a Halloween fright fest at Marsh Farm with spooky walkabout entertainment, a pumpkin village, adventure play, bouncy pillows, sand pit fun, crazy golf, a spooky funfair, a 3D halloween cinema and a good array of farm animals. Every child will receive a free pumpkin to the value of £3
When: 17, 18, 24- 31st October 2020
Where: Marsh Farm Essex
How much: Adults and kids over 2s from £15.99 with under 2s £4.99 more info and booking via their website here.

Gruffalo Adventures 

Little Londoners can follow footprints, marks and features as they delve into the deep dark wood discovering the secret life of plants and animals and how their lives are interconnected. Along the way you will have the chance to meet your favourite Gruffalo characters including the big man himself. Children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite characters.
When: 17 October 2020 – 1 November 2020
Where: Kew Gardens
How much: Included with general admission which is £17.50 for adults and £5.50 for children. More info and booking here.

Billy Brown of London Town trail

Track down Billy Brown at both the Museum in Covent Garden and the Museum Depot in Acton. Let Billy Brown guide you on a trail around our heritage vehicles and enjoy fun craft activities inspired by Billy’s famous rhyming couplets. At Covent Garden you can enjoy the newly refurbished London Transport at War gallery with new interactive sheltering experience and create your own Tube station shelter ticket. At the Depot you can hop aboard the miniature railway, walk-through our 1938 Tube stock train and climb aboard the top deck of the Chocolate Express, a rare bus which once belonged to a ‘pirate’ bus fleet operating in the Capital in the 1920s.
When: 17 october – 1 November in Covent Garden and 25 – 25 October and 28 – 1 November in Acton
Where: London Transport Museum and Depot
How much: Covent Garden: Adult £18.50 and children under 17 go free Acton: Adult £15 Child 17 and under £7.50 (concessions available at both sites)

Forbidden Forest Cinema 

Wend your way through a spooky immersive forbidden forest and enjoy a variety of family friendly movies this half term. Also apparently cinemas are exempt from the 10pm curfew as long as the movies start before 10pm…so that’s datenight sorted.
When: 23 October – 8 November
Where: Peckham
How much: tickets prices vary but kids go free during shows in Half Term. More info and booking via their website here.  

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show The Very Hungry Caterpillar who celebrated its 50th Birthday in 2019. Read our full review here
When: 24 October – 27th October at various times
Where: Artsdepot, Finchley
How much: £14 per person check website for details and bookings.

Audley End Halloween Special

The Halloween Special is a one-way immersive experience, the time you chose will be for your train ride where your exciting experience will begin. After your train ride you will be led around an immersive one-way experience which will take you to meet Herbert the funny, haunted, talking House, explore our Adventure Play Area, Café and Seating Area, then finishing with meeting William the woodland Wizard for an interactive show. 
When: 24 October until 1 November
Where: Audley End Miniature Railway
How much:
£15 per person more info and booking here. 

Halloween at London Zoo

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Devilish delights await in the heart of London’s zoo in Regents Park. Little Londoners can prowl Tiger Territory in stripes and a tail or slither through the Reptile House as Harry Potter, who famously practised his parseltongue in the iconic building. Dress up and prepare for a whole day of fun alongside the animals, insects and reptiles that call London Zoo their home. 
When: 24 October until 1 November
Where: ZSL London Zoo
How much: £27.27 for adults and £17.73 for children. More info and booking here.

Halloween Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Take in the views of London as you tuck into spooktacular treats from Brigit’s Bakery including pumpkin tartlets, finger sandwiches, mini cupcakes, sweet pastries and of course, the obligatory freshly baked scone with jam and clotted cream. Yum. You have the option of trying out some of Jimini’s edible insects if you’re feeling particularly hungry and brave. Anyone for a spider surprise? 
When: 24-25 October and 30 – 31st October
Where:
departing from Victoria Coach station
How much:
£45 per adult more info here.

Fairy Tales

Step into a fairy tale town and through into the woods to discover a world of giants, palaces, gingerbread houses and treasure caves. As well as the usual indoor and outdoor fun at Discover Story Centre this month is your last chance to see the Fairy tales exhibition. 
When: 26 – 31st October 2020
Where: Discover Story Centre
How much: £2 per person as well as entry to the venue which ranges from £6.50 per person. More info and booking here.

Robot workshop

Can you use a robot to complete an important mission across enemy territory in this free family coding session? Suggested for children aged 7 and above.
When: 27 – 31st of October
Where: National Army Museum
How much: free more info and booking here.

Mama G Storytime Spooktacular

Join panto dame storyteller Mama G for an hour of spooky stories about being who you are and loving who you want. There’ll be original stories, songs, joining in, lots of laughs and even a sneak peek of our magical new Christmas show! Come dressed to impress in your Halloween best and you might win a prize!
When: 30 October
Where: Stanley Halls Croydon
How much: This is a pay what you can event but suggested £5 more info here.

Ghost bus tours

Check out the UK’s only comedy-horror theatre sightseeing experience this halloween. The Necrobus has been in public service for over a decade entertaining tourists and Londoners as they explore this marvellous city in all its ghostly delights. Expect classic 1960’s Routemaster buses that have been lovingly restored in their signature ‘midnight-black’ livery and finished with antique lamps and plush red velvet curtains. Recommended for children aged 5 and above.
When: Fridays, Saturday and Sundays throughout October
Where: From Northumberland Avenue.
How much: Adult £24 child tickets £16 more info and bookings here.

Travel Photographer of the Year

Missing out on international travel? Take this opportunity to see our planet captured in images as you see the winners of Travel Photographer of the year. Kings Cross is a family friendly place with a variety of outdoor spaces, installations and sculptures to keep the kids entertained. 
When: daily until 25th of October
Where: Coal Drops Yard
How much: free more info here.

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