Active Activities Festival Free Music

Family friendly London events and activities for September 2021

September is here! Although the kids may be heading back to school there are still plenty of events, exhibitions and family festivals to keep you (and the little ones) occupied. This month we’ve included art workshops, museum fun, outdoor adventures and loads more. Follow us on Instagram for more daily recommendations.

In The Neighbourhood

A free family festival that continues the vibe from older brother All Points East! Expect free yoga sessions with More Yoga, sports, live music, musical storytelling from Half Moon Theatre, explore the science of sound with School of Noise and check out puppet shows from Bus King Theatre. There is also daily cinema shows, art installations dotted throughout the site and lots more.
When: 31st August – 2 September 2021
Where: Victoria Park
How much: free more info here.

Greenwich Docklands Festival

LASTheatre-Rascally-Diner-@-Brighton-Fest

A brilliant festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts. Expect a variety of outdoor performances, installations, participatory pieces and loads more. Some of our favourites include Greenwich Fair on the 29th of August where you can expect street art, theatre, circus and loads more. Immersive storytelling: Do What Yah mama Told Yah is on throughout August and September and looks pretty wild as does The Rascally Diner silly, song-filled performance and the educational What Happened to You which explores disability and promotes awareness and understanding.
When: ongoing until 11 September 2021
Where: Throughout Greenwich and Docklands area
How much: free more info here.

Juici Jerk Pop-up

Award-winning Caribbean kitchen and shop, Juici Jerk has launched a ‘jerk pop-up’ at Selfridges London Foodhall next week, offering its signature range of new age British-Caribbean cuisine. Running for four weeks until 19th September, Juici Jerk will be the resident eatery at Selfridges Pop Up Kitchen with a menu focused on staple Caribbean flavours with a modern and contemporary twist. The sibling duo behind Juici Jerk, Troy & Jarrell Johnson have combined their British & West-Indian heritage with their love for food and cooking to pioneer a new age taste of the Caribbean.
When: ongoing until 19th September
Where: Selfridges Food Hall
How much: from £7.50 more info here.

Yoko Ono: Mend Piece for London

Visit Whitechapel Gallery this autumn and get mending in the latest exhibition from Yoko Ono. The artist, musician and activist instructs us to: ‘Mend carefully. Think of mending the world at the same time.’ On entering Galleries 5 and 6, take a seat at a table on which are placed broken fragments of ceramic cups and saucers and some simple materials for repair – scissors, glue, twine and tape. When you have finished ‘mending’, you can display the results of your efforts along the shelves on the walls. Check out the reel from our visit here.
When: Ongoing until 2 Jan 2022
Where: Whitechapel Gallery
How much: free but booking required here.

Open City Family Festival

Open City Families is a programme of exciting activities for children and their families. It’s a hands-on and creative experience for children to explore architecture and their city through play. Explore RIBA headquarters on the 4th of September and create your own word picture in response to its architecture or check out Canary Wharf on the 11th of September where you can build with lego, build a mini-city and develop the eco system as you build a birdhouse. Museum of London are hosting a relaxed opening on the 4th of September for children with autistic spectrum conditions.
When: 4 – 12 September 2021
Where: Throughout London
How much: free, book tickets here.

The Mysterious Black Tudors

Celebrate Open House Festival 2021 with this fun and interactive family event about Britain’s forgotten history of the Black Tudors.
When: 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th September
Where: Starts outside Westminster Abbey Shop
How much: free more info here.

I’m Yours & You’re Mine, Stay Curious: The House of Do Your Own Thing

An interactive exhibition produced by the Feel Good Designers, a group of young artists who are supported by creative arts charity Heart n Soul. Featuring art and performances from the various rooms of a house, the immersive exhibition is on show in the SLG’s Main Gallery for two days only – can combine it with a Sunday Spot Play Space on the Sunday (see next event listing for all the details).
When: 4th & 5th of Septemeber
Where: South London Gallery
How much: free more info here.

Sunday Spot Play Space

Artist Natalie Zervou-Kerruish has designed six movable structures which families are invited to transform into their own unique carnival floats. Use bells, balls, sticks, paper, foil, ribbon and tape to build and decorate your float in a way that symbolises your family or community. The session will end in a procession, with families leading their floats through the studio and out into the Orozco Garden!
When: 5, 12, 19 September 2021
Where: South London Gallery
How much: free more info here.

The Wishing Tree

Inspired by a brand-new Joseph Coelho poem, incorporating ideas from local Islington school children coming out of the pandemic, The Wishing Tree is a touching tribute to the importance of friendship and helping those in need. Also on display will be six unique wishing trees created by designers Alison Alexander, Ingrid Hu, Maia Kirkman-Richards, Seb Mayer, Emma Tompkins and Samuel Wilde which have been used in workshops with local school children, as well as artwork created by these children in response to the trees and Joseph’s work.  Ending with a message of hope, The Wishing Tree explores a range of feelings and ideas that children in this age group can relate to.
When: 9 – 26 September
Where: Little Angel Studios
How much: £13.50 adults and £11.50 children more info and bookings here.

There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom and Other Stories

Inspired by the Greenpeace campaign films There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom and There’s a Monster in My Kitchen created by Mother and written by James Sellick, this beautiful adaptation encourages children to imagine waking up to find a turtle bathing in your bathtub, an orangutan bouncing on your bed and a jaguar creeping through your kitchen!  But how did they all get there? And why on earth are they all so far from home? Featuring a voiceover from Emma Thompson, this magical mix of puppetry and music helps children to discover more about these animal friends and what they can do to help – because no one is too small to make a difference. Recommended for ages 5 and above.
When: 10 September – 7 November
Where: Little Angel Theatre
How much: £13.50 adults / £11.50 children more info and bookings here.

Colourscape Music Festival

Colourscape is a music festival inside an art installation filled with colour and strange acoustics. Get lost in this labyrinth made of inflatable tunnels filled with immerse yourself in the colour and strange sounds. It’s a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours and an amazing experience to share with your little people.
Where: Clapham Common
When: 11 – 19th September 2021
How much: Adults £10 weekends and £5 weekdays and kids £5 weekends and £2 weekdays, more info and bookings here.

The Flight of Babuscha Baboon

The story of a baboon who wants to fly to the moon in a hot-air balloon all told from a barge on the canal in Little Venice – yes you read that right. Check out a show at the Puppet Barge and enjoy a magical combination of string marionettes, shadow puppets, haunting music, beautiful lighting and moving poetry, suitable for ages 3 and above.
When: 11 September – 1 November
Where: Puppet Barge Little Venice
How much: £13 for an adult and £9 for a child. Book via puppetbarge.com

Chisenhale Summer of Art Festival

Expect a community festival outside Chisenhale Art Gallery that will feature dance workshops, craft making stations, artist-led workshops and lots of play.
When: 11 September
Where: Chisenhale Art Gallery
How much: free more info here

Roald Dahl 105th Anniversary: Wonka bar workshop

Celebrate Road Dahl with a 1.5 hour Wonka-bar making workshop in the Chocolate Museum and inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Expect to indulge in lots of chocolate although cannot promise any Oompa Loompas.
When: 12 September
Where: Chocolate Museum, Brixton
How much: £28.50 for one adult + one child; £12 / extra participant (max 6 participants per table) more info and bookings here.

Sunday Shed

Chickenshed Theatre is bringing a weekly programme of performing arts inspired workshops designed as a stand-alone session, with a different theme each week, including elements of drama, dance, music and art.The workshops are created to enable children to simply turn up, join in, have fun and spark their imagination to explore theatre. Suitable for ages 5 and above.
When: 12, 19, 28 September 2021
Where: Chickenshed Theatre
How much: £8 more info here.

Frieze Sculpture

Regent’s Park English garden is once again becoming an outdoor gallery and you can expect lots of masterpieces from the likes of Rasheed Araeen, Daniel Arsham, Anthony Caro, Gisela Colón, José Pedro Croft and loads more. Pack the kids and a picnic and enjoy sculptures and the colours of autumn in one of London’s iconic parks. 
When: 14 September 31st October
Where: Regent’s Park
How much: free more info here.

Chelsea History Festival

Calling all history buffs – the brilliant Chelsea history Festival is back and there are a bunch of brilliant events to get involved in. Experience 2000 years of London’s history brought to life with a street through time, get playing on Giant Games for Little Soldiers at the National Army Museum, nose around a secret garden at the Chelsea Physic Garden open day and take part in a Tiger Walk storytelling session and workshop with author Dianne Hofmeyr.
When: 18 September – 26 September 2021
Where: throughout Chelsea
How much: various costs check the website here.

Family Rave at Fabric

Didn’t think family and rave belonged in the same sentence? Well think again! Big Fish Little Fish are bringing the best in rave culture: banging tunes, unity and escapism to fabric alongside balloons, bubbles and children’s activities – so get your rave on with your little people! The event is space themed and fancy dress is encouraged.
When: 18 September 2pm – 4:30
Where: Fabric Nightclub
How much: £9 for kids and £13 for adults more info via bigfishlittlefishevents.com

The Dancers Garden

There is a child friendly installation in the quiet gardens at The Mosaic Rooms. The dancers’ garden is inspired by artist Alaa Satir’s fictional tale of two dancers who travel from a place by the river Nile to a garden where they can share their art and dance and be free to make music and that is exactly what your kids can do. Chill out in the garden, play in the miniature sandpit, get creative with sound, loose materials and art supplies for drawing activities. There is also a creative play session at The Mosaic Rooms on the 25th of September with London based Palestinian artist Dia Batal. Check out the reel from our visit.
When: Installation is ongoing until 26th September 2021
Where: The Mosaic Rooms
How much: free more info here.

London Design Festival

The London Design Festival transform the capital each year through a series of outdoor
installations, exhibitions and special events that will bring people together, celebrate creativity and one of the greatest cities in the world. Yinka Ilori will be transforming central London into an outdoor exhibition, Sou Fujimoto is going to celebrate Architecture and Reality at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as loads more from established and emerging talent.
When: 18 – 26 September 2021
Where: throughout the capital in various design districts
How much: various (many are free) more info here.

Meet Bing and Flop

Explore London Zoo through a new, self-guided Bing trail where you can help Bing and friends complete the Zookeepers’ daily checklist. There will also be interactive story time sessions and the usual array of fun activities to enjoy at London Zoo.
When: 20 September – 31st October
Where: ZSL London Zoo
How much: included with the price of entry prices start at £26 per adult. More info and booking here.

Chelsea in Bloom

The world class alternative floral art show is back, transforming the streets of Chelsea with breath-taking floral displays. 2021’s theme is ‘Extraordinary Voyages’, inspired by ‘Around the world in 80 days’ and evoking the spirit of optimism, adventure and the golden age of travel. So take a trip to King’s Road, Sloane Street, Pavilion Square and Duke of York Square.
When: 20 – 25 September
Where: throughout Chelsea
How much: free more info here.

Summer Exhibition

The world’s most joyful art exhibition is back – and despite the name it is taking place this autumn. Expect art icons along side up-and-coming contemporaries. Find the art you love from over 1,000 works selected by coordinator Yinka Shonibare and a panel of artists, under the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’
When: 22 September – 2 Jan 2022
Where: Royal Academy of Arts
How much: £20/22 concessions available. More info here.

Totally Thames Festival

Celebrating the River Thames with arts events, active adventures, environmental initiatives, heritage and education programmes. Celebrate all things rivers and seas in a family weekend at Cutty Sark, Pop down to the Greenwich Peninsula and enjoy a show, performance or live music in the multi-use recreational and performance space designed by British Nigerian Artist Yinka Ilori, catch a Bodies of Water dance performance in Southwark or experience Lillith, an audio-visual installation in Woolwich. Go Waterside Foraging, enjoy Lighting up the Lea festival at Cody Dock or check out an art exhibition in response to the River.
When: 1st – 30th September
Where: throughout London
How much: mostly free, more info here.

Family Wildlife Activities in the Flower Garden

Get down to Greenwich Park and join The Royal Parks’ volunteers for nature-themed crafts and wildlife discovery.
When: 25 September 1pm – 4pm
Where: Greenwich Park
How much: free more info here.

Jack and the Beanstalk

This classic fairytale now gets the Lyngo treatment so expect lots of surprises and beautiful images as CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch tells the gripping story of Jack, who sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. Suitable for ages 3 and above. Read our review here.
When: 25 September 11am and 2pm
Where: Half Moon Theatre
How much: £7 more info and booking here.

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