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Free London Events and Activities for Summer Holidays 2022

Milo has a splash at More Fountains in London

The summer holidays are here and that means 6 weeks of keeping the kids occupied. To help you keep costs down and the children entertained we’ve compiled our top FREE family friendly events and activities throughout summer 2022. Do check our instagram for more.

London Fountains

Want to cool down in the city heat? Look no further than one of the many fountains in London (but do check if they are on as they can be unpredictable!) Our favourites include Edmond J. Safra fountains at Somerset House, The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park fountains, More London Fountains with their epic views of the city and close proximity to many London attractions, Granary Square in King’s Cross, Fellowship Square Fountains, Broadgate Exchange Square, Elephant Springs in Elephant and Castle and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountains.

Royal Parks Family Friendly Fun

Want some outdoor fun with the kids? Head to the Royal parks this summer. There’s a PlayDay on the 3rd of August and Family Singalongs film screenings alongside Tramshed Theatre and The Woolwich Singers on the 27 & 28 August in Greenwich Park, A Peter Pan Discovery Day on the 9th of August or a Discovery Day exploring life underground (including storytelling sessions) on the 23, 24 and 25 August in Hyde Park or Play in the Park child led sessions in Regents Park on the 10th of August.

Summer Lights at Canary Wharf

IN PHOTO – Megan Painter Editorial Use Only Love IRL by Stuart Langley at Adams Plaza is unveiled as part of the Summer Lights festival at Canary Wharf in London. Picture date: Monday June 20, 2022. PA Photo. The free exhibition includes six of Canary Wharf’s permanent pieces, as well as 11 newly commissioned sculptures, all of which cast colourful shadows across the ground and nearby structures when they interact with daylight. The exhibition is open from today and runs until Saturday August 20. Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Launched to celebrate the summer solstice, the 11 outdoor installations and 6 permanent sculptural pieces scattered throughout the estate are a celebration of natural light. From sunrise to sunset visitors are invited to interract with magical spaces built on colourful light reflections and patterns. One place worth exploring and photographing during various times of the day.
When: Ongoing until 20 August 2022
Where: Throughout Canary Wharf Estate
How much: Free. More information here.

Circus Workshops

The Majorettes are a Guinness World Record Holding hula hoop troupe and they are offering free children’s workshops to learn hula hooping and other circus skills. No experience necessary – just grab the kids and get moving and performing.
When: Every Tuesday throughout the holidays from 5pm til 6pm
Where: Stonebridge Gardens, E6
How much: free more info and bookings here.

Secret Garden Arty Sundays

Be inspired by the book and current exhibition on The Secret Garden as you build your own small scale Secret Garden inspired by artist Juliette Losq’s installation in The Secret Garden exhibition. Each participant will receive a little box or tray to create a mini garden in and we will make plants out of drawings on torn paper, wire, cardboard and tissue paper. Suitable for ages 3-10. The session will be run by Florence Goodhand-Tait, an artist and freelancer who regularly works with Art in the Park in Burgess Park.
When: Sundays throughout the summer
Where: The Garden Museum
How much: free more info here.

Summer Holiday Workshops and the Foundling Museum

Those popular workshops are booking fast and for good reason. One day you can be part of a story have your own character perform on a 3D mini stage, create your own comic book or even learn to draw your very own superhero complete with colourful costume, gadgets and magic powers of course.
When: 26 – 29 July 2022
Where: Foundling Museum
How much: Free but needs booking. More information and timing here.

Fancy Dress Parade Show

The Fancy Dress Parade is an all-singing, all-dancing children’s show. An interactive performance that follows the story of May, her Aunty Pam and best friend Buster as they get ready for a fancy dress parade and May’s costume mysteriously disappears. Where did it go? The audience, together with May and Buster, set out on a fancy dress costume hunt. Fancy dress encouraged.
When: 30 July 2022
Where: Chelsea Theatre
How much: free or pay what you can – more info here.

Kusama Obliteration Room

Kusama – Obliteration Room

Tate Modern invites visitors of all ages to help transform a blank white apartment into a sea of colourful dots. Yayoi Kusama’s The Obliteration Room opens on 23 July as part of UNIQLO Tate Play, Tate Modern’s free programme of playful art-inspired activities for families. As well as having a chance to cover every available surface of the installation with bright circular stickers, families will also be able to create their own work of art to add to an ever-growing garden in the Turbine Hall.
When: 23 July – 29 August
Where: Tate Modern
How much: Free. More info here.

Stuart Semple’s Festival of Happiness

When a renowned British artist puts his creativity to work we get a one day colourful festival packed with imaginative events for the whole family. Come to Dulwich Gallery to see the premiere of Stuart Semple’s interactive sculptural installation ‘Something Else’, join a family-friendly workshop, relax with performances from the City of London Sinfonia, or just enjoy a delicious snack from the cafeteria. The current exhibition Reframed: The Woman in the Window is also free to access on the day.
When: 30 July 2022
Where: Dulwich Picture Gallery
How much: Free. More information here.

Kids Summer Splash

Dive into family fun this summer as Kids Summer Splash brings you delightful dock swimming, super sandpits, deckchair chilling, and much more. Grab your towels and take a swim in the lido which also includes a shallow end for younger children to make a splash and have a paddle.
When: 1 – 21 August 2022 10am to 6pm daily
Where: Royal Docks
How much: free more info here.

Summer Explorers

Join summer explorers at Fulham Palace this August to travel back in time and uncover the secrets of of the palace through forgotten objects and hidden stories. Children will experience the sights, sounds and smells of the garden and get creative with hands-on arts and crafts. Both children (ages 2 -8) and adults will discover new ways to learn and create together.
When: 1,2, 3 & 4 August 2022
Where: Fulham Palace
How much: free more info here.

Family Days at William Morris Gallery

Inspired by the current Althea McNish exhibition currently at the gallery – the family days throughout August (on Tuesdays) will feature a number of different workshops for young Londoners and their families. There’s 3d plants and flowers, colourful weaving and lots more.
When: 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30th August 2022
Where: William Morris Gallery
How much: free more info here.

Chisenhale Summer of Art

The Summer of Art outside Chisenhale Art Gallery is returning for another year and will include hands-on art activities, dance classes and live performances in the outdoor Chisenhale Learn+Play+Create Space on Chisenhale Road, culminating in a festival of art for all on Saturday 6th August.
When: 23 July – 6 August 2022
Where: Chisenhale Place (opposite the gallery)
How much: free more info here.

Mini Golf by Yinka Ilori

There is free mini golf on the Greenwich Peninsula from artist Yinka Ilori. The technicolour 6-hole course is open from 12-6pm every weekend between 18 June – 18 September for up to groups of 6. Enjoy the brightly coloured course as well as river views, London cable cars and street food from Design District Canteen You can certainly make a day of it. Minimum age 4 years old, children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult, we will provide putts and balls to be collected from the mini golf kiosk at the start of the course.
When: every weekend throughout the summer until September
Where: Greenwich Peninsula
How much: free more info and bookings here.

Hackney Summer Festival

Hackney Summer festivals brings together a variety of free and paid events throughout the Borough. Expect to find reading challenges in the local libraries, exhibitions celebrating the community and culture as well as day festivals, adventure play and lots more.
When: On throughout the summer
Where: Throughout Hackney
How much: Mostly free – more details on specific events here.

Creative Summer at Pitzhanger

Great opportunity to learn new creative skills by attending one of the many workshops and activities. From carnival costume making to being an architect’s apprentice or just follow one of the creative trails to pick up a reward on completion.
When: 23 July to 4th September 2022
Where: Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery
How much: Free. Full information and time table here.

Family Display: Pattern Studio

Planning a trip to the V&A this summer? Be sure to check out the museum’s Family Display: Pattern Studio drop-in space where you can design your own colourful textile patterns inspired by the Africa Fashion exhibition to add to the display wall.
When: 23 July to 1st September 2022
Where:  V&A Museum
How much: Free

Mini Golf at Canary Wharf

General views of a new minigolf course at Montgomery Square in Canary Wharf, designed by artists Karl Maier and Carl Redman, London. Picture date: Tuesday May 17, 2022. PA Photo. The 9-hole course, which is open daily between 12pm – 6pm from today, is London’s only free to use minigolf course, featuring a neon orange jump ramp, pink and yellow chequered bridge and pop art inspired dotted obstacles. Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Artists Craig Redman & Karl Maier, famous for their fun, bold and colourful designs, transform Montgomery Square with an exciting new minigolf course. The course includes joyful novelty features with a design orientated approach making it a truly one-of-a-kind course for families to enjoy. Canary Wharf has also got an extensive programme of family friendly fun throughout the summer.
When: daily throughout the summer from 12pm til 6pm
Where: Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf
How much: free more info here.

This Bright Land

Come for a splash and a dance around the very popular coutryard fountains and stay for the daytime creative activities or pop inside to have a look at the Eternally Yours free exhibition and see how artists and designers use upcycling and repurposing to create new works of art. There will be plenty of outdoor games, and site-wide treasure hunts to use the pent-up energy.
When: 1 – 29 August 2022
Where: Somerset House
How much: Free. More information here.

Summer Family Activities

Join artist, Gold Maria Akanbi for a free workshop for families exploring breath, through meditation and breathwork practices on the 7th of August or get involved with building a collective shelter on the 21st alongside Sarah Jackson where you can experiment with Cyanotype prints.
When: 7 and 21 August 2022
Where: Camden Arts Centre
How much: free more info here.

Dream Big: Holidays Family Activities

This year, Museum of the Home’s summer offer for families has been created to take children and families on a journey through our Festival of Sleep, exploring the mysteries of sleep, dreams and rest through time and cultures. We invite families to spend a day with us exploring waking and sleeping dreams, what people did to get rest at home hundreds of years ago, and to enjoy our restful Gardens Through Time.
When: 7 and 21 August 2022
Where: Museum of the Home
How much: free more info and bookings here.

Creative Summer Programme

There’s loads on for families at Pitzhanger throughout the summer. Celebrate the return of Carnival to the streets of West London on the 7th of August, get the kids to learn new activities and skills from the 15th to the 19th August (min age 7) or bring your imagination and play, explore, make and build outside Pitzhanger as the popular AssemblePlay returns for the August Bank Holiday weekend (25 -28th)
When: 7, 15-19 and 25 -28 August
Where: Pitzhanger Manor
How much: Free more info here.

Clay Play Workshop

Join a fun and interactive clay workshop for children aged 5-11. We’ll be making weird and wonderful creatures using air dry clay. Just bring your imagination as materials will be provided!
When: 8 August 12 – 1pm
Where: Oxford house, Bethnal Green
How much: free more info here.

Summer of three free Tuesdays

Take part in the Canal Museum’s free open Tuesdays event with hands-on, family art workshops run by professional artists Rachel Lindsey-Clark and Camilla Brendon. You can try your hand at collage making and create a serene canal scene or explore the canal critters that live beneath the water and make your own out of recycled materials? Or why not dip in and out of the two workshops to sample both across the day – the choice is yours. Check out the review from our visit here.
When: 9, 16 & 23 August 2023 from 11 until 3:30
Where: Canal Museum, King’s Cross
How much: free more info here.

Paper Playround

Help build a paper playground alongside artist Amy Leung in this hands-on workshop. You’ll explore the new exhibition Craft School and discover all the tactile qualities of paper – get messy with paper pulp, build structures and try your hand at some weaving!
When: 10 August 2022 at 1-2:30pm
Where: Craft Council Gallery, Islington
How much: free more info here.

Build a Lego City Workshop

Get inspired from architecture around the world to build your very own Lego City. The team from Sir John Soane’s Museum will be in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (the park opposite the Museum) with lots of LEGO and some big blocks for smaller fingers, making buildings and helping create a city to rival any architect’s wildest imagination. There is also a stained glass design workshop on the 18th and Teracotta Pot Painting on the 25th of August.
When: 11, 18 and 25 August 2022
Where: Sir John Soane’s Museum
How much: Free. Full information here.

Summer on the Square

This August, the National Gallery in partnership with Westminster City Council, will host Summer on the Square – a programme of free, daily creative sessions and activities to inspire you to create your own masterpieces. From creating zines to making animations, painting and loads more creative fun.
When: 11 – 29 August 2022
Where: Trafalgar Square
How much: free more info here.

Black Victorians

Jeanefer Jean-Charles presents Black Victorians, exploring a complex and often forgotten Black presence in pre-Windrush Britain. Inspired by nineteenth- century studio photographs of black men, women and children, the piece explores a complex and often forgotten Black presence in pre-Windrush Britain. Black Victorians is inspired by Black Chronicles – The Missing Chapter, an ongoing curatorial research programme led by Autograph focused on unearthing nineteenth century photographs of Black presences in Britain’s archives. Black Victorians is accompanied by a display of the Black Chronicles’ Exhibition In A Box produced by, and presented in association with, Autograph gallery, London.”
When: 12 & 13 August 2022
Where: Jubilee Square, Kensington Town Hall
How much: free more info here.

Dance at the Dock

Get your whole body moving in this dance and movement workshop inspired by the museum’s historic building. Join dance teacher and choreographer Vivian Tr to wiggle, move and shake to the rhythm of the museum warehouse in this 30 minute active workshop. Younger visitors can also visit the highly interactive Mudlarks Gallery.
When: 18, 25 & 26 August 2022
Where: Museum of London Docklands
How much: free more info here.

In the Neighbourhood 

All Points East Festival is bringing the community element of the festival to Victoria Park in east London. You can expect a week filled with family friendly fun including yoga sessions, sporting activities, outdoor cinema, face painting, music and storytelling and lots more.
When: 21 – 24 August 2022
Where: Victoria Park
How much: Free. More information available here.

Plants Have Secrets Workshop

Local young people (between 13 – 19 years old) will have the produce 2 short animations, containing stop motion and digitally created onion layers, revealing the secrets behind plants, unravelling the truths that lay beneath classic myths about plants, challenging people’s perceptions and educating people through fun and engaging digital outputs. The young people will develop skills in animation, arts/design and storytelling as well as a new developed understanding of plants and the natural world. The workshop is run in collaboration with the Octavia Foundation.
When: 22 – 26 August
Where: Chelsea Physic Garden
How much: free – more info and bookings here.

Notting Hill Carnival – Children’s Day

The Carnival is back on the streets after three years of absence and promises to be bigger and bolder than ever! One of the most spectacular street party in London, the Carnival is a sight to remember with it’s relentless beat, the delicious street food smells and of course, the costumes, the music and the culture. Make sure to plan ahead (there is a handy Carnival app you can download) as it can get very busy.
When: Sunday 28 August 2022
Where: Notting Hill
How much: Free. More information here.

Under 5s: Playful Puppets

Britain’s only gallery devoted to modern Italian art has a suite of family art days lined up for this summer. This event tailored specifically for under five year old artists encourages visitors to get inspired by the futuristic art on display and use their creativity to create colourful puppets.
When: 30 August 2022
Where: Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
How much: Free. More information here.

Kids Week

Kids Week is a great opportunity to introduce young people to theatre without the massive price tag. A child 17 and under goes free when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Plus an additional two children can attend for half price! When booking, tickets will appear at their half price cost (the same deal as one full price adult and one free child!) so you just need to buy the same number of tickets as total attendees, children and adults. There is also a number of activities to accompany certain performances during Kids Week. Look out for blue stars on the show’s calendar page. For activities info click here.
When: throughout August.
Where: London
How much: Dependent on the show more info here.

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