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School’s out! Hot tips for a cool summer break

26 July, 2018

Hat’s off to crafty ideas at the Geffrye

Geffrye Museum

Play, Performance and Pastimes
August: Thursdays 16, 23 and 30; Fridays 17, 24 and 31
10am-4.30pm. Free. For families with children aged 2-16
Get creative in the Geffrye Museum’s beautiful gardens this summer! Enjoy free activities exploring kids’ adventures at home, including crafts, digital fun, games, multi-sensory, hands-on activities and songs and stories for younger visitors.

Visit for the daily schedule. Special family-friendly tours of the Geffrye’s restored 18th-century almshouse will also be on offer giving a glimpse into the lives of former residents (children free, adults £5).

Free activites will take place in the garden

As the museum is closed for redevelop­ment, most of the activities will take place outside, on the lawn or under a big canopy. Refreshments will be on sale or bring a picnic to eat on the lawn.
Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.  Many of the workshops are drop-in. Registration for timed workshops takes place 30 minutes in advance of each session and places are first-come first served.
• Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA, 020 7739 9893,

Hampstead Beach at JW3

Until September 2. Free, Sunday-Thursday 9.30am-8pm, Friday 9am-3pm. Closed Saturday. Closed on July 27.

Hampstead’s urban beach is back at JW3, where the little ones can build sandcastles on golden sand with buckets and spades, courtesy of JW3, and enjoy splashing around in a paddling pool.
Check the website for special events taking place on the beach throughout the summer. Note: Only food & drink bought at the cafe, restaurant and bar Zest is allowed on Hampstead Beach.

• JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET,


The summer lawn at Angel Central

Greatest Show on Turf

Angel Central, Islington,
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

This summer Angel Central sees the return of the “Greatest Show on Turf” providing a host of free family events on the Summer Lawn.

The star of the show is Titan the Robot (August 2); Titan has wowed crowds across the world with his entertaining performances. Hula-Hoop extraordinaire Angie Mack is back (August 9) to show off her skills and teach everyone how it’s done. On the 16th, Tiny the Dinosaur will be along with her palaeontologist friend; and on the 23rd it’s comedic juggler Ian Marchant. Football freestyler Dan Magness is back with incredible tricks and skills on the 28th, with the final event on the 30th hosted by the Balloonatics – a bonkers balloon show!

And make sure you visit and enter a summer competition. With prize bundles to be won including hotel stays, free meals and plenty of goodies.

• Angel Central, 21 Parkfield Street, N1 0PS, 020 7359 2674,


Houses of Parliament

Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower may be under wraps for renovation work, but it’s still possible to visit Parliament and take a tour of this iconic building.

– Self-guided audio tours (takes around 60 to 75 minutes) of the Commons and Lords, following in the footsteps of the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament;

– 90-minute family guided tours in the company of a Visitor Assistant guide – aimed at 7 to 12-year-olds;

– Voice and Vote is a free, interactive exhibition in Westminster Hall, telling the story of women in Parliament and recreating lost historic spaces known as The Ventilator, The Cage and The Tomb .
After your tour, you can enjoy afternoon tea after a tour (advance booking essential).

Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling 020 7219 4114, or visit the ticket office at the front of Portcullis House on Victoria Embankment,



Society of London Theatre (SOLT)

Kids Week, August 1-31, valid for selected performances, booked through

It used to be just a week, hence the name but now this opportunity to introduce young people to London theatre runs for the whole of August. A child aged 16 or under can get free theatre tickets from August 1-31, when accompanied by a full-paying adult. Adults can buy up to two extra kids’ tickets at half price, and there are no booking or postage fees.


Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain Part Four!

Apollo Theatre
Booking until September 1. 70 minutes, no interval. Suitable for ages 5-105. Tickets from £17.
Would you be shaken or stirred by Richard the Third? Horrible Histories is back in the West End with a brand new show this summer. Anarchy, hilarity – history with the best bad bits left in.
• Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ES, 0330 333 4809,


T-Rex is top of the pops at Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World – Live!

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
August 14-September 9, various days and times.
All tickets £16.50 (£15 + £1.50 booking fee), 50-minute show suitable for ages 3+
Dinosaurs are never out of fashion and this interactive show invites all the family to grab a compass and take a Jurassic adventure, life on stage, to discover a prehistoric world of remarkably life-like dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including the giant, flesh-eating Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan and Segnosaurus.
• Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, NW1 4NU,


Sounds and Sorcery – celebrating Disney’s Fantasia

The Vaults
Until September 30, about 90 minutes to explore, listen and see everything. Suitable for ages 8+.
Sounds and Sorcery is described as an immersive sound and visual extravaganza, inspired by the Disney classic Fantasia. Collect headphones at the door of the Vaults, underneath Waterloo station, and step inside a series of tunnels hearing the music of Disney Fantasia while surrounded by theatri­cal installations, performan­ces and interactions. Walk in a dark, prehistoric wasteland, seek out the fairies in a enchanted forest, or sneak into the Sorcerer’s lair and experience the eerie majesty of Bare Mountain. This event is inspired by the original film, but does not feature footage of the movie.
• The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN, 020 7401 9603,


Photo: Mark Douet

Gansta Granny

Harold Pinter Theatre
August 14-26. Suitable for ages 5-plus. Tickets from £15.
David Walliams’ delightful story of a granny with a great secret is on the West End stage for two weeks, following a national tour.
• Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, SW1Y 4DN,

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Piccadilly Theatre
Until September 9. Suitable for ages 3-plus. Approx 55 minutes, no interval. Tickets from £10.
Celebrating 10 years on stage, Judith Kerr’s tale of a tea-guzzling tiger is packed with magic, songs and clumsy chaos.
• Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, W1D 7DY, 0844 871 7630,


They’re going on a Bear Hunt at the Lyric Theatre

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

Lyric Theatre
Until September 2. Suitable for ages 3-plus. Approx 55 minutes, no interval. Tickets from £15.
This stage version of Michael Rosen’s classic story of a family of adven­turers and their musical dog promises catchy songs, interactive scenes, and a few surprises – the end is not quite like the book.
• Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ES, 0330 333 4812,


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