London is a brilliant place for a day out with kids at any time of the year. Here’s my pick of some of the great family-friendly things to do in the capital this month.
Comic Relief Danceathon
The Comic Relief Danceathon is a six-hour sponsored dance and anyone who is at least 10 years-old can take part. The event is taking place at Wembley Arena on Sunday March 8th. Claudia Winkelman, Davina McCall, Kirstie Allsopp, Arlene Phillips, Sara Cox, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Caroline Flack, Judy Murray and Ade Adepitan are just some of the celebrities who will be dancing to raise money for vulnerable people in the UK and Africa. I’ll be there dancing with Team Honk – and Marco Polo have kindly sponsored me £150 to take part. If you’d like to sponsor me (thank you) you can do so here. If you’d like to join in you can sign up here.
Cost: £10 to enter and you need to raise a minimum of £150 in sponsorship.
Affordable Art Fair
The Affordable Art Fair is a regular event in Battersea Park which attracts around 20,000 people. The fair has more than 100 galleries exhibiting a huge range of contemporary art with prices ranging from as low as £40 up to thousands of pounds. Besides the exhibits there are workshops, talks, kids activities and a free crèche at the fair which runs from March 12th – 15th.
Cost: Adult tickets are £10.80 if you buy them on the Affordable Art Fair website in advance. Under-16s are free.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place in London on the Sunday closes to 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day) and so this year will be on Sunday March 15th. St. Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint and more than a quarter of a million people will come together in the capital to celebrate. There will be a parade of floats representing each of Ireland’s 32 counties. The floats will travel from Green Park, around Piccadilly Circus and through Trafalgar Square to Whitehall. There will be free entertainment at the St Patrick’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square from midday until 6pm with Irish music and dance, an Irish food market, children’s theatre and fun activities.
SEALIFE London Aquarium
In the lead up to the release of his new film SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water a miniature SpongeBob will be appearing at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. From March 7th – 21st guests at the aquarium can follow a ‘Spongehunt’ map to spot miniature versions of SpongeBob’s friends. There’s also an entire marine world to explore at the Southbank attraction including piranhas, giant Green Sea turtles, tropical fish, rays, crabs and jellyfish.
Cost: If booked in advance on the SEALIFE London Aquarium website tickets cost from £19.98 for adults, £14.41 for 3-15 year-olds and are free for children under three years-old.
The Cartoon Museum
The Cartoon Museum museum (which is near to the British Museum) displays original artwork from British cartoons and comics from the eighteenth century to the present. During the school holidays the museum offers children’s workshops. On Saturday March 28th the museum is hosting a Spring Cartoon Family Fair from 1pm until 4.30pm. The fair is a fun, family event with games, workshops and refreshments.
Cost: Adults £7, under-18s free. Children who are 12 years old or under must be accompanied by an adult. Entry to the Spring Cartoon Family Fair is free but booking is essential. Click here for the Cartoon Museum website.
Shaun in the City
Following the release of the Shaun the Sheep Movie you’ll be able to spot Shaun around London. From 28th March – 25th May there will be 50 giant sculptures of Shaun in iconic locations around the city centre. The sculptures have all been decorated by artists, designers and celebrities including Shaun’s creator Nick Park and there will also be a sculpture trail in Bristol. Once the Shaun in the City trails have ended the flocks will be auctioned to raise money for children in hospital in the UK.
Hackney City Farm
It’s the 30th anniversary of Hackney City Farm this year. There are donkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and geese and a vegetable garden at the farm as well as educational farm trails and activities. You can visit the farm from 10am until 4.30pm every day except Monday and there’s also a popular café on site.
Some of London’s statues can now ‘talk’ to you – through your mobile phone. Sing London has commissioned some of the UK’s most acclaimed writers and actors to animate 35 public statues across London and Manchester. If you swipe your phone on a tag by a Talking Statue your phone rings and you could be listening to Queen Victoria or Peter Pan or Achilles or someone else. To find out who’s talking where click here.
Plantastic is a family-friendly exhibition at the Horniman Museum which brings the miniature world of plants to life on a giant scale. From how a bee sees the world to how a plant can move even though it’s rooted to the ground Plantastic uses interactive exhibits and games to help you to learn about the world of plants and how essential they are to our survival. Details of the exhibition are here.
Cost: From £6.50 for adults, from £3.50 for children.
The Art of the Brick
Artist Nathan Sawaya has used more than a million LEGO bricks to create more than 80 sculptures on display in an amazing exhibition called The Art of the Brick. As well as the exhibition there’s an interactive area where you can try to build your own LEGO sculptures. The Art of the Brick exhibition is at the Old Truman Brewery and has been extended until April 12th, 2015.
Cost: From £14.50 for adults, from £8.00 for children age 3-12 years.
If you travel to London by train you can get two-for-one entry via the Days Out Guide website at a wide range of attractions including the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the Cartoon Museum and many more. To receive the discount just download the relevant vouchers from the website and then show them with your valid train ticket before you pay for your entrance to the attraction.
Travel and accommodation
Children travel free of charge or at discounted rates on public transport in London. There are more details here. If you’re looking for family-friendly places to stay in London you can read my round-up here.
How about you?
Do you have any plans for a family trip to London this month? What are your favourite things to do in London with kids?