March in London is as busy as ever – and, as always, it’s a great place for a day out with kids. Each month I publish a roundup of some of the best things on offer in the capital for families. Here’s my selection for this month.
The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes
Artist Nathan Sawaya has recreated a range of DC superheroes using around 2,000,000 LEGO bricks. The comic book characters are all on display in a purpose-built tent by the London Eye on the South Bank from March 1st. There are more than 120 pieces in The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes exhibition, including a life-size Batmobile. Sawaya’s previous touring exhibition, The Art of the Brick, was seen by millions of people across six continents.
Cost: Adult £16.50, child (4 – 16) £11.00, under-4s: Free
World Book Day
World Book Day is on March 2nd this year. It’s an annual international celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, and it’s a torment for parents like me who don’t enjoy creating children’s costumes and whose children don’t want to dress up. Thankfully my kids are at secondary school and Uni now, so our annual World Book Day Costume Trauma and Panic is but a distant memory for me (read my post about Harry Styles on World Book Day to see what it used to be like). The National Literacy Trust is running a World Book Day Where’s Wally? Fun Run for charity on Clapham Common on Sunday March 19th.
Cost: 10k or 5k run £25 per person including Where’s Wally? costume, 1k run (for under-12s) £12 per person including Where’s Wally? costume.
Holi is a Hindu spring festival which is celebrated by chucking colourful paint around. This year Holi falls on March 13th and from 7th – 18th March there’s a pop-up Holi party pod for diners at the Cinnamon Kitchen restaurant in Devonshire Square. Visitors can put on some overalls and take part in a thirty-minute paint-pelting session. Children from five years old can take part with an adult, but overalls aren’t provided for them, so they need old clothes for this activity.
Cost: From £8 per person, or £15 per person including Holi bites and a cocktail or mocktail.
Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, and there are events happening across the country. The WOW Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank includes free interactive Feminist Corner workshops for 6-10 year olds, either for girls only or for boys only. There are sofas for parents outside the workshops. The workshops are running on 11th and 12th March.
Cost: Free, but you need to book tickets in advance
London Book & Screen Week
London Book & Screen Week is back in London from 13th – 19th March, celebrating books, films, TV and the virtual worlds which they inspire. There’s a busy schedule of events for the week. A highlight is a screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at St Pancras Hotel, London to mark 20 years since the publication of the first Harry Potter book. Wands and broomsticks are welcome, and the screening starts at 6pm.
Cost: Varies according to event
London St Patrick’s Festival
The London St. Patrick’s Festival runs from Friday 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day) to Sunday 19th March, when this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and more than a quarter of a million people come together in the capital for the annual parade from Piccadilly to Whitehall. There’s free entertainment in Trafalgar Square from midday, with Irish music and dance, an Irish food market, children’s theatre and fun activities. There are also talks, walking tours, music, poetry and film screenings during the three-day festival.
Cost: Varies according to event.
Mothers’ Day, also known as Mothering Sunday, is on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is 26th March this year. It’s evolved from a tradition whereby domestic servants had a day off to visit their ‘Mother church’, but today it’s a general celebration of motherhood. If you’re planning to go out for lunch on Mothers’ Day, you definitely need to book in advance as it’s always a busy time. Visit London has a great roundup of things to do on Mothers Day in London.
Cost: Varies according to event.
London Games Festival
The London Games Festival showcases the best in video games and interactive entertainment through 30 events at 20 different venues in the capital. Running from 30th March – 9th April, the festival offers around 400 games to try out and is expected to attract around 50,000 visitors this year.
Cost: Varies according to event
National Army Museum
The National Army Museum in Chelsea uses personal and inspiring stories to show the importance of national defence and security. The museum reopens on March 30th following a re-development project. The new museum offers five permanent galleries over four floors, displaying more than 2,500 objects. There’s also a study centre, a café and a ‘Play Base’, complete with an assault course, for children up to the age of seven years old.
Warner Bros Studio Tour
We love the Warner Bros Studio Tour – I’ve visited three times and would definitely go back, as there always seems to be more to see. The latest addition to the tour is the Forbidden Forest, opening on March 31st. Visitors to the Forbidden Forest at the studios can see some of its creatures and learn about the craftsmanship which went into creating them. You can read about our most recent visit to the studios in my post Warner Bros Studio Tour: the making of Harry Potter.
Cost: From £33.
Science Museum: Robots
The new Robots exhibition at London’s Science Museum tells the 500-year story of humanoid robots and what it means to be human. The exhibition is set in five different periods and places, and features a unique collection of more than 100 robots, fifteen of which are working models. Robots is running until September 3rd.
Cost: Adults £15, children £13. Entrance to the main museum is free.
Kensington Palace has been a royal palace for more than 300 years, and is still home to various members of the royal family, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte and their parents. Part of the palace is open to the public, and it’s a fascinating place to visit. You can read my review of our tour of the palace here: Kensington Palace tour. There’s a major new dress exhibition at the palace celebrating the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, which is running until 2018 – Diana: her fashion story. The popular Princess Diana Memorial Playground is in nearby Kensington Gardens.
Cost: Adults from £15.40, under-16s (accompanied by an adult) free.
I love sharing your tips for great things to see and do in London, so do keep sending them to me. It doesn’t have to be something new or different, just something which you think is great and would recommend to others. This month I have these three recommendations for you – thank you Sarah, Annabel and Matthew for sharing them:
Greenwich and the Cutty Sark
Fire Fire! at the Museum of London
Discover Children’s Story Centre
Matthew of Leeds Dad is a fan of the Discover Children’s Story Centre. He says: ‘It was really good to see that there was space in a huge city like London for a child focused unique attraction, where you feel as though you could be anywhere your imagination takes you.’
Where to stay
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the capital, check out the tried-and-tested places in my post Family-friendly places to stay in London.
More on London
Pop back each month for my latest London roundup – or subscribe to Mums do travel to receive my posts by email (just enter your email address on the right of this page, where it says ‘YOU’D LIKE POSTS BY EMAIL?’).
Over to you
What would you like me to include in next month’s roundup? Do share your London tips and recommendations.