March in London is as busy as ever – and, as always, it’s a great place for a family day out. With Pancake Day at the start of the month, Mother’s Day at the end and a host of other festivals and events in between, there’s a lot happening in the capital. Each month I publish a round-up of some of the best things on offer in London for families with children and teenagers. Here’s my selection for March 2019.
This year Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, falls on Tuesday March 5th. Shrove Tuesday is the feast day before the start of Lent, the 40 days which lead up to Easter, and was traditionally the day when people used up the foods (eggs, butter and milk) which they wouldn’t be eating during Lent. These days Shrove Tuesday is mostly celebrated by eating piles of pancakes, and also by having charity pancake races (a race where the competitors run while tossing a pancake in a frying pan). There are various pancake races in London, and there’s usually one at the Houses of Parliament – details in this Visit London feature.
If you’d like my mum’s delicious and easy Scotch pancake recipe, you can find it here.
Cost: Depends on how many pancakes you make/ eat.
World Book Day
World Book Day is on Thursday March 7th 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 17th, 2019.
Cost: 10k or 5k run £27 per person including Where’s Wally? costume, 1k run (for under-12s) £14 per person including Where’s Wally? costume.
Women’s History Month
International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on March 8th, and March is Women’s History Month. I’ll update this post when I find out about family-friendly events to mark this – let me know of you hear of any!
Cost: Depends on event.
London St Patrick’s Festival
The London St. Patrick’s Festival runs from 15th March to 17th March 2019. 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 St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which is on Sunday March 17th this year) from Piccadilly to Whitehall. On the day of the parade, 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 31st 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 round-up of things to do on Mothers Day in London.
Cost: Varies according to event.
Sculpture in the City
Sculpture in the City is an annual event featuring contemporary art works on display in public areas in the City of London. This year the event includes works by Sarah Lucas, Amanda Lwin and Marina Abramovic, and the art works are in place until April 2019. You can find out more about the pieces on display here.
Science Museum – The Sun: Living With Our Star
The Science Museum‘s latest exhibition looks at our relationship with our closest star, the Sun. Visitors to this interactive experience can enjoy an indoor beach, try on virtual sunglasses and watch the sunrise in places around the world on a huge wall display. Until May 6th, 2019.
Cost: From £15.
Horniman Museum: Brick Wonders
Brick Wonders is at the Horniman Museum and Gardens until 27th October 2019. The exhibition showcases some amazing wonders from around the world, all made entirely from LEGO® bricks. There are more than 50 models on display, and visitors can work on their own designs in the interactive play areas.
Cost: Adults from £8.00, children from £4.50, under-threes 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 an experience which you enjoyed and would recommend to others. This month I have these two recommendations for you – thank you Sarah and Matthew for sharing them:
Greenwich and the Cutty Sark
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.’
More on London
If you’d like a moneysaving sightseeing pass for your trip to the city, The London Pass includes a one-day hop-on hop-off bus tour, as well as free entry to more than 80 attractions, tours and museums, such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and The View from The Shard. The pass also gives you fast-track entry at some of the most popular attractions, so you don’t have to waste time queueing.
If you’d like a London guide book, I recommend both the Lonely Planet London Travel Guide and the London Marco Polo Travel Guide. If you need accommodation, check out my post about family-friendly places to stay in the capital.
Each month I publish a round-up of great things to do in London, so do pop back to see it, or you can subscribe to my blog (by entering your email address in the box on the right, where it says ‘YOU’D LIKE MY POSTS BY EMAIL?’) and it will be emailed to you automatically. You can read my April round-up of top things to do in the city here:
Here’s a post with loads of ideas for fantastic free stuff to do in London for families with a teen in tow:
Over to you
What would you like me to include in next month’s round-up? Do share your London tips and recommendations.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you clicked through and made a purchase I may receive a small commission. All opinions and words are my own, as ever.