There are always loads of interesting things to see and do with kids in London, and each month I publish a round-up of some of the best. Here’s my selection for June 2019 – remember that it’s Father’s Day on Sunday June 16th, 2019, just in case you’d like a family day out for the occasion. Do let me know if there’s anything which you’d like me to include in future round-ups!
Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour (8th June 2019, from 10am) is a military parade to celebrate The Queen’s official birthday. The event is open to the public to watch and it always takes place on a Saturday in June. The Queen was born on April 21st but it’s traditional to celebrate the monarch’s birthday publicly during the summer. The parade route goes from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again. There’s an RAF fly-past at 1pm, watched by The Queen and members of the Royal Family from the famous Buckingham Palace balcony.
Polo in the Park
Polo in the Park (7 – 9 June 2019) is an annual event which takes place at Fulham’s Hurlingham Park. It’s the largest polo tournament in Europe and this year there are teams from six cities from around the world competing. There are at least three games of polo scheduled on each day, and on Sunday 9th June there’s a children’s Pitch Invasion, led by entertainers Sharky & George, and a Little Hooves Kids Club.
Cost: Adults from £15.20, under-16s from £10.20, under-10s free.
Open Garden Squares Weekend
London’s annual Open Garden Squares Weekend (8th – 9th June 2019) gives you the opportunity to explore more than 200 private squares and gardens which are usually closed to the public. Some of the gardens offer activities for children such as pond dipping, face painting, crafts, games and Punch and Judy puppet shows.
Cost: Free for children under 12 years old (with an adult ticket holder), £10 for 12-18 year-olds, £20 for adults if booked online in advance.
Everyone’s welcome to celebrate the end of Eid and learn about Islamic culture at this annual festival in Trafalgar Square. Eid marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and this year the Trafalgar Square Eid Festival is on Saturday 8th June, from midday until 6pm. The festival features food from around the world, live music, and family activities such as face-painting, calligraphy and storytelling.
Kids Week tickets
A date for your diary – tickets for Kids Week 2019 are on sale from 11th June. In case you haven’t heard of it, Kids Week (it should really be called Kids Month), runs each year for the whole of August and is when kids can go free to a host of top West End shows, such as Mamma Mia!, Annie and Gangsta Granny (the actual shows which are taking part this year are being announced on 4th June). Each adult paying full price can take one child for free and two extra children for half price, and there are no booking, postage or transaction fees.
Cost: Adult tickets vary according to show, kids age 16 or under go free (see above).
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival
The Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (21st June – 6th July 2019) is an annual celebration of outdoor performing arts (theatre, dance and street arts). The festival takes place in and around Greenwich, and events include street theatre, dance, workshops and games.
Cost: Varies, but many events are free.
Open House Families
Open House Families is an annual festival of architecture for families and young people. The festival offers a weekend programme of fun, free, family-friendly architectural activities across the city. During the festival, architecturally inspiring buildings, places and spaces host a variety of tours, workshops, trails and competitions. The festival is open to all, and this year takes place from 22nd – 23rd June. The event includes workshops designed for families with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
West End Live
This annual event gives you the chance to see performances from top West End musicals for free in Trafalgar Square. This year West End Live (22nd – 23rd June) showcases musicals such as Les Miserables, Mamma Mia! and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Natural History Museum: Investigate for Families
Science Educators are on hand at the Natural History Museum’s Investigate Centre to help you to explore hundreds of the museum’s nature specimens. Investigate for Families is a free drop-in activity, and it’s open every day until September 1st, 2019.
The popular Underbelly Festival is back at the Southbank. The live entertainment festival is running until 29th September, and offers a fantastic programme of live comedy, circus, cabaret and family entertainment, as well as street food stalls and outdoor bars.
Cost: Varies according to show.
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.
Up at The O2
Up at The O2 is a safe and easy climbing experience across the roof of the O2 arena. Climbers traverse the structure via a walkway which is suspended above the roof of the landmark building. My husband and I tried this and enjoyed it despite the chilly April weather. You can read my full review here.You have to be at least 10 years old to take part, and all safety equipment is provided.
Cost: From £30 per person.
Flip Out trampoline parks
Trampoline parks are great for all ages, whatever the weather. Afra Willmore, who blogs at madmumof7 messaged me to say: ‘I’m at Brent Cross Flip Out at the moment and think it’s a great place for rainy days. Kids love it and even I had a bit of a bounce. More than just trampolines.’ Apart from Brent Cross, there’s also a Flip Out trampoline park in Wandsworth, South London, as well as in other locations across the country.
Cost: Each Flip Out session is an hour long and costs from £10.95.
Megan Morgan of Truly Madly Kids has several London recommendations. She says: ‘My kids as little ones loved the Transport Museum. My 11 year-old loves visiting Lush on Oxford Street, and I recently took her for afternoon tea at the Langham which she loved!’. Megan also recommends Kerb Camden street food market, which sounds like a great place – you can read her review here: Exploring London: Kerb Camden.
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 guidebook, 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 July 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 roundup? 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, at no cost to you. All opinions and words are my own, as ever.