March in London is as busy as ever – and, as always, it’s a great place for a family day out. With Mother’s Day and a host of other festivals and events, 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 2020.
World Book Day
World Book Day is on Thursday March 5th 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 now old enough not to have to dress up, 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). If you have kids who don’t enjoy dressing up for World Book Day, you have my sympathy. The National Literacy Trust is running a World Book Day Where’s Wally? Fun Run for charity in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday March 15th, 2020. There are 10k, 5k and 1k runs.
Cost: £27 per adult, £14 per child, including Where’s Wally? costume, medal and goody bag, 1k run (for under-12s).
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and it’s celebrated each year on March 8th. There are various kid-friendly IWD events in the city this month including: Us Girls Rock! – a free sport and activity day in Newham for women and girls and Girls in AI Global Hackathon – a free artificial intelligence event in Notthing Hill for 12-18 year-olds.
Cost: Depends on event.
Holi is a Hindu festival which traditionally marks the start of spring, as well as the triumph of good over evil. It’s also know as the festival of colours, and is celebrated by throwing paint around. In 2020 Holi is on 9th – 10th March. Mangalam Holi Mhatsov is a family-friendly Holiday festival in West London on March 7th with music, street food and colour play.
Cost: Adults £10, children £8, under-fives free.
London St Patrick’s Festival
The London St. Patrick’s Festival runs from 13th March to 15th March 2020. 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 15th 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 22nd 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.
London Games Festival
Sculpture in the City
Sculpture in the City is an annual event featuring contemporary works by internationally renowned artists. The works are displayed in public areas in the City of London. The art works from the 9th edition of the event are in place until April 2020. You can find out more about the pieces on display here.
Horniman Museum: Permiam Monsters
Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs is a new exhibition at the Horniman Museum and Gardens until Sunday 1st November 2020. The exhibition brings the amazing animals of the Permian period back to life through fossil skeletons, full-size models and animatronics. Visitors can also sift through interactive dig pits, get creative in an art area, and see a collection of artwork offering a glimpse back in time through the eyes of award-winning palaeoartist Julius Csotonyi.
Cost: Adults £9.00, children from £5.00, under-threes free.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
As the weather is, hopefully, starting to get warmer, how about a London walking tour? We went on an excellent free Harry Potter walking tour during the half term break. It was with Strawberry Tours, and it focused on the area around Trafalgar Square, where author J.K. Rowling once worked. We saw the streets and buildings which inspired the Leaky Cauldron pub, Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley, Gringotts and more. You can read about this tour and other Harry Potter-related London locations in this post:
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.