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Bablands August. Welcome back to our monthly roundup of the best free things to do with children in the capital (and beyond). I’m Emmy and for the last five years I’ve been hunting down the best events and hangouts for Londoners with young kids and writing about them on my blog, bablands.com. I’ve learnt a lot about kids’ activities since I started blogging, but one of my most surprising discoveries is that the best stuff is so often free. With that in mind, I’ll be partnering with MoneyMagpie each month to bring you the best free days out for families in London and beyond.
August is one of my favourite months to find free family fun. The thought of six long weeks of school holidays can be daunting for lots of reasons, but with most of our favourite local museums and arts hubs offering complimentary activity programmes throughout the summer break, the cost of family entertainment needn’t be one of them. This month, choose from mesmerising public artworks, fun-packed outdoor festivals, urban beaches, and more arty workshops than we have space to mention (or you’ll have space in your schedule for).
The popular festival’s highlights are set to include an audio artwork in a Thamesmead playground, ‘organic fireworks’, mountains of rainbow-coloured foam, and a sensory dreamscape.
Catch the artist’s touring sculpture at St John the Baptist Church in Shepherd’s Bush from the 28th of July to the 6th of August or at All Saints’ Church in Notting Hill from the 9th-14th of August.
Head to the Edmond J Safra Fountain Court from the 1st-29th for family film screenings, story trails, a 35m observation wheel and a global street food market curated by Black Eats LDN.
Get down to the Royal Docks between the 1st and 22nd and experience a kid-friendly lido and sandpits, plus free events including mermaid craft sessions, beach yoga and family theatre.
Highlights include a Play Day Celebration Event in Greenwich Park and Discovery Day: Peter Pan in Hyde Park on the 3rd, and The Fast and Curious Play Session (featuring Go Karts) on the 24th.
Tŷ Pawb is offering loads of free family activities this month, from playworker-supported Summer Play sessions to family jams, Pop Art! Creative Discos and a weekly LEGO club.
The Whitworth will be exploring the Art of Play all summer, with highlights including Scrap Studio and Scrap Baby junk-art sessions, a National Play Day event, and Minecraft arcade games.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will host its Grayson’s Art Club: Family Wellbeing Art event on the 11th. Sessions will be run by CreativeShift, Bristol’s experts in art for wellbeing.
There’s plenty going on at Dundee Contemporary Arts this August, including creative music-making, mural-making featuring vibrant vinyl cutouts, and a Family Art Lab inspired by the work of Douglas Gordon.
Read Bablands previous column here.
Also 25 other free days out across the UK this summer here.