Welcome back to our new 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.
There are loads of exciting – and, crucially, free – things coming up this month. In London, we’re particularly looking forward to Anna Bruder’s new immersive exhibition at artsdepot in Finchley. If Bruder’s past exhibitions are anything to go by then this isn’t one to be missed. We’re also very excited about the prospect of getting outside and making the most of the (hopefully springlike) weather, and artist duo Craig & Karl’s new minigolf course in Canary Wharf seems like a great opportunity, along with Museum of the Home’s garden-based half-term activities.
Further afield, the Waterfront Museum in Cardiff is planning an excellent-looking Mini PRIDE event featuring Aida H Dee, who we’ve had the pleasure of watching perform, and the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s The Bristol Dinosaur family day looks great too. We can’t wait!
Step into an immersive world of illustrator Anna Bruder’s creation from the 29th of May until the 1st of June. Celebrating her current book, Fun for Fingers, the exhibition invites families to wriggle, skip and twirl their fingers in an array of games based on their favourite hobbies.
Montgomery Square is set to be transformed by a bold and colourful new minigolf course by artists Craig Redman and Karl Maier from the 17th. The one-of-a-kind course will include joyful, design-orientated novelty features, and will be available to all with no need to book.
Running on alternate Sundays from the 1st of May, artist Sarina Mantle’s A Patterned World workshops will invite families to experiment with pattern making and structures to generate objects for play, which can be used for collaborative games.
Kids aged 2-5 are invited to use the museum’s den-making kit help build a home for an adorable woodland character. Expect songs, magical lights, and lots of sensory objects to play with along the way, with a free-play session in the den at the end.
Running from the 31st of May to the 2nd of June, the museum’s Back to Nature activities will encourage families to create and connect with nature by creating a communal garden artwork, taking part in an interactive performance, and following a museum-gardens trail.
The rest of the UK
Cardiff’s National Waterfront Museum will play host to a Mini PRIDE event on the 1st. Expect crafts, face painting, Drag Queen Story Hour with author and neurodivergence activist Aida H Dee, a chance to see Trolls World Tour and even a mini parade.
Liverpool’s World Museum invites families with kids of all ages to take part in Japan North West: Children’s Day on the 7th. The event marks Children’s Day – a Japanese national holiday set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.
The South West
Family Day: The Bristol Dinosaur is on at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on the 7th. Meet fossil experts from the University of Bristol’s Bristol Dinosaur Project and handle real fossils. Follow a trail to learn how Thecodontosaurus lived, and about Triassic life in Bristol.
Leith families with kids aged 0-7 are invited to try out a community-created, drop-in Play Café at Kin Collective from the 12th-15th. The space will feature a variety of play areas, including those for construction, storytelling, baby sensory, cooking, role play and painting.
To read last month’s suggestions click here.