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 six 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.
February half term is a great time to grab the free family activities bull by the horns. With January out the way and spring (just about) in sight, we’re all beginning to emerge from our collective hibernation and embrace the year ahead, and this month’s selection of complimentary entertainment offers the perfect tonic to quell those late winter blues.
So why not indulge in some light therapy courtesy of UEL’s glittering After Dark Festival or Bristol’s much-anticipated Light Festival? Or head to Museum of London Docklands for some mental health-boosting family yoga, mindful art, or guided meditation. You could even start planning your summer holidays at one of Baltic’s Family Days, where you can you’re your next adventure on a giant world floor map. Yep, this year is going to be a good one. We can already feel it…
Free Family Days Out in London
Head to the University of East London’s Docklands campus on the 8th and enjoy dance and drumming performances, a living snow globe, family lantern workshops, a waterfront light parade and interactive installations as part of its dazzling winter festival.
Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre is hosting more than 50 free events as part of its annual children’s festival from the 8th-18th, including a performance of Rise and Fall, Play Unlimited free-play sessions, Imagine’s Big Gig and loads more.
Half Term at Museum of London Docklands
There’s plenty going on at the museum for half term from the 11th-19th, including origami-inspired paper crafts, sensory storytelling, family yoga for all ages, guided meditation, and mindful art exploration.
Uniqlo Tate Play Threads Holiday Make Studio at Tate Modern
Head to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall from the 11th-19th and work together to knit a huge cylinder-shaped artwork using reels of threads on giant looms. Stitch and loop different textiles together, then add them to what will become a fun, soft space for families.
Explore, Build, Play at The National Gallery
Join artists James and Eva from the brilliant Play Build Play from the 14th-16th and seek out decorative details from around the gallery, then use sensory materials to create new structures to move in and around.
Free Family Days Out in the Rest of the Country
The South West
Bristol Light Festival is back from the 3rd-12th, featuring 11 dazzling illuminated artworks scattered around the city centre.
On the 11th, Edinburgh’s City Art Centre is hosting Space Art, a family activity inspired by the exhibition ‘Incoming: New Acquisitions at the City Art Centre’.
After Dark: Science on Show is on at National Museum Cardiff on the 22nd, offering a chance to meet scientists, recycle plastics with a 3D printer and deconstruct a mobile phone.
Head to the Baltic on the 22nd and 23rd for the gallery’s February Family Days, with a chance to create a giant world floor drawing, plotting places where you’ve been or hope to go.