Bablands December. 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.
This month, we bring you the best wallet-friendly wintry activities to try this festive season – hands down the toughest time of year to stay frugal. It can be nigh on impossible not to feel pressured into booking up a bunch of big-ticket experiences you can’t afford (think gaudy grottoes, pricy ice rinks and lavish light shows), but we all know that expensive outings aren’t what Christmas is about. Instead, check out our brilliant list of free festivities, featuring everything from decoration-making drop-ins to Christmas trails, panto workshops and carol-singing sessions with world-famous choirs, so you can get merry without spending a penny.
Free Family Days Out in London
V&A is running drop-in decoration-making workshops for ages 5+ and their families on the 3rd and 4th. Create your own reindeer or gingerbread man Christmas decoration using paper, conductive tape and LEDs, then take it home and hang it on your Christmas tree.
Winter Tales at the British Library
Create your own literary masterpiece at British Library on the 4th. Join author and illustrator Rose Robbins and playwright Reuben Massiah to share your winter memories and let them turn them into a short story, complete with illustrations.
Join Westminster Abbey’s free Carols with the Choir event on the 10th and take part in art and craft activities, a festive tour of the Abbey, carol singing with the world-famous choir and a wintry storytelling session.
Head to William Morris Gallery on the 10th and use winter greens, dried fruit, and flowers to create decorations for your tree, taking inspiration from the gallery’s The Legend of King Arthur: A Pre-Raphaelite Love Story exhibition, and Yule Christmas traditions.
From the 16th, NHM’s Lost Rhino display examines our relationship with endangered species. At its centre, artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s video installation brings visitors face-to-face with a digitally recreated, life-sized northern white rhino.
Free Family Days Out in the Rest of the Country
REMAKE Newport is running a Christmas Card Workshop on the 1st. Designed for ages 5+, the session will guide families through techniques for creating their own eco-friendly cards.
The South West
Head to Bristol’s Blaise Museum on the 3rd for Festive Family Fun including a Christmas trail,
Victorian Christmas decoration-making and festive storytelling.
Blackpool’s Langdale Library and Laundry Room will host a Family Panto Workshop on the 3rd, featuring a panto-themed story time plus the chance to make your own panto puppet.
Head to Edinburgh’s City Art Centre on the 17th and make your own Christmas decorations at the gallery’s family-friendly An Arty Christmas workshop.
Frugal Christmas Reading