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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 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, like many parents, I’m half-dreading the impending six-week break. I might have literally made it my job to seek out the best family entertainment London has to offer, but even I baulk at the thought of 42 straight days of single-handedly trying to entertain my children without bankrupting myself.
One of my top tips for fellow Londoners this summer has to be the Morph trail, which sees around 70 life-sized Morphs popping up around the South Bank and the City. It’s 99p to download the app, but it’s worth every penny, with all proceeds funding the work of mobility charity Whizz-Kidz and the potential for at least four great, and totally free days out (and let’s face it, probably more if you have young children).
Further afield, I love the sound of National Museum of Scotland’s Join-in Jellyfish event, which invites kids to create a plastic-bottle jellyfish that will become part of a collaborative art installation set to appear in an upcoming exhibition on the environment. Free activities that keep kids happy and raise awareness about issues impacting other countries? Sounds like my kind of fun!
From now until the 20th of August, find 70 life-sized Morph sculptures dotted around the South Bank and City of London, each one decorated by a different artist. Download the app to find them all and track your progress, earning rewards as you go.
The museum formerly known as the V&A Museum of Childhood reopens after a three-year refurbishment from July 1. Highlights include a performance area with dressing up, a finger skatepark, a den-making zone and sand play.
The fifth edition of the Royal Academy’s open-submission exhibition for young artists returns from July 18. Inspired by the gallery’s Summer Exhibition, the show brings together work by primary and secondary-level students from across the UK.
Opening from July 19, this interactive family exhibition will explore the science of our gardens and the natural world, introducing budding biologists to DNA, biodiversity composting and microbes.
Head to the Turbine Hall from July 22 and participate in Araeen’s interactive artwork. Zero to Infinity features 400 brightly coloured geometric cubes designed to be stacked, tilted and balanced to create new configurations.
St Fagan’s National Museum of History is running a Celebration of Nature on July 1, with activities including making a mini micro-greens salad garden, fungi-themed craft activities, willow wand making, bird spotting and lots more.
Got a baby aged 0-12 months? Head to Royal West of England Academy on the 6th for Baby Tour July, a chance to explore artworks from the Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City exhibition without any pressure or worries about noise.
Join-in Jellyfish is on at the National Museum of Scotland from the 6th-8th. Grab a used plastic bottle and create a jellyfish that will become part of an amazing art installation in the museum’s upcoming Rising Tide: Art and Environment in Oceania exhibition.
Head to York Art Gallery on July 29 for Build a Den!, a chance for families with children of all ages to create their own den using a variety of materials.