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.
We’re all about the offbeat fun in our house. Honestly, the weirder the better. Our recent family outings have included trips to a cult food-themed ice cream parlour (Heinz baked bean flavour, anyone?), an ice-cream-van art installation made entirely from felt, a coffee shop with its own Japanese gaming lounge and retro pinball-machine collection, and a café populated by pugs. And that’s all in the last couple of months.
I’m always on the lookout for silly activities to drag my kids to, and this month I’m particularly excited about Bad Art Presents’ new tactile art exhibition at The Bomb Factory (no more telling them not to touch), Matty Bovan’s giant, inhabitable knitted jumper installation at NOW Gallery, and Weston-super-Mare’s ridiculous oil rig-turned arty playground. All brilliantly bonkers, fun for families and – of course – totally free!
Free Family Days Out in London
2022 Fireworks at Coram’s Fields
Central London’s only free fireworks display returns on the 4th. Expect fairground rides alongside a spectacular display – just be sure to get there early to secure a good spot.
Bad Art Presents: Touch Me Baby
Not only are kids free to touch the art in this terrifically tactile exhibition – it might even touch them back. Catch this “jungle of body parts” at The Bomb Factory from the 9th-13th.
Matty Bovan exhibition at Now Gallery
The artist and designer’s RIBBONS exhibition invites visitors of all ages to crawl inside a huge hand-knitted multicoloured jumper and relax on handmade tufted rugs. From the 30th.
The Fabric of Family workshop at The Mosaic Rooms
On the 23rd, parents and carers with 0-1s are invited to support one another through collective creativity and conversation in this inclusive workshop from artist Aya Haidar.
Model-making workshop at Bow Arts
On the 27th, join artist Carlos Cortes and get creative using a range of materials, creating miniature models, worlds, shelters, refuges, or places of your dreams.
Free Family Days out in the Rest of the Country
The South West
Hop aboard See Monster, Weston-super-Mare’s bonkers decommissioned-offshore-platform-turned-public-art-installation. But be quick – it closes on the 5th.
Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham launches its new Dwylo Bach! (Little Hands) session on the 5th. Expect a creative space for under-5s to explore and be inspired, with plenty of invitations to play.
Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall celebrates its 6th birthday on the 12th with a Family Day themed around Mary Queen of Scots. Activities will include peg-doll making, film screenings and more.
The Tetley is the place to be for Baby Week Leeds from the 14th-20th. Highlights will include messy play, a sensory room, a story bus, and a parent-and-baby yoga class.