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Free fun for the family this May.
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 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 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.
You’re never too young to start appreciating art – despite what one horrified elderly Picasso enthusiast once said to me when she spied my then-baby crawling around Tate Britain. The fact is, age has absolutely no bearing on your ability to appreciate art. There are entire studies proving the benefits viewing art has on young children. And with so many great works out there to see for free, why wouldn’t you start them young?
National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait has got the right idea and is offering free tours for new and expectant parents, so even unborn babies can get in on the arty action. Then there’s London’s British Museum, which has been running art-based under-5s workshops themed around its exhibitions for years.
And what about Bold Tendencies, Peckham’s free annual rooftop show that offers an incredible introduction to the world of art with its playful, often interactive, works – plus a play area downstairs that’s perfect for tinies and (you guessed it) absolutely free!
Artist Samme Snow is running colouring workshops for families with kids of all ages from the 6th-8th. Join Samme in colouring in his characters or create your own art. And don’t forget to pick up a goodie bag on your way out.
The British Museum is running two of its Little Feet workshops for 0-5s this month. Create clay crafts and contribute to a giant frieze in Craft Like an Athenian on the 12th or prepare for a special celebration in Party Like a Persian on the 25th.
The rooftop art show returns for another summer season from the 19th, with works themed around ‘crisis’. Previous notable works have included a Martin Creed balloon room and Liz Glynn’s sprawling immersive tunnel network.
The RA is running loads of great-sounding family workshops this month, including abstract sculpting on the 21st, and walk-and-draw gallery tours, body-themed art making and self-portraiture on the 28th.
Victorian-themed fun will run from the 27th and include traditional parlour games, paperchain and peg-doll making, object handling and a family knees-up with Baby Broadway.
Craft and Create: Eurovision Edition is on at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery on the 1st. Attendees aged 5+ will be tasked with creating an artwork themed around Eurovision, unity and culture.
Edinburgh’s National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait is running a Babes in Arms Gallery Tours for new and expectant parents and carers on the 8th. Expect informal art chats in the gallery and a free tea or coffee afterwards.
Head to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on the 30th to take part in the Top Secret: Museum Mission for Families, with chances to solve arty riddles and make some amazing art to take home.
Print-Tastic Make & Take is running at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum from the 30th May-2nd June. Join students from the UWTSD illustration department and make your own special impression print.