summer holiday activities

Hooray, it’s the holidays again! For a bit of inspiration as to how to keep the kids entertained over the summer, we’ve pulled together a list of the goings on in the area that families can enjoy together. We’re adding more and more as and when things are announced, so do keep checking back… and please do check the links for exact details of timings and associated costs.

For camps and workshops that children can enjoy on their own, please visit our ‘Summer Camps & Workshops′ guide!

 

Battersea Park

A bit of a drive away, but Battersea Park really is worth the trip as there’s so much to do there. There’s the Park itself, with its beautiful gardens and playing fields, which you can enjoy on foot or by hiring a variety of types of bikes to cycle around the perimeter– our kids’ favourites are the ‘go-kart’ bikes, which they love to zoom around in. As well as bikes, you can hire rowing and pedal boats on the tranquil boating lake, which is situated by the Pear Tree Cafe who serves delicious high quality food throughout the day. Other attractions include a large playground, Go Ape, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, and Putt In The Park who also serves delicious pizzas.

19th – 28th July: Drakes Funfair; all fun of the fair with this great funfair aimed at children, with lots of fun rides and stalls.

 

Chiswick House

Chiswick House & Gardens is a beautiful place to enjoy with the kids. There are 65 acres of gardens, from classical vistas to ponds, fountains and an 18th century wilderness, and the house is one of the most glorious examples of 18th-century British architecture. There is also a playground located near the cafe, which will keep the kids entertained while you enjoy a coffee.

 

Fulham Palace

Explore the museum and historic rooms and discover the real story of Fulham Place through exciting, interactive displays; then enjoy 13 acres of beautiful botanical garden and a walled garden full of horticultural delights. It’s an ideal spot for picnics, and the new play area near the main lawn is perfect for family adventures. On Mondays & Tuesdays, Summer Seekers will be running (creative activities for 2 to 7 year olds and their adults, with a different theme each week), and on Wednesdays there are free drop-in ‘Craft At The Palace’ sessions.

28th July & 25th August: Family Fun Days; free educational family fun days suitable for 3+yrs.

1st September: Foreshore Festival; discover the past beneath the waves and underneath your feet at the Totally Thames Foreshore Festival.

 

Ham House

Ham House is always a lovely place to visit. If the weather’s nice there are the gardens and kitchen garden to explore, and whatever the weather the 17th century house itself is full of treasures and always interesting. There are often things going on ‘below stairs’ as well, such as crafts and storytelling.

3rd & 4th August: Fireside Folktales At The Grand Picnic; enchanting magic awaits you inside the bell tent that has magically popped up in the wilderness, where Fireside Folktales will be retelling various myths, legends and folktales through original short plays throughout the day. Plays include Aesop’s Fables, Persephone & The Pomegranate Seeds, and A Tale Of Robin Hood.

 

Hampton Court Palace

Family highlights at the Palace this summer include the Magic Garden playground where children can meet mysterious beasts, storm the battlements and discover a secret grotto; the most famous Maze in the world, which is still baffling visitors after 300 years; Family Trails and Digital Missions, where children can meet characters from history and explore the palace with the Time Explorers app; and Here Be Dragons, which sees colourful dragons lurking among the trees and plants.

3rd – 11th August: Henry VIII’s Sporting Academy; take the whole family to enjoy some exciting Tudor sports.

14th – 18th August: Luna Kids Cinema; enjoy family-friendly films in the magical gardens.

24th – 26th August: The Hampton Court Food Festival; a summer celebration of food and drink in the iconic East Front Gardens.

 

Hounslow Urban Farm

We love a visit to Hounslow Urban Farm, and there’s always lots going on throughout the year. Regular activities include animal encounters (farmyard friends as well as slightly more exotic creatures), feeding the animals, owl displays, pig meet & greets, and an indoor bouncy castle and outdoor play area.

 

Kew Gardens

Family highlights at Kew this summer include the new Children’s Garden, where children can explore earth, air, sun and water in an exciting new play area for children 2-12yrs; The Hive, where you can experience the drama of life inside a real beehive in a mesmerising installation; the Treetop Walkway with magical views of the Gardens; the ’Chihuly: Reflections On Nature’ glass art exhibition against the stunning backdrop of the Gardens; climbing to the top of the Great Pagoda to enjoy spectacular views across London; and the Kew Explorer land train, where you can enjoy a guided tour around the Gardens.

20th July – 26th August (exc. Mondays): Theatre on Kew: Alice in Wonderland; enjoy this family-friendly outdoor theatre production of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. With colourful costumes, interactive games and catchy songs its the perfect way to go on a fantastic adventure with the entire family.

 

London Museum Of Water And Steam

The Museum is open every day during the summer holidays, and kids go free! If you’re a Barnes Mums member, adults can also enter for just £10.00. Children will be able to play, create and explore with the Museum’s Water Fun event. Play: paddle in the Museum’s paddling pools, get soggy in the splash zone, water plants in the garden, dress up as a Victorian engine driver, and ride the Railway every Wednesday and weekend. Create: help the Museum craft the Thames, make a boat to float and take home, and draw with chalk and paint with water in the Courtyard. Explore: find all the boats in the Boats of the World trail, see giant pumping engines, have a go at pumping water with the Museum’s interactives, and enjoy storytelling every weekday at 11.00am.

 

London Wetland Centre

This summer at the Wetland Centre, children have the chance to become a Wetland Explorer. There are loads of exciting wetland challenges, including pond dipping, wild painting and raft building. Head to the Wetland HQ where you can pick up a trail map and set off into the wild to get wet and muddy and learn explorer skills through the wild play challenges and NEW ‘Swamp Survival Squad’. Grab your free Wetland Explorer log book and start your expedition. It’s a wild day out for the whole family!

 

Museum Of Richmond

24th – 26th July; 6th – 9th & 20th – 23rd August: ‘Art and Craft in St Mary Magdalene’s Church’ Workshops. 1) Easy Embroidery: Be inspired by the embroidery at St Mary Magdalene’s and have a go at making your own simple embroidery to take home. 2) Stained Glass Windows: Explore the stories told in St Mary Magdalene’s stained glass windows and make your own window decoration. 3) Coats Of Arms: Discover the meanings behind the symbols in a coat of arms and create your own. For ages 5-11yrs. Booking essential and can be done online.

 

Osterley Park

Osterley is a lovely National Trust Georgian estate, which always has lots of things going on for families to enjoy. Children can discover architect Robert Adam’s designs, such as classical columns and mythical monsters, in a family trail. They can get creative and crafty with ‘Craft Cart’ every Thursday, and enjoy the Family Gardening Club on Fridays. There is Family Canoeing on Middle Lake every weekend, Archery on the front lawn on Mondays & Wednesdays. and Wild Learning’s forest school on Mondays & Tuesdays (booking required). Alternatively, enjoy the brilliant natural play trail in the gardens or relax with a picnic in the park in front of the house. 

30th August: Gangster Granny outdoor theatre (performed by Heartbreak Productions). Meet Ben, an 11-year-old fed up with spending his Friday nights at Granny’s. Hungry and bored Ben goes searching for something edible in the kitchen and stumbles upon an old biscuit tin containing Granny’s biggest secret. Ben’s Granny is an international jewel thief! Join Ben and his Gangsta Granny on their grandest adventure. Go prepared with picnics and appropriate outdoor gear.

 

Strawberry Hill House

The garden at Strawberry Hill House is free to visit and open throughout the week. It is a wonderful space in which families can play, take a picnic, and relax.

1st & 2nd September: Fireside Folktales; the latest projects from South West London-based theatre company Shadow Road Productions, who specialise in retelling myths, legends and folktales from around the world, each presented as an original short play in a magical 8m diameter Story Tent. Plays include Aesop’s Fables, Persephone & The Pomegranate Seeds, and A Tale Of Robin Hood.

 

Syon House & Park

Syon is one of the last great houses of London. It holds a wealth of art within its grand classical interiors, while the park and gardens are a combination of impressive formal landscaping and an informal area complete with a lake. There is also of course the incredible Great Conservatory to explore in the garden, which cannot be missed. Children go free throughout the school holidays.

 

Watermans

30th July – 15th August: Good Vibrations festival-themed summer workshops and activities for kids and their families. Music and making and having fun are the name of the game, with anything from free drop-in activities to 2hr workshops on offer. Highlights include a family gig with the Brass Funkeys, and a chance to try out the instruments afterwards; Cut-A-Shine’s family barn dance; animation workshops with an Aardman aficionado; and wearable technology so your kid can have the coolest t-shirt in the mosh pit.

 

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