Mid-July is upon us, which means one thing to all the parents out there; school’s out for summer! The school holidays have arrived and all of a sudden you need six weeks’ worth of plans to keep the kids entertained. Where do you start? It can certainly be a challenge but, when you live in London and have so many things to do on your doorstep, it’s not as hard as you might think…
With your kids and your bank account in mind, we’ve put together a guide to making the most out of the time you get to spend with your kids this summer – whilst keeping it absolutely free! Ok, so you’ll likely have to pay to travel across the capital and we’re sure your children might get side-tracked in a museum gift shop along the way, but the below list should set you up for a fun-filled and (mostly!) free summer of exciting activities with the family.
Image: Royal Parks
Spend the day exploring the outdoors
This summer the Royal Parks have a whole host of free activities planned for children of all ages. Whilst it’s great to spend the day in the park with the family on any sunny day, it’s even better to take the little ones out to the park and know they’ll be kept entertained for the whole afternoon! At Hyde Park you’ll find a series of Discovery Days taking place, focused on bringing nature to life with a range of outdoor activities such as; creepy crawly sweep netting, pond dipping, nature trails and nature-inspired arts and crafts. Check out the Meadow Madness and Wild Water discovery days to find out what’s in store.
Image: Kids Week
Head to the theatre this August – kids go free!
For the month of August, Kids Week sets out to encourage as many young people as possible to be able to enjoy the theatre! Any child aged 16 or under can go free to any participating show in London when accompanied by a paying adult. Participating shows include some of the biggest shows in the West End such as Wicked, children’s favourite Horrible Histories and children’s classic The Wind in the Willows. You can check out the full show schedule and the ages they’re suitable for here. As well as the shows themselves, there are some super fun extra events for the kids to get involved in if they’re into their theatre; from singing classes to theatre tours and writing workshops.
Image: Olympic Park
Get active with free sports sessions at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
If you’re local to East London, why not get your children involved in the free sports sessions on offer over the school holidays? From tennis to swimming to football, whatever kind of sport your kids love to do or would love to try, there’s a session for it! One perfect pick for the football fanatics in the family is West Ham United Foundation’s Soccer School, running on Mondays at 5.30-7pm and on Wednesdays at 6-7pm. To get involved in the sessions, all you have to do is turn up outside the Copper Box Arena before walking over to the Hopkins Field with the WHU Coaches to start the sessions. The Soccer School is open to primary school children of all abilities aged 5-11 and are free of charge.
Image: The Telegraph
Visit some of the best museums in the city
And, finally, don’t forget to make the most of some of the best museums in London. They’re educational as well as inspirational, and can offer a whole day of fun for the whole family. Two of our favourite picks would be the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, both jam-packed with a range of free exhibitions and interactive galleries where the kids can get involved and learn things while they play. If you haven’t been to either of these museums yet, we certainly recommend taking some time this summer to visit! The Natural History Museum has just unveiled a mammoth blue whale skeleton that shouldn’t be missed and will have the little ones in awe!
What will you be doing in London with the kids this school holidays? Let us know in the comments below!