With the school holidays around the corner, finding ways to keep the kids entertained can be difficult. However, as well as its famous museums and landmarks, the capital has plenty to offer families looking for a fun day out. Suzanne Baum picks some of the best places to visit that will provide fun for all the family and be sure to keep summer boredom at bay!
Aliens Love Underpants live on stage at Leicester Square Theatre
July 19 to august 31
Based on the successful children’s book this production follows the story of the mischievous aliens who come to earth on an important mission to steal human’s underpants. It has stunning effects, great music and features lots of aliens of course!
The Udderbelly Festival at the South Bank
Runs until July 13
All events take place inside an upside-down purple cow that holds just over 400 people. This year’s programme of family shows includes:
A Simple Space (ends 6 July): The London premiere of one of Australia’s best young circus ensembles.
Circus Maximus (ends 12 July): The UK’s only circus competition with a week of exciting heats and 20 of the UK’s hottest circus acts competing to win a place in the grand final.
The Fantastical Story Factory (ends 13 July): A musical from the internationally acclaimed performers, The Showstoppers.
The Children’s Theatre Festival at Canary Wharf
July 6 to August 2
This free festival staged outside features performances by the London ballet company and includes classic stories such as Peter Pan and The Lost Boys, The Gingerbread Man and Alice through the Looking Glass. The open-air theatre at Jubilee Park provides a nice setting to enjoy a picnic while your kids are entertained.
Daydream and Diaries, the Jacqueline Wilson exhibition at the Museum of Childhood
Runs until November 2
Fans of the children’s author will love this exhibition which explores the life and ideas behind her storytelling works. You will get an insight into how the characters made popular in her books, such as Tracy Beaker, were created and gain an understanding of what goes into making a successful author.
Visitors can also enjoy exploring the museum that is home to a collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day.
British Summertime Hyde Park Concert
July 3 to July 13
This music event, which includes the headline acts Sir Tom Jones, Boyzone & Little Mix, has a special family day on July 13 that will appeal to youngsters. There is a whole host of activities for the children including appearances and music from Hello Kitty, The Mr Men, Shaun The Sheep, Horrible Histories and Go!Go!Go!
The ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The tallest sculpture in the UK that became an icon of the London 2012 Games has reopened following the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Visitors can take a 34 second ride by lift and enjoy breath-taking views from the top before they descend 455 steps to the ground that is brought to life by the sounds of London 2012, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, cheering crowds at Wembley Stadium and Colombia Road Flower Market.
Take a visit around the park and see its dancing water fountains, adventure playground, walking trails, art installations and waterways.
Clip ‘N’ Climb Chelsea
This new family indoor attraction in Chelsea is ideal for children aged four-plus and you don’t have to have climbing experience to take part. The centre offers a colourful series of climbing-based activities, with 24 separate challenges on offer ranging from The Skyscraper, Dark Tower and the Jungle Gym to the nerve-wracking Vertical Drop Slide and Leap of Faith. Action-packed 90 minute sessions include a 30 minute induction to teach you how to climb safely.
The leading forest adventure company Go Ape has a course at Trent Park and is a great day out for all the family. You will get the chance to swing through the forest on zip wires, cross wooden walkways and bridges, climb tree-top ladders and fly through the air on Tarzan Swings whilst safely attached to a harness and taking in the scenic landscape.
Up at the 02
Provided you’re not scared of heights this 90-minute experience is perfect for thrill-seekers! A guide will take you on an uplifting expedition across the roof of the world’s most popular entertainment venue where you will enjoy spectacular views of London from the viewing platform in the centre of the roof. This expedition across the roof of The O2 via a fabric walkway suspended 52m above ground level is not for the faint hearted!
West Side Story at the Royal Albert Hall
July 4 to 6
It may not appeal to little ones, but kids aged ten-plus will enjoy watching this timeless classic film that has won ten Academy Awards.
West Side Story returns to the big screen at the Royal Albert Hall and will be brought to life on stage by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The JW3, Finchley Road
This vibrant Jewish community centre has some great events for youngsters lined up over the summer months with a huge and varied activity programme. For older kids aged 11 to 14 there is plenty to choose from including art workshops, cooking lessons and drama classes to choose from.
The JW3 is also offering a drop off summer scheme for kids aged 5 to 11 with activities including dance, arts and crafts, sports, Hebrew quizzes and lots more.