Things to do in summer vacation 2022

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In theory, summer vacations are a delight—sunny days, ice cream, and fun family adventures. In practice, things can get a little more stressful if you have to add childcare rotas, budgets, the British weather and the risk of “I’m bored”.

Luckily, London has some great activities for families this summer. There’s plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained, no matter what they’re into.

From urban beaches to art installations, adventure playgrounds to open-air theatres, the capital has a family summer in store. There are also plenty of free events included – which is always a boon for the bank balance.

Here’s our London summer “to do” list.

Go for modern art

Can you imagine anything more exciting for a child (or an adult, let’s be honest) than being invited to cover an all-white room with colorful stickers? That’s exactly what visitors to Yayoi Kusama’s The Obliteration Room can expect when they visit Tate Modern this summer. The Japanese artist’s interactive installation is completely free and every visitor is given a sheet of round stickers that they can place anywhere: walls, ceiling, floor or furniture. This is an opportunity not just to see, but to make, a piece of art that little ones will remember forever.

Until 29 Aug, Tate Modern, SE1, tate.org.uk

Tate

Celebrate 40 years of the beloved zoo.

Parents, get ready to feel positively ancient… Rod Campbell’s much-loved Lift the Flap children’s book Dear Zoo turns 40 this year. To mark the occasion, the Postal Museum is hosting a summer holiday program that covers everything from animals, communication and storytelling. There is a zoo trail, where children are tasked with finding hidden creatures in the museum but will also discover many unusual facts about the post office, including stories about the animals that have has run it smoothly over the years. There are interactive storytelling sessions, arts and crafts and even a chance to meet Campbell himself — don’t forget to bring your own copy of Dear Zoo for signing.

Until 31 Aug, Postal Museum, WC1X, postalmuseum.org

Postal Museum

Smell the underground history.

Using their nose around a brand new trail, visitors to the Brunel Museum have the opportunity to discover the history of the Thames Tunnel. There are a number of clues that must be sniffed out to identify them – each representing a valuable cargo that was transported through the tunnel, which runs between the docks on the north and south sides of the river. This amazing experience will bring to life the story of the Brunel family who built it, along with the world’s first tunnel through soft ground under a mighty river. The trail is included with museum admission and is best suited for children aged 7 to 11, but younger and older children are also very welcome.

Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 28 August, Brunel Museum, SE16, thebrunelmuseum.com

Brunel Museum

Spend time at the Royal Docks.

Calling all sandcastle builders and budding swimmers alike: Kids’ Summer Splash at Royal Victoria Dock’s Lido is now open for serious business. With its generous proportions, shallow end for the little ones, deck chairs, sandpit and a cafe onsite, summer days can easily be spent here. There are plenty of extra activities on certain dates including beach yoga, mermaid-inspired craft sessions and hip-hop masterclasses. Oh, and it’s all absolutely free.

Until 21 August, Royal Victoria Dock, E16

See an outdoor show

Where better to watch Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians than in the park where her beloved book was set? It was in Regent’s Park that protagonists Pongo and Perdita (along with their humans Roger and Anita) met and fell in love, before their litter of dogs caught the eye of fur-obsessed sociopath Cruella de Vil. go Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s musical version of the classic children’s novel also boasts intricate, brilliantly choreographed puppetry. With both matinee and evening performances, it’s suitable for children aged four and over.

Until 28 August, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, NW1, openairtheatre.com

Mark Sr

Run wild in a brand new wonderland.

An adventure playground meets petting zoo set in acres of woodland in West London. The newly opened Hobbledown Heath has lots of boxes for families with children aged two to 13. Kids can climb, bounce, crawl and swing through four themed villages. of other unusual creatures. The entire magical scenario is brand new and has been created with nothing but entertainment in mind. Along with the animals, Hobbledown is home to the most unusual characters, clever narratives and educational experiences that keep kids learning without even realizing it. And if it rains? Well, they channel their energy into the Indoor Playbarn, one of London’s largest play areas.

Open all year, Hobble Down Heath, TW14, hobbledown.com

Hobbledown Heath

Head to the park for action-packed fun.

Need help burning off your little ones energy? Look no further than Amanda’s Action Club, whose high-energy and inspiring activities are set to hit London’s parks in full effect this summer. Amanda, who has the Beckhams and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as happy clients, will run her summer sessions for children aged four months to three years. Children will embrace being active in the fresh air, away from screens, and learn to connect with their bodies. Expect music, adorable props and endless excitement.

During August, various London parks, amandasactionclub.co.uk

Royal Victoria Docks

Enjoy music, performance and art at the free festival.

Waves of multi-colored foam cascading down the stairs, singing unicorns, fireworks, soft robotics and circus tricks — it could only be the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, where visitors are treated to world-class entertainment for a two-week period. Performance and installation can be enjoyed for free. . Family-friendly highlights include Island of Foam — a shape-shifting installation by German artist Stephanie Luning that will bring the Greenwich Peninsula to life in a mass of multi-colored foam. DGIF is an experience for all ages, but little ones will be especially keen to catch There Should Be Unicorns, a musical about a rebellious girl who wants to change the world, before tea time.

From August 26 to September 11, various locations around Greenwich, festival.org

Enjoy the silver screen in one of London’s most beautiful gardens.

The Luna Cinema, famous for its alfresco screenings, has paired up with Kew Gardens to bring five days of outdoor film to South West London – and the line-up is a dream come true for young film fans. Kew the Movies will be showing a single screening of family favorites Moana, Sing 2 and Encanto among others, as well as providing a beautiful space where families can relax with picnic rugs and popcorn to watch some high definition. will

31 August to 4 September, Kew Gardens, TW9, thelunacinema.com

Oliver Dixon

Go to the beach without leaving London.

Urban beaches are now a thing, and not just stretches of sand along the Thames. Beach Brent Cross is exactly what it sounds like — violent sand, splash pools and fairground rides for adults and children, as well as an observation wheel and play center.

In addition, there are various one-off activities taking place during the summer including magic shows and puppet performances. Bring your own picnic — or choose from some of the delicious options on site, including prime seafood fish and chips.

Until 14 September, Beech Brent Cross, NW4, thebeachbrentcross.com