20 awesome things to do with your little Londoners in August 2020

1. The Picnic Hunters Club is running alfresco eating experiences for families throughout August. Embark on a treasure hunt to find your picnic, solving riddles and deciphering clues in green spaces close to Clissold Park or Crystal Palace Park.

picnic hunters

2. Hampton Court Palace, its gardens and its Magic Garden playground are open from the 29th of July. Discover the new Family Garden Trail or check out a Tudor Summer School performance between the 12th and 16th or the 19th and 23rd.


3. Head to the Design Museum from the 29th of July for Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers. Immerse yourself in a club-like environment, discovering the art, design, tech and photography that have shaped the electronic landscape.


4. Pop down to King’s Cross this month to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including the Lollypop Lounge on the grass steps; The Outside Art Project al fresco gallery; and PlayKX, which returns with its loose-parts play sessions from the 7th.

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5. Florence Nightingale Museum reopens on the 1st. Head there to see the new Florence Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places exhibition, featuring the lamp she carried in the Crimea, her pet owl Athena and her much-used writing desk.


6. There are heaps of family-friendly films showing at the Alexandra Palace Drive-In Cinema – courtesy of Rooftop Film Club – this month. See Dumbo on the 2nd, Frozen 2 on the 3rd, ET on the 6th, Toy Story 4 on the 11th plus loads more.


7. Imperial War Museum London and the Churchill War Rooms reopen on the 1st. If you’re heading to the former be sure to check out Story Seekers, a new hands-on activity that invites families to learn about the global impact of conflict together.


8. Among the Trees is back at the Hayward Gallery from the 1st. Discover a monumental sculpture cast from a 2,000-year-old olive tree, a cinematic portrait of a 30m spruce tree and a vast forest of trees constructed entirely from cardboard.

among the trees

9. Pitzhanger Manor might be closed until the autumn but you can still have lots of family fun in its grounds and neighbouring Walpole Park, with wildlife-themed family activities from the 3rd-28th and child-friendly walks from the 5th-26th.


10. The Royal Observatory will become the second RMG site to return post-lockdown when it opens on the 3rd. Stand on the Prime Meridian and unravel the mysteries of time and space – oh, and visit the Cutty Sark while you’re down there.


11. Cao Fei: Blueprints returns to the Serpentine Gallery from the 4th. The exhibition brings together new and existing works in an immersive, site-specific installation that touches on the themes of automation, virtuality and technology.


12. NHM reopens on the 5th, with the new timed-entry system giving everyone a chance to enjoy the museum in relative peace, for once. Family favourites include Volcanoes & Earthquakes, the Creepy Crawlies Gallery and the Dinosaurs, obviously.


13. Both the Museum of London and MoL Docklands reopen on the 6th. Check out MoL’s The Clash: London Calling display or MoL Docklands’ new exhibit exploring the largely untold history, heritage and culture of the Krio people of Sierra Leone.


14. Head to the V&A from the 6th to check out their permanent ground-floor galleries and hang out in the John Madejski Garden as part of the museum’s phased reopening. The Kimono: from Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition also reopens on the 27th.


15. Royal Academy’s Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection opens on the 7th. The exhibition will feature 60 works by painters such as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Morisot, Degas and Gauguin.


16. Barbican’s Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory runs from the 11th-28th. Exploring an imagined ancient myth, the work plays with the idea that drawing can be a form of storytelling and features an immersive soundscape by Peter Adjaye.

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17. The William Morris Gallery opens its Works in Progress exhibition on the 12th. The display will feature examples of Morris’s pioneering approach to design, plus work by his colleagues including Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


18. South London Gallery opens on the 15th. Exhibitions will include Sophie Cundale’s The Near Room; Working Progress, featuring work by SLG’s front-of-house team; and Abbas Zahedi’s How to Make a How from a Why.


19. Science Museum reopens from the 19th. Check out permanent galleries such as Flight, Making the Modern World and Medicine, or special exhibitions including Driverless and Mission to Mercury. Or you can book a separate ticket to Wonderlab.


20. The LTM Depot is hosting a special family season this summer, with family days running from the 19th-23rd and 26th-30th. Expect a family-friendly trail, plus a pack including a fun craft kit to make during your visit, and a take-home activity.



Babu checks out the ‘Games We Play’ outdoor photography exhibition at Kings Cross.