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

  1. OAE TOTS’ Guide to the Orchestra comes to your living room from the 5th-12th. Designed for ages 2-5 and their adults, this pre-recorded performance explores what instruments you can find in the orchestra and reveals the secrets of music-making to the littlest members of the audience.
  2. New Tate exhibitions opening this month include a major survey of works by visual activist Zanele Muholi at Tate Modern from the 5th, and at Tate Britain an exhibition of works by painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye from the 18th and a site-specific installation entitled Salmon: A Red Herring from the 27th.
  3. Head to the Wellcome Collection from the 10th for The Den, a meditative sound installation exploring alternative strategies for self-care during the Covid-19 pandemic. The work is narrated by the artist, Sop, who describes the process of building a secret den in a cemetery at the edges of a wood near where they live.
  4. Also from the 10th at Wellcome Collection, Standardized Patient, a video installation by artist Kerry Tribe, explores how simulated patients are used to train medical students. Actors perform as patients, preparing the students for the human connection that forms a critical part of any care relationship.
  5. Head to the Southbank Centre from the 12th for No Lockdown in the Imagination, an outdoor exhibition highlighting the achievements of people across our criminal justice system. Made up of entries to the 2020 Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice, it celebrates the power of creativity in tough times.
  6. Also from the 12th, 180 Studios presents an immersive audiovisual exhibition by artist Ryoji Ikeda. This multi-sensory exploration of light and sound invites viewers to immerse themselves in a dynamic digital universe as they embark on a sensory journey around 180 Studios’ labyrinth-like spaces.
  7. JR: Chronicles opens at Saatchi Gallery on the 13th. The largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date, Chronicles will trace JR’s career from his early documentation of graffiti artists to his large-scale architectural interventions and digitally collaged murals that create collective portraits of diverse communities.
  8. Tate Britain’s Winter Commission is back from the 14th, with Chila Kumari Singh Burman creating a new work for the gallery’s iconic façade. Burman’s feminist practice spans printmaking, painting, installation and film, drawing on her Punjabi heritage and Liverpudlian working-class background.
  9. Half Moon will present live-recorded, online performances of Paper Aeroplane (for 3-7s) and The House That Jackson Built (for 4-10s) on the 14th and 28th, respectively. While Paper Aeroplane explores loss and bereavement, THTJB celebrates books and the joy of reading, and features a larger-than-life pop-up book.
  10. Socially distanced, open-air screenings of Shakespeare-inspired, animated family favourites Gnomeo & Juliet and The Lion King will take place at The Globe on the 14th and 15th, respectively, as part of the theatre’s Shakespeare on Screen weekend. Choose from bench seating in the gallery or deck chairs in the yard.
  11. Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul opens at the RA on the 15th. The exhibition will feature more than 25 of Emin’s works, including paintings, neons and sculpture, chosen by Emin to sit alongside a considered selection of 19 oils and watercolours drawn from Munch’s collection and archives.
  12. Christmas comes to Kew from the 18th as the after-dark light trail returns for its eighth year. Expect a mix of old favourites and brand new light installations, including a glittering tunnel of bells, giant illuminated seed heads, dynamic laser projections, majestic trees wrapped in light and a dazzling treetop waterfall.
  13. The Epping Ongar Light Fantastic makes its debut from the 20th. This family-friendly train journey with a twist will feature carriages adorned with colourful lights, as well as specially illuminated line-side displays designed to highlight the EOR’s stations, rural setting and woodlands.
  14. The Hampton Court Palace ice rink returns from the 20th, with a bigger-than-usual rink allowing for socially distanced skating. Tickets are available for ages 3+, with children’s skating aids available for an additional fee. Families can also enjoy a hot drink or sweet treat post-skate at the Ice Rink Café Bar.
  15. Grand Junction’s Art Party: The Show will take place at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Paddington, on the 21st. Designed for ages 0-10 and their adults, this interactive, socially distanced show will feature drama, dance and music from Double Bass Dan, Sardines Dance Collective and The Drama Geezers.
  16. Santa’s Grotto is back at Hamleys from the 21st. Children aged 2-10 are invited to take part in seasonal activities at the Hamleys North Pole, spend time with Father Christmas himself and receive a special gift bag to take home. Groups are limited to family bubbles of three, with add-on tickets available.
  17. Osterley Park and House will host a Peter Rabbit winter adventure activity trail from the 23rd. Join Peter Rabbit and friends to solve puzzles, get closer to nature and have your very own winter adventure. The trail is included with admission and features 10 activity stations across the gardens and long walk.
  18. Family-friendly light festival Winterfest is back from the 26th, illuminating Wembley Park with brand-new light installations and immersive commissions. This year’s highlight is Reflections of the Future, a specially commissioned mirrored corridor of light running 100m down the heart of Wembley Park.
  19. Experience the Magic of Christmas at London Zoo from the 28th, when all tickets will include a chance to embark on a festive family trail and discover the Sensory Sweet Shop. For an additional fee you’re also invited to enjoy a VIP breakfast with Santa, or to help him create a gift for one of the zoo’s animals.
  20. The Gruffalo’s Child comes to Alexandra Palace Theatre from the 28th. Aimed at ages 3+, Tall Stories’ funny and sometimes scary musical adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler follows the Gruffalo’s Child on her adventurous mission through the deep, dark wood.

Babu hangs around at The Yard, Stamford.