20 awesome things to do with your little Londoners in June 2021

  1. 500 Years of Mischief and Mayhem in Greenwich is now on at the Old Royal Naval College. Featuring artwork by Nick Ellwood, the exhibition will coincide with kids’ drawing workshops and the launch of a new ORNC activity book. Check out Luke Gerram’s Gaia while you’re there.
  2. Morag Myerscough’s Sun Pavilion has just popped up in Canary Wharf’s Montgomery Square. The colourful structure has been designed to provide a seating area and meeting place, but also doubles as a kids’ play area and even a stage, should the urge to perform grab them.
  3. Canary Wharf’s Summer Family Festival runs until the 28th of August. Head to Jubilee Park for Turtles Don’t Like Plastic on the 5th, or pop up to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden on the 12th for an afternoon of flowerpot decorating inspired by Baker & Borowski’s Crossorelle installation.
  4. ZSL London Zoo’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends event runs until the 6th*. Expect interactive storytelling, a giant food trail, craft activities and the chance to meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar himself (*some activies will continue until the 16th of July).
  5. The London Design Biennale at Somerset House runs from the 1st to the 27th. This year’s theme is ‘resonance’, with highlights including Es Devlin’s Forest for Change, an installation of trees that will take over the entirety of the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court.
  6. Royal Parks is running outdoor Discovery Days in Hyde Park on the 2nd and 3rd. Children of all ages are welcome at these drop-in events, where activities will include pond dipping, bird watching, hapazome, discovery trails, games and a mud-kitchen sensory play session.
  7. Head to Two Temple Place from the 2nd-5th for its Half Term Opening. Discover the fascinating history of one of London’s most eccentric buildings with its newly devised family trail, designed to help families explore the building, its craftmanship and its hidden characters.
  8. Listen & Play sessions from School of Noise will launch on the 2nd at Poplar Union and on the 7th at the Round Chapel. Designed for ages 3 months to 5 years, these themed workshops will explore sound, music and movement, and feature music from artists such as Bjork and Kraftwerk.
  9. The Charles Dickens Museum is running its Half Term Explorers event on the 2nd and 4th. Aimed at ages 5+ and their families, these six-person tours will include opportunities to ask questions, complete a mystery-object identification challenge, and play a Victorian parlour game.
  10. Van Gogh Alive arrives at Kensington Gardens from the 4th. This immersive multi-sensory experience is designed to be family friendly and will feature more than 3,000 projected images, accompanied by a classical score plus a specially created fragrance.
  11. Yayoi Kusama’s I Want Your Tears to Flow with the Words I Wrote opens at Victoria Miro on the 4th. This major presentation of new works will feature a dynamic installation of paintings from Kusama’s iconic My Eternal Soul series, as well as bronze pumpkins and painted soft sculptures.
  12. Head to Alexandra Palace on the 6th for Ally Pally’s Poetry Picnic. Children aged 6+ are invited to grab some snacks and join poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko for fun games designed to build their confidence and skill with words, as well as the chance to write their own poem.
  13. The 2021 Serpentine Pavilion opens on the 11th. Designed by Counterspace, it’s based on past and present places of belonging across London, and will feature a specially commissioned sound programme designed to connect visitors to stories of lost spaces across the city.
  14. Aurora Orchestra is back at King’s Place with Far, Far Away on the 11th, 13th, 26th and 27th. Designed for 0-5s, these magical adventures featuring Agatha the Pirate promise a joyful introduction to Béla Bartók and a chance to enter a magical world of music, discovery and play.
  15. Check out the new Museum of the Home from the 12th. The updated museum will feature refreshed Rooms Through Time and Home Galleries, as well as artist Polly Braden’s exhibition Holding the Baby – a portrait of the strength and resilience of single-parent families.
  16. Baby Show returns to Unicorn from the 15th. Designed for ages 6-18 months, this sensory performance takes place in a garden-inspired set and explores the joys and tribulations of getting ready and going outside. At the end of the show, babies are given a chance to play in the space.
  17. Sculpture in the City‘s 10th edition launches on the 15th, with 18 works set to pop up across the Square Mile. This year’s programme will include sculptures by Oliver Bragg, Laure Prouvost and Bram Ellens, with full details and locations set to pop up on the SITC site in the coming weeks.
  18. The William Morris Gallery’s The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island exhibition opens at Walthamstow Wetlands Engine Room on the 18th. The exhibition of Moomins creator Tove Jansson’s life will be accompanied by an outdoor trail that will lead visitors around the Wetlands.
  19. Head down to the Southbank Centre from the 21st to experience Ilke Gers’ Street Games, a composition of reimagined games that the public can play. Chalked game fields and markings around the centre’s outdoor spaces will fade and reappear throughout the summer.
  20. V&A is hosting Early Years Digital Makerspace workshops on the 23rd and 28th. Designed for ages 2+, the White Rabbit’s Stick Theatre and Down the Rabbit Hole sessions are inspired by the Alice: Curiouser & Curiouser exhibition, with attendees receiving free craft materials through the post.

Babu checks out Yinka Ilori’s 3D-printed basketball court in Canary Wharf