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

  1. Kensington + Chelsea Art Week runs until the 4th, with highlights including Baker & Borowski’s The Pleasure Garden in Earl’s Court, Sophie Kemp’s More Than You Might Expect in South Kensington, and the Chelsea Arts Club Summer Mural.
  2. Walthamstow’s Role2Play role-play cafe will reopen this month, following their announcement that they’d be renovating their interior due to extensive flooding back in March. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for reopening updates – the rebuild looks set to be a good one.
  3. Head to Chelsea’s The Fashion School on the 2nd for a Parent and Toddler Doll’s Clothes Workshop with KCAW. Children aged 3+ and their adults will learn how to make cute clothes for their dolls or teddies using ex-LFW, sustainable or Liberty fabric off-cuts.
  4. Westferry Circus will host Summer Family Festival: Music and Mindfulness with Spitalfields Music on the 3rd. Percussionist Rosie Bergonzi and mindfulness practitioner Martha Wright will lead sessions for ages 0-12 months, 1-3 and 3-5, using music and song to explore emotions.
  5. The Barbican is showing five brilliant films this month, as part of its weekly Family Film Club. Highlights will include Secrets of the Kells on the 3rd, Howl’s Moving Castle on the 10th, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on the 17th and Raya and the Last Dragon on the 31st.
  6. Paddington: The Story of a Bear will be popping up at the British Library from the 9th. Follow his trail of marmalade splats to explore his tales of muddles and mishaps, from his arrival in London to home life with the Browns – but be careful to avoid Paddington’s toppling pots of paint.
  7. Bad Art’s Hot Air exhibition will be on view at Manor Place Warehouse from the 9th-11th. This fully immersive exhibition will feature dozens of inflatable artworks, and promises to be physically overwhelming, unpredictable, interactive and – above all – fun.
  8. Join London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke’s on the 9th for Jemma’s Journey – Musical Storytelling for Under-5s. This interactive concert offers younger children a chance to experience a live performance, singing and dancing as the instruments bring the tale to life.
  9. The RA’s Young Artists’ Summer Show 2021 opens on the 13th. Now in its third year, the show brings together work by primary and secondary-level students (aged 5-19) studying in the UK and British schools overseas. The Summer Exhibition 2021 will be held in September.
  10. Head to Pitzhanger Manor on the 14th for Little Builders, a Montessori-inspired, free-flow play session for 0-5s. Explore the life cycle of a bee, the honeycomb and their relationship with flowers through sensorial and engaging activities, and enjoy a free visit to the manor while you’re there.
  11. Dodge: Drink, Dine and Dodgems at Somerset House begins on the 15th. This open-air experience will feature dodgems with a difference, an interactive installation from artist Anna Meredith and a vibrant, colourful and kaleidoscopic courtyard design by artist and designer Yinka Ilori.
  12. V&A’s John Madejski Garden will be the setting for The Imagination Station: Mini Pop-up Theatre on the 18th. Children aged 4+ will be invited to construct their own mini stage set, as well as imagining their own tea party and creating an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed garden game.
  13. My Head is a Jungle by Manjit Thapp opens at Now Gallery from the 23rd. Thapp will transform the gallery space into a three-dimensional maze-like structure adorned with large-scale murals and sculptures for visitors to explore, with a large fluorescent red sun hanging above.
  14. From the 24th, Tate Modern is asking visitors to transform the floor of the Turbine Hall into a giant work of art. Called Mega Please Draw Freely, the project by Ei Arakawa invites participants to draw on the floor or on one of the huge banners, which will then be hung from the ceiling.
  15. Museum of the Home’s Pet Life exhibition opens on the 24th. Choose a pet friend and unlock real-life pet stories as you wander through the rooms of the ‘home’. This family-friendly exhibition will feature animations, projections, hands-on activities and stories by author Bernadette Russell.
  16. Head to Grovelands Park from the 24th for Jurassic Encounter, an interactive installation of 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors will walk through grasslands and woodlands, and come face-to-face with snarling, roaring and hissing dinosaurs among the trees, bushes and woods.
  17. FUN DMC is back on the 25th. The original daytime family block party will be popping up at Colours in Hoxton Square, with DJs including Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) and Spin Doctor (The Doctor’s Orders), plus a soft-play room, hip-hop colouring in, a photo booth and a graffiti train.
  18. Discover’s brand new space-themed Story Garden is scheduled to open from around the 26th. Expect a ‘Baba Yaga’ treehouse complete with Goldilocks bed and wonky shelving, a mud kitchen, a Sputnik-inspired structure and a space ship based on Howl’s Moving Castle’s steampunk airship.
  19. Marble Arch Mound opens on the 26th. This temporary installation will measure 25m at its peak and comprise a café, shop and exhibition space in its centre. Visitors will be able to climb to the top of the mound, where they’ll experience 360-degree views across Oxford Street and Hyde Park.
  20. From the 29th, Wimbledon’s Centre Court Shopping Centre will host Polka’s Maanika and the Wolf. Aimed at 3-6s, this captivating retelling of Little Red Riding Hood sees a grandmother returning to her childhood bedroom and recalling stories from when she was a young girl.

Roma goes down the rabbit hole at Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at the V&A