20 awesome things to do with kids in London: January 2023

  1. Head to the Whitechapel Gallery on the 7th for a Moving Bodies, Moving Images workshop for under-5s. Join artist Rosie Gibbens to collaborate and play using unusual objects and materials inspired by Rosie’s art practice and the gallery’s current exhibition. Free.
  2. Little Angel Theatre’s Family Workshop: The Pixie and the Pudding will take place on the 7th, 8th and 14th. Designed for ages 4-11, the workshop will teach children how to build and decorate their own pop-up theatre, and create and bring to life their own pixie puppet. Paid.
  3. Leighton House’s Saturday Family Fun series returns on the 7th, 14th and 21st, with chances to make instruments and explore the science of pitch and volume with science specialist Karen Hodgetts, and create and colour Islamic geometric patterns with Samira Mian. Paid.
  4. Barbican’s January Family Film Club lineup includes Slapstick Silents on the 14th, Ernest and Celestine in Winter on the 21st and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile on the 28th. The centre will also host LSO Discovery Family Concert: Orchestral Olympics for 7-12s on the 22nd. Paid.
  5. Head to the Southbank Centre on the 15th for OAE TOTS: Travel with the OAE – Pack Your Bags! (for 2-5s) and the 29th for OAE TOTS: LPO FUNharmonics – Musical Colours (for 2-5s) and FUNharmonics Family Concert: The Colour Monster (for ages 5+). Paid.
  6. Luke Jerram’s Floating Earth sculpture will appear at an as-yet-undisclosed location in London from the 18th-28th. The 10m-diameter installation aims to create a sense of the Overview Effect, features of which include a feeling of awe for the planet. Free.
  7. Canary Wharf’s annual Winter Lights festival is back from the 18th-28th. The trail will feature more than 20 light-art and interactive installations, including a family of giant mammoths at Riverside and an immersive fibre-optic tunnel in Wood Wharf. Free.
  8. Head to the British Museum on the 19th for Little Feet: Exhibition Explorer – a chance to see the Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt exhibition whilst exploring activity stations including a stone carvers’ station, scribes area and papyrus factory with your under-5. Free.
  9. Unicorn is opening two great shows this month. From the 20th, 3-7s can discover the greatest tales ever spun in Anansi the Spider, then from the 26th The Trial of Josie K takes inspiration from Kafka’s The Trial to tell a story of defiance, friendship and hope for 9-13s. Paid.
  10. The National Maritime Museum’s Lunar New Year 2023 celebrations will take place on the 21st, with chances to watch traditional performances, get stuck into a range of hands-on activities, craft sessions and games, experience live planetarium shows and lots more. Free.
  11. Megson’s Family Folk Show Nature Special is on at Half Moon on the 21st. Expect an infectious mix of heavenly vocals and lush harmonies blended into a gentle, entertaining concert for younger children, and featuring songs about the natural world. Paid.
  12. There’s plenty on at Museum of London Docklands this month, including dance workshops and musical storytelling as part of its Lunar New Year 2023 celebrations for the whole family from the 21st-22nd, and Double Bass Dan and Tots at the Docks for 1-4s on the 25th. Free.
  13. There’s loads of great stuff on at artsdepot this month, including Little London Ballet: Peter Pan on the 21st-22nd, as well as a production of Burglar Bill, inspired by Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s picture book, on the 22nd. Paid.
  14. National Gallery is running a Chinese New Year Family Festival Day on the 22nd. Gather round to hear traditional Chinese stories with special guest storytellers, and make decorations to celebrate the New Year Festival of Spring at the Studio Sunday. Free.
  15. David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) will be kicking things off at the artist’s new immersive Lightroom space from the 25th. Using large-scale projection, David Hockney will take viewers on a personal journey through 60 years of his art. Paid.
  16. The V&A will run a Make-it: Costume Illustration workshop for 10-13s on the 28th. Attendees will create a costume design for a character of their choice, exploring new perspectives to shape characters and costumes while trying out different illustration techniques. Paid.
  17. Woodland Tales with Granddad is on at the Lyric on the 28th. Designed for ages 3+ and featuring a cast of extraordinary puppets, this uproarious family show not only entertains, but has an important and timely environmental message to share. Paid.
  18. Inside: A Two Temple Place & Thorp Stavri Exhibition opens from the 28th. The four-week exhibition will showcase 10 contemporary artists across a variety of mediums, all of whom have produced a new body of work in response to the site’s eccentric architecture. Free.
  19. Pitzhanger Manor is hosting a drop-in Open Sunday: Lunar New Year event on the 29th. Join Yuyu Rau from New Earth Theatre for an interactive storytelling of the Chinese folk story about how the mother goddess, Nuwa, created humans from the yellow earth. Free.
  20. South London Gallery’s Sunday Spot returns on the 29th. Suitable for ages 5–12 with their parents and carers, this self-directed drop-in session will be led by artist Emma Todd, whose work is included in the gallery’s current Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition. Free.

Photo: Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre