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

  1. Space, The Universe, and Everything will be showing at St Martin-in-the-Fields until the 4th. This spectacular son-et-lumiere will explore our relationship with planet Earth, and feature depictions of the Big Bang and footage of the first rocket launch, all in a sacred space. Paid
  2. Family Takeover: Making Space with artist Asha Fontenelle is on at Camden Arts Centre on the 5th. Create your own affirmations and experiment with various creative techniques including mono-printing, painting, marbling and set-building. Free.
  3. UEL will host an After Dark Festival at its Docklands campus on the 8th, featuring a Living Snow Globe and loads more. Then, on the 11th-15th, Tribe Woodland will be creating a spectacular play structure at UEL’s Stratford campus (sold out but walkups welcome). Free.
  4. Highlights of Southbank Centre’s ever-popular Imagine Children’s Festival will include Play Unlimited with The Herd, Limitless: A Drop-in Play Experience, a One and Everything Family Trail and a performance of Rise and Fall. The festival runs from the 8th-18th. Free/paid.
  5. Brick Dinos opens at the Horniman from the 10th. Meet dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants face to face, each one masterfully built using Lego bricks, and take part in a range of hands-on activities including building your own dinosaur and digging for fossils. Paid.
  6. Head to Tate Britain’s Play Studio on the 11th for Gallery Pop Up: Drag Queen Story Hour UK. Hear fabulous stories in an exciting storytime show from Aida H Dee, a neurodivergent, queer drag artist – and the first in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery. Free.
  7. There’s plenty of half-term fun to be had at Museum of London Docklands from the 11th-19th. Choose from family paper crafts, family yoga, sensory storytelling, mindful art exploration, guided meditation, sensory object handling and lots more. Free.
  8. Head to Uniqlo Tate Play Threads Holiday Studio Make from the 11th-19th. Take inspiration from artists Cecilia Vicuña and Magdalena Abakanowicz, knitting together to create a giant artwork using reels of threads on large looms in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Free.
  9. National Maritime Museum is running loads of half-term events and workshops celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month from the 12th-17th. Choose from costume construction, merfolk making, Pride boat sailing at The Great Map, unity crochet and lots more. Free.
  10. artsdepot will play host to The Last Match, a fun, bold and playful collection of 26 giant handmade matchboxes by artist Chery Nguyen, from the 12th-18th. Join the artist on the 13th or 15th for a drop-in workshop where you can design and make your own matchbox. Free.
  11. Head to the National Gallery for Explore, Build, Play on the 14th-16th and celebrate architecture and materials with Play Build Play. Play with scale, shapes and sensory materials to create new structures to move in and around. Free.
  12. Foundling Museum is hosting a series of halfterm workshops between the 14th-17th. Make large-scale cardboard treasures, build spaces for an imagined future using recycled materials, create a unique self-portrait or design a wearable masterpiece. Free.
  13. Spring Awakening with Play in the Park will take place in Regent’s Park on the 17th. Play will draw inspiration from the park’s wildlife and there will also be loose parts, including cardboard boxes, tarpaulins and flowing fabrics, plus wildflower seed bomb making. Free.
  14. Beyond the Streets London opens at the Saatchi Gallery from the 17th. Said to be the most comprehensive graffiti and street art exhibition ever to open in the UK, this eye-popping spectacle will feature original art, rare ephemera and site-specific installations. Paid.
  15. The Mosaic Rooms is running a Sensing Our Way workshop with artist-educator Sarah Marsh on the 18th. Explore the gallery and collect shapes, symbols and colours to create sensory-soothing designs that Sarah will then transform into a digital-printed fabric. Free.
  16. On the 18th, Half Moon will stage Babble, an intimate, interactive theatrical experience for 3-5s that celebrates children’s voices. Then on the 24th-25th, Gift offers a ‘love song to nature for babies and their grownups’, exploring the interconnectedness of life on Earth. Paid.
  17. Head to Dulwich Picture Gallery for Family Festival – Let Sound Inspire You on the 18th. Create a Sonic Collage; explore the colour blue with your baby in a quiet, sensory space; create a natural crown; and stitch, knit and sew your own badges. Paid (kids go free).
  18. Whitechapel Gallery is running a Family Day on the 18th. Join an afternoon of activities and workshops inspired by Escape the Slick, an exhibition created by Gaby Sahhar in collaboration with Duchamp & Sons, Whitechapel Gallery’s youth collective. Free.
  19. David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) will be kicking things off at the artist’s new immersive Lightroom space from the 22nd. Using large-scale projection, David Hockney will take viewers on a personal journey through 60 years of his art. Paid.
  20. South London Gallery’s monthly Sunday Spot workshop for 5-12s will be led by Bloomberg New Contemporaries artist Katie Surridge on the 26th. Make a hat out of silver foil and think about how to use your hat as a way to communicate with others. Free.
Photo location: Selfridge’s, Oxford Street.