Yeah, yeah this was clearly a case of “Picture first, blog title later” but it’s a lame lead in to a big old list of entirely un-lame things to do over the next few weeks. Which, you’ll be shocked to know, includes the May half term. Wasn’t it just Easter??
First off, a brand new discovery of mine and I mean I really did just find out about them ten minutes ago so forgive me for lack of info….but it’s Museum Trips for Children. They’re a Hanwell-based company that organise trips for 5-11-year-olds to museums – there’s one coming up on 31st May around the theme of American pop art, which is something Reuben is studying at the moment. From the look of their facebook page, they give the kids a guided tour of the artworks and organise themed craft activities. It sounds fab.
Next up, the Institute of Imagination are hosting some more events, with their “Lab Life” family workshops landing on half term and the next large scale event – “Lab Live” – on 18th June. The theme for this run is “Metropolis”, exploring urban life through activities like Virtual Reality games and kinetic sand building. Have a look here to see what Eva and I made of the iOi last time we visited.
Also in June is a massive show for Chickenshed, who are taking over the Royal Albert Hall in association with Amnesty International for “Dreams of Freedom“. On 26th June, they’re bringing 600 children to perform a show together, many of whom have SEN, in what they describe as a celebration of human rights. It sounds powerful and thought-provoking. Book now!
To cycle back to half term once more, I’ve heard of a few more events that might be fun if you have kids to entertain. One is the Feria de Londres on 27th and 28th May, which is an Andalusian festival of food, dancing and art. It’s being held in Potter’s Fields, just near Tower Bridge and they have face painting and dance classes for kids. Another is the “OAE Tots Musical Journeys“event at the Southbank Centre, which introduces kids to the baroque music of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. If that’s not enough, there’s also a series of drop in workshops at the National Gallery, including a sing-and-play session based on “What the Ladybird Heard”.
Plus a couple of old favourites on the horizon – In the Night Garden Live returns to London for the 8th consecutive year, bringing its gentle delights to a new generation of toddlers from 17th June – 5th July in the Old Deer Park in Richmond. And then there’s our friends Big Fish Little Fish who continue to expand and spread their confetti-popping joy everywhere from Inverness to Melbourne. If you do wanna catch them as they vogue through London, book quickly for their Hackney party on 11th June or Balham on 18th June.
After all that you’ll want to catch your breath, so let me give you some advanced warning of this last one – the return of Berkofest on 9th September. Headlining this year are Alabama 3, John Power and Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling. Last year was a touch on the soggy side, but we still had a great time and this year I’ve been absolutely promised sunshine. Don’t blame me if that turns out to be an empty promise though…