Top places to take the kids this summer


Whether you’re living in London or visiting, if you have kids, they need dragging away from a screen and entertaining every now and again. Avoid the obvious spots, and treat them to some new experiences with our must-do guide to kids’ activities in London.

Clowning around
What kids don’t like clowns? Avoid the obvious museums for a change and take your kids to the London Clowns’ Gallery-Museum in Dalston, Hackney. Only open on the first Friday of the month, this museum pays tribute to circus clown club Clowns International which formed in 1946. Expect not just paintings of clowns, but costumes, artefacts and an archive reference library. Give us a smile then?

Luck of the draw
Get your kids’ creative juices flowing with these free drawing workshops at the National Gallery on Sundays. Suitable for kids aged 5-11, these sessions draw on the gallery context for inspiration, from the displayed works to the visitors. This is a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained, while introducing them to culture at the same time.

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That’s not all, folks!
While we’re talking about drawing, there’s more available at the Cartoon Museum in central London. These summer workshops boast a plethora of activities, from learning how to draw superheroes and Manga characters, through to how to create an actual comic. Beano artist Wilbur Dawbarn will be hosting masterclasses helping kids design their own Beano front covers, write stories, and how to re-create their favourite Beano characters. Hell, you parents will be jealous!

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Animal Farm
Give your kids a bit of the outdoors at the Hackney City Farm, a cracking spot to not only meet some animals, but to learn about farming, grooming, and mucking out. Kids can also learn about recycling and growing plants. There’s a mini-farmers club every Saturday morning for the older kids aged 8-17. You can leave them there while you drink over-priced flat whites at Broadway Market up the road.

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Take a dip
Drag them away from the iPads and chuck them into the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Nothing like some open water swimming in a unique atmosphere to stop them moaning about being bored. The Serpentine Lido has its own playground and paddle pool for the smaller kids, and you adults can have a snooze in the deck chairs if you’re a bit hungover.

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In the frame
For the young film buffs, the British Film Institute are providing film-making clubs for kids from September to October. It costs a bit, but it won’t break the bank at £90 per term. The Saturday club includes scripting and filming their own movies, as well as acting in them. If you or your kid isn’t quite sure, drop them to a class for free before you commit. Who knows, if it takes off and they become the next Francis Ford Coppola, then you can retire early.

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