Museum Mum picks: July 2019

Looking for things to do with kids in London in July 2019? There’s always so many great events happening in London that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. So, each month I’ll choose a few of the upcoming family events that I’m most excited about. That way you can spend less time planning family days out and more time enjoying them!

It’s looking like a busy month in the Museum Household – I just checked my diary and I already have 10 cultural visits and a weekend away pencilled in this month! Plus Museum Girl turns five, the little ones finish up at school, and there’s some cracking new exhibitions about to open. 

Here’s my picks for London families this month:

Frieze Sculpture Park opens in Regent’s Park on 3 July, the largest free exhibition of outdoor art in London. This year showcases the work of more than 20 international artists, including a Tracey Emin bronze. Even if the arts not to your taste, it’s a great excuse to pack a picnic, and take a stroll around one of London’s most beautiful parks. Plus there are four playgrounds to stop at.  FREE, just turn up. Until 6 October 2019.

The Top Secret family exhibition opens at the Science Museum on 10 July. Delve into the secretive world of espionage, from the First World War trenches to the challenges of digital security today. Challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in its interactive puzzle zone. FREE, booking required. Until 23 February 2020.

Olafur Eliasson’s In Real Life opens at Tate Modern on 11 July, he of giant sun fame. We loved his rainbow panorama at ARoS so can’t wait to see what visual treats this exhibition holds. Almost all of the works have never been seen in the UK before. Expect rainbows, reflections and installations which stimulate your senses. Paid for, booking recommended. Until 5 January 2020.

London Transport Museum Depot in Acton hosts a family special open weekend on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July. We’ve had three enjoyable visits to the depot now. Enjoy a puppet show on a double decker, join in a percussion party, plant a seed train tray, ride on a miniature train, and lots lots more. Paid for, just turn up.
Read more about our visits in our review: London Transport Museum Depot with kids

Also on the weekend of 13 and 14 July is the brilliant festival Walthamstow Garden Party. Celebrate Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 with a two day global festival in the lovely Lloyd Park, in collaboration with the Barbican. Music, dance, circus, crafts, food and drink… Some of the family highlights include Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures dance workshop for all ages, Lucky the dog puppet show, and storytime with Grandad’s Island author-illustrator Benji Davies. And I’m intrigued by the drum n bounce exercise classes. FREE, just turn up. 

Get stuck in with hands on experiments at Kew Gardens Science Festival on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July. We happened across this at their sister site in Wakehurst and it was so fun we came back the next day! We created hedgerow herbariums, shouted into giant fungi, peered down microscopes, learnt about seed freezing through ice-cream making, saw live theatre, music and comedy shows… and the list goes on! We were most impressed by how warm and welcoming the scientists were – no child was too young for them to share their expertise with! Standard admission charges apply. Just turn up. 

The robots are coming! On 27 July the Barbican have an AI: More than Human family day. Inspired by their latest exhibition on artificial intelligence, they’ll be hosting child-friendly exhibition tours and arts and crafts workshops. Museum Boy loved the calming immersive Team Lab work in the Pit (pictured above), playing noughts and crosses with a chatbot, and racing in the expression recognition car. The family day is FREE, the exhibition is paid for. 


If you want to see what we get up to this month, I’ll be updating my stories and feed on Instagram regularly with pictures of our museum visits and family days out. You can find me on @museummum, please come and say hi! And if you’ve found this post useful, please do share with your friends and followers. 

What are you hoping to get up to this July? Let me know in the comments below, or on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook



Written by Vyki Sparkes AKA Museum Mum. Award-winning culture blogger, content creator, museum curator, podcaster, and mum to three. I’ve worked in museums for 18+ years, have a masters in museum studies, but more importantly, have been letting my kids loose in museums for decades. This blog shares all my hard-earned knowledge and experience.

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