Museum Mum Picks: September 2019

Looking for things to do with kids in London in September 2019? Each month I choose a few of the upcoming family events that I’m most excited about. And whilst the summer holidays might be over, there’s plenty to beat the back to school blues in September.

In the Museum household, there are new school gates for Museum Teen (sixth form), Museum Boy (juniors), and Museum Girl (infants). I have ten museum trips lined up including day trips to Oxford and Paris. And I’m excited (and a little nervous) to be attending my first travel influencer conference, Borderless Live.

Here’s my pick for London families this September:⁠

Totally Thames, the annual celebration of London’s main river, is running over 100 events throughout September. Family highlights include The Ship of Tolerance docking outside Tate Modern (FREE, 4 September- 6 October), the family river festival Thames Tidefest (FREE with some paid activities, 8 September) and the Bureau of Silly Ideas’ Big Poo Fat Burgers in Aldgate Square (FREE, 19-22 September). Check out the full festival listings here.

Experiment with printmaking techniques on 9 September at the Royal Academy Family Studio: Put it in print. FREE, drop in.

England’s biggest free heritage festival, Heritage Open Days returns 13 to 22 September. London family highlights including a Dinosaur Day at Crystal Palace Park (15 September, drop-in) and House Detective children’s tours of 575 Wandsworth Road (15 and 22 September, NOW FULLY BOOKED). Click here to search for an open day near you. FREE, mixture of pre-booked and drop-in.

Make the most of the nights drawing in with a trip to Chihuly Nights at Kew Gardens. Watch the sunset and see the stunning glass sculptures illuminated, with live music and a special soundscape. The kids absolutely loved our daytime visit, so I’m sure exploring this magical place at dusk would be a huge hit. Paid, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening until 26 October.

The world’s largest architecture festival, Open House London gives access to 800+ buildings, walks, talks and tours across the city on 21 and 22 September. If you fancy a rare chance to nosy inside 10 Downing Street, BT Tower or the Shard, be quick and enter the ballots NOW as they close very soon. Discover local history in a family festival at Museum of London Docklands (22 September), see the derelict home of the new Museum of London (21 and 22 September) or build your own National Army Museum from wooden planks (21 and 22 September). FREE, check individual listings for more information.

Experiential installations at the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy will invite you to slow down and become more aware of you own body. Paid, 21 September until 3 December.

I’m totally intrigued by Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of Bleakness at Tate Britain where a life-size replica of an M53 motorway bridge will be home to an audio play with teenagers. Paid, 24 September until 5 January 2020.

London Transport Museum Depot in Acton will host its last open weekend of the year on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September with costumed characters and family craft. Paid for, just turn up. Read more about our visits in this review: London Transport Museum Depot with kids


If you’ve found this post useful, please do share with your friends and followers.  And 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 family days out.

How’s your September looking? What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below, or over on InstagramTwitter 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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