Looking for things to do with kids in London in October 2019? Each month I choose a few of the upcoming cultural events for families that I’m most excited about.
I finally feel like we’re getting back in routine after the summer holidays and BAM! here comes another half term! Not that I’m complaining as we have a home exchange to Bordeaux, the city of art and history, to look forward to. We also have two birthdays, including a BIG one for me. I’ll be talking at two conferences, including the first wearing my Museum Mum hat – the now sold out CultureComms 2019. And there’s a rather promising 8 museum trips already pencilled in.
Here’s my pick of the most promising cultural things for families in London this October:
Fun Palaces are FREE community led cultural events which take place in museums, theatres, libraries and community centres all over the UK on 5 and 6 October. In London, there’s traditional street games, crafting pearly kings and queens, and a fascinating talk on the 1970s Bangladeshi Squat movement in the Boundary Estate Fun Palace (5 October). The Holborn Fun Palace on 6 October has sensory storytelling by the British Library, herbal soap making with the Museum of the Order of St John, and a WAC arts digital orchestra. Find a Fun Palace near you on the (unfortunately tricky to navigate) Fun Palace website.
Where’s Wally? Why, in a museum of course! Where’s Wally? The Big Museum Hunt is a special activity trail taking place in 50 UK museums. including my favourites Horniman Museum, London Transport Museum and London Museum of Water and Steam. 12 October-3 November, usual entrance charges apply. More information on the Kids in Museums site here.
Keep an eye out for harvest events and apple days in museums near you. We love Vestry House Museum Apple Day with its organic apple market, apple bobbing, music and crafts (12 October, FREE). Others include Morden Hall Park Apple Weekend (28 & 29 September, FREE), Hog’s Hole Apple Weekend at Red House (5 & 6 October, paid) and Fulham Palace Apple Day (6 October, FREE).
Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival is packed with literary events and readings for all the family, including daily FREE dance and music workshops exploring fairy tales and folklore from different cultures. 17-27 October, FREE and paid events. The best way to find events is on this page.
The Design Museum is having a bit of a family moment. Step inside a lunar home in Moving to Mars, and take part in a family trail design challenge set by Tim Peake, amongst others. (18 October-23 February 2020, paid, recommended age 8+). Build a spaceship in the Create and Make afternoons over half term (FREE, 21-25 October, age 5-11). Parents of under fives will no doubt be drawn to the Designing Hey Duggee! display (FREE, 22-25 October).
Follow the garden trail, toast marshmallows on an open fire and carve your own pumpkin to take home at Osterley Park‘s Halloween Pumpkin Festival. Paid, 19-27 October. You can even help get their garden ready for winter on 25 October in their Family Garden Club.
And October must be THE best time to visit the 17th century merchant’s Fenton House in Hampstead, with its seasonal Apple Weekend (5-6 October) in its 300 year old orchard and Halloween pumpkin trail around its walled garden (19-31 October). I also have my eye on its Please Sit exhibition (until Spring 2020) – anywhere that invites rest is a winner in my books! Paid.
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.
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