It’s hard to write a monthly what’s on guide when you’ve no idea what day it is or when lockdown will end. Online events now seem to be announced with short notice – let’s be honest, what else will we be doing? But even with this difficulty in planning too far in advance, it’s good to have new ideas, and to mark the months in some way. Plus, all these events are FREE – so why not?
Here’s my picks of the most promising virtual cultural events for families coming up in May 2020:
There’s two family concerts at the Royal Albert Home. Classical for Kids: Harmonious Harp (1400, 2 May 2020) gives a glimpse of the most magical instrument in the orchestra through music by Puccini, Salzedo and Bizet. Enjoy a special reading of the fantastical 1960s story The Great Jelly of London (1100, 9 May 2020) where Mr Bonamy Didcot has a grand plan to make an enormous jelly using the iconic Hall as a mould!
Join Jewish Museum London on Facebook Live for their weekly Museum Mornings (1130-1200, Sundays throughout May) which include a fun family activity. Exact themes are yet to be announced, but April included making a Seder plate and baking Challah.
Following their brilliant adaptation of I Want My Hat Back, Little Angel Theatre and theatre director Ian Nicholson turn their attention to the remaining two books in Jon Klassen’s book series. This Is Not My Hat (3 May 11am) and We Found A Hat (24 May 11am) will be live streamed on the theatre’s YouTube channel. All three will then be available to watch until Sunday 7 June, 2020. Best for ages 3-6.
75 years after the end of the Second World War in Europe, celebrate VE over bank holiday weekend Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May 2020 – at home, of course. Download Bletchley Park‘s VE Day 75 Celebration pack for ideas for baking, bunting, rosettes, victory rolls hair dos, and a tipple to raise for the national toast at 3pm on the 8th. Cheers!
The Big Book Weekend is a 3-day virtual festival, streams the best events from Britain’s cancelled literary festivals. There’s a kids activity session 2pm daily – make a medieval castle picture book, join interactive storytelling and explore the wonderful hidden world of ponds. Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May 2020, full programme and registration via their website.
Join English Heritage for the weekly History at Home LIVE hosted by TV’s Ben Shires. Their Stonehenge episode inspired us to make a biscuit version of the ancient monument. This month you can learn about castles (Wednesday 6 May), 1066 Battle of Hastings (Wednesday 13 May) and Dover Castle in the Second World War (Wednesday 20 May). Send in your questions and request a shout out. Best for ages 8+.
Stave off cabin fever with a virtual song, story and playtime at Cutty Sark’s online Toddler Times on Wednesday 6 and Wednesday 13 May 2020, 1030-1100. Places are limited, so go grab a Zoom spot via Royal Museum Greenwich’s Eventbrite page. Best for under 5s, older siblings welcome.
For a limited time only, take a virtual tour of the tiny underground Mail Rail, part of the Postal Museum. Journey back in time through the original tunnels and station platforms of London’s 100-year-old postal railway.
You can read our review of Mail Rail here.
Polka Theatre have devised at home family activity packs based on favourite kids books, alongside readings and drama workshops. Whip up a banana sundae inspired by Anthony Browns Gorilla or cut paper doll garlands after Julia Donaldsons The Paper Dolls. The How to Hide a Lion pack goes live on Tuesday 12 May 2020.
Earn your design badges with Hey Duggee and the Design Museum. Sundays at 9am, and available after. There’s currently over 20 activities to earn badges from Paper Boat Badge to Raindance Badge.
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