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Tips for fab family days

Keep your day out with the kids free, using the tips on this checklist! more

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Free days out with kids in London and Surrey


Age of children




Things to do in London with kids, and days out with kids in Surrey which are free or nearly free!

Oxford Street lights switch on 6th November!

Helping us light up our world famous Oxford Street lights, next Thursday the 6th Novermber , will be the nation’s sweetheart Chery Fernandez Versini..!

This year’s event will be hosted by family favourite, John Lewis and my have we have got a spectacular show lined up for you.. Get set for live performances from heartthrob boy band Rixton, singer-songwriter Jess Glynne and the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Plus, as part of our national social media competition, Talent Starts Here we’re giving one aspiring artist the chance to perform among the stars at this years show, a world first!! And if that doesnt get your boat rocking we also have an exclusive reveal on the night! This is one jam packed show you wont want to miss!

Presented by Capital FM’s lovely duo Lisa Snowdon & Dave Berry, the show will kick off from 5pm with our special ‘Switch On’ moment taking place at 6.15pm!

Carnaby Street lights up 13th November 

Christmas will officially launch in Carnaby on Thursday 13 November with a spectacular shopping party from 5-9pm.  The event kicks off with over 100 fashion brands, restaurants and bars offering 20% discount to ticket holders, free drinks, goodie bags, giveaways, trend talks and more.  Expect a star DJ line up on Carnaby Street including DJ Becky Tong, Leah Weller and Jodie Harsh, as well as 50 DJ’s spinning tunes in stores.  To launch our brilliant decorations, we have cool girls Gemma Cairney, Georgie Okell and Georgia LA, aka The Fox Problem, on the decks and counting down to the launch at 6.30pm. 

South Ken Kids Festival 17 - 23 November

From 17 to 23 November, the South Ken Kids Festival is back at the Institut français! With over 20 children’s book artists invited and more than 50 events on the programme, the Institut français aims to make the festival’s 17th edition a key rendezvous for schools and families in the London area.

Some of this year’s guest stars include living legend Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came to Tea), acclaimed illustrator Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo), not forgetting Quentin Blake, the festival's beloved patron!

On Saturday 22 November, the weekend’s festivities will top off with Impro!, a live drawing and music improvisation event featuring jazz pianist Andy Emler.  And to reach children far and wide across the UK, a picture book competition is organised with the First World War Centenary Partnership and Eurostar. The theme is ‘My Life 100 Years Ago’ and the prizes are amazing…

Activities at Discover Childrens Story Centre

Sat 8 & Sun 9 November:  11am – 5pm  Pirate Party!  Pirates have boarded the good ship Discover and they are willing to share their loot - but only if you convince them you really are a pirate! Dress up, learn the ropes, go on a treasure hunt and make your own sea chest to keep safe.

12.30pm  The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle Age 3+.  What will happen when the very unusual new family the Jolley-Rogers move in next door? Join our Story Builder and Matilda on a voyage of discovery and help them find the buried treasure!

3pm (Sat 8 only)  Snowflakes with Cerrie Burnell Age 4+  AUTHOR EVENT and BOOK SIGNING.  Join CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell as she introduces you to her picture book, Snowflakes. Mia feels different but one magical snowy night she learns an important lesson about what it means to be unique. After the story, join Cerrie and make your own sparkly glittery snowflake to take home.

2.30pm (Sun 9 only).  Pirateology: How To Be A Pirate Age 6+.  This short course taught by international expert Captain Sam will teach you all you need to know to become a pirate. Sing sea shanties, listen to tales of sailing the seven seas and get put through your piratical paces with a game of Captain's Calling. Graduating pirate captains will receive a pirate's hat.

Sat 15 & Sun 16 November 12.30 & 2.30pm.  How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers Age 3+  Once there was a boy who loved stars very much. Join our Story Builder on an adventure to help the boy find a star of his very own.

Sat 22 November:  11am.  EFG Jazz Festival: Jazz for Toddlers Age 2 – 5.  To prove you are never too young to enjoy jazz, join tuba player Oren Marshall and percussionist Afla Sackey at this workshop for 2 - 5 year olds and accompanying parents/carers. Expect lots of music and movement, plus some fun ideas to take away and try at home.  'The Jimi Hendrix of the Tuba' The Guardian  *Phone bookings only 2.30pm

Horrid Henry’s Birthday Party Age 6+.  Horrid Henry is having a birthday party and you're invited! Join us for party games, crafts and the chance to meet Horrid Henry himself. Celebrate 20 years of the Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross.

Sat 22 & Sun 23 November 12.30 & 2.30pm (Sun 23 only).  The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers Age 3+.  A boy, a broken down spaceship and an alien on the moon - join our Story Builder to find out how these two new friends will help each other find the way back home.


Christmas at Discover

Fri 28 November 2014 – Sun 4 January 2015 Term Time: Tue – Fri 11am & 1.45pm, Sat, Sun and school holidays 11.30am & 1.45pm

Jingle Babies Age 0 – 3.  Join our Story Builder for some seasonal stories with added songs and sparkle! This fun, interactive session is perfect for pre-schoolers and their carers to enjoy together and lasts approximately 20 minutes. Stay and play in our baby zone after the session and enjoy a fantastic selection of baby board books.

Sat 29 November 2014 – Sun 4 January 2015 All day drop-in activity.  Christmas Chill Out Age 6+ .  It’s cold outside – and indoors we’re keeping super cool too. Check out our new zone for older children with activities including things to make and do and exciting new digital games, or just chill out on the bean bags with some of your favourite books.

Sun 28 December 2014 – Sun 4 January 2015:   2.30pm.  The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Age 3+.  On a cold and snowy night the Gruffalo's child braves the deep dark wood to see if there really is such a thing as the Big Bad Mouse... and 2.30pm.  Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Age 3+.  Stick Man is lost in the snow; tired and cold he lies down for a nap and ends up in the fireplace! But when he helps a surprise visitor get out of the chimney, Stick Man finds his way home in time for Christmas.

Sat 6 December 3pm.  Book Signing with Nick Butterworth.  To celebrate Discover's brand new production of One Snowy Night, Nick Butterworth, creator of the Percy the Park Keeper series, Q Pootle 5 and many other favourite children's picture book characters, will be signing books in our café - a perfect gift for Christmas.


"I never knew there were so many free activities in London - great listings, thanks" Anna

"Fantastic free days out with the kids, you've saved me hours of research" Barbara

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Activities for kids in London

Activities for kids in the South East