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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!

Half Term with The Hackney Colliery Band

A workshop week led by musicians from the Hackney Colliery Band. Expect 5 days of cutting edge composition and exciting new arrangements of your favourite tunes.  

Mixing rock, afro-beat, hip hop, Balkan beats, dubstep, contemporary jazz and soul, don’t miss this unique chance to explore improv, beats, brass and stagecraft with the internationally recognised Hackney Colliery Band.

With no sheet music in sight, expect to use your ears, your eyes and your bodies to make some unique new music.  Workshops will lead to a showcase at Hackney Empire’s new café/bar, Stage 3.    Suggested age 10+, suitable for all musicians on any instrument of intermediate standard or above. Sessions are from 10am - 4pm, with the final performance from 5pm - 5.45pm.  To apply, please contact

Grandpa Joe's Giant Storytelling Bed at Battersea Arts Centre

Discover stories of adventure, passed on down the generations in Grandpa Joe's Giant Storytelling Bed.  2014 marks a phenomenal 50 years since Roald Dahl's best-loved tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published.

For a unique way to join in the celebrations, book your place in Grandpa Joe's Giant Storytelling Bed. Listen to stories inspired by Charlie and Grandpa Joe's amazing adventures in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  Grandpa Joe's Storytelling Bed celebrates the powerful connection through story of the younger and older members of our community and reminds us that, whatever our age, seemingly impossible dreams can come true. 

Presented by the Southbank Centre.  30 Oct - 1 Nov: 11am, 1pm & 3pm.  Price: £7.  For children aged 5 - 10 and their families.  Running Time: 30 mins

Chaperoned Tickets

A limited number of chaperoned tickets to Grandpa Joe's Giant Storytelling Bed are available on 31 Oct (bookable by phone only). Chaperoned tickets enable your child to watch the show independently, whilst you play with younger siblings in our indoor playspace, The Bee's Knees, or enjoy our family friendly cafe. 

Discover Children's Story Centre : October half-term

free storytelling activity for kidsOpening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturday to Sunday 11am - 5pm.  Discover Children’s Story Centre is located at 383-387 High Street, Stratford, London.  E15 4QZ.  Entry prices are £5 per adult and child.   £18 for a family of 4, under 2’s are free.

Mon 27, Tue 28, Wed 29 October 3.30pm.  Launch – Craft Workshop Age 6+  Make a rocket, a boat, a plane or even a cannon! Spend some time with our Story Builder in this special craft workshop where you can make all things that launch. Inspired by our new exhibition Once There Was… The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers.

Monday 27 October

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.

Tuesday 28 October 

12.30pm.  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.

2.00 – 2.45pm.  Oliver Jeffers Comes to Discover Age 5+.  AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR EVENT and BOOK SIGNING.  To celebrate the opening of Once There Was…The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers – Oliver Jeffers will be joining us for live drawing and storytelling. Born in Australia, raised in Belfast, Oliver now lives in Brooklyn and brings some NYC cool to Discover while celebrating the 10th anniversary of How To Catch a Star, and a brand new book Once Upon An Alphabet. 

Wednesday 29 October

12.30 & 2.30pm.  Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers Age 3+.  The boy’s friend Penguin wants to learn to fly. Can you and our Story Builder help the boy work out how to make the penguin fly up and down?

Thu 30 & Fri 31 October 10am – 5pm.  Happy Halloween! All Ages.  Join us for two days of super spooky stories, vile visitors, creepy crafts and gruesome games. Don’t forget to dress up! Check out our Facebook page to enter your costume for a prize.

Thursday 30 October:  

12.00 – 2.00pm (drop-in activity)  The Great Goth Girl Bake Off Age 6+  Join us for a frighteningly freaky Fete to celebrate the release of Goth Girl: A Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell. Play some games, dress up and decorate a foul fairy cake to enter into the bake-off – the most disgusting delicacy will win a prize!

12.30 & 3.30pm Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton Age 3+  Join our Story Builder and Splat and help him go from scaredy-cat to scariest cat!

2.30pm  Sir Charlie Stinky Socks: The Pirate’s Curse with Kristina Stephenson Age 4+.  AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR EVENT and BOOK SIGNING.  Join Kristina Stephenson, the brilliant Sir Charlie, his cat Envelope and the good grey mare for a musical storytelling adventure.


"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