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Tips for fab family days

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Free days out with kids in London and Surrey


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

Free family Winter Walks

free walksFree guided walks around London are available Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th January organised by the Walk4Life project. 

Up to 41 walks are on offer, with the longest likely to take about 5 hours, and the shortest up to 2 hours.


Year of the Bus at the Olympic Park 24th & 25th January

free family bus eventEnjoy a weekend of free interactive workshops for the whole family as we welcome all 60 Year of the Bus sculptures to the Park!  On 24 and 25 January, all 57 New Routemaster bus sculptures will be on display at the Park, fresh from their trails around London. Painted and adorned by well-known artists, the buses have been capturing the imagination of Londoners and visitors since they first went on display in October. This weekend will give a unique opportunity to see the sculptures before they’re auctioned off for charity.

Between 10am – 4pm on both days, there will also be a range of free interactive workshops, live entertainment and fun activities for the whole family.  Some of the activities on offer include:

  • Take-home arts and crafts, face painting and balloons

  • Meet some of the artists and see a final bus sculpture being painted ‘live’ over the weekend.

  • A chance to view and board a New Routemaster bus

  • A chance to hop aboard the restored war time 1914 ‘Battle Bus’, back from its tour of the battlefields of France and Belgium

  • The Year of the Bus mobile exhibition which tells the story of the London Bus and looks to its future;

  • Live musical entertainment from licensed buskers from the London Underground Busking Scheme

Imagine Children's Festival 9 February  -  22 February 2015

Free events at the SouthbankIn February 2015, children take over Southbank Centre for two weeks of theatre, books, music, free fun and workshops for all ages.There's plenty to do for free for little ones of all ages from Monday 9th February and throughout the half term week.  Explore a transformed Southbank Centre bursting with events and activities including our celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

The youngest visitors and their carers will love moving and stretching together at Baby Yoga or entering a world of Rug Rhymes.  

There will be music to inspire young ears at the Animal Parade Concert or Young Orchestra for London. And the opportunity to have a go with wind and brass or a pipe that you've made yourself.

Play a game of Flamingo Croquet, swap a book; come dressed-up for Animal Parade Day (Mon 16 Feb) or Down the Rabbit Hole Day (Fri 20 Feb). There'll be lots to make and do, and loads of laughs including with comedian Cowboy Max who will be around most days. And if you still have some energy, join us on the final Sunday to shake and dance at the Big Fish, Little Fish Family Rave.

Beyond the free events there are lots of other good value activities available...

Lift noses out of books to catch appearances and readings from top authors including Russell Brand, Judith Kerr, Lauren Child, Laura Dockrill, Anthony Horowitz and Helen Skelton. Or come along and clap live performances including Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play and Pirate School presented by Lost and Found. 

Marvel as world-class orchestras and conductors star in classical concerts, including Young Orchestra for London, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and a child-friendly performance by 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The Southbank will also host the London premiere of Brundibár – a renowned children's opera by Hans Krása, originally performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.

The festival features a chance to celebrate the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland on its 150th anniversary, with events including Alice’s Imaginarium, interactive installations, Flamingo Croquet and a dressing-up day.

Under-5s can enjoy a new dedicated early-years area and plenty of specially tailored events, including Baby Yoga, Dragon Babies, Move & Shake and two shows by Half Moon Young People’s Theatre.

Top Ice skating locations in London and Surrey

ice skatingA range of festive ice rinks are available over the Christmas period.  Most of the temporary Winter ice rinks are outdoors and therefore subject to variations in the weather.   The permanent locations don't have the same atmosphere, but they do provide the best value for money.  In the list below the price for 2 adults and 2 children are shown in brackets. 

Guildford Spectrum (£26.40)

At the top of the list for value is Guildford Spectrum which doesn't have the glamour of some of the temporary outdoor installations, but certainly will offer you a large rink with plenty of availability.  Penguins stability aids for children are available for hire at an extra charge.

Alexandra Palace (£27 for tickets bought online)

Ice scooters are available for children at the cost of £5 per session.  The earliest skate sessions start at 10.30am at the weekends, and 10.30am weekdays, and finish at 5.30pm weekdays, and 11pm at the weekend.  Private skating lessons can be arranged depending on the availability of instructors.

Broadgate (£33.50)

This rink is located in the heart of the City of London - Broadgate Circus, and is open 10am to 10pm until 26th February.  Lessons can be pre-booked for an additional £30 for a 30 minute lesson.   Also worth noting, their adult pricing starts at 13 years old.  Penguin skate aids are available on a 'first come first served' basis at £5 per session.

Canary Wharf (£39.50)

The Canary Wharf rink is open until 28th February.  Open 10 to 11pm in the school holidays.  Polar bear skate aids are available £5 per session, and you can book skating lessons.  


"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

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