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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!

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.

Free family days out at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park    

free family day outThe Olympic park is still a fantastic destination for free and good value family activites, both indoors and outdoors.   Bring the kids to the Tumbling Bay playground, where they can play in the sandpit, build a den, discover insects or roam the walkways among the treetops.  Or download one of four trail guide adventures. 

Budding dancers, why not get the whole family involved in a huge free dance party on 17 February open to participants aged 14 and over, try out four types of dancing and learn from the pro’s in the Copper Box’s huge arena.

If you would like to try out the outdoor table tennis facilities at the Copper Box Arena just pop in and ask for some bats and balls to play! 

If you're looking to get active while trying out something new, the free Para-Legacy sports camp could be for you! Suitable for all ages and abilies, try out Boccia, New Age Kurling, Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball at the Timber Lodge Café.  Also available is a free lesson in boxing or rowing, delivered by our Active People Active Park's programme.

Options for family ice skating in London

days out with kidsThere are still some winter ice rinks available until the end of February.

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.  

Free London walking tours

free days out with kidsA great range of free London walking tours are on offer from the Free Tour of London company:

Free Royal Tour.  A journey through British History, follow in the footsteps of the famous and infamous like Winston Churchill, Guy Fawkes & Henry VIII. 

On this tour of Westminster you will visit three royal palaces as we journey together from Big Ben, to Buckingham Palace and back to Trafalgar Square.  Discover plots to destroy parliament, Churchill’s hidden bunker, cannibal pelicans, crazy lost tourists and their brush with royalty, exclusive clubs for the rich and famous, England’s most famous admiral and a giant, four metre high bright blue chicken – plus much much more!

When: Every day at 11am, Where: The Churchill statue in Parliament Square, Duration: Around 2.5 Hours

Old City Tour.  Explore London’s Old City where the Romans first settled, visit London’s medieval castle, discover the origins of the Knights Templar and Free Masons, visit one of London’s oldest and most famous pubs, see two-headed swans and discover the devastating fire that almost destroyed London forever and the man who brought her back to life.  The Old City tour covers 2,000 years of almost unbelievable history, packed with laughs and crazy stories – discover how truth can be stranger than any fiction on this London City Tour!

When: Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at 4pm.  Where: Temple Station.  Duration: Around 2.5 Hours

Free Jack The Ripper Tour.  Discover one of London’s darkest chapters – the shocking murders of Jack the Ripper. This walking tour promises chills and frights as we visit the locations of the Whitechapel Murders, discover more about the victims and the gruesome details of their murders and explore the conspiracy theories surrounding the identity of the killer – the world’s most chilling, unsolved murder mystery!

When: Every day at 8pm.  Where: Tower Hill Station – next to the London wall.  Duration: Around 100 Minutes


"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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