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July 29, 2022
July spills over into August, and children once light–headed with joy at the lack of school routine begin to find the dog days of Summer pretty long.
Thankfully London has a lot to offer within a surprisingly compact centre, and there is something for even the most discerning of little darlings - from the classic London icons to themed events and even some great free activities.
The Gunpowder Plot
The Tower Vaults, Tower of London
The famous plot to blow up Parliament, just two years after the death of Elizabeth I: an immersive experience, taking you back to 1605, with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter) starring as Guy Fawkes. Tickets available.
Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Watford
Harry Potter devotees can see a whole range props and film sets here. The latest addition is a magical greenhouse, complete with interactive potted Mandrake plants. Travel to Warner Bros Watford is remarkably convenient thanks to the Shuttlebus from London’s Victoria Station. Blue Orchid’s Rochester and Wellington Hotels are two hotels near Victoria station, within easy walking distance.
Gracechurch Street, EC3
Among the most picturesque of covered markets in the city, and made famous by the Harry Potter films. Leadenhall Market can be found near The Monument and London Bridge, and is famous for its shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Superbloom at the Tower of London
Until September 18
A beautiful, thoughtful eco show, conceived as a homage to HRH during this year’s Platinum Jubilee. Millions of carefully selected seeds were planted and grown in the Tower’s huge moat. A sea of wildflowers has bloomed and will renew itself year after year. Tickets available to walk through the moat, or you can survey this oasis of pleasure from the public viewing area for free. Sculptures and sound installations, too. To be maintained as a natural resource beyond the Jubilee. Blue Orchid Tower Suites London is minutes away, and perfect for an independent family staycation.
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies East London
159 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, N1
Werewolf biscuits, dragon treats and zombie fresh mints. Collect your most terrifying thoughts in a Hoxton Street Monster Notebook (essential for aspiring ghouls).
Hidden London Tours
Until July 24
London Transport Museum, The Piazza Covent Garden
Book a Hidden London tour at various sites, including the Kingsway tram tunnel tour. Also Euston, The Lost Tunnels.
8 Heddon Street
London W1B 4BU
For those family members who read manga or watch anime: a retro ramen bar designed to take you back to the 1970s Yokocho alleyways of Japan.
Ice Cream Festival
August 19 to September 4
With over 40 variations of ice cream, sundaes, sorbets, gelato and more across 35 destinations - there has to be something for all the family at this festival.
July 12 Until August 28
Regent’s Park Theatre, NW1
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The big summer musical 101 Dalmatians, with new music. Toby Olie is both puppetry designer and director. Worth it just to see 101 puppet mutts on stage. Kate Fleetwood in the lead as Cruella.
ZSL London Zoo
Jul 23 to Aug 31 2022
Nature in Technicolour. From the stand–out emerald tree boa to the changeable chameleon. Some creatures even emit their own light. Book your tickets to this summer’s most colourful day out.
Madame Tussauds: Star Wars Gallery
Working with Lucasfilm and Disney, Tussauds has recreated key scenes from the Star Wars blockbusters. See wax models of the good, the bad and the ugly, plus Jabba’s Throne Room and the flight deck of the Millennium Falcon. From Yoda in a swamp to Han Solo in the canteen. For serious fans (and their children).
There’s an excellent offer for August that families might want to book right now: for every adult ticket purchased, one child goes free. To take full advantage of this offer, combine this with a Kids Week package at Blue Orchid’s Rochester Hotel (on Westminster’s leafy Vincent Square). A stay in this central London hotel gives you access to some excellent offers and packages, discounted family rates, family breakfast, dinner included and more. Or if you’d like to extend this experience to other Blue Orchid hotels, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Family activities within the Royal Parks
The royal parks have organised free bird–watching tours across their extensive central London parkland this July. Also storytelling, bug hunting and “critter crafting.’” Get involved or just go for a stroll. Another reason to choose one of the nearby Blue Orchid hotels.
The Secret Garden
The Garden Museum, 5 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1
Exhibition: see how different artists have brought Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much loved children’s book to life with their illustrations.
Natural History Museum
Our Broken Planet
Until August 31
Cromwell Road, SW7
Focusing on the impact of our species’ need for food, energy and materials and the cost to the natural world.
Until Sept 25
“The divine to the demonic.” The British Museum often unearths our deep history from its archives. Here you’ll find, Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of annihilation whose amulets were also a source of protection and healing. Rooms 62–63 houses their famous mummies galleries too.
Summer in Aldgate 2022
12-2pm Tuesday throughout July and August
Aldgate Square, EC3
A mindful musical lunch break with live concerts.
Petticoat Lane Thursday’s
12-3.30pm Thursdays 14th, 21st, 28th July
Wentworth and Goulston Street
Music, fun, food and creative goods.
2-8pm Friday 22nd July
Community arts and culture festival celebrating the Bangladeshi, Latino and Cockney cultures, part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Nocturnal Creatures (Late Night Arts Festival)
Saturday 23rd July 6pm–11pm
Something for older children and adults: A free arts festival that transforms a host of indoor and outdoor spaces around the Whitechapel Gallery and the City of London. Installation, film, live performance and music to enhance the unusual and the historic. Your family might welcome the convenience of a London hotel booking afterwards.
Illuminated River Boat Tours
All nine illuminated river bridges, City of London guides, iconic landmarks. Book here.
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival
August 26 to September 11
London’s free, annual outdoor performing arts festival. Art, theatre, dance and circus, and family activities. Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets join forces. Includes a mesmerising display as Borealis lights up the Greenwich and Woolwich skies.
Tower Suites’ Family Time
100 Minories, EC3
Kids Eat for Free this August
Blue Orchid Tower Suites’ fully equipped boutique apartments are a stone’s throw from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and offer an excellent vacation/staycation for all the family. This August the kids eat for free at the in–house, Italian–inspired Cento Alla Torre restaurant. There is also a Harry Potter themed package (potions class, walking tour and themed afternoon tea plus movie night, also special discounts).
The Skyline London
Panoramic views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Thames. Authentic Italian cuisine from Cento Alla Torre.
Harry Kane: I Want to Play Football
Until December 4
Museum of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican EC2
For the football fan in your life, here is a tribute to one of our soccer heroes. Fans of all ages can enjoy this exhibition, and there’s no charge.
Roman Wall by the Museum of London
This is a picnic spot along London Wall next door to the Museum of London. Access to some Roman fort ruins, and views of the Barbican Centre. The museum has a permanent display about Roman London.
Until 29 Aug
Frobisher Crescent, EC2
The future for ecology on our planet is the subject of this group exhibition. International artists reveal an “immersive soil experience”, plankton noise, fashion made out of living cells and “tree time.” Intriguing.
Hadrian’s Holidays: Roman London Family Quest
August 10 and 17
Free (3 locations)
A self–guided family day out, spread over three different locations See London through Hadrian’s eyes. Follow the map provided, complete your quest and maybe win a prize.
Sculpture in the City
Until April 2023
Across the City
Outdoor artworks for the 11th year running. A popular public art show – spot contemporary sculpture amongst iconic buildings like the Gherkin and Lloyd’s.
The World Reimagined
August 13 to October 31
Another unique sculpture trail in the City of London. A journey of discovery exploring the many layers of shared world history and making racial justice a reality.
Art in Mayfair
Until 31st July, fashion meets art in the streets of Mayfair.
London E- Prix
July 30 and 31
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship: teams go wheel to wheel on the streets around the heartland of East London’s historic docklands. Tickets online
On Your Bike
Cycling in the City. See the oldest parts of London by bike. Award winning bike tours for solo travellers, families and groups. Dedicated bike lanes.
A 90 minute self–guided tour of the square mile. Hidden gems and famous landmarks. History and culture, shopping, eating and drinking all contained in a FREE visitor trail map from the City Information Centre or download app (iPhone or Android).
Kia Oval and Lord’s Cricket Ground
August 3 to September 3
Watch world class athletes and big names compete during The Hundred.
Somerset House Courtyard
August 1 to 29
This Bright Land Festival: rolling programme of free day and night activities (treasure hunts, outdoor games) and performances, workshops. 35m observation wheel. Promises to be colourful.
Summer Lights Festival
Until August 20
Canary Wharf, E14
Artworks celebrating the wonders of natural light: 11 new installations. Free
Yayoi Kusami’s Infinity Mirror Rooms
Until June 2023
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1
Due to public demand this highly popular show continues into next year. Mirror magic. Stunning.
BBC Proms Classical Music Festival
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7
July 30 to September 10
For the musician in the family.
Kaleidoscope Festival at Alexandra Palace
Panoramic views across London and gigs, DJ sets, comedy, plus family entertainment and street food around the festival site.
Notting Hill Carnival
August 27 to 29
Absent for two years, 50,000 performers and 30 sound systems are back. One heck of a street party in West London.
Summer Season at Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside
Tours, workshops and performances from this faithful recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe. Best value tickets in London (standing room with the groundlings). King Lear triumphs this Summer with Kathryn Hunter in the lead role.
Apollo Victoria Theatre
17 Wilton Road, W1
One of London’s longest–running shows, Wicked turns the Wizard of Oz on its head. Seen by over 10 million people.
The Lion King the Musical
Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, WC2
Spectacular design and ensemble cast.
Frozen the Musical
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
“Frozen is one hot hit” (Daily Mail).
Mary Poppins the Musical
Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, W1
Classic Disney comes to the West End.
Disney on Stage
Magical Disney interactive summer pop-ups - Frozen, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast.
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