As anyone with kids will attest, parenthood doesn’t diminish your appetite for the arts – it just adds new layers of complexity to your cultural consumption. Having a clear answer to logistical questions – does the venue have buggy access? Can I bring a child under five? – becomes a crucial factor in deciding what events you can practically attend.
A new initiative, the Family Arts Standards, aims to make it easier for everyone to participate in the arts by inviting organisations to sign up to a badge scheme which helps them to make their programme and facilities more family-friendly. This associated festival then aims to draw attention to the hundreds of music, theatre, dance and visual art happenings aimed at families this autumn, and encompasses events at established London venues, as well as those created especially for the festival.
Scan the weighty programme for Music Untamed, a day of workshops and performance with jazz ensemble the Grand Union Orchestra at Hackney Empire, as well as Muse of Fire, an immersive treasure hunt around Shakespeare’s Globe developed with innovative theatre company Punchdrunk’s Matthew Blake. There’s also Sheepish Shenanigans, which sees the Royal Academy courtyard invaded by woolly creatures for life drawing purposes, plus the chance to distinguish your trombone from your timpani in The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.
A quarter of the events are free and many are under £10, so visit the Family Arts Festival website to find something that suits your own little tribe.
Events are both free and ticketed, with many priced in the £10 range. Check individual event listings on the Family Arts Festival website for details.