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Top 10 outdoor activities for kids this summer

Suncream at the ready – there are tons of great outdoor activities in London to amuse the kids all summer long

It's time to switch off the telly, put down the games console and relocate outdoors. This summer is jam-packed with fantastic family-friendly outdoor events taking place in the capital, so there's no excuse to stay inside.

Ten great outdoor activities for kids


Sunset Safari

There's twilight fun for all the family at London Zoo this summer. A self-guided Safari Trail will lead you through a packed schedule of feeds and talks, performances in the Theatre of Life will reveal fascinating insights into unusual animal behaviours and once darkness has fallen you can relax with some live acoustic music in Safari Base Camp. A world food market will provide dinner for any hungry humans.

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London Zoo Friday June 5 2015 - Friday July 17 2015

Open Garden Squares Weekend

More than 200 gardens not ordinarily open to the public will unlock their gates for a weekend to take part in this annual event, held in association with the National Trust. Spanning 27 boroughs, the gardens take in all sorts of spaces, from traditional squares to roof terraces and allotments, as well as gardens belonging to historic buildings, schools, shops and cafes.

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Various Saturday June 13 2015 - Sunday June 14 2015


A weekend-long feast of cycling sport and leisure that sees an eight mile loop of roads around central London closed to regular traffic so that bike-enthusiasts can get a clear run at it. The family-friendly RideLondon FreeCycle takes place on August 1 and enables cyclists of all ages and abilities to take a safe spin around town. It costs nothing to join in, but register in advance on the RideLondon website.

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Various Venues Saturday August 1 2015 - Sunday August 2 2015 Free

Notting Hill Carnival family day

The more family-friendly Sunday (August 30 this year) is the best day to take children to Notting Hill Carnival. Since it debuted in 1964, the event has grown and morphed, attracting ever more revellers with its spectacle of floats featuring calypso, mas and pan bands as well as a series of soundsystems for alfresco dancing. You can be sure of dense crowds and a vibrant celebration of music, movement and masquerade together with Caribbean food stalls serving up jerk chicken and fried plantain.

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Harry Potter London Tour with Muggle Tours

A walking tour for 'Harry Potter' fans, exploring film locations and inspirations for the books, with props and trivia – ten per cent of donations go to charity and group sizes are kept small.

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London Bridge Until Thursday October 1 2015

Chelsea Physic Garden: Sunday Sessions

Between April and October, visitors to the Chelsea Physic Garden can join free drop-in sessions, themed each month to reflect the change in the seasons. The Sunday Fun-days promise a variety of hands-on activities and are suitable for the whole family.

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Chelsea Physic Garden Sunday May 17 2015 - Sunday October 11 2015

Peter Pan

JM Barrie's original play is revived by Regent's Park artistic director Timothy Sheader to open the open air theatre's 2015 season. 'Peter Pan' is Barrie's well-known tribute to youth which tells of the Lost Boys, their leader Peter Pan and their lives in Never Land.

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Regent's Park Open Air Theatre Friday May 15 2015 - Sunday June 14 2015

Archikids Festival

Let the kids run riot in the Square Mile at a festival that hopes to turn five-to-eleven-year olds into 'architectives' – some of the City's most iconic buildings are opening to families for workshops and activities that will help children explore aspects of design and construction.

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Various Venues Saturday July 25 2015 - Sunday July 26 2015 Free

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Fun for all the family as the State Rooms open annually while the Royal family is on their summer hols. The kids can make like mini royals on the visitor route which includes a 450-metre walk along the west side of the palace garden, offering views of the garden, palace and nineteenth-century lake.

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Buckingham Palace Saturday July 25 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Tooting Field Days

Go on a south London safari with these guided nature trails featuring craft workshops, scavenger hunts, games and performances. The sessions take place monthly and each focuses on a different theme, with activities chosen accordingly.

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Various London locations Sunday April 19 2015 - Sunday September 13 2015 Free