Top 10 things to do with the kids this bank holiday

Stuck for things to do with the kids this August bank holiday? We've got plenty to keep them entertained

This year's August bank holiday takes place on Mon Aug 31 2015 and, as always, we've got some fail-safe family-friendly ideas to keep the kids happy over the long weekend.

August bank holiday events for kids


Notting Hill Carnival

Since Notting Hill Carnival debuted in 1964, the event has undoubtedly 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. The more family-friendly Sunday is the best day to take children to the Carnival.

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Notting Hill Sunday August 30 2015 - Monday August 31 2015 Free

More London Free Festival

Now in its thirteenth year, the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances to the concrete amphitheatre below the Mayor's office on the South Bank. Fringe theatre performances this summer include a take on 'Pride and Prejudice' from the redoubtable Pantaloons and slimmed down Greek tragedies 'Hecuba and the Trojan Women' and kids' show 'Captain Showoff!'by Gods and Monsters Theatre. All events are free and no booking is required, but we recommend you arrive early and bring a cushion. 

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The Scoop Until Thursday September 24 2015 Free

Meet the Neighbours

The planets next door may not be home to intelligent life (that we know of) but there's still plenty of interesting things to learn about them. The live planetarium show is interactive, with audience members deciding which planets they'd like to visit.

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Royal Observatory Until Wednesday December 23 2015

Sensational Butterflies

The Natural History Museum's butterfly house returns for a seventh year in 2015 to a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum's east lawn. Visitors can come face-to-face with tropical butterflies, including the swallowtail, blue morpho, the moon moth and many others originating from Africa, Southeast Asia and North and South America, and take part in games, activities and challenges that teach more about the sensory world of the fluttering creatures. 

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Natural History Museum Until Sunday September 13 2015

The Railway Children

Mike Kenny’s hit stage adaptation chugs into a new station at King’s Cross with all its charm and energy intact. E Nesbit’s book-turned-cult movie about three exceptionally well-mannered Edwardian children is essentially ‘Brief Encounter’ for families. But this lively live version is more than just a ticket for the nostalgia express.

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King's Cross Theatre Until Sunday September 6 2015

Against Captain’s Orders: A Journey into the Uncharted

Punchdrunk's production for kids is gently subversive, but defined by its unironic and wholehearted love of the idea of Going On An Adventure. It’d be rather spoilery to say what type of adventure. It's two parts ‘Crystal Maze’ to one part ‘adult’ Punchdrunk, with a delicious sprinkling of ‘Doctor Who’-ish brio. 

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National Maritime Museum Until Monday August 31 2015

Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze Classes

Gorilla Circus take kids and adults through the basics of aerial circus skills. The open-air trapeze contraption consists of two swings 25ft up. Adults and children alike gather for the two hour session – which sees you progress from hooking your legs over your head and hanging upside down to getting caught by an acrobat.

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Regents Park Until Sunday September 6 2015

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part Three

The third part of the stage adaptations of Terry Deary's wacky, off-beat educational history books for teens arrives in 2015. The stage productions have been appearing now for 10 years and this new instalment has Neal Foster and Anthony Spargo flirting with big events in British history such as the signing of the Magna Carta and more. Ages 6-plus.

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Garrick Theatre Saturday July 25 2015 - Saturday September 5 2015

Star Wars at Madame Tussauds

Star Wars fans rejoice! This major new attraction at Madame Tussauds boasts 16 life-like characters and 11 expertly finished sets from the iconic films. The experience takes over two new floors at the Baker Street site and visitors can immerse themselves within sets that range from Yoda's swamp, to the red-hot lava spewing Mustafar where Anakin turns to the dark side. Life-like wax characters on display include armoured Stormtroppers, Luke Skywalker as he battles Darth Vader on the Death Star, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a captive Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt in his Throne Room plus many more.

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Madame Tussauds Until Thursday December 31 2015

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

The State Rooms open annually while the Royal family is on their summer hols. It's difficult to imagine what it would be like to attend one of the state, ceremonial or official occasions for which the rooms that visitors have access to are used, protected as they are by Perspex and seasonal staff – but it's fascinating to see them, all the same. The visitor route includes a 450-metre walk along the west side of the palace garden, which offers views of the garden, palace and nineteenth-century lake.

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Buckingham Palace Saturday July 25 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Looking for more bank holiday ideas?

Bank holiday in London

If laying in bed with a boxset was your initial bank holiday plan, scrap it – there's too much going on to stay indoors.

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By: Elizabeth Darke



Basement of the science museum is best for under fives.


Not much for under fives