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
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more