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Top 10 things to do with the kids this bank holiday

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

This year's May bank holiday takes place on Mon May 4 2015 and, as always, we've got some fail-safe family-friendly ideas to keep the kids happy over the long weekend.

May bank holiday events for kids


Canalway Cavalcade

The pretty waterways of Little Venice will be even more colourful than usual for 2015's May bank holiday weekend as the Inland Waterways Association organises their annual gathering of canal boats. Many of the waterborne homes will be dressed up to the nines ready for the pageant, and visitors can expect plenty of very British fun including morris dancers and a real ale tent. There'll also be trade stalls, live music, children's activities and refreshments.

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Little Venice Saturday May 2 2015 - Monday May 4 2015 Free

Early May Bank Holiday at Discover

This Bank Holiday weekend is dedicated to everyone's favourite waddlers: penguins. You'll be able to listen to a penguin story (Sat May 2-Mon May 4, 12.30pm), make your own mini penguin, dress up as a penguin and even join the penguin parade (Sat May 2-Mon May 4, 3.30pm). There are also 'Star Wars' goody bags, readings and a quiz in the 'Stars Wars May the Fourth Be With You' event (May 4, 2.30pm, ages 6+). Special events include author William Grill giving an illustration workshop based on his book Shackleton's Journey (ages 7+; May 2, 2.30pm ) and a reading of Space Penguins by author LA Courtenay (ages 6+; May 3, 2.30pm).

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Discover Children's Story Centre Saturday May 2 2015 - Monday May 4 2015

Deptford Heritage Festival

Deptford is going traditional this May bank holiday weekend with more than 100 events planned for this community festival. Lights and bunting will bring colour to the High Street, as will a range of musical performances, board games and workshops. On Monday the foreshore will host a huge street party, there'll be historical re-enactments of the Battle of Deptford Bridge and the festival will round off with a 'Deptford does Abba' party and performance and a fireworks display. 

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Deptford High Street Friday May 1 2015 - Monday May 4 2015 Free

Star Wars May Fair

The force is strong with this one, as the Friends of Lloyd Park host their annual May fair on Star Wars day. Dig out your lightsabers and join in with Donna Maria's Maypole Extravaganza, browse craft stalls, grab some food or pick up a Pimm's. The dog show features categories such as best paw shake, best junior handler and best Star Wars outfit, and there'll be flyball to keep dogs entertained throughout the day. May the fourth be with you.

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Lloyd Park Monday May 4 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

Sunday Open House

Transport yourself back to 1885 and be seated for an authentic Victorian lesson, delivered by a rather strict teacher who'll make sure your manners are nothing short of perfection. These open days on the first Sunday of every month give visitors an idea of what it would have been like to be a student at the time using the museum's replica classroom and Victorian kitchen as a backdrop.

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Ragged School Museum Sunday May 3 2015 - Sunday August 2 2015 Free

Sunday Space Explorers

Led by a team of astronomers from the Observatory, these monthly sessions are aimed at families wanting to find out more about the shimmering skies above us. Little ones can make star finders and learn how to identify stars and constellations at night during the workshops which are suitable for children five and over.

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Royal Observatory Sunday May 3 2015 - Sunday June 7 2015

The Crafty Bunch Lunch

A relaxing afternoon that's just as fun for grown-ups as it is for little ones. Kids aged 3-11 will get creative making felt and bead flower bouquets while parents enjoy a drink or tuck into a pub lunch. Three 45-minute craft sessions will take place at noon, 1pm and 2pm. Places can be booked online in advance.

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Gorringe Park Sunday May 3 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 Saturday May 2 2015 - Sunday September 6 2015

The Alice Look

Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' turns 150 in 2015, and to mark the anniversary this exhibition will bring together garments, photographs, rare editions and illustrations which show how Alice has both followed and influenced fashion over the decades. As well as representing the character's original look, the exhibits will include modern interpretations of it, such as Annie Liebowitz's photographs for US Vogue and pop videos from Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Aerosmith.

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V&A Museum of Childhood Saturday May 2 2015 - Sunday November 1 2015 Free

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