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The biggest and best things to do with kids in London this week

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Nobody (bar Mary Poppins) can pluck fun out of thin air, so there's no harm in looking for a little help when it comes to entertaining your family. We've gathered the best activities for children in London to make sure your little ones are kept captivated all week long.

Flick through our favourite London kids events this week in the gallery below. Do you know of an event that's a family favourite but isn't listed? Tweet us your suggestion so that we can share the love!
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  1. Flick through this week's hot list
  2. The list at a glance

The best things to do with kids this week

  • © Tom James

    Open House Junior

    Architecturally-inspired children's activities abound in the family strand of the excellent Open House London festival. Get kids excited about design by visiting one of London's most striking buildings – and Boris's workplace – City Hall, where they can construct their dream city from coloured carboard, adding skate parks, cycle routes or anything they can conjure up for their ideal town. Or help fill the ornate Leadenhall Market with a towering viewfinder sculpture (both events September 20, 11am-3pm). The fun continues with 'Structurally Found', a photographic treasure hunt, as well as themed events at venues including the Brunel Museum and Burgh House – visit Open House Junior for full details of activities over the weekend of September 20 and 21.

    Sat Sep 20 - Sun Sep 21

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  • Newham London Waterfront Festival

    This one-day festival is a chance for London families to explore Newham's Royal Docks and experience the fun they have to offer. Live music, children's activities, free boat rides, historic walking tours and a food village will all help the day to fly by, and the event will round off with a waterside fireworks display at 7.45pm. The event is free.

    Saturday Sep 20

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  • Horseman's Sunday

    Attend the service at St John's Church on Sunday September 21 and you'll be treated to a surprising bit of ecclesiastical equestrianism: a cloaked member of the clergy on horseback before his congregation – who will also be atop their steeds. The annual event is now in its forty-seventh year, and remembers a 1967 protest that saw riders take to their horses to challenge the closure of the Hyde Park area's stables. The tradition has continued, and today the Reverend Stephen Mason leads a cavalcade of horses and riders in celebration of riding in the capital. The service (from 10am) is followed by a blessing of the horses (around noon), together with an alfresco fair with children's games, carriage rides, live music, a raffle and stalls.

    Sunday Sep 21

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  • Mimbre Circus Central

    The Mimbre Circus takes over the Narrow Way at the north end of Mare Street in Hackney for a day, displaying their talents and teaching festival-goers of all ages circus skills, acrobatics and how to play giant board games. Look out for performances by Mrs H and the Singalong Band, That Juggler, Folk Dance Remixed and Mimbre itself. Plus, find out what a hip-hop maypole is and chow down on tasty street food.

    Saturday Sep 20

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  • It's My Party

    Wilfred is a shy boy. He lives at the Museum of Childhood and it's his birthday, except he doesn't want to celebrate. At least he didn't think so until he saw all the ways there are to enjoy your birthday – with close friends, with a huge party or even on your own. The MOC have pulled together a variety of birthday experiences for their new exhibition, 'It's My Party', including interviews with children and their parents about what have been their preferred ways to celebrate. There's also a special 'Wilfred's Party' installation to show the unique surprises he received from his friends – all of whom have been conjured via artists' interpretations of characters in the MOC's collections.

    Sat Sep 20 - Sun Jul 5

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  • Junior Farmers' Markets

    Budding farmers and outdoors-y types are invited to take over three regular farmers' markets (at Parliament Hill School, New King's School and Salusbury School) this September, with heaps of family-friendly fun alongside the usual fresh, seasonal produce on sale. Little green fingers can plant seeds to take home in compost corner, there'll be Splat the Rat and Pin the Tail on the Pig to have a go at, and Punch and Judy will entertain audiences of all ages. Entrance is free.

    Sat Sep 13 - Sun Sep 21

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  • Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave

    These afternoon dance parties playing acid house classics allow the post-rave generation of parents to share the old-school dancefloor euphoria with their kids – and still be home by bedtime. With bubbles, confetti, glitterballs and manic movement, the energy of families cutting loose in the early afternoon isn't far from the primal delirium of a club in the early hours. There's a chill out/baby room for when the family disco gets overstimulating, as well as a cake stall to keep energy levels up.

    Sun Sep 14 - Sun Sep 21

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  • © Patrick Baldwin

    Free Street Party in Derbyshire Street Pocket Park

    Huge amounts of fun pack into a small space for this afternoon of family-friendly workshops and performances in Bethnal Green. Circus, comedy and a brass band will be on hand to entertain, and visitors can get creative in the art attack workshops or tuck into affordable food from the barbecue. The event is part of Oxford House's Knowledge Festival, which also features the family theatre show 'Misunderstood Monsters' on the same day.

    Saturday Sep 20

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  • © Adrian Lewis

    City Harvest Festival

    Organised by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, this countrified festival features livestock and produce from London's 16 city farms and more than 100 community gardens. Over 30 acres of grounds, there'll be Golden Guernsey goats from Newham, honey from Walworth and pumpkins from Kentish Town, a tug of war, work on show from blacksmiths, potters and woodworkers, and competitions for the best homemade preserves.

    Saturday Sep 20

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  • Ride On Mile End Curbz

    Daytrippers, the charity for disabled and ill children, were inspired to put on this event after they saw Kurt Yaeger (now an ambassador for the charity) in the video for Rudimental's single 'Waiting All Night'. The pro BMXer was involved in a road accident in 2006 that resulted in the loss of his left leg and countless internal injuries that could have killed him. But they didn't and he fought his way back, not just to normal life, but he began BMXing again too. So, taking a leaf out of Yaeger's book, Daytrippers are inviting children with special needs down to Mile End Park to take part in urban sports workshops, including BMXing, skateboarding and climbing, guided by specially trained coaches. There will also be graffiti artists, music, facepainting and balloon making to ensure the whole family is entertained all day. Workshops must be booked in advance on the Daytrippers website.

    Saturday Sep 20

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© Tom James

Open House Junior

Architecturally-inspired children's activities abound in the family strand of the excellent Open House London festival. Get kids excited about design by visiting one of London's most striking buildings – and Boris's workplace – City Hall, where they can construct their dream city from coloured carboard, adding skate parks, cycle routes or anything they can conjure up for their ideal town. Or help fill the ornate Leadenhall Market with a towering viewfinder sculpture (both events September 20, 11am-3pm). The fun continues with 'Structurally Found', a photographic treasure hunt, as well as themed events at venues including the Brunel Museum and Burgh House – visit Open House Junior for full details of activities over the weekend of September 20 and 21.

Sat Sep 20 - Sun Sep 21

READ MORE


  1. Flick through this week's hot list
  2. The list at a glance

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