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Biscuiteers, workshop
Photograph: Courtesy of Biscuiteers

101 things to do in London with kids: arts, crafts and cookery

Little hands are often itching to get creative – help them along at one of these crafty sessions

Written by
Laura Lee Davies
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Wherever your youngsters’ creative interests lie, there’s bound to be a class out there to suit. Mini Matisses, nascent Nigellas and pint-sized Nick Parks will all find somewhere to nurture their skills. 

SEE THE FULL LIST101 things to do in London with kids

Craft and cookery workshops for kids

Design your own jewellery range at Beadworks
  • Shopping
  • Seven Dials

This bead shop in Covent Garden has been a haven for crafty creators for decades. In a rainbow of colours, a glorious array of styles is presented in beautiful rows of bags and pots and trays like a lovely old sweet shop – and just as tempting. Great for rainy day art projects. Beadworks hosts regular workshops themed to specific jewellery making skills that are suitable for adults, teens and older children.

Prices vary

Ages 14+

Learn to make Italian food at Cucina Caldesi
  • Things to do
  • Cultural centres
  • Marylebone

Show the kids there’s more to Italian cuisine than just pasta and pesto – book them on an ‘Italian Mama’s Cookery Club’ at this home of fine Mediterranean dining, which also hosts cookery school sessions for grown-ups. Children are shown how to create a three-course menu in two and half hours, with lunch included at the end – of course! They host day courses for teens too.

From £45

Ages 6-17

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Camden Market

Next time the kids beg for a 99 Flake cone, wow them with a trip to the fabulously fun Chin Chin Labs in Camden Market. Flavours vary weekly and might include ingredients to suit adult tastes (blue cheese, Guinness, tobacco) but there are also sweet treats for all. The ice cream is frozen in front of you in a cloud of liquid nitrogen-generated steam, and you can adorn your tubs with all kinds of strange sprinkles and sauces.

Prices vary

All ages

Get creative at the Cass Art Saturday workshops
  • Shopping
  • Art, craft and hobbies
  • Angel

These sessions every Saturday morning (10am-noon) at Cass Art branches in Hampstead and Islington are a lovely way to inspire ideas and nurture budding artists. A free activity table is set out with a range of materials, inviting kids to let their imaginations run wild. Children must be accompanied by an adult, but sessions are drop-in and all materials are supplied free.

Free

Age 4+

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Decorate your afternoon tea at Biscuiteers Boutique and Icing Café
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Battersea

The chic Biscuiteers on Northcote Road takes adorning sweet treats with pretty toppings very seriously. Along with adult classes, they host a Little Biscuiteers School of Icing (£36 for an hour-long class, including soft drinks, biscuits and apron) and any time during opening hours little ones are welcome to indulge in a spot of decorating while the grown-ups chat and nibble (£15 including biscuits to take home).

Prices vary

All ages

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Dulwich

Galleries are pretty savvy at cultivating the next generation of art lovers, with free drop-in activities, family-friendly tours and holiday workshops. Dulwich Picture Gallery is among the best, with Practical Art courses throughout the year. Sessions are planned by age range, so under-10s and teens get the right challenges for their abilities and interests. From sculpture to figure drawing, it’s a great south London resource for budding artists.

£40-£60

Age 6+

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Make your own temporary sculpture at Liminal, Tate Modern
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Bankside

Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall is an inspiring space for young children – years before they even consider looking at the art on the gallery walls. The hands-on Liminal play room offers a chance for kids to create their own sculptures, using huge blocks to explore shape, form and composition (or just to let off steam and have a good clamber around). Every weekend 11am-4pm, also Fridays during school holidays.

Free

All ages

Make your own comic at The Cartoon Museum
  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Fitzrovia

Don’t be put off by the word ‘museum’. Yes there are archives and displays of old political cartoons and comic art going as far back as the eighteenth century, but the workshops and events celebrate all kinds of modern cartoonery too. Weekend and school holiday workshops are a chance for older children to explore different artistic styles and create comic strips, animations and models.

Various prices

Ages 8-15

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