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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Things to do in London with kids during the summer holidays

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Summer hols are well underway so here at London for Kidz - given that we have our own team of children to entertain too - we've been doing some research on the fun stuff happening for all kinds of kids and all kinds of budgets. Yep, we give you our guide to things to do in London with kids during the summer holidays. Grab a coffee and start making plans, people.

Mega inflatables weekend at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

While Hopefield, nestled just out of town in the Essex countryside, should be on your school holiday radar anyway, it's def worth noting its mega inflatables weekend happening on 27-28 August. On top of this awesome event guaranteed to tucker the kids out a treat, its also running a special sanctuary trail all through the school holidays for you to get busy with while checking out the 500 plus rescued animals that call Hopefield home. 

Puss in Boots arrives at Shrek's Adventure! London

Puss in Boots is the purr-fect addition to Shrek’s Adventure! London this summer, and includes, with your usual ticket price, an amazing new meet and greets with the fur-midable feline. Families can join the new interactive trail by picking up an activity sheet and collecting stamps while exploring before meeting everyone's feisty swash-buckling cat. Don’t forget to practice your best sword yielding pose! Puss has already arrived and will be part of the adventures until 4 September 2022. The usual attractions are also happening so hold onto your hats for adventures that include 12 fairytale-themed live shows featuring the likes of Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Muffin Man, Pinocchio, Cinderella and, of course, Shrek himself. Pre-booking is essential (and you'll save up to 30% by booking online).

Room on the Broom hits the stage

things to do in london with kids during the summer holidays
Photography: London for Kidz

There's a page to stage treat happening at the Lyric Theatre from now until 4th September where Tall Stories' Room on the Broom has flown into town. Tots age 3-years-and-up are invited to be enthralled by this magical, musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's classic picture book, and we recently caught a performance ourselves (look for our review, coming soon!). Celebrating its 25 Anniversary this year, Tall Stories’ acclaimed family productions have toured all over the world and have included The Gruffalo, The Smeds and The Smoos,and The Snail and the Whale, so it's clear these guys know what makes a fabulous family production! The only question left to ask is, "Will there be room on the broom for everyone?"

Summer of Colour at London Zoo

Summer just got way more colourful ('cos let's face it: everything is brown and fried right now) thanks to ZSL London Zoo. Discover nature in its full technicolour glory from now through until 31 August with its special school holiday programme, Summer of Colour. Along with all the brightest stars of the animal kingdom, you'll also get to explore how camouflage keeps others hidden, the role of colour in animal communication and how some animals see the world very differently to humans. You’ll even discover which animals have the surprising – and incredibly beautiful – ability to emit their own light!

Summer staycations at Chessington World of Adventures

With airports seemingly at combustion point why not keep it closer to home this summer and book a break at Chessington? Your staycay will include an overnight stay in one of its themed Resort Hotels, Explorer Glamping or nearby partner hotels, 1 day entry to its Theme Park, Zoo & SEA LIFE Centre, access to the Savannah Splash Pool*, exclusive Early Ride Time for Resort Hotel and Explorer Glamping guests* and a delish breakfast. * Terms and conditions apply: please check when making your booking.

Summer at Hobbledown

Photography: London for Kidz

Join the Hobblers as they come out to play for a summer festival themed school holiday line-up which has already kicked off. The action-packed daily line up will include:

  • Water Games

  • Giant Bubble Fun

  • Sludgebucket's Jelly Challenge

  • Fun and Games with the Hobblers

  • Join the Flag Procession

  • Paint Throwing Extravaganza (Thursday and Friday only)

  • Zorbs (weather permitting)

  • Bird of Prey Flying Displays (daily at 11.30am and 3pm excluding Wednesday)

Plus there all the awesome play villages and animals to check out too. Have a look at our review of this wonderful place right here.

Morden Hall Park trails

Bring the whole family to South London for a walk along tree line avenues and through the wetlands at Morden Hall Park before stopping off at the Stableyard second-hand bookshop to hunt for new stories to discover. The café will be on hand too with drinks and ice creams, the perfect post walk treat, plus all through the school break you can keep your little bees busy on the Bee Quest Trail. Running until 10 September, kids will follow a self-led trail to decipher the codes and learn more about bees and how we can protect them.

Outdoor splash parks

This heatwave looks set to stay for a while so spend the school break ticking off all the splash parks around London in our guide dedicated to just that.

Jurassic World the Exhibition

There are dinos arriving at London's ExCel centre at the end of August and it looks set to be a roarsome adventure for wannabe palaeontologists. Jurassic World: The Exhibition immerses audiences of all ages in scenes inspired by the beloved film. Visitors will discover the science behind Jurassic World and get to walk among life-size Jurassic giants in this unmissable experience that roars into town from 28th August and runs through until 3rd November.

Kids go free all August at London theatres

Whether you plump for Frozen, Life of Pi, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child or many of the other west end picks, Official London Theatre is running an awesome 'kids go free' offer all through August.

Stranger Things: The Experience

If you're wondering what to do with your teens this summer then the Stranger Things: The Experience could well be it. Suitable for kids age 13 and up, and hitting town on 13th August, grab the fast selling tix for an immersive experience essential for fans of the iconic Netflix show. You'll get to be the hero of your own Stranger Things story and journey through Hawkins Lab with your fave characters as well as enjoying an 80s-style medley of locations and fan-favourite moments.

Ally in Wonderland at Ruined Theatre

Photography: London for Kidz
things to do with kids in London during the summer holidays

For a modern take on a children's classic, the Ruined Theatre's version of Alice in Wonderland, re-named Ally in Wonderland, is a brilliant way to spend time with the kiddos this summer. Whilst trying to avoid starting secondary school, Ally falls down a rabbit hole and finds themselves in a strange and fantastical world. And that's all we're saying: do go check it out for yourselves. It was a huge hit with our mini roving reporter. Don't forget to bring a picnic for the performance and then also check out the fossil hunting and Lesnes Abbey ruins and woodlands to extend to adventure. It's running until 14th August.

Summer season at Shakespeare's Globe

things to do in London with kids during the school holidays

It's a summer packed with thespian activity over at one of our fave spots in London: Shakespeare's Globe. Catch a special CBeebies Shakespeare adaptation, or get in on the hilarious family show, Midsummer Mechanials, but either way this is a cracking way to introduce kids to one of Britain's greatest playwrights. Educational and fun all in one: our favourite combo!

Art Play workshops

Willy Wonka Candy Land, spay painting kids' sessions and Messy Maker's Street Art are some of the fantastic summer holiday children's workshop programme happening at always cool Art Play. Can't sing the praises of this place enough: I think us grown ups love it as much as our budding little artists do.

Get booking, everyone! Before you know it you'll be thinking 'back to school'...

Like this story? How about some more activity inspo?

Bumper guide to school holiday craft

25 things to do for free in London

Urban farms in London

Geocaching for beginners

Family guide to the Tower of London

Nice buns: best burgers in London

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures and things to do in London with kids over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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