Looking for things to do during the summer holidays in London with kids? Find ideas for what to do in the school holidays and what’s on over summer 2023 in London for kids.
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What’s On Summer Holidays in London with Kids
This list is currently being updated for summer 2023. I will continue to add to the list as more family events and activities are announced over the coming weeks.
Discovering Hogwarts at WB Studio Tour London
2 May – 4 September 2023
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has a new feature running this summer that explores Harry’s early years at Hogwarts and brings several favourite scenes to life.
Over 400 floating candles will adorn the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall – for the first time since filming – giving visitors the chance to step into the set just as the cast would have seen it during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!
Interactive experiences throughout the feature will tell the story of Harry’s first experiences in the Wizarding World, including a live demonstration of Wingdarium Leviosa and a look into the methods filmmakers used to achieve half-giant Hagrid’s towering height in the movies.
Book tickets to visit WB Studio Tour London
REPLAY: A Limitless Recycled Playground at Southbank Centre
8 July – 3 September 2023
Part installation, part adventure playground, REPLAY is a space built entirely out of waste materials repurposed for fun this summer at the Southbank Centre by The Herd Theatre.
In Replay’s self-led experience, children and their grown-ups are invited to play side by side in this space full of things to move, change, combine, wear and reimagine.
Ticket prices are £6.50 for adults and children. Suitable for aged 0 – 11 years old. Every adult and child needs a ticket. Visit the website for more details on Early Years sessions (weekly on Wednesday and Friday mornings) and Sensory Adapted sessions (weekly on Sunday mornings, and on Thursday mornings after 27 July)
Book tickets for REPLAY at the Southbank Centre
Medieval Season at Eltham Palace and Gardens
22 – 28 July, 31 July – 3 September 2023
Eltham Palace will be running activities throughout the summer holidays for families to learn what life was like in medieval times.
From jester workshops, have-a-go archery, storytelling, squire training to lessons in courtly etiquette there will be a different activity each week for children to take part in. Check their Facebook page for the full list of activities running each week.
Book your visit to Eltham Palace and Gardens
Summer Holidays Play! at London Museum of Water & Steam
22 July – 28 August 2023
The London Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford, West London, will be running fun family activities over the summer school holidays. There will be a daily Wet and Bubbly Science Show, workshops for 8 to 11 year olds and plenty of hands-on activities.
Check back closer to the summer holidays for the daily schedule of free activities (no advance booking required). London Museum of Water & Steam is open Wednesday to Sunday, plus bank holiday Monday, from 10am to 4pm.
Book tickets to visit the London Museum of Water & Steam
Horrible Histories: Up in the Air Adventure at Royal Air Force Museum
22 July – 3 September 2023
Experience the (sometimes gruesome) history of flight this summer at the Horrible Histories: Up in the Air Adventure at the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon. Meet fearless and foolish flyers and solve the clues a fully interactive experience for the whole family.
Activities include a creation station, an engineer’s workshop – let your imagination run wild to create a crazy flying machine – and an up in the air challenge with 6 puzzles to solve.
Tickets cost £7.50 per person or £25 for 5 people on the Group Saver Ticket.
Book tickets to visit the Royal Air Force Museum
Meet the Characters at Cutty Sark
22 July to 3 September 2023, Fridays to Mondays only
Meet colourful characters from Cutty Sark’s past, and hear astonishing stories about life at sea in the age of sail.
Related: Visiting Cutty Sark London with Kids
Characters to look out for (at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm) include Captain Woodget, Cutty Sark‘s longest serving master, Nannie the figurehead and Jock Willis, the man who built Cutty Sark.
Find out more about the characters you could meet on the Cutty Sark website.
Book tickets to visit Cutty Sark
Summer of Play at the National Maritime Museum
22 July – 3 September 2023 (selected dates)
The National Maritime Museum Greenwich will be running a full programme of maritime-themed, indoor and outdoor activities over the summer. Free drop-in sessions on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays will be in the Learning Space and are suitable for all ages and abilities.
The Summer of Play arts and crafts or storytelling sessions coming up this summer include Collagraph Printing on 23 July, Rainy Day Mobiles on 6 August, Waxy Water Pictures on 17 August and Ocean Collages on 3 September.
See the full programe of free family activities at National Maritime Museum
Big Summer of Fun at London Zoo
22 July – 3 September 2023
Prepare to take on London Zoo’s Really Wild Challenge this summer, with a host of family games with a wild twist.
Related: Day Out at London Zoo with kids
Themed around speed, survival, stealth and ZSL’s conservation work, games include Sleeping Tiger agility game, Buzz Wire challenge and Hook-a-duck.
Read more and book tickets to visit London Zoo
Nature Roadshow at the Royal Parks
25 July – 10 August 2023 (selected dates)
London’s Royal Parks will be running free Nature Roadshows over the summer holidays. Drop-in activities will be on selected dates at Richmond Park, The Regent’s Park, Bushy Park, Kensington Gardens, Greenwich Park, St James’s Park and Brompton Cemetery.
Drop in from 11am to 2pm to discover facts about the wildlife that can be found in London’s Royal Parks. Family activities will include arts and crafts, interactive storytelling and handling bugs. Dates and location for the Royal Parks Nature Roadshow are as follows;
The Regent’s Park (25 July) – Broad Walk Café
Richmond Park (26 July) – Roehampton Gate Gardens
Richmond Park (27 July) – Isabella Plantation
Bushy Park (1 and 2 August) – The Pheasantry Café
Kensington Gardens (3 August) – Italian Gardens Café
Greenwich Park (8 August) – Pavilion Café
St James’s Park (9 August) – St James’s Café
Brompton Cemetery (10 August) – North Lodge Café
Register your interest and find latest details at The Royal Parks
Family Activities at Chelsea Physic Garden
25 July to 10 August 2023 (selected dates)
Chelsea Physic Garden are running several family activity workshops during the summer holidays. Workshop tickets include entry to the Garden that day and most are designed for ages 5 and up. Children must be accompanied by at least one ticket-holding adult.
Discover Ferns: Plant a Dinosaur Habitat (25 July): Learn about the plants that lived when the dinosaurs roamed the planet and design your own mini dinosaur habitat to take home. Tickets cost £20 per adult and £15 per child. Workshop time: 11am to 12:30pm
Family Seed Excavation Adventure (27 July): Join in on a dinosaur-themed visit hunting for seedheads and excavating them from the plants. Participants will then grow their own mini dinosaur environment. Tickets cost £10 per adult and £5 per child. Workshop time: 2pm to 3:30pm
Discover Carnivorous Plants Family Workshop: Craft Your Own Plant (1 August): After learning about the special insect-eating carnivorous plants, there will be a creative session where each child can imagine their own carnivorous plant, their story and craft a mixed media masterpiece. Tickets are £15 per adult and £10 per child. Workshop time: 11am to 12:30pm
Discover Tropical Plants: Make a Hot House (8 August): This workshop will focus on Tropical Plants. Learn how some of our favourite food grows and make your own mini hot house to take home. Tickets are £20 per adult and £15 per child. Workshop time: 11am to 1pm
See the full family activity programme and book a workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden
Eco Adventures at Greenwich Park
26 July, 2, 9, 16 August 2023
Join the Field Study Council at their Greenwich Park centre for fun and educational discovery days on selected dates over the school holidays. The free sessions are based outdoors exploring the natural world, with a mix of games and activities.
On each day there is a morning session from 10am to 12pm and an afternoon session from 1pm to 3pm. Suitable for children of any age and children must be accompanied by an adult. Events are free to attend but please book your place in advance.
Butterflies (26 July) – Join the team to catch butterflies and other insects, learn to identify them and find out some fun facts. Be inspired by nature and create your own artwork.
Minibeasts (2 August) – Explore your local area by looking under logs, in grass and on leave to discover a variety of minibeasts. Look closer to these creatures, learn to identify them and find out some fun facts.
Nature Walk (9 August) – Join the Field Study Countil on a Nature Walk and explore the woods and grassland at Greenwich Park. You will use identification guides to name the creatures and plants you find, and learn more about them.
Earth and Space (16 August) – Learn about Earth and Space during this Discovery Day at Greenwich Park.
Book your place for Eco Adventures with Field Study Council
Family Workshops at Shakespeare Globe
27 July – 26 August 2023, selected dates
Shakespeare Globe are running a series of family workshops and storytelling sessions over the London summer holidays.
Explore A Midsummer Night’s Dream through fun and practical workshops for 5-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds and ages 12+. Workshop tickets cost £10.
See the full programme and book tickets at the Shakespeare Globe
Summer Family Festival at National Portrait Gallery
31 July – 4 August and 7 – 11 August 2023
Visit the National Portrait Gallery for its Summer Family Festival, featuring a programme of events and activities inspired by their Collection.
Free activities will run between 11am to 4pm and will include photography, painting, storytelling and crafts. Full programme to be announced soon.
Read the latest details at the National Portrait Gallery
Kids Summer Splash at the Royal Docks
31 July – 20 August 2023
Located at Royal Victoria Dock, Kids Summer Splash brings you delightful dock swimming, super sandpits, tasty food, cooling drinks, and more. Take a swim in the lido which also includes a shallow end for younger children. Kids Summer Splash is free and open to all ages.
Read latest details about Kids Summer Splash at the Royal Docks
Discovery Days at The LookOut Hyde Park
1 – 3, 8 – 10, 15 – 17, 22 – 24 August 2023
LookOut Hyde Park will be running their free Discovery Days over the summer holidays on selected dates in August. Drop-in activities are open between 11am and 3pm. All visitors are welcomed on a first come, first served basis.
Wild About Water (1 – 3 August): Take a closer look at the variety of life in Royal Parks’ water with pond dipping, creating your own water animal, learning how different water birds feed and storytelling sessions.
Meadow Madness (8 – 10 August): Explore the beautiful meadows at Hyde Park and take part in a variety of activities including meeting minibeasts, make your own seedballs to take home and experiment with different seed dispersal methods.
Peter Pan (15 – 17 August): Uncover the treasure in the centre of Hyde Park and get involved in fun Peter Pan themed activities, from a pirate orienteering challenge to building a home for elves and fairies.
Life Underground (22 – 24 August): Explore life underground in the Royal Parks with various activities that include a minibeast hunt, creating clay animals and building a fox or badger den.
Register your interest for the Discovery Days at The LookOut Hyde Park
Family Workshops at William Morris Society
2, 9 and 23 August 2023
William Morris Society, located in Hammersmith, will be running family workshops on selected dates in August, taking inspiration from some of the designs in their new exhibition about John Henry Dearle, William Morris’s successor. Join in to create your own items to take home.
Vine Bag Embroidery (2 August): Be inspired by the beautiful “Vine” embroidery to create and sew your own designs on a cloth bag. Recommended for ages 8 to 12, they will be using sharp needles.
Glass Painting (9 August): Create your own designs inspired by the beautiful Golden Lily Wallpaper, and find out how to decorate and make vases from glass jars. Recommended for ages 6 to 12.
Printing (23 August): Get hands-on with printing, inspired by the Seaweed wallpaper, create your own designs and use them to print tiles and pictures. Recommended for ages 6 to 12.
Workshops are at 10:30am to 12:30pm. Booking is essential as space is limited. Note that children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Book to join a family workshop at William Morris Society
The Joust at Hampton Court Palace
2 – 6 August 2023
Be dazzled by a real Tudor joust at the home of Henry VII and experience the pomp, ceremony and splendour of what it took to be in a joust.
Between shows, spectacular falconry displays will offer visitors the chance to learn more about the birds and their hunting techniques.
The Joust is included in Hampton Court Palace admission (members go free). All performances are open-air and seated directly on grass.
Buy tickets to visit Hampton Court Palace
Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace
26 – 28 August 2023
Feast on delicious street food, sip on cocktails and pick up tasty treats from artisan producers and companies at Hampton Court Palace’s Food Festival. With everything from cheese to sausages, brownies to churros, there’s something for everyone.
Family fun activities going on during the festival include face painting and a circus school. Entry to the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival is included in palace admission ticket.
Book tickets to visit Hampton Court Palace
Summer Holidays in London 2023 Map
I am pinning the top places in London for things to do during the school holidays in my “Summer Holidays in London 2023” Google Map Guide. For a direct link to the map to bookmark, click here. To explore the map, click on the door sign with an arrow just before the map title.
Read on for more things to do over the school holidays, from outdoor family theatre shows to inspiration for days trips outside of London.
Family Theatre in London Summer Holidays 2023
Here’s a list of what’s on for kids at London Theatres and outdoor theatre venues during the summer 2023 holidays in London.
Wind in the Willows at Gunnersbury Park
19 July 2023
Enjoy outdoor theatre at Gunnersbury this summer holiday with Quantum Theatre’s brand new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s family favourite. Join Mole, Ratty and Badger on their mad-cap adventures in this heart-warming tale of friendship, mishap and mayhem.
Running time: 2 hours (including a 15 minute interval). Tickets from £11 per person. Performance time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Quantum Theatre
Quantum Theatre are performing an enchanting new adaptation of two of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved tales at Gunnersbury Park and Morden Hall Park during the summer holidays.
Grab a blanket and a picnic and join Peter and Benjamin for a magical afternoon of fun for all the family. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes (including 15 minute interval);
27 July – Gunnersbury Park
Tickets from £11 per person. Performance time: 5pm to 7pm.
4 – 6 August – Morden Hall Park
Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for children. Performance times: 1130am to 1:10pm (matinee) and 2:30pm to 4:10pm (afternoon).
Alice in Wonderland at Kew Gardens
22 July to 28 August 2023, Wednesdays to Sundays
Over the summer holidays, the Theatre on Kew programme at Kew Gardens includes Alice in Wonderland, an enchanting show for children and adults of all ages. Journey down the rabbit hole and enter a fantastical world inhabited by curiouser and curiouser characters.
Related: Summer in Kew Gardens London
Performance times are 11am and 2pm. Please note that the show runs for 60 minutes with no interval. Tickets include entry to Kew Gardens and cost £20 for adult members and £23 for adult non-members; £14 for child members and £16 for child non-members. Suitable for ages 5+
The SpongeBob Musical at Southbank Centre
26 July – 27 August 2023
The SpongeBob Musical is an exciting new production featuring irrestible characters, magical choreography and dazzling costumes.
When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save their undersea world.
Running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes (may vary up to 20 minutes due to last-minute changes, intervals and encores). Performance times are 2pm, 3pm and 7pm.
Ticket prices range from £22.50 to £99. Recommended for ages 6+
Book tickets for The SpongeBob Musical at Southbank Centre
Wizard of Oz at Morden Hall Park
28 July and 1 August 2023
Join Dorothy on her quest to the Emerald City in a magical, interactive family show at the National Trust’s Morden Hall Park by Immersion Theatre.
Running time: 2 hours with a 20 minute interval. Performances are 2pm to 4pm (matinee) and 5pm to 7pm (evening). Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for children. Recommended for ages 4+
London Theatre Kids Week
1 – 31 August 2023
The London Theatre Kids Week summer promotion is back this August! A child 17 and under goes free to selected West End shows when accompanied by an adult paying full price, plus an additional two children can attend for half price.
Kids Week tickets for August 2023 are on sale from Tuesday 13 June, with a wide variety of London musicals, plays, comedies and children’s shows to choose from!
Check latest updates for London Theatre’s Kids Week
Bad Dad by Heartbreak Productions
Heartbreak Productions are bringing their open air theatre adaptation of David Walliams’s Bad Dad to two National Trust sites in London this summer: Osterley Park and Morden Hall Park.
Pack a picnic and enjoy this warm-hearted story that follows Frank, a young boy who attempts to break his innocent father out of prison and return the moeny his father is accused of stealing.
Running time: 2 hours (20 minute interval). Recommended for ages 7+
3 August – Osterley Park
Tickets cost £19 for adults and £14 for children. Performance time: 6pm to 8:30pm.
17 and 18 August – Morden Hall Park
Tickets cost £18 for adults and £13 for children. Performance time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
Tales from Acorn Wood at Lyric Hammersmith
8 – 20 August 2023
This family-friendly show is packed full of toe-tapping songs, puppetry and all the friends from Julia Donaldon and Axel Scheffler’s beloved Tales from Acord Wood stories.
Running time: 55 minutes. Tickets cost £15 – £21. Recommended for ages 1 to 6 years old.
Alice in Wonderland at Osterley Park
13 August 2023
DOT Productions are returning to National Trust Osterley Park this summer holiday with their own adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Join Alice as she explores Wonderland and meets all the characters we know and love.
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Tickets cost £11.25 per person aged 2+. Performance time: 3pm to 4:30pm. Suitable for all ages.
Alice in Wonderland at Chelsea Physic Garden
14 – 20 August 2023 (excluding 19 August)
Join Wild Immersive Theatre for a family adventure at Chelsea Physic Garden. Follow the White Rabbit into a curiously enchanting world of wonder and meet the most extraordinary characters as you walk through the Garden.
Running time: 1 hour. Tickets cost £25 per adult and £18 per child and include entry to Chelsea Physic Garden for that day. Performance times each day are at 10am, 10:20am, 10:40am, 11am, 11:20am and 11:40am.
More Summer in London Inspiration
Find more ideas for days out during the summer holidays in London with kids with our round-up posts and reviews.
Play Fountains and Padding Pools in London
The Best Play Fountains in London – find a spot to cool down at one of these public play fountains in central London
Read on for more ideas of where to cool down this summer in London at these free city playgrounds;
Water Play Areas at London Attractions
Discover more days out ideas with these reviews on top London attactions that have great water play areas and activities;
Museums in London for Kids
Top Museums in London for Kids – plan a visit to one of London’s top family-friendly museums
Read on for more family days out inspiration with our reviews on top museums in London for kids;
Here is a list of family-friendly exhibitions that are on at the top London museums for kids during the 2023 summer holidays;
Brick Dinos at the Horniman Museum
10 February – 29 October 2023
Step back in time with Brick Dinos and see dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants – including the raptor-like Masiakasaurus and a life-sized flying pterosaur – recreated in miniature form by artist Warren Elsmore and his team.
The Brick Dinos exhibition will also feature rarely seen specimens from the Horniman’s stores, and a range of hands-on activities for children to enjoy including build your own dinosaur and digging for fossils.
Tickets cost £9 for adults, £4.50 for children. Free for under 3s.
Book Brick Dino exhibition tickets at the Horniman Museum
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur at the Natural History Museum
31 March 2023 – 7 January 2024
Step into the world of the colossal titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum, one of the the largest known creatures to have ever walked our planet, at an exciting new, interactive exhibition at the NHM. This is the first time the Patagotitan mayorum has been on display in Europe; don’t miss your chance to see this extraordinary dinosaur up close!
Follow the life of a titanosaur around a gallery, where you can handle specimens, explore interactives and learn how a creature of this colossal size could have survived on Earth. After discovering what life was like as the biggest dinosaur, get to know the giants we share our planet with today, learn about their lives, the challenges they face and how we can protect them.
Tickets cost £16 for adults and £9 for children. Advance bookings are recommended especially for visits during the school holidays and weekends. Recommended for ages 5+.
Book tickets for the Titanosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum
Outdoor Attractions in London with Kids
Day Trips from London with Kids
Find more inspiration for the summer holidays with these round-up posts with ideas for day trips from London.
This post was updated on 10 July 2023 with more family events, activities and theatre shows coming up during the London Summer Holidays 2023.
Pin for later – Inspiration for Summer Holidays in London with Kids