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Spring and Summer festival highlights, London

Days Out

Spring and Summer festival highlights, London

Here's our pick of the best family friendly events and festivals in and around London over the coming months

London FestivalsLondon FestivalsKite Day
Streatham Common, April 10
A chance to watch spectacular kite flying skills, get stuck into a kite-making workshop or browse the kite-related goodies on sale. There are lots of stalls so grab lunch and make a day of it. See their website for a ‘how to’ guide to making your own kite to take along.

Escape to the Races at Kempton Park
Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex, April 3, May 3
Horse racing can be an exciting and very different day out, and on special days there are also other free family activities – balloon modelling, face painting, crafts, circus workshop, soft play. There is parking but it’s also easy to get to by train from Waterloo.

V&A Summer Camp
V&A Museum, July
This free, two-day fest celebrates design in all shapes and styles. The first ‘camp’ was held in 2010, following in the footsteps of the popular V&A Village Fete. People can come along to enjoy workshops, talks, performances, food and participation events based on weird and interesting design themes and British summer traditions, including special drop-in family events on Saturday.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
Greenwich and Canary Wharf, June 23-July 3
Dance, theatre, art, acrobatics and pyrotechnics always bring this colourful street festival to life. There are lots of free events to be enjoyed in Greenwich (around the park and Cutty Sark Gardens), on the river, and around Canary Wharf.

Canalway Cavalcade
Little Venice, April 30-May 2
A wonderful festival that celebrates the waterside community with a lively parade of boats on the canal at Paddington’s Little Venice, with kids’ activities in the neighbouring park and along the towpath.

The Pirate Queen
Epping Forest, July 2-3
Queen Elizabeth I was called ‘The Pirate Queen’ by Philip II of Spain as an insult. This weekend of free drop-in events at Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge in Epping Forest invites little ones to come dressed in pirate gear to find out more about Tudor pirates and make models.

On the Edge
Richmond Riverside, August 20
A lively festival of music and dance from other parts of the world. This free festival is suitable for all ages.

Paradise Gardens Festival
Victoria Park E3, June 18-19
A wonderful, free cultural festival of creative arts, with fairground rides and fireworks thrown in for good measure…

The Mayor’s Thames Festival
Central London, September 10-11
From noon until 10pm there are free events, sideshows and displays on the water, including a nighttime parade with dancing in the streets, and fabulous fireworks. Local schools are involved with the project so it is always a child-friendly event.

Kids Week
West End theatres, August
A chance for young ones to get the theatre bug – with backstage tours, activities, workshops and good ticket deals on shows for families.

The Baby Show 2011
Birmingham NEC, May 20-22 and London Earls Court, Oct 28-30
A great show for mothers to be, new parents and for young families, with all the big brands on hand to browse ideas to do with anything baby and toddler-related.


London Festivals

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