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Summer Family Days Out Guide

June 26th, 2017 | by Emma Clements

Summer Family Days Out Guide

For parents of small – or even medium-sized – children, family outings might seem more bother than they’re worth. The prospect of lugging the buggy up flights of stairs, searching frantically for toilets or changing facilities, and finding suitable restaurants for fussy eaters is enough to make frazzled parents stick with the comforts of home. But here on London’s South Bank you’ll find no excuses! With easy step-free access from Waterloo Station, family-friendly eateries and picnic spots, and of course, a wealth of attractions and activities to suit every budget, this is the perfect destination for a hassle-free day out!

  • Summer at the Southbank Centre

    The fully accessible South Bank Centre offers an exciting summer programme with the youngsters firmly in mind. Pre-schoolers can participate in weekly Pram Jam sessions offering dancing, singing and stories for Under 5s, while older children get lost in the magical world of the Moomintrolls at Adventures in Moominland, an interactive exhibition exploring the life and work of Finnish author Tove Jansson. Little Bookworms will love the new Room for Children at The Poetry Library. Here they can curl up with a good read or catch a spoken-word event like Poetry Utopia - a live performance by Nigerian rap artist BREIS. Also hailing from Nigeria and forming part of the African Utopia season, are Bino & Fino, endearing cartoon characters appearing on the big screen to teach children about Africa and the world. There’s an outdoor circus show, The Wind and The Sun, which celebrates our glorious British weather by way of Aesop’s Fable; a chance to find your Scandinavian soul at Swedish Summertime; and an uplifting night of dance, music and beatboxing for the young and young at heart, brought to you by Zoonation.

    For more information on Southbank Centre click here

    Southbank Centre
  • South Bank's Newest Attraction

    Experience the biggest and fastest city zip wire in London with Zip World London! Opening on 18 July 2017 at Archbishop's Park, this zip line will allow you to soar through the skies from a height of 35 meters, experiencing never-before-seen views of London!

    Think you're brave enough? Click HERE for more information and to book your tickets now!

    Zip World London
  • Family Favourites at the BFI

    From all-new summer blockbusters to digitally remastered classics, there’s something for everyone on the big screen at the BFI this season. Screenings include Stuart Little, The Lord of The Rings, The Railway Children and 400 Blows, plus there’s a series of workshops, fun days and film schools throughout the summer holidays. Tickets for under 16s are just £4, buggy-parking is provided for some events, and kids eat free at Riverfront Bar & Kitchen – a perfect day out for youthful film buffs on a budget!

    For more information on BFI click here

    BFI Southbank
  • National Theatre

    Young theatre-lovers can bring their imaginations (and their parents) to the Clore Learning Centre to discover the secrets behind the National Theatre’s productions. Family Days offer adults and children the chance to learn about costume design, turn their hands to stage fighting, or compose new music, and meet the team who bring NT shows to life onstage. This summer’s workshops include Outlandish Outfits and Fantastic Frocks, an opportunity for aspiring designers to create life-sized costumes for characters of their own invention, and Peter and the Wolf: Music & Puppetry, a workshop which explores the possibility of making music and telling stories with everyday objects. For anyone bold enough to step into the limelight, Play in a Day is a creative adventure for the whole family. If you’re too bashful to take part yourself, join the audience at Riverstage, which has a fabulous free summer-long programme of theatre, dance and music for all ages. And while you’re out there, why not cool down with a vintage ice cream from one of the NT’s Summer Pop-Ups?

    For more information on the National Theatre click here

    National Theatre
  • House of Vans

    Escape the heat wave and dive into the (literally and metaphorically) cool tunnels of skateboarding Mecca, House of Vans, which has free screenings of kids’ movies every Saturday and Sunday morning. Little rippers can attend an hour-long Skate Skool session in the UK’s only indoor skate park, before lounging on a beanbag in the 100-seat cinema to watch films like Storks and The Lego Batman Movie. Once the screening’s overhead to the New York diner-style café The Wall to satisfy those rumbling tummies with a delicious all-day brunch!

    For more information on House of Vans click here

    House Of Vans
  • IWM London

    The Imperial War Museum is free, fully accessible and educational – guaranteed to tick all the boxes for kids and their parents! Permanent collections include Witnesses to War which features a Harrier Jet and a Spitfire suspended above a V2 rocket in the museum’s stunning central atrium, as well as personal experiences of conflict in A Family in Wartime. Wannabe spies can go undercover at Secret War to explore the world of espionage, covert operations and the work of Britain’s Special Forces through a collection of previously unseen, once highly classified, objects. The IWM also provides buggy-storage, and it has an onsite Picnic Room, so you can bring your own lunch and enjoy a fascinating family-friendly day out without spending a penny!

    IWM London
  • Coin Street Community Builders

    Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre’s mission is to encourage people of all ages to engage in education, plays, sports, health, arts and the community. Their programme of free (or affordable) activities includes Summer Sports Camps, Soccer Skills Academy and Stay & Play sessions plus workshops on cooking, nutrition, breastfeeding and mental well-being.

    For more information on Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre click here

    Oxo Tower Wharf
  • The Art of The Brick : DC Superheroes

    Doon Street Car Park is currently the unlikely home to the world’s largest ever collection of Super Hero-inspired LEGO artwork. The Art of the Brick is a contemporary exhibition which uses over 2 million LEGO bricks to create giant sculptures of legendary heroes and villains including Spiderman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn – there’s even a spectacular life-sized Batmobile, measuring a whopping 5.5 metres, made entirely of LEGO. Get ready to discover your own inner Super Hero!

    For more information on Art of the Brick click here

    Art of the Brick
  • Eating & Drinking

    There are family-friendly restaurants galore on London’s South Bank with high street favourites including Giraffe and Wagamama nestled on the riverside beneath the South Bank Centre. If you can’t agree where to dine, why not head to the Food Market, which has a huge selection of stalls serving up mouthwatering street food from around the globe? With so much choice, it matters not a jot if the kids want pizza, Dad prefers falafel, and Mum has her sights set on a gourmet burger! If your offspring have sophisticated tastes and prefer something a little more luxurious, splash out on Children’s Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower:  finger sandwiches, scones, eclairs and popcorn, all washed down with banana milkshake or a babyccino. Junior masterchefs can roll up their sleeves and prepare their own meal at L’Italiano at Park Plaza, where pizza-making classes are on the menu most Saturday afternoons. And finally, our pick of the restaurants offering free meals for kids? Ultra-stylish Sea Containers at Mondrian has a children’s menu which is completely gratis from 12-5pm on Saturday and Sunday (when eating with full-price paying adults). Bon Appetit!

    Southbank Centre

Find The Venues

  • 1 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 2 - Zip World London

    Archbishop's Park, Carlisle Lane, Lambeth, London SE1

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  • 3 - BFI Southbank

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XT 

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  • 4 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 5 - House Of Vans

    Main entrance
    Arches 228 – 232
    Station Approach Road
    SE1 8SW 

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  • 6 - IWM London

    Lambeth Road
    London SE1 6HZ 

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  • 7 - Oxo Tower Wharf

    The Oxo Tower
    Bargehouse Street
    South Bank
    London SE1 9PH 

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  • 8 - Art of the Brick

    Corner of Upper Ground and Cornwall Rd

    London SE1 9PP

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  • 9 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XX 

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