summer holiday activities

Hooray, it’s nearly the holidays again! With the long summer break just around the corner, we’ve pulled together a listing of the goings on in the area that families can enjoy together. We’re adding more and more as and when things are announced, so do keep checking back. All these family activities will also be featured in our calendar (you can filter by ‘Seasonal/Holiday Activities’). For camps and workshops that children can enjoy on their own, please visit our ‘Summer Camps & Workshops′ guide.


Chiswick House

Chiswick House & Gardens is a beautiful place to enjoy with the kids. There are 65 acres of gardens, from classical vistas to ponds, fountains and an 18th century wilderness, and the house is one of the most glorious examples of 18th-century British architecture. There is also a playground located near the cafe, which will keep the kids entertained while you enjoy a coffee.

28th June – 8th July: Giffords Circus is in town, celebrating the birth of circus which happened near Westminster Bridge in 1768, and is, in their view, the most bonkers, surprising, diverse and life-affirming art form there is.

10th – 12th August: The Great British Food Festival: Bite-size brings amazing artisan producers, fabulous food and drink, brilliant bars, chef demos, Men vs Food, cheese-offs, gin-offs, blind taste challenges, live music, (the list goes on..!).

21st – 24th August: Wind in the Willows outdoor theatre (performed by Sixteenfeet Productions). Full of high jinks, adventure and camaraderie, with an array of truly unforgettable characters, including the impulsive Toad; good-natured Mole; wise Ratty; and reclusive Badger.  A retelling of the classic book by Kenneth Grahame, adapted by Andrew Walsh and with original music by Guy Holden.


Ham House

Ham House is always a lovely place to visit. If the weather’s nice there are the gardens and kitchen garden to explore, and whatever the weather the 17th century house itself is full of treasures and always interesting. There are often things going on ‘below stairs’ as well, such as crafts and storytelling.


Hampton Court Palace

Family highlights this summer include the Magic Garden – a beautiful playground where Children can meet mysterious beasts, storm the battlements and discover the secret grotto; Henry VIII’s Kitches – where you can transport yourself back to the heyday of Tudor feasting and entertainment; the Maze – the most famous maze in the world, which is still baffling visitors after 300 years; and Digital Missions – where children can meet characters from history and explore the palace with the Time Explorers app.

14th & 15th July: The annual Tudor Joust Weekend, where families can cheer on the rival knights and soak up the spectacle of a Tudor joust as guests of Henry VIII.

7th – 12th August: The Luna Kids Cinema brings three kids/family films to Hampton Court Palace most days, with favourites including Trolls, Paddington 2, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and many more. Take a picnic rug, sit back and enjoy the show!

25th – 27th August: The Hampton Court Food Festival brings a summer celebration of food and drink to the iconic East Front Gardens.


Hounslow Urban Farm

We love a visit to the farm, and there’s always lots going on throughout the year. Regular activities include animal encounters (farmyard friends as well as slightly more exotic creatures), feeding the animals, owl displays, pig meet & greets, and an indoor bouncy castle and outdoor play area.


Kew Gardens

Family highlights this summer include ‘Gnomus: Caretaker of the Earth’ – a 15 minute puppet performance where Gnomus the giant gnome will lead you around the Temperate House as he shares stories about the amazing plant collection inside; Cirque Bijou (weekends only) – a breathtaking aerial performance in the rafters of the Temperate House; and Here Be Dragons – marvel at the trail of dragon sculptures around the Gardens, an exhibition showcasing Blue Peter competition entries.

28th & 29th July: The Great Georgian Wedding Weekend takes place, where families can take part in garden games, enjoy a tour of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and be entertained by costumed characters.


London Museum Of Water And Steam

The Museum is open every day during the summer holidays, and kids go free! If you’re a Richmond Mums member, you can also enter for just £10.00. Make the most of the sunshine in the splash zone and garden, marvel at the Museum’s collection of Cornish beam and rotative water pumping engines, and ride the Waterworks Railway at weekends and on Wednesdays.

25th – 27th August: Seaside Special Weekend, where there will be a sandpit and other seaside activities. One of the cornish beam engines will be in steam, along with the rotative engines and the Waterworks Railway will be offering unlimited rides all weekend.


London Wetland Centre

This summer children have the chance to be a Wildlife Ranger just like Dusty Duck. There are loads of exciting activities, including pond dipping, bird watching and scavenger hunts. At the new Ranger Camp, they’ll find out how to survive in the wild – how to build a shelter, how to start a fire, or by joining the camp fire cooking workshop. It’s a wild day out for the whole family.


Orleans House Gallery

The gallery’s ‘Art Play’ exhibition will be running throughout the summer holidays – an exhibition of playful work by Jason Taylor, co-created by and for children, young people and families. Jason transforms everyday objects into opportunities for play in this interactive exhibition, and there is playful sculpture around the site as well. Combine with a visit to the playground at Orleans Gardens for a lovely afternoon excursion.


Osterley Park

Osterley is a lovely National Trust Georgian estate, which always has lots of things going on for families to enjoy. Children can discover architect Robert Adam’s designs, such as classical columns and mythical monsters, in a family trail. They can get creative and crafty with ‘Craft Cart’ every Thursday, enjoy the Family Gardening Club on Fridays, and tick off more of their ’50 things’ during specially-themed activity weeks. There are paddlesports on Middle Lake every weekend, and Wild Learning’s forest school every Thursday & Friday throughout August (booking required). Alternatively, enjoy the brilliant play trail in the gardens or relax with a picnic in the park in front of the house. 

15th – 19th August: Wind in the Willows outdoor theatre (performed by Sixteenfeet Productions). Full of high jinks, adventure and camaraderie, with an array of truly unforgettable characters, including the impulsive Toad; good-natured Mole; wise Ratty; and reclusive Badger.  A retelling of the classic book by Kenneth Grahame, adapted by Andrew Walsh and with original music by Guy Holden.


Strawberry Hill House

The garden at Strawberry Hill House is free to visit and open throughout the week. It is a wonderful space in which families can play, take a picnic, and relax. During the summer, there is also a ‘blooms and beasties’ outdoor children’s summer trail, which is running every day the house is open. This is £3.00 per entry or two for £5.00, and has a lucky dip as a prize. The house is well worth an explore too, and is free to  children under 16yrs (booking required as they operate by timeslot).


Syon House & Park

Syon is one of the last great houses of London. It holds a wealth of art within its grand classical interiors, while the park and gardens are a combination of impressive formal landscaping and an informal area complete with a lake. There is also of course the incredible Great Conservatory to explore in the garden, which cannot be missed. Children go free throughout the school holidays, and if you are a local resident you can also get 20% off admission (take proof of address).



31st July – 16th August: Wonder Of Words Summer Activities. Book, stories, words, ideas… they’re the inspiration for a summer of creativity for children 4-16yrs. Acrobatics, dance, craft, and music to entertain and stimulate,plus special author events including rapper Karl Nova and creator of Rastamouse Michael de Souza. There are shorter workshops for younger children (4-8yrs) and lower ones for 8-16yrs. Roll on summer! You can book online. 


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