The weekend that marks the beginning of summer has come around once again and the May Bank Holiday events in and around London will never cease to provide a weekend of family fun. If you are stuck for things to do, have a look at our Top Ten events and activities for the early May Bank Holiday. There is plenty to keep the children entertained.
2014’s most popular circus returns to London for one month this May Bank Holiday. The team of seven young acrobats, known as A Simple Space, compete for your laughter, awe and admiration as they push themselves to their physical limits in a captivating show of physicality, skill and daring. How long can you hold your breath? Can you hold yourself up on your head whilst another balances on your feet? Supported by driving live percussion, this show is presented so intimately that you can feel the heat, hear every breath, and be immersed in every moment.
This jaw-dropping spectacle runs from 21st April to 25th May 2015.
Adults - £20.50
Concession - £19.00
Children under 16 - £18.00
Family - £15.60/ ticket (a minimum of four tickets are required)
This traditional gathering of waterways boaters has been taking place in Little Venice for over 30 years. A conglomeration of face painting, Morris-dancing, decorated boats and food-stalls accompany a fantastic bank holiday atmosphere, all weekend long. This year an illuminated procession of boats will float down the canals alongside live bands playing all day, in the bandstand. The kids can play in the pool, take a ride on the merry-go-rounds and gorge themselves on a number of little treats.
Let’s pray for sun from 2nd to 4th May for the Calvacade.
The Discover Children’s Story Centre is putting on a show that will provide more than enough entertainment for the weekend. The Penguin Parade gives kids the opportunity to learn all about penguins, dress up as one, make mini penguins and join in the march of the Penguin Parade. The Centre will also be graced with the presence of the authors of Shackleton’s Journey and Space Penguins on the Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Get your waddle on from 2nd to 4th May at the Discover Children’s Story Centre
Adult/Child - £5.00
Family of 4 - £18.00
Concessions/Newham Residents - £4.50
Take the chance to spend your Bank Holiday weekend with the family and visit the Museum of Childhood, a place where there are always a variety of free and fun things to do for all ages. Beginning on the Bank Holiday weekend, an exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be held at the museum, where you can follow Alice’s evolution as a fashion guru that has been adapted and adopted across the world. You can also take a look at ‘It’s My Party’ where children and artists from Rushmore Primary School Hackney, and St John's Primary School, Tower Hamlets, have collaborated to create an exhibition of weird and wonderful art.
Take a look at the art, all exhibitions open all May Bank Holiday weekend from 10:00 to 17:45 daily
Come and get close to nature at Hackney City Farm where there is a number of little projects that you can visit, a medley of animals ranging from ducks, geese and chickens to pigs, donkeys and goats, as well as a special event in honour of Hackney City Farm’s 30th Anniversary. The farm’s rich history is being celebrated in the Hackney Museum. In addition to the exhibits, there will be numerous creative activities to entertain guests of all ages. These workshops and events will bring different sectors of the community together to explore, create and have fun.
The internationally renowned Shaun the Sheep is coming to town this spring and summer, in a charity driven exhibition for the Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity. There will be two ewe-nique public art trails in London and Bristol, incorporating 120 giant Shaun the Sheep sculptures with a myriad of different patterns, designs and colours. London will have the honour of hosting the first flock of 50 sheep, dotted all over the capital.
Download the app, Shaun in the City, to find out where he is grazing for two months from 28th March to 25th May
iphone/ipad - click here to download for itunesApple download
The Natural History Museum’s infamous Butterfly House returns for a seventh year running to give its visitors an insight into the incredible life cycle of one of the world’s most beautiful creatures. Wander round the tropical butterfly house and live through the butterflies’ life cycle, from creepy crawly caterpillars right through to the emergence of a colourful butterfly. Butterflies from all over the world, interactive displays and the museum’s very own experts will keep you entertained throughout your journey.
Come and experience the beauty for yourself from 10:00 to 17:50 everyday until September.
Price: Admission to Museum – Free
Adults, Child and Concession - £5.90
Family - £19.80
Members/Patrons – Free
If you want a breath of fresh air and the weather is good, why not head out of London to enjoy Britain’s glorious coastline. Here are three of our Favourite Hidden Beaches for your Bank Holiday weekend.
Dunwich Heath, Minsmere, Suffolk
One of the UK’s top nature reserves, this little gem is bordered by copious amounts of lagoons, nature and wildlife. The little town of Dunwich was engulfed by the sea centuries ago, leaving a remote beach backed by dunes where families can enjoy a secluded, tranquil weekend away for the Bank Holiday.
You can get there by train to Darsham and then a short cab ride to the beach itself.
Walmer Beach, Kent
This idyllic little coastline stretches for miles upon miles tucked away on the southeast Kent coast with little to disturb the peace but the quiet hums of fishing boats puttering past or the melancholy drone emanating from the bandstand. This shingle paradise, which is rarely populated even in the hottest of the summer months, is constantly filled with the smell of fennel and valerian and poppies overrun the landscape.
You can get there by train to Walmer daily, or for more frequent trains via Ashford.
Our third and final entry into the Top Ten is Bournemouth Beach, where for over 100 years, you have been able to head down to the coast and rent out a beach hut right on the seafront. The kids can enjoy the beach whilst being in the security of a basecamp and parents will also have a place to make a cuppa if the weather doesn’t quite suit, or if not, bask in the sunshine on your own private deck.
Price: Based on prices from 28th March to 22nd May
Silver - £25.00 per day
Gold - £38.00 per day