Looking for ways to keep kids and teenagers entertained during the school holidays? There’s plenty to do in London over the summer, whatever your budget. This is just a selection of events happening this week — for further inspiration, including ongoing family-friendly exhibitions, take a look at our summer holidays page.
FAMILY DAYS OUT: Bored of trudging round the same old museums and parks? Try one of these 7 alternative family days out in London, featuring caves, windmills and more.
BUDGET SIGHTSEEING: Dodge those touristy, not to mention extremely pricey, destinations with our guide to free and cheap(er) alternative ways to see the city with your family.
WHERE TO EAT: Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more than just pizza and chips.
CULTURE VULTURES: You may think art galleries and theatres are a no-go when you’ve got little ones in tow, but these London theatres are great for kids’ shows, and these family-friendly art galleries will keep children happy, and have plenty for mum and dad too.
Monday 3 August
SUMMER SCHOOL: 10-12-year-olds can choose between wizards and witches or acoustics and loudspeakers at the Royal Institution's Summer School. They can learn how modern computers represent information, and how they are able to detect and correct possible errors. Otherwise, focus on acoustic devices. Both events £30, prebook, 1.30pm-4pm
SUMMER CINECLUB: Unicorn Theatre's Summer Cineclub screens a Frozen sing-a-ong. Plenty of family films are being screened throughout the summer, take a look at the website for details. £4, prebook, 12.30pm
Tuesday 4 August
SLIMY SNAILS: Meet a giant African land snail, make your own snail puppet or listen to slimy stories at Battersea Park Zoo's Slimy Snail Day. Included in admission (extra charge for some activities), from 11am
Wednesday 5 August
PROUD PEACOCKS: Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham has launched a peacock appeal to help safeguard the long term maintenance of the house and garden. Support it by making your own peacock headdress at the house today. £7, prebook, 11am
COMICS WORKSHOP: Comic artist and illustrator Jim Medway is at the Jewish Museum in Camden to lead a workshop on creating cat comics, inspired by the current Judith Kerr exhibition. Age up to 16. £10, prebook, 11am
Thursday 6 August
BUG WEEK: Battersea Park Zoo is taking part in BIAZA's (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) big bug bonanza. Meet some of the zoo's resident creepy crawlies, take part in a storytelling session, make a bug puppet and more. Included in admission cost, just turn up, from 11am
POND EXPLORERS: Head to Bushy Park to have a go at pond exploring. Using your net, catch and identify invertebrates hiding beneath the water and see them up close with a video microscope. £15 per family, prebook, 1pm
Friday 7 August
BODY DETECTIVES: Maggie Li, author of The Amazing Human Body Detectives, leads a mad and magical tour of the human body at Foyles on Charing Cross Road. Guess where the 3D body parts go on a giant floor map, and learn some of the weird and wonderful ways the human body works. £5, prebook, 2pm-3pm
GAMELAN: This two-hour practical family workshop at Southbank Centre introduces you to the wonderful Javanese percussion orchestra called gamelan. No musical experience necessary. £10/£5, prebook, 11am (repeated throughout the holidays)
Saturday 8 August
GLADIATOR GAMES: Londonist is media partner to Museum of London's live-action Gladiator Games. Go back to Roman Londinium with an epic re-enactment of the gladiatorial games. Performers take to the stage for battle, an emperor presides and the crowd picks its side. £15/£10, prebook, various times until 16 August
DINOSAUR MINI GOLF: This particular niche of mini golf is surprisingly common in London. We recently visited Sidcup’s offering, Lost Island Encounter. Other Jurassic fairways available.
Sunday 9 August
THEATRICAL '30S: Take to the stage 1930s style and shine in the limelight as you learn about theatre from the golden age at Eltham Palace. Standard admission +£1, 9-11 August
We’ll be publishing our listings for later in the summer holidays soon – keep checking back.