Category Archives: Museums

50 Family Days Out in London

  1. Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

    It’s not hugely known but you can enjoy top class Family Contemporary Dance Days & Shows at The Place, Euston. The Place is home to London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company, a 280 seat theatre, and they host an annual Summer festival, courses and workshops aimed at boys – it’s not all about football you know.

  2. You are always welcome to join a  Culture Club Group Trip. There are theatre tickets at really reduced prices, and the door is always open for personal concierge services for consultation. I offer itenaries, museum tours, sporting tickets, birthday parties, all with a cultural bent. The list is endless. Contact me on sian.gwilliam@me.com, and I’d be happy to help.
  3. Whitstable Beach
  4. The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. In 1971, the charity was registered as an adoption agency, offering a specialist service to find adoptive families for the most vulnerable childcare. It’s a charming museum, with a sweet cafe, and bang next door to a great playground.
  5. Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives … you’ve not lived if you haven’t been Tate-d. Check out what’s on right here.
  6. How about a Tour of Lords Cricket Ground the ‘Home of Cricket’, with afternoon tea for the hungry. Perfect for a trip with the grandparents, or a birthday treat for a sport loving child. Find out more on Culture Club here.

    Mountview Summer School
  7. The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. I think it’s only good manners to have paid them a visit, after all they are getting on a bit.
  8. You love London and you love life don’t you ? Well here’s a way to satisfy both at the Museum of London. They offer daily activities, storytelling, creative packs, a great shop, cracking location, and it’s free. Say no more.

    Views from The Shard
  9. The House of Illustration offers what is says. It’s in a perfect location in Kings Cross, 2 mins from a million things to do. They also offer brilliant workshops. We have tried and tested them, and they get 11/10 from us.
  10. If I said, it was the fastest in her day, has incredible history, and smells of old fish, what would you say ? the Cutty Sark. Well done. 10 points for you. Grab your Oyster card, and jump on the boat there. That’s your day sorted then.
  11. It’s never dull at The National Theatre. Check out the family events schedule, and discover the skills and secrets behind productions at the National Theatre: have a go at designing a costume; learn how our actors perform realistic fights on stage. That’s before you’ve even seen a ground breaking piece of drama (dahhhling).

    Mini Eco DIY Craft
  12. You made that up, I don’t believe you. You must have been hanging out at the Discover Story Centre in Stratford then. The place where families, storytelling, and authors all come together in one gooey icing blob.
  13. The RA (Royal Academy to us ruffians) is the best secret in town, when it comes to art workshops. It also is the best located museum for families, as you can skip over to Green Park for some fresh air, after exercising your brain cells at their latest exhibition.

    Willy Wonka Afternoon Tea
  14. Fancy yourself as the next Calvin and Hobbs artist? Then take the kids to a workshop at The Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury please. Please tell me how it went, as we haven’t made it there yet, and we are keen for a mini review.
  15. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is right by Regent Street and Regents Park, and serves kids of 8+ well. They offer workshops, and family days. Keep an eye on their what’s on pages, as they offer interesting courses for younger ones in the holidays.

    Meet this Sailor on the South Bank
  16. How about a free film at the BFI on the Southbank. They also run cracking weekend film sessions for families, workshops, holiday courses and it’s located next to The National Theatre. You’ll feel inspired hearing the thespian types discussing Rufus Norris’s Artistic Direction around you.
  17. The Fulham Palace holds on tightly to over 1300 years of English history, and aims to become one of Great Britain’s most loved and inspiring historic houses and gardens. They have fun kids workshops, garden walks, and tours. Find out more here.
  18. Do you like the idea of really fun free art, design, craft, and baking workshops for children and young people aged 2 – 16. Then head over to the Geffrye museum in Hackney please.

    The Royal Court
  19. A visit to Dennis Severs House is both a breathtaking and an intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century.  It was Dennis Severs’ intention that as you enter his house it is as if you have passed through the surface of a painting, exploring with your senses and imagination a meticulously crafted 18th Century world. (At least you will have something to tell Grandma, other than about M&M world, on your holiday postcard).
  20. Do you know any budding Knights in shining armour? If yes, get them down to one of the family events at Westminster Abbey pronto, before they are beheaded, and it’s all your fault.

    Museum Family Activities
  21. Take a 40 second descent in the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide, the world’s tallest and longest tunnel Slide as well as experiencing breathtaking views of London from two observation platforms.  Book here.
  22. Visit The National Portrait Gallery. With over 1,000 portraits of famous people to discover from the majestic portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in the Tudor Galleries to the pop stars and artists in the Contemporary galleries – the National Portrait Gallery is a perfect place for all the family to visit.
  23. All Muggles will love this one. How about a visit to The Harry Potter Shop in the Kings Cross Station, before you queue for your photo at platform 9 and 3/4? There are also Harry Potter walking tours, bus tours, private tours not forgetting the tremendous Warner Bros Experience and Tour in Hertfordshire.

    A Harry Potter Fan
  24. Any kids who will ever take an English exam, really should at least take a look at, and even better join in with some family fun at William Shakespeare’s Globe in Borough.
  25. The Wallace Collection, is one of those places that often appears on the ‘secret places to hang out in…’ lists of rather influential and fashionable London types. It might have something to do with the fact that it’s a stones throw from Marylebone and Selfridges, but also because it hosts very civilised drop in and draw sessions for kids during holidays, and at the weekends.
  26. Adult and Kids alike always have a good time at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Their drop in craft sessions are brilliant, the museum shop is ace, and that’s before you’ve checked out the latest exhibitions, played with Punch and Judy, and the indoor sand pit, danced with a larger than life robot, and rocked on a horse.

    Days Out with English Heritage
  27. Those high energy kids might want to see what is happening at The Exploration Society. They offer the best ever adventure days/weekends/ camps. You can choose from sailing, kayaking, mountain biking, and woodland adventures, and these are before you have seen what you can have for ‘main course’.
  28. No child in Chelsea can survive their childhood without at least a weekend spent parading around the National Army Museum. It’s an institution for South West Londoners, and is especially popular with those who own small soldiers and officers.
  29. Trapeze & Circus lovers could try a private class or summer workshop with x-professional trapeze artist Genevieve at her Circus Glory school in Primrose Hill. It’s a special kind of person that can hang up side down on a large lolly stick.

    Ham House
  30. The British Library in Kings Cross hosts a FREE Family Programme that runs from July to September, 2017. We like South Asian Stories Friday 28 July, 2017 (12.00 – 13.30), it’s free, drop in and suitable for ages 5 – 11. This workshop is run in partnership with The Place and coincides with a free dance performance, 14.00 – 15.00, taking place outside on the Piazza. Everyone is welcome to watch.
  31. National Maritime Museum, Ahoy! Children’s gallery (Free) Ideal for ages 0-7 & The All Hands children’s gallery for 6-12s at National Maritime Museum is free and open daily. 10.00-17.00 weekends, holidays & Tuesdays | 14.00-17.00 on other weekdays |  Ahoy gallery is closed 3 July – 27 September
  32. Book tickets for family shows at the Underbelly Festival 2017, Southbank. For theatre and dance lovers, The Tap Dancing Mermaid (10 June) blends puppetry and dance to fantastical effect, and Metta Theatre’s Jungle Book (1-24 August) melds hip-hop dancing, spoken word and creative design to create a contemporary, urban, politically aware reinterpretation of Kipling’s classic.
  33. ExpeRimental from the Royal Institution is a series of short films that make it fun, easy and cheap to do science at home with children aged 4 to 10. The films give you lots of ideas for kids’ activities that will help you explore the world around you, question and experiment together. They show you how to do the activity and how to make sure adults and children get the most out of it.

    Fun at the Tate Modern
  34. You can join the family orchestra and chorus at the Proms family orchestra and chorus. There are many workshops that allow you to play or sing alongside professional musicians, whatever your age or ability (suitable for ages 7-plus). Some sessions will be focussed around highlights from the 2017 Proms season and by Oklahoma!
  35. There are lots of book-ish events happening across the UK at Foyles. You could start with a peek of mad crazy fun at the Adventures in Wonderland event on Sat 29th July, 2-3pm at the Charing Cross Road Foyles (free). It’s a preview of the theatre show that is happening at The Vaults, Waterloo.

    Wild Times on Hampstead Heath
  36. Or try Maisy the Mouse Picnic on Thursday 3rd August 2017 1pm – 2pm Royal Festival Hall (Free). Meet Maisy the Mouse and enjoy stories, activities and some picnic treats. They will be serving sweet and savoury treats, you can take part in Maisy-themed activities and reading a selection of Maisy titles.
  37. In September, you can go wild with washi and join in the fun with a Foyles MT ‘washi’ Masking Tape workshop to celebrate London Design Week. Saturday 16th September 2017 11am – 12:30 Noon 107 Charing Cross Road (Free Event).
  38. There is a new fish in town that wants to meet you. At the Natural History Museum, your place on the planet might feel different standing next to the remains of the largest animal that has lived on this planet. The skeleton of a blue whale is the star of their new exhibition Whales : Beneath the Surface. “More than 100 specimens from the Museum’s collection will be on display together for the first time, from parts of a colossal blue whale to a small harbour porpoise”. Natural History Museum, London SW7 (020 7942 5000), to February 28

    The British Museum
  39. Musical theatre fans can check the latest list of all the best shows in town here, in an earlier post I wrote for the lovely people at MyBaba. We fully recommend 42nd Street, Matilda and Carole King the musical (which is about to end it’s West End run and go on tour) for the Mums.
  40. I have put together a round up of some of the most popular Kids Theatre, Dance & Art Summer courses. Although many of these have limited places, and get booked up early, they also offer term time classes. If you have recommendations, or know of schools I can include, please let me know.

    See Matilda the Musical
  41. You might want to treat your Grandma to a really lovely afternoon tea, so here is a list of the Best Family Friendly Afternoon Teas in London, that might help you decide where to take her.
  42. You could take a trip to a National Trust property. They own some of the best beaches in the land, 59 villages, 49 churches and a gold mine (The Dolaucothi Gold Mines). Their teams conserve butterflies, bats, wildlife and plants. It doesn’t stop there, they also own four coastal World Heritage Sites.

    The V&A Childhood Museum
  43. If you have a Saturday morning free, you can often grab an early morning movie for next to nothing at your local cinema. If you need a little help, here is a list of some of The Best Cinema Clubs for London Kids in town.
  44. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon is to take a trip backstage around one of London’s many beautiful theatres. Not only will the tour tickets cost little more than a sandwich, you will get the chance to peek into the dressing rooms and tread the boards where many famous actors spend their time feeling sick with nerves.
  45. Grab a view from The ShardCheck : ‘the weather’. Check : ‘your footwear’. Check ‘you are definitely not Acrophobic’. Head over to The Shard at London Bridge and fly up to floors 68, 69 and 72, and you will be at almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in the capital.

    Inspiration at Granary Square, Kings Cross
  46. Take a cycle ride around the Capital. If you’re keen there are superhighway route maps you can follow. I would try out  the Wandsworth to Milbank one. Starting at the legendary ‘The Alma’ pub bang opposite Wandsworth Rail station with a pint of something cold, and a decent lunch. Then hire your bikes, pedal through Battersea, across Chelsea Bridge, and end up at Millbank. You get 5 points for every civil servant you spot, 75 points for any lost soldiers on horseback looking for sugar lumps, and 150 points if you pull up next to Prince William ‘undercover’ on his motor bike!
  47. It would be remiss of me not to mention that over the Summer the gates of Buckingham Palace are opened to the public for visits. You can buy tickets for admission to The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews. There are child friendly activities, audio tours and art trails and more. Read more here.
  48. English Heritage champions history, and the historic places that make our nation quite a good one. With every visit (and entrance fee) to an English Heritage site, of which there is an incredible list of 400 across the country to choose from, you will be protecting the future of our heritage, so for that reason, amongst many, we would like to give each and every one of the English Heritage team a proper round of applause.

    The Cutty Sark
  49. Let’s go for a DIY craft at home today. All you need is a smooth floor and+ A balloon+ Some glue (strong enough to glue plastic. You can use plasticine as an alternative)+ An old drink bottle lid (with a valve)+ An old CD then you are ready to make a balloon hovercraft. with the brilliant Mini Eco blog.
  50. How about a picnic in one of the capitals secret gardens? You could start with Inner Temple, one of London’s four Inns of Court. It is a tranquil three-acre garden with stunning rare trees, herbaceous borders and sweeping lawns. It is usually open to the public from 12.30-3.00 each weekday. There are more here

    Fun at the Southbank
  51. If you’re not exhausted and need a break from the city, here are 5 brilliant beaches within a train journey from London Town to choose from. Start with Whitstable, Camber Sands, Brighton, Frinton on Sea and West Wittering.

Sweet Smelling Family Fun at Somerset House this Summer

3. © Martin Klimas

There is a rather sweet smell coming from the Somerset House major summer exhibition this year. If you fancy a sniff then make time to visit their new exhibition Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent’, that will run between 21 June and 17 September. You will find it in the East Wing Galleries (walk around the fountains, towards the river, and turn left – I find the signs there confusing at times!).

4. © Ori Gersht 2017

The exhibition will display unique, exciting scents in playful, interactive settings. There will even be a fully functioning, interactive perfume laboratory.

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Free Family Drop-In Workshop : Marty the Mighty Nose.

There is a free family workshop that will take place in connection with the exhibition, Sat 1 Jul 2017 between 12.00 – 15.00, South Wing(It is a free drop-in session for families with accompanied children aged 6+, spaces may be limited.) 

There are also loads of interesting hands on demos, workshops, and talks aimed at adults on offer, so take a look at the programme here for more info.

6. Bottle Tower © Givaudan


In connection with Somerset House’s Perfume exhibition, participants will investigate their senses in a workshop exploring language, self-expression and smell. Join the Fragrance Foundation and Marty, a cartoon character, and his famously mighty nose for an afternoon exploring the link between our senses and the ways we can describe them.

If you want to have the most organised diary from a London Concierge Service, and let My Culture Club take care of all bookings and curate the best things for you to do, sign up to my concierge site here.

Image credits;

© Martin Klimas

© Ori Gersht 2017
Bottle Tower © Givaudan

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5 Family Things To Do at the Tate Modern

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1. BESPOKE FAMILY TOURS

It goes without saying you should book onto one of the bespoke Tate Tour events I am running at My Culture Club. You can choose from family friendly private tours for under 5’s, for older kids and then for everyone (1 hr in duration). I run them monthly, and the next ones are in May half Term on June 3rd. There is a baby-friendly one at 10am, and one for kids aged 6+ and their parents at 11.30.

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2. SONIC TRAILS & THE DRAWING BAR

Get out your mobile device and check out Sonic Trails. Click, play and go on a sound journey through the gallery. Inspired by the artwork you’ve seen on your visit? Or, take a break and get creative at the Bloomberg Connects Drawing Bar, near the café on Level 1.

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3. EXHIBITIONS KIDS GO FREE UNDER 12

Family tickets are available for all their special exhibitions. Where under 12s go free (up to four per parent or guardian). If you’re wanting to be super organised, you could download this map, and plan your time around the museum. Then again, you could be like us, and enjoy a freestyle run around, and hang out in the shops for most of your time perusing the brilliant kids and art books.

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4. SPECIAL FAMILY EVENTS

Check the website here for the special family events that are happening at the museum. There are often free daily activities, workshops which allow you to explore different ideas about contemporary art with invited artists and educators.

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Pick-up the latest free, artist-designed activity and explore Tate Modern’s spaces and art displays in new ways, with exciting ideas to get you talking and creating in the galleries together as a family. Choose from activities that take you through art displays, from the Tanks to the Start Gallery and many of the spaces in-between.

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5. FOOD

This should probably be the first thing on the list, tips on where to eat. At the moment (May 16) the Tate Modern Cafe is currently closed for refurbishment. The Kitchen and Bar on Level 6, will provide a family-friendly casual dining experience with a menu consisting of bar snacks and small plates serving well-known English and international classic dishes such as fish and chips and spaghetti bolognaise. There are small espresso bars around the museum, where you can grab a drink and snack. Kids can eat for free in the cafés when an adult buys a main course from the menu.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

I want to hear what you think of Tate and our My Culture Club Tate Tours. Tweet your chirpy messages and check out Tate Kids to use your Tate inspiration to make your own creations and share with kids around the world. I’d love to hear from you on any of the wizard-y media ways below …

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

 

The 5 Best My Culture Club Family Events To Book Now

” The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. – Dolly Parton.

Ok, Ok, so this is a little biased, but you can’t blame a girl for trying. I’ve been getting my head down recently, setting up my events and concierge company My Culture Club.

In a nutshell, the site will offer curated group events, often at a fraction of the published price. The aim is to get like minded people to make friends, and help families and all of us to get out and about and make the most of the exciting things to do in London and around. Call me your Social PA, your Culture Girl, or your private tour guide, I’m fine with all of the above and more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, good and bad, I would be over the moon if you could spare 5 mins to tell me what you think of the idea, and if there are any improvements I can make.

Here is a pick of 5 of the events you can book now, there are more on the site. Leave me a comment any which way to request your tickets. EmailFacebookInstagramTwitter.

Hope to see you at an event soon. Sian xo

1. AURORA ORCHESTRA, AGATHA THE PIRATE : KINGS PLACE, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 : 11AM (AGES 0-4) From £5

Join Aurora for a swashbuckling treasure hunt adventure with Agatha the Pirate. With brand new chamber arrangements of music by Béla Bartók, audiences will meet a host of glimmering jellyfish, sail the high seas and play hide-and-seek with a wonderfully wicked parrot.

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2. BABY FRIENDLY PRIVATE TOUR, TATE MODERN, SE1 (AGES 0+), 10-11AM, FRIDAY JUNE 3RD, £15 PER FAMILY

I’m excited to be working with the team at the Tate, and hosting this baby friendly private tour at the Tate Modern. The tour will focus on the display Material Worlds wing. Come along with your kids and bring friends, make friends or just get out of the house to soak up some culture.

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3. SEPTIMUS BEAN (AGE 4+), SHOW & WORKSHOP, UNICORN THEATRE SE1, SUNDAY JUNE 26TH, 11AM, FROM £12.50

Septimus Bean has invented a very great machine but is yet to work out what it is for. With the help of the king and court, he finds out lots of things that it isn’t for and one unexpected thing that it is utterly perfect for.

This comical, rhythmical and inventive show, based on the much-loved book, will be a highly enjoyable performance for the summer months. We need little inventors to stick around after the show and help us build the magical machine! We’ll be pasting, painting, drawing and sticking – it will get messy.

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4. FAMILY FUN DAY: IMAGINATIVE INVENTIONS, THE ROYAL INSTITUTION, SUNDAY 15 MAY 2016, 11-4PM, (ALL AGES), FROM £9.50

From the ancient Greeks to the modern day, inventions have shaped the way society has grown and the world has progressed, with many of these important developments invented right here at the Ri. Hear from Adam Hart-Davis, get hands-on, see demos, and explore the amazing inventions that have shaped our modern world.

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds though older and younger siblings also very welcome.

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5. GIFFORDS CIRCUS, (FAMILY) CHISWICK HOUSE & GARDENS, FRIDAY 8TH JULY 5PM, FROM £19.50

Giffords Circus was started in 2000 by Nell and Toti Gifford. They wanted to create a small traditional circus company that would bring the magic of circus back to British audiences. Since then the pair have been touring with a troupe of performance artists, musicians, horses and wagons producing unique circus shows and experience, loved by all the family, young and old. Giffords tour much of rural Gloucestershire, South West and Festival

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and one for luck … MATILDA THE MUSICAL, CAMBRIDGE THEATRE, (AGE 6+) TUESDAY 6TH & 7TH SEPT, 7PM (&7.30pm)

Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. Winner of over 50 major international awards, including 13 for Best Musical, Matilda continues to delight audiences in London, Australia, on Broadway and on tour around the USA.

 

 

39 Activities & Day Trips for London Kids

Morning All, So I was thinking, and realised that there are many posts on this Bus Stop that might be useful to you now the sun is shining. I’ve been presumptous and listed them for you in one place.

Think of it as a map to your family weekend, or just food for thought… either way, I hope it helps when you have no energy left to think about what to do tomorrow, because you have been tidying up aqua beads from behind the sofa, and cleaning the back of the fridge again.

Dont forget to drop me aline if you have any specific requests of where/ what and when to do it in the capital (no nut allergies here) I love to be asked. Also don’t forget the EVENTS DIARY on the bus stop homepage that lists events and workshops for you. xo

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1. National Trust places around London. You know you have to visit one of these days!

2. The Best of Kids Theatre. Book it Danno, or Julia, or Colin… whoever is paying.

3. Family Dance Shows at Sadlers Wells. They love kids it over there, and dance is not just for the school disco you know.

4. The Best Backstage Theatre Tours in London. Everyone loves a behind-the-scenes moment, so here’s your chance.

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5. 10 Fantastic Family Days Out in London. The names on the tin, so to speak.

6. Craft Project : Make a Tea Cup Garden.

7. A Top 5 Best Ever Summer Days Out in London

8. 49 Summer London Activities for Kids. Can anyone think of 1 more? I hate odd numbers.

9. Explore Secret Gardens in the Capital. Don’t say I told you so.

10. Visit a Nature Club in London. You’ll feel all warm and cosy afterwards.

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11. A Top 5 BEST Beaches near London. Family Railcard & A Bucket and Spade, ready steady go.

12. Top 5 House Swaps Sites for your Summer Holiday.

13. Top 5 London Days Out for Under 5’s.

14.  Top 5 English Heritage Castles and Palaces.

15. Top 5 Best City Breaks for your Get A Way from the washing up

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16. Top 5 Fountains for playing in around London.

17. Top 5 of places Kids eat FREE in London… now you can have that 2nd glass of rose.

18. The Best Delicious Dim Sum in London Town.

19.  Top 5 Educational Websites for Kids

20.  Top 5 Kids Magazines that make the perfect birthday gift.

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21. Music Courses and Classes around town for all the family. Time to pass on your musical genes.

22. Craft Project : Make a Leaf Man/Lady.

23. Visit The Queen at Buck Palace, a Top 5 of the Best Royal Venues in London.

24. The Bluest Bluebell woods near London want you to show off to you.

25.  The Best Science Kids Clubs. Bang Whizz,  you’re a scientist.

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26. Grab the train direct from St Pancras and visit Whitstable for the day.

27. Look after your grey matter with 10 TED talks about Education.

28. Get inspired and find out where Kate Prince hangs out in London.

29. Check yourself into a family workshop at The National Theatre.

30. Pack a picnic and check out a Heritage Trust Property.

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31. Treat yourself to this fab HUMAN BODY APP.

32. Set your heights and watch Brooke climb in this inspiring video.

33. Find your inner Matisse with one of these ART-Y books.

34. Get Happy with a super easy finger printing project.

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35. It’s simple, go to the park, a royal one at that.

36. Book your Summer Holiday camp now.

37. Clean your tent ready for the Best Family Festivals this Summer.

38. Tap shoes at the ready, book a Drama Holiday Camp today.

39. Dim Sum for lunch ? Here are some suggestions.

 

A Family Day Out at The Wallace Collection (& Private Tour)

The Wallace Collection is a national museum in an historic London town house. situated bang in the middle of Central London close to Marble Arch and Oxford Street. If you’re looking for a gallery that is slightly hidden away from the tourist trail, yet still packs a punch in terms of artefacts, then add this to your list.

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Join us for a Private Tour

Come and join us, there’s a specially curated 75min private tour of the museums ‘highlights’ in the diary for My Culture Club members on June 7th (£15).

Enjoy curated events for small groups of like minded people at the Bus Stops new members club. It’s a chance to catch up with your friends, care for your grey matter and network at the same time (if you fancy it). Sign up to the club for email alerts now (free membership during the launch period, link above).

12743981_10153619261826865_1316735929300161232_n.jpgFrançois Boucher, Venus, France, 1754.

The History

The museum was established in 1897 from the private collection mainly created by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (1800–1870), who left both it and the house to his illegitimate son Sir Richard Wallace (1818–1890). Richard’s widow thankfully, bequeathed the entire collection to the nation. The collection opened to permanent public view in 1900 in Hertford House, and remains there to this day. A condition of the bequest was that no object should ever leave the collection, even for loan exhibitions

The Collection

The Collection numbers nearly 5,500 objects and is best known for its quality and breadth of eighteenth-century French paintings, Sèvres porcelain and French furniture. Its 25 galleries are unsurpassed displays of French 18th-century paintingfurniture and porcelain with superb Old Master paintings and a world class armoury.

The Great Gallery has been described as “the greatest picture gallery in Europe.” It reopened in September 2014, following a two year refurbishment with a new hang and a reconfigured ceiling allowing natural light in.

3516_10153619253726865_5908322293139263009_n.jpgFrans Hals, The Laughing Cavalier, 1624

Drop In Family Fun

They run drop in activities, where the kids can try on armour at any time in the Conservation Gallery, pick up a free trail at the Information Desk. Choose from ‘Warrior Kings!’ or ‘Looking for the Owners’. It’s also worth trying out the children’s audio guide available from the Information Desk (price: £3)

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Weekend & Holiday Events

The events team run a range of weekend and holiday events. The Little Draw charity run a drop-in art workshop held in the galleries on the first Sunday of each month from (1.30-4.30pm). They also run School Half-Term and Holiday Activities and Special Day Events which take place approximately four times per year (at the weekends). Expect a full entertaining day of talks, craft activities, hands-on sessions and all round creative fun. Check on line with the museum, or drop me a line at the Bus Stop to find out what and when if you fancy (I’m nice like that).

12745684_10153619258816865_4236496159615509223_n.jpgAlexandre-Gabriel Decamps, The Punishment of the Hooks, France, 1837.

The Wallace Restaurant

Their rather bright and airey Peyton and Byrne restaurant is open for breakfast, lunches from 12pm, afternoon teas complete with vintage champagne, and late dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings. It might be a haunt for the odd business lunch during the week, but don’t be shy about crashing the party. Peyton and Byrne are a decent bunch, and they know by now how to look after the likes of us.

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Deaf Visions; These pioneering activities are led by Deaf artists and art historians with an interpreter on hand for hearing activities. Keep across the website for details of what is in the event schedule.

Address

Hertford House, Manchester Square
London, W1U 3BN, United Kingdom
Telephone +44 (0)207 563 9500

Admission Free, Open 7 days a week, 10am – 5pm. Closed 24 – 26 December

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Events coming up in March & April 2016

06 Mar 1:30PM All Ages The Little Draw
29 Mar 10:30AM 6+ Pixel Art
29 Mar 2:00PM 6+ Pixel Art
31 Mar 10:30AM 9-13 Painting Portraits
03 Apr 1:30PM All Ages The Little Draw
08 Apr 11:00AM 5+ Badge of Honour
Map

Visiting by bus

Numbers 2, 10, 12, 13, 30, 74, 82, 94, 113, 137, 274 all stop nearby.

Visiting by rail

Marylebone Rail Station is approximately a 10-15 minute walk.

Parking

Parking on nearby streets metered until 6.30pm. A selection of car parks can be found nearby. To reserve a disabled persons’ parking space, please call +44 (0) 207 563 9524. Parking map.

Visiting by Tube

The nearest tubes are Bond Street (Jubilee & Central Lines), Baker Street (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Bakerloo and Metropolitan Lines) & Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria Lines), whcih are all 10-15 minute walk.

Access

For visitors with an Assistance Dog, Marble Arch is the nearest tube with stairs. (click here for access options).

The Wallace Collection is conveniently located in Central London, just a few minutes walk from Oxford Street, Baker Street and Marylebone Village.

 

12 Family Friendly London Exhibitions To See Now

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Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

National Portrait Gallery , Leicester Square Until Sunday February 21 2016

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Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System

Natural History Museum, until 15 May 2016. 

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Alexander Calder, Performing Sculpture

Tate Modern, 11 November 2015 – 3 April 2016

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The Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley

The Royal Geographical Society, until 28 February 2016

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Jean-Etienne Liotard

Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Until Sunday January 31 2016

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Night Shift – London after Dark

London Transport Museum, runs until 10 April 2016

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Egypt ; faith after the pharaohs

British Museum, runs until 7 February 2016

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Alice in Wonderland

British Library , Euston Until Sunday April 17 2016

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Annie Leibovitz, Women

Wapping Hydraulic Power Station , London Saturday January 16 2016 – Sunday February 7 2016

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Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS

Imperial War Museum, until 13 November 2016

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Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution

National Maritime Museum , Greenwich Until Monday March 28 2016

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Natural History Museum until £13.50, £6.75 children & concs

 

 

A Family Day Out at London’s V&A Childhood Museum

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V&A Childhood Museum, Bethnal Green (Tube : Bethnal Green) Open daily 10.00-17.45 (last admission 17.30)

The V&A Museum of Childhood houses the UK’s national collection of childhood-related objects, one of the finest in the world.

 

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The Bus Stop Kids and I have spent a lot of time in the museum over the years. It works for us, as it serves a decent espresso (which was harder to find in the good old days of 2013) and it’s especially good for the under 5’s.

As well as the Benugo cafe, the Childhood Museum is a wide open space filled with stations around the museum that keep the kids entertained, whilst you check your phone for alerts from The Economist ones (not Kim Kardashians latest instagram post).

They offer hands on fun like dressing up, daily craft sessions, giant robots to cuddle, real rocking horses for those that love horses but hate the mucking out, a mini sensory disco, as well as an indoor sand pit complete with Punch and Judy show.

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We also love the toy/ book shop, the garden (for when the sun is out), and sometimes get the kids to concentrate on the fantastic collections of toys, dolls houses (like Grandma used to have), and then theres the brilliant current exhibitions they offer throughout the year.

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I’ve listed whats running currently (Jan 2016) so you can keep up to date. If you make the trip, I’d love to see your photos. You can share and tag your instagram photos #busstopkids or leave me a comment below.

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Exhibition : The Clangers, Bagpuss & Co

19 March  – 9 October 2016. Oliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets shaped the childhood memories of millions since they started collaborating in the 1950s. Here you’ll see Bagpuss, the Soup Dragon and ogle Noggin the Nog. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and The Clangers, the exhibition will go behind the scenes of some of their other creations; Pogles Wood, Nogin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.

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Exhibition : The Tales We Tell

14 November 2015 – 3 July 2016. This exhibition presents a rare insight into Warli, a tribal art form from Western India. Drawing on a store of tribal memory, myths and everyday life, it has evolved from restricted ritual drawings into an applied art in the process of transition. The Tales we Tell: Indian Warli Painting is part of the V&A India Festival. 

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Exhibition : It’s a Hard World for Little Things

9 January – 17 July 2016. Children Carrying Heavy Objects is a series of six large-scale drawings that depict children and the burdens that they carry.

The images explore children’s absolute will to survive in a sometimes-hostile adult world and reflects the plight of children on a global and domestic scale; the show features local children and others from around the world.

On-their-Own-Britains-child-migrants-Source-Molong-Historical-Society-2-e1423666377629-1024x681.jpgCredit : British Child Migrants. Picture by Molong Historical Society

Exhibition : On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants

24 October – 12 June 2016. An exhibition telling the heart-breaking true stories of Britain’s child migrants who were sent to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries between 1869 and 1970. An estimated 100,000 British children were sent overseas by migration schemes, which were run by a partnership of charities, religious organisations and governments, and claimed to offer boys and girls the opportunity of a better life in Britain’s Empire overseas. Many migrants never saw their homes or their families again.

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Museums Activities for Kids (during term-time only Monday to Friday).

Animal Magic, 14.00 : Sensory storytelling for children aged 5 and under, inspired by well-loved animal tales.

Art Smarts, 14.30-16.00 : Kids can get creative with the drop-in arts and crafts sessions, and make an amazing piece of art inspired by the Museum to take home. For all ages.

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Museums Activities for Kids (during term-time only Saturday and Sunday & Summer holidays: Saturday  – Thursday)

Animal Magic, 10.30 : Sensory storytelling for children aged 5 and under, inspired by well-loved animal tales.

Explore, 11.15-11.45 : Object-handling, demonstrations and have-a-go sessions that let children get up close to childhood objects and toys.

Telling Tales, 12.00-12.30 : Interactive storytelling featuring popular children’s tales. Children can help tell the story using sounds and props.

Art Smarts, 14.00-16.00 : Kids can get creative with our drop-in arts and crafts sessions, and make an amazing piece of art inspired by the Museum to take home. All ages.

For details of special events and activities during the holidays see the What’s On pages.

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Montessori Family Packs

A selection of Montessori Family Packs for children age 5 and under are available to borrow from the Information Desk for 1 hour. You will need to leave a form of ID (e.g. a passport or driving licence). Each pack contains a map, activity suggestions, storybooks and toys to touch.

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Other Events in 2016

Chinese New Year  : Saturday 13 February :11.30 – 16.30 

Join us to celebrate Chinese New Year with both traditional and modern instrumental dance performances. Take part in Chinese Opera mask and lantern making, as well as costume and calligraphy workshops.

London Children’s Book Swap : Saturday 13 February  11.00 – 16.00

Calling all book worms! London Children’s Book Swap returns for the 5th year running. Bring your old books to trade for another person’s favourite read. Join in the fun to recycle and renew your personal library.

Make Do and Mend Critters workshop

Soft toy owl

Wednesdays 30 March and 6 April 
10.30, 12.00, 14.00, 15.30

Join maker Cherene Hamilton to upcycle everyday textiles into weird and wonderful creatures. Book now £5 (with parent/carer) Ages 5-12

Dragons and Unicorns Puppet Workshop

Monday 28 March – Friday 1 April
10.15, 11.45, 13.45, 15.15

Join illustrator Frances Barry in making beautiful 2D moving paper puppets inspired by The Clangers, Bagpuss & Co exhibition.

Cosmic Shoebox Workshop

Monday 4, Tuesday 5, Thursday 7 and Friday 8 April
10.30, 12.00, 14.00, 15.30

Use your imagination to create a wonderful character inspired by the exhibition and work with artist Amy Brown to bring them to life.
Book now £5 (with parent/carer) Ages 5-12