Southbank Centre

Top five child-friendly London events in 2012

Many people believe a city is not a place for children, declaring children need open spaces to let their imaginations run free. But London begs to differ. Every year, this global capital city hosts dozens of events and exhibitions purely for younger audiences. Here are some of the best child-friendly events in London in 2012.

Imagine Children’s Literature Festival

The Southbank is always alive with entertainment and events, but in February the Southbank Centre is dedicated entirely to children and more specifically, children’s books. Britain’s best children’s writers, storytellers and illustrators work together to create engaging and educational workshops and discussions designed to encourage young people to get into reading and writing.

Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival

Theatre is made fun and magical at the annual Children’s Theatre Festival in Greenwich. A vast range of performances using puppets, poets and musicians tell stories appealing to a young audience. The programme is packed full of shows, so you won’t have any problem finding something your little ones will enjoy.

V&A Museum of Childhood Summer Festival

Every August the V&A Museum of Childhood is turned into a giant playground with live music, street performers, face-painting and games to brighten up every child’s summer. This child-friendly museum in Bethnal Green houses a vast array of childhood-related objects and artefacts from the 17th century through to today.

Kids Week

Also in August, London’s theatres focus purely on children under 16. With tickets available at little or no cost, this is a great time to take your children to see a show. In 2012 the ‘week’ actually runs for two weeks and children can even get a sneak peek behind the scenes and learn how a show is put together. Certain performances also have workshops including dance and make-up lessons and there are opportunities to meet the stars of the show too.

London Children’s Film Festival

The children’s film market is growing rapidly and this event at London’s Barbican Centre in October reflects this. Not only does the event showcase children’s films from around the globe, but there are ‘animation stations’ where children can even create their own characters and mini movies. All the films are judged by a panel of seven to 11 year olds, so it really is a child-focused event.

If you are looking for hotel accommodation during your London city break, it’s a good idea to look west. Kensington is well placed for all the major museums and transport connections are excellent, with three tube stations and a mainline rail station all nearby.

There are three Millennium Kensington hotels to choose from with great rates on family rooms and suites.