The Best Family Entertainment in June

Eva de Valk

From techy theatre at the start of the month to shipping container origami at the end, there’s plenty going on to keep the kids entertained through the half term and beyond.

iPet at Polka Theatre

The month kicks off with theatre fun at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, who are hosting Techtopia Festival. The line-up, which features lots of interesting collisions between the performing arts and technology, will cater to both children and adults. The first weekend of June is the tail end of the festival, but you can still catch plenty of exciting events. Join the Dots is a music and movement workshop that will take its three and four-year-old participants on a journey through light and colour. Tickets are £18, which covers one adult and one child. Meanwhile in Make Noise with Technology, a workshop using digital technologies to create music, kids can relish the chance to get loud. This workshop is open to all, but focuses particularly on children with disabilities and is recommended for ages two to eight. Tickets, again admitting an adult and a child, are £8.
Small Wonders by Punchdrunk

Theatre-loving parents will also be excited to learn that immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, who have had big hits on their hands with shows like Sleep No More and The Drowned Man, is bringing a new show to this year’s LIFT festival. The only catch: it’s a family show, and all grown-ups must be accompanied by a child. In Small Wonders, Nanny Lacey takes her audience on an adventure tour around her collection of miniatures, sharing the stories behind each of these homemade treasures. This is an interactive experience aimed at children aged between six and eleven, running from 2 June until 13 July. Tickets start at £8 and availability is limited, so book soon to avoid disappointment.   
Dragon Boat race

For a healthy dose of Chinese culture, head over to the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on 3 June. This annual event does not only feature the titular dragon boats, whose rowers will be competing for the five prizes that are up for grabs this year, but also a host of family friendly activities surrounding the race. Visitors can enjoy treats from the South-East Asian food market, marvel at demonstrations of traditional art forms such as lion dancing, tai chi and martial arts, and sing along to upcoming artists from both East and West. The festival takes place at the London Regatta Centre, near the ExCel, and is free to visit.
The week after, you can opt to go completely British with a visit to Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday celebration. On 9 June, the Queen will inspect her troops on the Horse Guards Parade and will then lead a parade back to Buckingham Palace, where the rest of the family will join her for the traditional RAF flypast. Trooping the Colour can get very crowded and overwhelming, so careful planning is advised, especially if you’re attending with younger children.

Children's Art Week

Another family favourite returning this month is Children’s Art Week, which offers kids of all ages the chance to create their very own artworks in a range of disciplines, including drawing, architecture and print making. Museums, art centres and libraries across the country will be participating, so there is a wide variety of activities on the calendar this year. Some of our London favourites include horse and carriage-inspired crafts at the Royal Mews, a hands-on under-fives morning at New London Architecture and musical instrument making at the V&A. Children’s Art Week will run from 9 until 17 June.

La Parade Amoureuse at GDIF 2018

The end of the month sees the arrival of the annual Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, a two-week-long line-up of free street theatre and dance performances. Family-friendly highlights this year include Origami, an unlikely duet between a dancer and an unfolding shipping container; interactive, pedal-powered musical Bicycle Boy; La Parade Amoureuse, in which a herd of illuminated deer light up the Roman Road; and Doubles, which makes an unexpected connection between dance and ping pong. GDIF runs from 21 June until 7 July at various locations across Greenwich, Docklands, Woolwich and Canary Wharf.

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