It’s March, which means you can probably venture back outside again – but maybe with the aid of a scarf and a good pair of gloves. If you are looking for family activities to do this month, there’s plenty on – indoor and out. Here are our picks for fun weekends and interesting evenings with the kids.
Starting with museums, if you were enthused by Robot Zoo last month, the Science Museum are also venturing into the world of machines with Robots. The exhibition explores both the past and the future of automaton technology, and will be full of hands-on exhibits for kids to get stuck into. Just across the road, The National History Museum continue their Investigate for Families events – the perfect opportunity to get touchy-feely with creepy-crawlies. The museum’s team of educators are on hand to answer all questions and explain all the specimens on display. If you haven’t visited the National Maritime Museum yet, now’s the time. The Greenwich Gallery has a series of interactive kids exhibits, including a ship simulator and actor re-enactments, and this month is the last chance to catch some of the museum’s attractions before the refurbishment in April.
Photo credit: Baxter, a Working Robot, copyright Plastiques Photography, courtesy of the Science Museum
Other special events worth catching this month include The Art of Brick at the South Bank. The DC world of superheroes is brought to life with a series of towering LEGO® sculptures, intricately arranged by Nathan Sawaya. The exhibition opens on 1 March, entrance is £16.50 for adults and £11.00 for kids, family tickets are available. Sticking with the miniature theme, the London Festival of Railway Modelling descends on Alexandra Palace on the weekend of the 25-26 March. A huge collection of exhibitors fill the grand hall with all the train designs imaginable, and there will be lots of opportunity to see the elaborately arranged tracks in action. For the youngest kids, maybe a trip to Foyle’s Bookstores Story Hour would make a good adventure. The Westfield Stratford site has regular Story Hours every Friday between 4pm and 5pm, and the Charing Cross branch has a special Peppa Pig celebration at 11am on 3 March.
As promised, there are some outdoor events to brave. British Science Week join with ZSL London Zoo for a week (10-17 March), offering visitors a chance to meet a zoologist and get an in-depth introduction to the lions and langurs on site. There’s also a few days left to catch Kew Gardens’ fantastic Flora Japonica show (closing on 5 March). The exhibition combines artwork with horticulture in an amazing array of colours and styles – maybe one for slightly older kids. Venturing even further into the wilds, Epping Forest are recommencing their Deer Walks. Families can join Forest Keeper Michael Collins on 12 March for a trek through the woodland and (hopefully) catch some of the area’s most impressive inhabitants.
Photo credit: Martin Pettitt
Coming to film, London’s screens are awash with good family entertainment next month. Hitting cinemas soon is Disney’s live action Beauty & The Beast (17 March), starring Emma Watson. There’s also the new, updated Power Rangers film (24 March) – a spot of nostalgia for parents of a certain age. Finally, keep an eye out for A Silent Voice (16 March), another fantastic Japanese anime story about a school bully trying to atone for his mistakes. In theatre, An American in Paris comes to London, singing and dancing in the Dominion Theatre from 4 March. You can also see two different children’s shows at the Unicorn Theatre near Tower Bridge. Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore is a teasing comedy with plenty of wordplay, and the beautifully named Velveteen Rabbit returns from Broadway to tell its story of the dreams of a stuffed toy all over again.