Twelve Days Out to Ease Your Children into Autumn – That You Will Love Too! 


This post is sponsored by Fantastic for Families – a brilliant website for families to discover fun and affordable creative activities in their area.

Fantastic for Families


“Summer Time and the Living is Easy…” come September, the children are starting back at school but it doesn’t mean that you suddenly want to stay locked up indoors on the weekend. We know your weekends are precious for quality family time and are important for your Primary aged child to unwind after those first few weeks back at school so we’ve teamed up with Fantastic for Families to round up September’s best family outings – and of course we only pick ones that are parent-pleasers too!

1. Sail away, sail away, sail away… 

The annual Totally Thames Festival is on throughout September in various locations across London with lots of art installations for all, like The Ship of Tolerance at the Millenium Bridge, and free family events like Thames TideFest on Sunday 8th September; the Classic Boat Festival at St Katherine’s Dock over the weekend of 6th to 8th; Erith Pier Festival on 21st and Putney Riverside on 29th September. The Cutty Sark at Greenwich also has family drop-in craft events like making a tall ship for The Cutty Sark Flotilla on 7th/8th September. 


Cutty Sark cr. Royal Museums Greenwich
Cutty Sark cr. Royal Museums Greenwich


2. It’s all in the design….

The London Design Festival from 14th to 22nd September is organised by the V&A Museum. A number of large design pieces have been commissioned and will be installed in venues across London as well as events on at the V&A itself.  On 15th September as part of the festival, the weekly Sunday Drop-in Design for families at the V&A will be Click and Stitch where you can create your own digital textile design. There will also be a Digital Design Weekend on the final weekend where you can join artists, engineers and technologists for some creative family fun.


3. Have a snoop…

The Open House Festival returns this year on 21st and 22nd September with buildings all over central and Greater London opening up so that you can get a tour and a glimpse inside of buildings and institutions that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to. This year on 22nd September there will be special Open House Families events too, exclusively for children and their families.


4. Dock around the clock…

The Join The Docks Festival which showcases and celebrates the role of London’s Royal Docks goes on throughout the Summer holiday and continues into September. The Museum of London in Docklands is holding the Our Docks: Local history Family Fun day on 22nd September where families can drop in and find out how Silvertown got its name amongst other things.


5. Sculpt their imagination

Regents Park is host to the Frieze Sculpture Park this Summer so if you haven’t managed to go during the holidays then you’ve got until the 6th October to catch the free exhibition of over 20 sculptures in the beautiful surroundings of Regents Park’s English Gardens. Fresh air and art = perfect combination for a lovely stroll. If you’re there on 7th September you can also visit the Regent’s Park Allotment Day where as well as having food tasting they will also have a children’s Treasure Hunt.


6. Enjoy the bounty of the season…

Make the most of the last of summer’s rays by heading down to a farm to celebrate the harvest. Woodlands Farm on Shooters Hill will be hosting the London Harvest Festival on Saturday 28th September with animals, crafts and children’s activities. It is an event that brings together the Community Gardens and London’s city farms.


7. Take a walk around the block….

The Museum of London is leading one hour family walks focusing on Roman London on 15th and 21st September. A great price at just £5 for children and £7.50 for adults, you won’t need to walk in Roman sandals (unless you want to). When you return to the Museum you can visit the fabulous Beasts of London Exhibition which is for those aged seven plus or just explore and get interactive with history within the main museum.


Roman Walk. Photo credit Museum of London
Roman Walk. Photo credit Museum of London


8. Roll up, roll up and have a royal experience…

Castles are great for exploring and enabling History to come to life. They are even more exciting when you add a special event into the mix so why not be a day tripper to Windsor Castle on 14th September for a Family Festival all about Queen Victoria’s Circus with circus performers, falconry, storytelling, costumes and music! 


9. There’s no business like show business…

Kids are never too young for theatre.  The artsdepot in North Finchley has a busy September, beginning with a production of Roald Dahl and the Wurblegobblers on 15th September (6 to 11s) , followed by a run of The Scarecrow’s Wedding (for ages 3 to 10) on 20th to 22nd before Javier Jarquin: Card Ninja pops up on 29th.   An eclectic mix to enjoy! If you think your child would like to see THEIR imaginative ideas come to life then instead head off to the Udderbelly Festival at Southbank for The Showstoppers Kids Show between 8th to 29th. Think improv like in Who’s Line Is it Anyway but this time the kids are in charge!


Roald Dahl and the Wurble Gobblers. Photo credit Get Lost and Found
Roald Dahl and the Wurble Gobblers. Photo credit Get Lost and Found


10. May the (musical) force be with them…

Star Wars is fabulous, and a concert at the Royal Albert Hall is an experience to be treasured. Why not combine the two for a treat and blow your children’s minds when Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert is performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra as a live soundtrack to the film, at the Royal Albert Hall from 21st to 23rd September. Alternatively, for a cheaper concert at only £10 visit St Martin in the Fields on 21st September for one of their monthly Mini Maestro family concerts, focusing on Mozart and Handel this month.


11. These boots were made for walking…

If you want to have a fun day out as a family, get some exercise and do something worthwhile for other people at the same time then the perfect opportunity is to do a community charity walk. Trinity’s Family Walk and Fun Day on 22nd September will give you the chance to walk around Clapham Common to raise money for the Royal Trinity Hospice before heading to their award- winning garden in the afternoon.


12. Draw out your inner artist…

Head to the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre in the City of London and pick up an Art Detective Kit to discover more about their paintings. Once you have explored the beautiful artwork on the 14th September you can take part in one of their monthly Family Activity Saturdays where you can handle historical objects or create pieces of arts and craft together. The September session should get you in the right frame of mind for The Big Draw Festival that starts at the beginning of October and will have numerous activities in different locations across the country to encourage a love of drawing in children.   



So, these are our 12 suggestions for easing the kids into autumn after a long summer break. Let us know if you have any to add!


By Laura Cheek


This post is sponsored by Fantastic for Families – a brilliant website for families to discover affordable and relevant quality arts and cultural activities from trusted organisers in their local area. Fantastic for Families is run by the Family Arts Campaign, a national collaborative programme funded by Arts Council England.


Laura Cheek is currently a SAHM who is also a qualified primary teacher. This means her poor family have to put up with "The Look", the bossiness and far too much "tut" that might be useful one day. She loves her local community and has her fingers in many voluntary pies. One day she will be an organised, graceful, stylish, domestic goddess. Today is not that day.