London culture for kids in 2017
There isn’t a parent anywhere who hasn’t occasionally worried that their kids are going to grow up with giant screen-shaped fingers and no frame of reference beyond Pixar and DreamWorks. It won’t happen. But just in case, here are some of London’s finest non-device, animation-light, child-size cultural experiences to dilute the pop-mix and stretch those young horizons a little.
1/7 Backpacks, family trails and Beatrix Potter at the V&A
Not only does the V&A lead the world of art and design museums, it’s always had child-size engagement down to a fine art too.
Beatrix Potter was born in South Kensington and visited the V&A when it was too cold and rainy for bracing afternoons in the park, so beloved by Victorian nannies. Was she inspired? See the Beatrix Potter exhibition at the museum until July 2017 and let your kids judge for themselves. It’s a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Potter’s birth and gives a fascinating glimpse behind the books and into the day-to-day life of one of the world’s best loved children’s writers.
Remember to pick up free backpacks at the Grand Entrance before you go exploring. They’re specially designed to make the V&A even more interesting for 5 – 12 year olds and kids can choose from eight different themes – under 5’s have their own Agent Animal pack. If that doesn’t make you feel enough like honoured guests, head to the Learning Reception and select a Family Trail: tours of the V&A guided by puzzles and games, great fun for over fives.
When: V&A’s open 7-days from 10am to 5.45pm and until 10pm on Friday evenings
Where: Cromwell Road, London SW7. Nearest tube station, Piccadilly.
Cost: Free: including Beatrix Potter, V&A kid’s backpacks and Family Trails
Want more Beatrix Potter? Take the kids to see Quentin Blake’s original drawings for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots at the House of Illustration, King’s Cross, until 26 February.