Not going away on holiday and can’t face watching Moana for the 1,000th time? Treat the kids and yourself with these summer holiday activities in SW1
Follow the white rabbit to Taj 51 hotel
Your little ones will be grinning like Cheshire cats after they’ve sampled Taj hotel’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired afternoon tea. This extra-special tea party features an eclectic menu of cakes and pastries fit enough for the Queen of Hearts, including ‘drink me’ strawberry potions, pocket watch macaroons and white chocolate mousse teacups. Extravagant headgear optional.
Taj Hotel, St James’s Court, 54 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF; taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk
Have a royal day out at Buckingham Palace
The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are now officially open for the summer, and over the first weekend in August all three London Royal Collection sites of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery will be hosting a family-friendly festival. Expect workshops, activities, trails and arts and crafts fit for royalty. There’ll even be the chance for your child to win a cuddly toy corgi named Rex.
Saturday 4-Sunday 5 August, free with standard admission; royalcollection.org.uk
Photo: Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
Get up close to strange sea creatures
Give your kids an educational experience without them even realising it with the touring Sea Creatures exhibition. This ground-breaking interactive display allows both children and adults to come face-to-face with penguins, great white sharks and whales (among other aquatic animals) through innovative cross-section plaster models and ‘augmented reality’ technology. Educational and a bit gross.
27 July–30 August 2018, from £13.52, RHS Lawrence Hall, Greycoat Street, SW1P 2QD; seacreaturestour.com
Feed the birds at St James’s Park
Explore the history and heritage of London's oldest and smallest royal park, with a guided tour of St James’s Park and take the opportunity to pick the brains of its resident wildlife officer about the parks various creatures. Round off the tour with a daily feeding display of the parks cheeky resident pelicans.
Friday 31 August, £10, St James’s Park, London SW1A 2BJ; royalparks.org.uk
Run amok in Tate Britain
Pre-eminent art galleries aren’t the most obvious (or advisable) place to take a toddler, but Tate Britain is breaking all the rules this summer. On Saturday 4 August the museum is inviting under fives to lead the way in a playful session with artist and choreographer Aya Kobayashi that allows families to explore the gallery in new and exciting ways.
Saturday 4 August, 2-4pm, free, Tate Britain Millbank, SW1P 4RG; tate.org.uk
Photo: © Tate
Eat well for free at Jamie’s Italian
Eating out with the kids isn’t always a picnic but at least at Jamie’s Italian you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll all enjoy a healthy, slap-up meal that won’t break the bank. In fact, until Sunday 19 August kids can eat well for free with every main you order. The Jamie’s Italian kids’ menu is full of great, hearty food they'll love and each dish contains at least two your child’s five-a-day. So, what are you waiting for?
Jamie’s Italian, 66 Victoria St, SW1E 6SQ; jamieoliver.com