Love is in the air in February along with Chinese New Year and Pancake Day. I love any reason to celebrate! Here’s some inspiration for your adventures as you head out in East London with kids this month.
From Lion Parades and forest schools to ice skating and country discos there’s plenty to do in this flipping fabulous and hopefully not too freezing month of February. Here are 20 fun things to do in East London with kids.
1 Chinese New Year at the National Maritime Museum
Celebrate the year of the Wooden Tiger at this one day extravaganza jam-packed with activities for kids. Don’t forget to book a slot at the Ahoy Gallery as it will be completely booked up on the day but if you forget the museum also has a brand new playground to explore. Along with the lion dancing, there will be hat making, fan making, dragon making, Mahjong, Lunar New Year storytelling and more.
Saturday 3rd February 2024 all day with performances at various times
National Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF
Museum is free, book Ahoy for £3
2 Chinese Astronomy
Join this live planetarium show to explore topics in ancient and modern Chinese astronomy, including the Sun, Moon, stars and space exploration, guided through by an astronomer of the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Saturday 3rd and 10th February 2024 various times
Planetarium, The RoyalPlanetarium, The Royal Observatory, Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ
Adults £12, Children £6 Students & Under 25: £8
(Tickets for the Observatory must be booked separately but are not needed for Planetarium access)
3 Ready, Steady, Lift Off! Ages 3-8
Go boldly forth to the Unicorn Theatre for an out-of-this-world experience! A Line Art presents Ready Steady Lift Off!, a unique blend of interactive arts and musical theatre at the Unicorn. Train to be an astronaut, craft your rocket, and lift off on an immersive journey through seven training stages. This family-friendly show combines live performance, music, storytelling, and painting, engaging kids aged 3 to 8. Decorate your rocket, navigate space, and encounter cosmic creatures in this craft-filled adventure. Get ready for lift-off with our weird and wacky astronaut program, suitable for an unforgettable family outing! (Not suitable for under 3s due to the rocket’s size).
Until Sunday 18th February 2024
Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley St, London, SE1 2HZ
Under 18s £10.50 – £12.50 / Adults £12.50 – £15.50
4 We Can Be Heroes
Get ready for the rootinest tootinest fun in East London with kids! We Can Be Heroes returns to Walthamstow Trades Hall and things are gettin’ a l’il bit country. The Blue Moons and DJs will be spinning tunes from country legends Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Taylor Swift, and several different people all named Hank. Enjoy face painting, drawing, free comics, discounted pizza, and a budget-friendly bar. Dress up as your favourite characters for this daytime disco celebrating geek culture. Kids get a free bandana!
Sunday 11th February 2024
Walthamstow Trades Hall, 61-63 Tower Hamlets Rd, London E17 4RQ
£11 with booking fee
5 Lunar New Year at Museum of London Docklands
Ring in the year of the dragon with a roar in this weekend long family festival. Listen to classic Chinese folktales, learn how to ribbon dance, master martial arts moves and make crafts inspired by this celebration. What better way to start the New Year? A great way to learn and participate in cultural activities East London with kids.
Saturday 10th- Sunday 11th February 2024, various times
Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL
6 Mime London 8+
Experience a world full of mesmerising puppets, beautiful handmade objects, shadow puppetry, animation, music and projection. 4 astonishing international companies showcase incredible productions that embrace the unspoken through extraordinary visual performance. Themes explore the twists and turns of life, the mysteries of the human body and the wonders of the universe. MimeLondon is the latest curatorial project from the directors of the London International Mime Festival (LIMF) which ended in 2023 after five decades of award-winning success.
Barbican Cinema 2, Beech Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Until Saturday 17th Feb 2024
Adults £18, Kids £9
7 The Everywhere Bear
Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s much loved book about the adventures of a classroom bear’s unexpected adventure after falling unnoticed from a backpack. Washed down a drain, whisked out to sea, and carried through various encounters, the bear navigates an epic journey. Meanwhile, the children of Class One wonder about his whereabouts. With captivating rhyme, original music, and expressive puppets, this enchanting tale comes to life on stage, promising fun and excitement for all ages. Book the puppet workshop to make the most of your adventure.
Saturday 3rd February – 14th April 2024 various times
Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, London N1 2DN
£14 Adult £12 Child (age 1-17) All tickets £8 on Thursdays and Fridays at 4.45pm
8 Ice Skating Canary Wharf
It’s the last month to get your skates on at Canary Wharf this winter. Canada Square Park has been transformed into a traditional alpine lodge with a covered rink. You can skate all season long beneath the stunning skyline of Canary Wharf under the twinkling festive fairy lights. Skate aids — limited availability hire at the Customer Service Office 30 min prior to the skate session — £5.00
Open every day, at various times until the 24th February 2024
Canada Square Park, London E14 5AB
Tickets Kids 4-12 yrs £15.95 Adults 13+ £20.95 Family £59
9 Balloon Museum
EmotionAir is the brand new Balloon Museum’s first exhibition. Take your kids to Old Billingsgate for a multisensory journey full of buoyant inflatable art invoking the intricacies of human emotions. Transforming the space into emotional vehicles, the installations guide visitors through a vibrant and intense world. Twenty artists interpret specific emotions, ranging from fear and frustration to joy and ecstasy from colossal installations to more intimate dialogues. Kids will just love the bouncy colourfulness of it all, and not so secretly, that’s what the adults like too.
Balloon Museum,1 Old Billingsgate Walk, London EC3R 6DX
Adults £38.45, Kids £25.70, Family of 4 £112.40
10 Lunar New Year Family Day
Another wonderful opportunity to celebrate the year of the Tiger. The Museum of the Home is a natural place to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Kakilang has organised a great day of activities including a reading by Eva Wong Nava of her illustrated book, I Love Chinese New Year. Kids can get creative making Lunar New Year animal puppets using recycled materials with The Orang Collectif and coming up with some stories for their animal characters in the Museum of the Home’s interactive family playhouse.
Sunday 18th February 2024 11 am – 4 pm
Museum of the Home, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA
11 Imagine Children’s Festival
The Imagine Children’s Festival, spanning 11 days during February half-term, offers a diverse blend of theatre, comedy, music, literature, poetry, and family fun for kids aged 0-11. With a focus on inspiring creativity and embracing diversity, early years activities feature The David Gibb Big Band, a free Wondergig, and Tom Fletcher’s interactive adventures. Highlights include Motionhouse’s Starchitects: A Cosmic Adventure, talks by Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and Michael Rosen, YolanDa Brown’s new performance, CBeebies Ocean Adventure with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and various workshops and entertainment. We had so much fun last year! Check out our reel on Instagram.
Wed 7th – Sat 17th Feb 2024, various times
South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Some events are free, others ticketed
12 Kamishibai Performance: The Great Race!
Haruka Kuroda from the British Japanese theatre company; A Thousand Cranes presents Kamishibai, a traditional form of illustrated storytelling from Japan. Japan follows the Chinese zodiac system: a cycle of 12 years, with each year bearing the name of a different animal. Come and find out how each animal found its place in the race! Why not visit Myths and Manga while you are there.
Saturday 10th February 2024 12, 1:30 and 3 pm, and will last for 20 minutes
Young V&A, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9PA
FREE (Myths and Manga tickets are £10)
13 A Migration Celebration!
Enjoy a variety of free activities, including Middle Eastern and North African cookery classes, global-themed toddler parties, Caribbean storytelling, and Eastern European-inspired music and folktales. Customize a multicultural blanket and explore object handling with artefacts from migrants and the museum’s collection. Immerse yourself in captivating folktales and klezmer music. Don’t miss the Fashion City exhibition, where every stitch tells a story. Share your family’s migration story and visit immersive sound art installations highlighting Chilean and Polish voices.
Mon 12th – Sun 18th February 2024 all day with workshops at various times
Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL.
14 Escape from The Golden Hinde
Avast ye me hearties! Join a live interactive adventure on this historic vessel. This one is catering to adults but under 10s play for free so if your family loves an Escape Room why not take the day out together and explore this replica of the ship Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world in the 1570s? It’s haunted by ghosts, an unhappy mix of spirits with whom you’ll be locked aboard with just 60 minutes to escape! 5* reviews on trip advisor saying it’s great for families makes me want to find out what it’s all about!
10th,11th, 15th and 16th February 2024 various times available
The Golden Hinde, St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street, London, SE1 9DE
Over 10s -£33 Under 10s free
15 My Crown & Encanto Screening
Join Riri on a journey of learning how to love herself, love her curls and understand that being unique is special. Meet Erina Lewis, the incredible author of My Crown, for an interactive storytelling meet and greet, book signing and the opportunity to make your very own crown. Make a full day of it with a Box Rocket immersive world visit and an Encanto screening. All now possible to book on the same day.
Saturday 10th February 2024, My Crown is at 11:30
Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4QZ
Free with your £9 session pass + Box Rocket £4 and Encanto £5
16 Valentines Family Barn Dance
All ages and abilities welcome for this whirly twirly giddying day of dancing and fun at Cut a Shine’s Family Barn Dance. They’ll teach you the moves from really simple dances for the smallest kids to a couple of proper ones for the grown ups, come and get your folk on with Cut A Shine! Suitable for children of all ages – They’ll mix up the sets with dances for really small kids and some for bigger kids and finish with a kid’s disco. Fully Stocked Bar, Coffee and Tea, Vegan chilli, cakes and healthy snacks. Buggy parking and a baby changing room along with soft play for crawlers. Kids can get their faces painted for £2.
Sat 17th February 2023 1 pm – 4 pm
The Round Chapel1D Glenarm RoadLondon, England, E5 0LY
Tickets £6 advance per human, under 1s are free (£7 on the door).
17 The Great Big Dinosaur Show
Young dino fans will love this joyful blast of interactive live entertainment this February half term. Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko will delight audiences of all ages with a family show full of clever and funny poems, raps and songs all about all your favourite prehistoric protagonists (and some you haven’t heard of yet). We’ve got tickets to give away!
17th February 2024 11 am & 2 pm 50 mins, no interval
The Halfmoon Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, London E1 0ND
18 Flip Out Canary Wharf
We’ve got a Flip Out in Tower Hamlets! Whoop whoop! With bumper cars, crazy carts, roller skating, interactive football, donut slide, gaming zones, ninja assault course and laser quest there’s enough to keep you entertained for hours in the warm and dry of this new epic indoor playground. There are no trampolines but there’s definitely enough to do.
Open every day
Former Car Park, Shopping Centre, 2 Cabot Square, London E14 4QS
19 Mind in Nature Forest School
A chance for kids to explore, learn and adventure their way through Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Mind in Nature run 2 hour Sunday sessions for 4-7 year olds (10am-12pm) and 7-12 year olds (12.30-2.30 pm). Release your kids’ inner wild with nature exploration, bushcraft, natural art, fire and games. Activities change with the seasons and incorporate child led elements where the group dictates the flow. Parents come free for the younger group, drop off and collect for the older kids.
Tuesday 21st November 2023—Saturday 23rd March 2024, various times
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, London, E3 4PX
£12 – £20
Head to Central London for a curated exhibition of all things cute as Somerset House explores the irresistible force of cuteness and how it has influenced modern culture from emojis to plushie toys. Enjoy contemporary artworks and cultural phenomena spanning music, fashion, toys, video games, and social media, the exhibition seeks to unravel the pervasive allure of cuteness and understand how it has become a significant cultural phenomenon. Things that make you go AWE!
25th January – 14th Apr 2024 (Closed Mondays)
Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
£18, £11 concs