London is probably the best city in the world in terms of activities for families and children including lots of free activities and events. We list here lots of initiatives that we believe London Mums and their children from babies to teenagers would enjoy especially at the most entertaining places such as the Science Museum, The V&A, Kew Gardens, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich, West End shows, the London Eye, the London Aquarium, Kingston upon Thames, Chelsea, SouthBank and so much more.

Wimbledon BookFest 2015 has a fab Children’s programme 2-11 October 2015

The ninth annual Wimbledon BookFest is back this autumn bringing the worlds of literature, the arts, popular culture and film to the Big Tent on Wimbledon Common with a diverse array of children’s events and workshops at the heart of the programme.

2-11 October 2015

Wimbledon BookFest Ben and Storm

Events for children include:

Inspirational poet and performer Michael Rosen.

Wimbledon BookFest Michael Rosen credit Laurence Cendrowicz

Join Aardman Animations, creators of Shaun the Sheep for a unique model making workshop.

Virginia McKenna and author Lauren St John will talk about their love of writing, animals and Africa, and launch the new Born Free Foundation collection of stories.

Calling all Harry Potter fans!  Join our ‘Professor of Potter’ and his plucky assistant as they bring to life the characters, creatures, spells and adventures from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in a fun and interactive event for all the family.

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a Mad Hatter Storytelling and Crafts event.

Local artist Tony Kane brings his Tales of Tom Mouse series to BookFest with storytelling and mouse themed arts and crafts.

Children’s Illustration Course.  A unique two day workshop where young illustrators will go ‘through the looking glass’ to create their own character.

And, back by popular demand, the Wombles Singalong!

BookFest’s exciting programme of events for local schools, includes a talk by wildlife expert and TV presenter, Steve Backshall; authors Steve Cole and Josh Lacey; and performances by the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company and George the Poet.

Set on glorious Wimbledon Common, a specially commissioned Big Tent, seating up to 500, and an intimate William Morris themed marquee, provide a focal point for the festival. With Wimbledon Village on the doorstep, Wimbledon BookFest is one of the most appealing festivals in London today.

Headlining the adult programme in 2015 are: internationally bestselling novelists Louis de Bernieres and Sebastian Faulks; TV adventurer Ben Fogle; SAS hero Andy McNab; and the biggest selling female historian of all time, Alison Weir.  The Festival also includes an eclectic programme of film screenings, live music, workshops and the popular comedy on Wimbledon Common event headlined by Seann Walsh.

Wimbledon BookFest was founded in 2007 by Fiona Razvi and Tony Kane who were both immersed in the arts community working for local magazine Time & Leisure. They founded the charity Wimbledon Arts to run the organisation (registered charity no 1120297).  The Festival’s aim is to develop the role of arts in the area and it works with local partners including community groups, schools and businesses to do this.  It embraces all art forms in its programming and is keen to showcase and nurture new local talent as well as bringing in external talent. The multi-venue festival aims to build on its growing reputation as a festival that embraces the arts in all its forms.

BookFest partner venues include:, Wimbledon Library, Hotel de Vin,  at Cannizaro House, Southside House, , Wimbledon High School, and the Festival Hub site of the Big BookFest Tent and William Morris Tents  on Wimbledon Common.

Previous participating authors include Michael Palin, Salman Rushdie, Shami Chakrabarti, Sebastian Faulks, Antony Gormley, William Boyd, Kate Mosse, Tracey Chevalier, Maggie O’Farrell, Sir John Major, Jack Straw, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, Claire Balding, Alexander McCall-Smith, Paul Merton and Ian McEwan.

University of Roehampton joined in 2014 as the Festival’s lead education Partner.   BookFest’s Education Programme operates borough-wide in Merton and runs throughout the year and across all socio-economic groups.  This year has seen the launch of a sixth form panel from six Merton schools who have been programming events for the Festival.

The annual Young Writers’ Competition regularly attracts hundreds of entries and to date. Over 50 state and independent schools have taken part in BookFest events to date.   BookFest also runs a film making initiative with film-making partner, University of Roehampton partners and secondary schools.

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