POP UP CHILDREN and FAMILY CENTRES!
Come along to our ‘Pop-up Children’s Centres’ in parks and community spaces, including Lewisham Shopping Centre this summer. Arts and crafts, fun family activities, circus skills, information and advice with a range of partner organisations – and all free!
Join Gilbert Giggles and the Children and Family Centre Outreach team and learn Circus Skills and much more this summer! For children under 8 and their families.
Checkout the Lewisham Children and Family website for lots of free play sessions in our own centres and in local parks and community spaces for children under 8 and their families across Lewisham throughout the summer:
A WORLD WITH NO TREES
Come along to Evelyn Children and Family Centre during July and August for a FREE playful family adventure to save the last plant on Earth for families with children under 8.
Imagine a world 300 years in the future with no trees! With trees gone and the environment damaged, water levels have risen and everyone is now living on boats and YOU ARE EARTH PROTECTORS!
Take part in number puzzles, code breaking and physical challenges to find the last plant on Earth and save it. Open up your child’s awareness of climate change with this interactive, fun escape-room style adventure set in the future.
For more information go to Booking is required via our booking page
Lewisham borough has some real treasures including ancient woodlands, streams and rivers, and here are some of our favourite hidden spots across the borough with you.
We’ve also made a fun nature treasure hunt for each place so you and your children can look for the treasures of nature.
All of our Hidden Lewisham sites are free to visit and close to transport links and make a great day or few hours out with your family. Most of the parks have playgrounds for children of different ages, and extra things to explore.
We hope that you enjoy visiting them and it would be great if you could share a photo of you and your family enjoying your visit at the hashtag #lcfchiddenlewisham
For more information go to Fun in Lewisham Open Spaces and for detailed information and activity sheets for individual parks click on the links below:
- Downham Woodland Walk – Download the PDF here
- Riverview Walk and River Pool Linear Park – Download the PDF here.
- Forster Memorial Park – Download the PDF here
- One Tree Hill Nature Reserve – Download the PDF here
- Chinbrook Meadows – Download the PDF here
- Cornmill Gardens and River Mill Park – Download PDF here
- For a list of Lewisham’s parks and their amenities and opening times, go to https://lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/openspaces/parks
LEWISHAM SUMMER HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
This Summer, with funding from the Department of Education, Lewisham Council is providing a varied holiday programme, with free activities and lunches for school-aged children and young people (aged 5-16 years – up to 19 for children/young people with SEND) eligible for and in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals.
A wide range of providers in Lewisham are supporting the delivery of this programme, offering various fun packed sessions, including art & crafts, multi sports, singing, dancing, drama and games
For further information, go to https://www.lewishamlocal.com/lewisham-summer-of-food-and-fun/
PHOENIX SUMMER FUN
GROVE PARK CARNIVAL
The annual Grove Park Carnival and Dog Show takes place this year on Sunday 4th September from 1pm-5pm in Chinbrook Meadows. There is an optional fancy dress parade you can join in with, walking from Marvels Lane School to Chinbrook Meadows – this year’s theme is pirates! The event is free, with lots of children’s workshops, stalls and a petting zoo, as well as the fun of the dog show.
- Chinbrook Meadows, Mayeswood Rd, SE12 9RP
- For details of events and timings, go to https://groveparkcarnival.co.uk/
Friday 22nd July – Sunday 24th July
Go along to the Albany Theatre in Deptford for the LIBERTY FESTIVAL 2022, a free 3-day festival with a diverse programme of ground-breaking art and performance, interactive installations, a thought-provoking symposium, and lots of participatory workshops. Everything is free but some of the events need to be booked in advance.
- For further information go to https://www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/liberty-festival/
- and you can watch an introduction to the festival here https://youtu.be/C8XgnFjPACE
OTHER FREE EVENTS AT THE ALBANY:
Greek artist Andreas Angelidakis’s outdoor artwork “Seawall” about climate change is free to visit in the Albany garden. https://www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/seawall/ – open now till October.
REZON8 is offering free recording sessions to under 18s two days a week. Studio sessions will be run by KamZz (Kieron Morris) a professional sound engineer, producer, youth worker and creator of the Youth-Led Record Label REZON8. During these sessions, young people will have the opportunity to learn recording techniques, the basics of sound engineering, how to structure music and more. All sessions will include a basic mix. Register here for studio sessions.
Join celebrated Lewisham street dance trio The Unknown to learn new moves and styles including street dance, commercial and freestyle.
These workshops are open to beginners and experienced dancers, aged 10-16 years, at the Richard MacVicar Deptford Adventure Playground, New King St, London SE8 3JB
Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis. You can book for individual days. Apply for a free place HERE
And lots more – for details of these and other free events go to https://www.thealbany.org.uk/shows-and-events/
DAYTIMERS: GOING SOUTH
A free afternoon of twenty-first-century Asian music on the Bandstand in Horniman Gardens, London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ
Saturday 27th August, 12pm-6pm
For more information and to book tickets, go to
HORNIMAN MUSEUM AND GARDENS
An incredible family museum, library and gardens in Lewisham. The museum is open daily from 10am-5.30pm and the Gardens from 8am – 8.50pm. It is mostly completely free, but there is a charge to visit the Aquarium and Butterfly House, and some of the exhibitions.
The Horniman is a great family day out, with interactive displays, an incredible range of exhibits from around the world, and adjacent gardens which have an lovely animal section.
And if your family is interested in issues around climate change , you can join the Horniman Environment Community Action Group, which is free to join, and Join the Environment Champions Community Facebook group to find out what’s happening locally, link up with other people, and share what you are doing. This can be anything from community action days to tips for saving energy.
100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ
For further information go to https://www.horniman.ac.uk/
LEWISHAM YOUTH THEATRE
Age range: 3-24
Location: The Broadway Theatre, Catford Broadway, London SE6 4RU
Alongside their regular programme of core youth theatre productions, LYT now offers free drama workshops, education outreach and Saturday morning children’s theatre. From their base at the Broadway Theatre, they provide a thriving centre where young people of all ages participate in theatre at every level.
For details, go to their website: www.lewishamyouththeatre.com
YOUTH CLUBS, ADVENTURE PLAYGROUNDS and MORE
Age range: 8-18
Location: across Lewisham
Youth First is Lewisham Council’s youth services provider. They run a variety of free programmes from a number of free-to-use youth clubs and adventure playgrounds across Lewisham, with a programme of summer events. There is probably a Youth First-run youth club or adventure playground close to where you live!.
EXPLORING OTHER NEARBY BOROUGHS:
CRYSTAL PALACE PARK SUMMER OF PLAY!
Crystal Palace Park Summer of Play returns for 2022, all the activities are free and lots of fun, for all age ranges, running from 23rd July to 31st August. For details of all the activities, dates and times go to https://www.play.crystalpalaceparktrust.org/
Crystal Palace Park is a great day out for the family any time of year. Check out the amazing giant dinosaur statues trail https://www.crystalpalaceparktrust.org/things-to-do/dinosaurs/.
If you are visiting the dinosaurs, an informative audiotrail can be downloaded here.
There is also an amazing maze is one of the largest in the country, spanning an incredible diameter of 160 feet. It has been bewildering visitors since the 1870s. Featuring towering hedgerows and a confounding network of pathways, the maze is free and open to all. https://www.crystalpalaceparktrust.org/things-to-do/maze/
The Sundown Sessions are a series of free community events brought to the park by the organisers of the South Facing Festival on behalf of Crystal Palace Park Trust. These are free and open to all, with plenty of room for the whole family!
On 1st,2nd, 3rd and 4th August.
Learn more and sign up for updates from the event organiser here.
Greenwich Park is easy to get to from Lewisham – the park is huge with a large sandpit and children’s playground as well as lots of green space to explore.
For events in Greenwich Park for all the family over the summer, from storytelling to play activities to minibeast exploring to music, and a free Play Day event on 3rd August, go to https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/things-to-see-and-do/upcoming-events-in-greenwich-park
GREENWICH HELP NATURE THRIVE
A range of family roadshows and activities to help you and your family get up close to nature in Greenwich’s parks. All activities are free to attend and everyone is welcome.
For further information, go to https://www.royalparks.org.uk/help-nature-thrive/how-to-get-involved
FAMILY FUNDAY – TUDOR BARN ELTHAM
A free family Funday with lots of stalls, activities and music on 29th August, 10am-6pm.
For more information, go to https://www.tudorbarneltham.com/family-fun-day
GREAT FREE PARKS AND WOODS TO EXPLORE ON YOUR DOORSTEP – many with summer events and activities:
LOVE PARKS WEEK 2022
Love Parks Week celebrates the joy of parks, and all the fantastic free ways we can enjoy them – from picnics to puddle-jumping!
Running from 29th July to 5th August, you can get involved in your local area, go to https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/love-parks-week
MAKE A DATE WITH LONDON from Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
A recent poll by City Hall found that 40% of Londoners don’t know about ways to enjoy London for free. That’s why I wanted to write to you to let you know about the free and affordable events that are taking place across our capital during the holidays.
Here are just some of the activities you can enjoy for free or at an affordable price this summer:
Art: We’ve partnered with Art Fund to offer a special three-month National Art Pass providing free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places.
Theatre: The National Theatre’s River Stage is coming back to the South Bank for five weekends of performances and activities for the whole family, plus TfL has teamed up with Official London Theatre so children can see shows for free.
Carnival: The world-famous Notting Hill Carnival returns this August Bank Holiday weekend for the first time since 2019, celebrating our city’s Caribbean communities and culture.
Culture: from This Bright Land at Somerset House to London Borough of Culture Festival in Lewisham, there are cultural events in every borough to discover.
Football: The Women’s EURO Fan Party runs until 31 July in Trafalgar Square, with free family activities and an unmissable live screening of the final on Sunday.
This is all in addition to the many arts and cultural venues that are free across the capital all year round.
There is so much to love in London—and not just in central London. Click above to see what’s happening on your doorstep.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
For more free events and activities and lots of free places to visit around London this summer, check out these helpful websites:
If you need support, help or advice as a family at any time with anything, please do contact us – GET IN TOUCH and we will do our best to help you.