It’s time to fill your weekend with fun stuff, and these family-friendly events in and around the capital are all the inspiration you need
Ascot Summer Mile Raceday
For a combination of both quality horse racing and family entertainment, Ascot’s Summer Mile racing weekend is a great way to kick off the summer holidays in style. Alongside a seven race card on the Saturday, visitors can kick back on the famous lawns with champagne and picnics, while the dedicated Family Area boasts everything from traditional fairground rides to a special Teddy Bears’ Picnic lawn. Young racegoers will be more than entertained all day, with furry friends Paddington Bear and Scotty the Ascot Mascot on hand to meet-and-greet, plus arts and crafts lead by Lloyd Warbey of Art Attack fame, balloon modelling, face painting, live music, jugglers, pony rides and an interactive story-telling of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.
When: Saturday 15 July, from 11am
Where: Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire SL5 7JX
How much: Adults, from £24; children go free
Lambeth Country Show
Now in its 43rd year, this free family show organised by EventLambeth has all the attractions of a traditional country fair. Expect plenty of live music, as well as horticultural shows, lively sheep dog and owl displays, home-grown vegetables, numerous arts and crafts and food stalls, and an on-site farm zone with animals from Vauxhall City Farm. Little ones will love watching tiny chicks being born before their very eyes – not to mention the popular ‘cuddle corner’ with rabbits, lambs and more.
When: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, 12pm to 8pm
Where: Brockwell Park, Brixton, London SE24 9BJ
How much: Free
The Wind in the Willows afternoon tea
Inspired by the classic children’s novel, and in conjunction with the brand-new London stage show, this classic afternoon tea with a twist will see you and the kids enjoy sweet treats worthy of Ratty’s picnic, including Darjeeling cupcakes topped with edible illustrations of some of the book’s most-loved characters, as well as special themed honey and cinnamon sable biscuits, bite-sized smoked and poached salmon wraps with dill cream cheese, cucumber and mint créme fraiche sandwiches, ham hock and pea arancini, apricot and passionfruit tartlets and a summer-inspired strawberry and Cointreau verrine. And don’t forget to save room for those warm, delicious scones with lashings of cream and preserves. For a full family day out, you could even combine your tea with tickets to the London Palladium show (from £50 per person), with the hotel’s special offer.
When: Daily, until Saturday 9 September
Where: Brumus Restaurant, Haymarket Hotel, 1 Suffolk Place, London SW1Y 4HX
How much: £24 per person
020 7470 4007, firmdalehotels.com
Walthamstow Garden Party
This weekend, the Barbican and Create team up with Waltham Forest Council for this fun family event, featuring plenty of activities for children and adults alike. As well as a fabulous line-up of local music talent, there will be circus skills workshops, storytelling tours, dance spaces, a special Kids’ Film Lounge, a sports and games field to burn some energy and cool craft trails to take part in.
When: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, 12pm to 9.30pm (8pm on Sunday)
Where: Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 5JW
How much: Free