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Image: Imperial College via their website

The Best and Biggest Family Events in 2019

2 January 2019 Eva de Valk

2019 is here, and it's already promising big things for our little ones. Whether you're a brand new parent or will be spending the year marvelling over your teenager's ability to grow an inch a week, we've got something for you. These events will be the bigger and best for families in 2019.

Open the year on a high with a swashbuckling museum visit. Thinking of the kids dragging their feet round a stuffy exhibit? Think again, because the V&A Museum of Childhood has taken to the high seas with their latest exhibition, A Pirate’s Life for Me, which has been developed in collaboration with kids, exploring the pirate in popular culture from Victorian Britain until today. Visitors are taken on an adventurous, immersive trip that takes in a seaside inn, a tropical treasure island and, of course, a pirate ship. Objects on display include games, illustrations and toys such as Lego’s iconic Black Barracuda playset, as well as some real eighteenth century doubloons. A Pirate’s Life for Me is free to visit, and is open until 22 April 2019.


Image: Black Seas Barracuda playset, Lego, 1989 © The Lego Group, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Over the February half term, the Imagine Children’s Festival provides a range of events for kids up to twelve years. Introduce the little ones to the joys of music with Peppa Pig: My First Concert, get stuck in with hip hop workshop Big Moves for Little Groovers or marvel at the puppetry magic of Little Angel Theatre’s The Singing Mermaid. The festival is on from 13 until 24 February, and over half of the activities on the programme are free.


Image: Southbank Centre via their website

If you’re looking for something to do with older children, why not try an immersive adventure at Kensington Central Library in March. Dead Quiet is a Cold War thriller in which audience members work in groups under the guidance of a supernatural investigator to solve a mysterious murder and the disappearance of an undercover agent. Produced by seasoned immersive entertainers Immercity, Dead Quiet plays on Saturdays from early March to early July and is suitable for ages twelve and over. Adult tickets are £23 and children’s tickets are £19.
 

In June it’s time for something a bit sunnier with the Great Exhibition Road Festival, taking place on the last weekend of the month. Imperial College’s annual art and science festival is migrating out onto the road for this special edition that will mark the bicentenary of Queen Victoria’s birth, including a collaboration with their neighbours, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. The festival aims to invoke the spirit of the original 1851 Great Exhibition and will feature a wide variety of free workshops, shows, talks and hands on activities to inspire creativity and curiosity.


Image: Imperial College via their website

But if there’s just one big family event to catch this year, it has to be the return of Mary Poppins to the West End. Check out the much-anticipated sequel in cinemas now, and you’ll be ready to go when the new production featuring Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp hits the Prince Edward Theatre this summer. With choreographers Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear reprising their Olivier-winning work from the 2005 production and a host of enchanting stagecraft tricks up its sleeve, the new Mary Poppins promises to be more supercalifragilistic than ever. 
 

 
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