Soundpit, Southbank Centre
Ever wondered what sound feels like? Or what music looks like? Artist Di Mainstone’s Soundpit at the Southbank Centre offers creative play for all ages. Children can play in giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics and create music with their own movements. There are seven Soundpit 45-minute sessions every day, running hourly from 10.15am to 4.15pm. For those interested in art and music, or children who simply enjoy sensory play, this is a fun, interactive experience in which both children and adults can explore their individual sense of sound, vision and touch.
Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX; until 12th February
Black Beauty, Southbank Centre
Earning five-star reviews in the Guardian and The Stage, this children’s show retells the much-loved tale of a brave horse for ages five and over. From the cosy horsebox they call home, hosts Andy and Andy tell the classic tale of Black Beauty as you’ve never seen it before, though loneliness still gives way to hope, friends still become heroes and courage saves the day. Blending storytelling, music and puppetry, this vibrant show offers fun and adventure for fans of the book, lovers of the classic TV show and those new to the tale.
Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX; until 5th January
Animal Meet & Greet, ZSL London Zoo
There are a number of festive activities taking place at ZSL London Zoo this season. Little ones can meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive an early Christmas gift to take home. Families can relax with a hot drink and snacks at one of the venue’s free festive film screenings. And best of all, youngsters can become ‘Keepers’ Little Helpers’ and prepare seasonal surprises for some of the zoo residents before watching the animals enjoy their treats. There will also be festive crafts with Mrs Claus, face-painting and winter rides.
Regent’s Park, Camden, NW1 4RY; until 24th December
Billionaire Boy, Bloomsbury Theatre
From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny and Horrible Histories comes this new production of David Walliams’s bestselling story. Joe Spud is 12 years old and the richest boy in the country. He has his own sports car, two crocodiles as pets and £100,000 a week pocket money. But what Joe doesn’t have is a friend. So he decides to leave his posh school and start at the local comp. However, things don’t go as planned for Joe and life becomes a rollercoaster as he tries to find what money can’t buy.
Gordon Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 0AH; until 5th January
Oi Frog & Friends!, Lyric Theatre
The Lyric is hosting the first run of Oi Frog & Friends!, the highly anticipated stage show which brings together Kes Gray and Jim Field’s bestselling and award-winning picture books Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! into one action-packed musical production. It’s a new day at Sittingbottom school and Frog is looking for a place to sit, but Cat has other ideas and Dog is doing as he’s told. Little do any of them know that chaos is coming. Features original music, songs, puppets, laughs and plenty of rhymes.
Shaftesbury Avenue, Covent Garden, W1D 7ES; until 5th January
Carols at the Hall, Royal Albert Hall
On 23rd December, Royal Albert Hall will present a special version of Carols at the Hall, suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities, as well as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted. Visitors can sing along in the spectacular surroundings of the hall during an afternoon of traditional carols and modern arrangements, brought to life by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kensington Gore, Kensington, SW7 2AP; 23rd December
Gingerbread City, Somerset House
The Museum of Architecture has brought its hugely popular Gingerbread City exhibition to Somerset House. It challenges leading architects, engineers and designers to create a futuristic city made entirely of gingerbread. Expect the unconventional and mesmerising as you explore a mini edible city inspired by cutting-edge technologies and sustainable design ideas. This year’s exhibition will also include a series of daily family-friendly gingerbread house-making workshops and a treat-filled shop. The perfect place to head before a turn on Somerset House’s festive ice rink.
Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA
Gingerbread Masterclass, Balthazar
There are plenty of tasty activities happening at Covent Garden’s Balthazar over the Christmas season. Kids can come along to see the US-style bistro’s Insta-famous Christmas display and meet the installation’s stars – its gingerbread men. These sweet treats are available as part of the Balthazar children’s menu and arrive ready to be decorated and assembled by your little artists. More grown-up guests can tuck into warming hot toddies and winter comfort food.
Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
Christmas at the Snowglobe, Shakespeare’s Globe
The Globe Theatre stands empty, the stage bare, the Christmas tree undecorated. Someone has stolen the magic of Christmas from Snowdrop, the fairy who stands watch over the theatre. Comedian Sandi Toksvig and her merry gang need your help to find it and bring it back to the Globe via classic Christmas songs with the Fourth Choir and craft workshops to make paper chains to decorate the theatre. In the spirit of storytelling and gift-giving, the venue is asking audiences to bring along a new children’s book as a present to put under the tree, which will be donated to local charities that support babies, children and young people.
New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT; until 23rd December
The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Theatre Royal Haymarket
Based on Britain’s best-loved picture book by Judith Kerr, the Olivier Award-nominated show The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the West End for Christmas. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mum are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger. Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this warming family show, which is packed with special effects, singalong songs and clumsy chaos.
Suffolk Street, St James’s, SW1Y 4HT; until 19th January