Absolutely Mama rounds up what’s on for families this January 2024 – from giant balloon installations to forest school-inspired sessions in the great outdoors.
Until 18 February | 1 Old Billingsgate Walk
A ‘multi-sensory’ exhibition, the Balloon Museum started in Rome with Pop Air, before being exported around the world to cities including Paris and New York. Now it’s arrived in London with EmotionAir. There’s installations from 20 artists, including inflatable rabbits, floating bubbles, and giant beach balls – with a huge psychedelic ball pit taking centre stage. Under 4s go free at this playground to delight visitors big and small.
Mini Play at the Young V&A
Every Friday until 24 Feb | Young V&A Bethnal Green
This workshop series for little ones aged 6 months – 3 years will explore sensory play activities inspired by the museum’s Play Gallery. There’ll be messy play, exploring textures, singing and more. Tickets are for all five sessions.
RIBA Baby: Bricks and Bubbles
9 January | RIBA, 66 Portland Place
The January 2024 instalment of RIBA Baby at the Royal Institute of British Architects is set to be a fun filled morning with blocks and bubbles. The free ‘drop in and play’ event is suitable for little ones aged 0-3.
The Witch and the Egg
13 January | Half Moon Theatre
Adapted from the book by Madeleine Edmondson, this shadow puppet production for little ones aged 3-8 tells the story of a lonely old witch, who finds an egg and goes on a life-changing adventure. Children are invited to stay and play with the puppets after the performance.
14 January | Southbank Centre
Players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will lead an upbeat concert where little ones aged 2-5 can share the stage with a cast of unusual instruments. There’ll be stamping, clapping, and singing for everyone.
Ready Steady Lift Off!
17 January – 18 February | Unicorn Theatre
This immersive theatre show (aimed at little ones aged 3-8) by A Line Art combines live performance, music, storytelling, and painting. New recruits will join a weird and wacky astronaut programme where they’ll colour, sing, and play their way through the seven stages of training, working as a team on a space station.
Rhythm Make Studio
Until 7 February | Tate Modern
There’s still time to visit the Uniqlo Tate Play Rhythm Make Studio in the Clore Studio at the Tate Modern. On at weekends and every Wednesday, under fives can explore sensory sound making objects created with found materials.
17 – 27 January | Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf’s magical (and free!) Winter Lights festival returns this month. Twelve temporary installations from light artists across the globe shine a light on the juxtaposition and intersection between nature and technology. Don’t miss the larger-than-life laser projection at Union Square.
12, 19, 26 January | London Wetland Centre
These forest school-inspired sessions will see little ones playing in nature, singing, making nature crafts, and gathering around the fire. Parents will be able to join in the fun too.
Can Bears Ski?
21 January | Arts Depot
This heartwarming theatre production for little ones aged 3+ is based on the book by Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus. Drawing on his own experience as a deaf child in a hearing world and with sets inspired by Polly Dunbar’s magical illustrations, the story follows Little Bear and Dad Bear and is brought to life with puppetry and music.