Top Free Fun At The Barbican This Summer

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Six weeks is a long time to entertain an energetic child (or three!) - if you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary day out this summer, the Barbican is a great choice. There's so much for children and adults like to see and explore. There are also restaurants on-site that offer Kids Eat Free deals, but you can also take a packed lunch and camp out in one of the many seating areas (both indoors and outside on the terrace). Here's our round-up of what to see and do during a family day out at the Barbican this summer.

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Barbican Conservatory

A hidden tropical oasis in a concrete jungle, The Barbican Conservatory rises up as a huge greenhouse and is one of London’s best kept secrets. Over 2,000 species of tropical plants tower, twist, twine and spill over the Barbican’s brutalist architecture. Spot tropical fish swimming through the waters, catch colourful butterflies flitting through the air, or enjoy an afternoon tea amid the hidden delights of this glorious garden.

Squish Space

Produced by artists India Harvey and Lisa Marie Bengtsson, in collaboration with Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, this multi-sensory adventure is a dream for the under 5s. Squish Space provides a safe environment for babies and young children to discover and play with different textures and materials, with sessions focusing on themes such as ‘Experiments in sound and light’.

Barbican Children’s Library

The library on Level 2 is open for anyone to walk in - go all the way through to the back and you’ll see the Children’s Library on the left, full of fantastic books and cosy cushions and bean bags to sit on. There are four ‘buggy stations’ in the main library and a programme of events including film, puzzle, art and craft clubs (usually on Fridays or Saturdays). Plus if you have older children, they are more than welcome to sit in the adult library and use the resources for free.

The Big Barbican Adventure

This is just the perfect way to spend a couple of hours exploring the Barbican Centre with kids. Simply collect a trail from the information desk on Level M, the mezzanine level, and you're off! Work together as a family to solve the clues - these will take you around the Barbican, inside lifts, along the walkways and there's a secret prize at the end for anyone who cracks all the clues!

Henrietta Richman
Mum of 2 boys, North London

Henrietta Richman, Kidadl's Head of Content, is a north Londoner & mum who loves to explore the world with her family. Her favourite adventures include spending time outdoors with her family and discovering new things to do and see in London - she loves letting her children choose a station on the Tube map and exploring a new area.

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