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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Chris Wilson

Best family activities to celebrate King Charles’ coronation with kids

PA Archive

Having just recovered from the Easter break, parents may be wondering how they’ll manage to entertain the kids with two bank holiday weekends in a row next month.

The early bank holiday falls on 1 May this year, but the real event of the spring is the following weekend, with the King’s Coronation on Saturday 6 May.

The Monday after the ceremony, 8 May, has been designated as an extra national holiday.

Read more on coronation travel:

Numerous activities inspired by the crowning have been planned up and down the country, with plenty to entertain children and adults alike over what promises to be an event-filled long weekend.

There are plenty of things to do, too, for those looking to keep kids amused without breaking the bank. Public screenings, street parties and illuminations are all free festivities that allow you to get involved without spending a penny.

Read on for our pick of events for families happening in the UK, taking place both over the weekend itself and on the bank holiday Monday.

1. Public screenings

Big royal events are often giving public screenings (AFP/Getty)

Those looking to watch the ceremony with a little more atmosphere can attend various public screenings happening across the UK.

The ceremony itself takes place on Saturday, 6 May and will begin around 11am.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has put forward £1m for the screenings, which will take place in cities in all four countries in the UK.

So far confirmed sites include Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, Cardiff Castle, Jubilee Square in Brighton and Belfast City Hall. More details can be found on the Gov UK website.

2. Lighting up the nation

The London Eye illuminated for St Patrick’s Day in 2021 (Getty Images)

Windsor Castle will host a Coronation Concert on the day after the ceremony.

One of the highlights of this will undoubtedly be ‘Lighting up the Nation’, where several of the country’s most famous landmarks will be lit up with projections, lasers, drone and illuminations.

A confirmed list of landmarks is yet to be released, but you can keep checking the government website. Alternatively, take a punt and head to locations that are often illuminated for special occasions, such as the London Eye.

3. The Big Lunch events 

Residents of Murrayfield Drive in Edinburgh sit down to a Jubilee street party in 2012 (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)

The Coronation Big Lunch is a series of street parties and lunches put on around the country over the weekend.

The Eden Project, a country-wide initiative that aims to create ‘happier and healthier’ communities, has arranged the event to cross over with the ceremony.

Communities can order free Big Lunch packs which are “full of ideas, inspiration” and practical tips for arranging a party in your community.

Families can simply join one of the numerous parties being put on around the country, with over 100 currently organised in London alone. Further details on the events and a map of where they are taking place can be found on the Big Lunch website. 

4. London parties

Bunting on display at Covent Garden in central London (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Several locations within the capital are hosting coronation parties for children and families.

Offering live entertainment, face painting and activities such as crown making, these events provide a great way to entertain the kids during what will surely be a busy day for anyone travelling to the capital.

Two such events are taking place in Covent Garden and Wembley. The Covent Garden Coronation Party falls on 7 May between 12.30pm and 6pm, while Wembley Way is being renamed King’s Way on 6 May. This ceremonial re-naming sees the avenue return to the use of its original 1900s name, while activities and a screen for the ceremony will be provided.

5. Celebrations in Birmingham

Rides during the annual Christmas fun fair in Centenary Square (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In addition to screening both the Coronation ceremony and the Coronation Concert, Birmingham’s Centenary Square will play host to “two days of community focused activity” on 6 and 7 May.

From 1-9pm, there will be cultural entertainment including live music and street entertainers, a fun fair for children and “plenty of family friendly events and activities”.

More details are available on the Birmingham Coronation website.

6. Glasgow Coronation Concert

Head to Glasgow to celebrate (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

On Friday, 5 May, various choral and orchestral groups will be performing at Glasgow City Chambers to celebrate the coronation.

Starting at 7pm, the event could be a perfect way to begin the celebrations for families who are keen for a more formal way of celebrating.

Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance; the website recommends regularly checking Eventbrite for more information.

7. The Big Help Out

Volunteering locally can be an activity for the whole family (Getty Images)

To mark the King’s Coronation, organisations across the UK are coming together to give everyone the chance to lend a hand in their local community.

From 8 May, people are invited to volunteer locally to help charities and other organisations.

Whether you can spare all day or just a couple of hours, download the app and see what’s available near you.

8. Events near you

While the above is a pick of free events across the major cities in the UK, you can find a list of hundreds of more local events on the coronation website.

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