London is set to become ‘Britain’s biggest playground’ this summer as mayor Sadiq Khan launches a search for five special kids to become London’s first Mayors of Play and London Play brings ‘Formula Fun’ go kart action to the city streets.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is inviting families from across London and UK to spend their school holidays experiencing all that the capital’s attractions have to offer this summer.
Announcing the latest phase of his #LetsDoLondon campaign, the biggest domestic tourism the capital has ever seen, the ‘Family Fun’ season will see London burst back to life with an unprecedented range of family-friendly events and activities.
New City Hall figures show that while weekend visitor numbers to central London are improving, now at around 75 per cent compared to 2019, weekday visitors are still at around 54 per cent compared to before the pandemic. The Mayor today is inviting families from around London and further afield to visit the capital declaring ‘there has never been a better time for children and families avoid the queues at our wonderful attractions.’
Unveiling a whole range of exciting activities for children of all ages today, Sadiq is encouraging families across the capital and nationwide to plan a day trip, mini break or a longer staycation to what he is calling ‘Britain’s biggest playground’ this summer.
The Family Fun Programme will include everything from ‘Formula Fun’ go-karting on the streets of London, to new fairground rides, and events with top class musicians, poets, street artists and dancers. There will be new outdoor art trails, as well as exclusive events to celebrate the return of West End theatre as part of Kids Week. New outdoor learning and play experiences will also connect families with London’s nature and heritage through hands-on fun and inspiring activities led by Royal Parks. Further events and activities are being organised by leading cultural institutions such as the National Gallery, Sadler’s Wells, and Somerset House. This includes the Tate Modern inviting visitors of all ages to transform the floor of the Turbine Hall into a giant work of art.
With children having been deprived of play and many other important experiences during the pandemic, the Mayor is inviting young Londoners to apply for a summer job like no other. He is today starting his public search to fill an exciting new vacancy – the opportunity to become London’s first ‘Mayors of Play’.
A team of up to five lucky Londoners – between the ages of 8-11– will be given the chance of filling this once in a lifetime ‘summer job’. Once appointed, the Mayors of Play will work alongside Sadiq providing ‘expert’ guidance in curating the most family-friendly and accessible activities in London. During their time in office, the Mayors of Play will share their recommendations on London’s best museums and outdoor spaces as well as their favourite galleries and activities. The Mayors of Play will also share their favourite places to eat and drink and will help reimagine London’s iconic tube map for their peers.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s been such an incredibly difficult 16 months for young people and their families, so I’m delighted that we can offer such a huge range of exciting events and activities that young people can enjoy.
“I want to turn London into Britain’s biggest playground this summer – whether with our plans for go-karting, new fairground rides, or opportunities to get involved in dance, poetry, art, or preserving nature in our wonderful royal parks. And in launching my search for London’s first ever ‘Mayors of Play’, I want to hear directly from our young people about what we need to focus on most to make the capital even better for children.
“With restrictions on international travel still in place, there has never been a better time for children and families from London and across the UK to avoid the queues and safely visit our wonderful attractions this summer.
“And with London’s streets still quieter than before the pandemic, by visiting the capital this summer, you’ll be giving our wonderful visitor attractions the support they need now more than ever to guarantee their survival.”
Paul Hocker, Director of London Play, said: “London Play is committed to creating happy London childhoods and that’s been tough to deliver on over the last 18 months, so we’re delighted to be working with the Mayor and his team on the Let’s Do London programme with our Formula Fun events.
“This is the summer London’s children and their families deserve and London – the world’s leading city for play – is the place to be. Watch out for our hand-made go-kart workshops across central London in August bringing together hundreds of Londoners, big and small”.
For those young Londoners between 8-11 years old who feel up to the task of becoming a ‘Mayor of Play’ – simply ask a parent or guardian to help you apply here – https://www.london.gov.uk/mayors-play-competition by Monday 19 July.
Or want to get involved in London Play’s Formula Fun go kart events? We need you to have a team of eight children (plus adult supporters) and a central London location (street, housing estate, community centre) with enough space outside to build and race in. More info is HERE.