Six summer holiday activations for kids

This summer has seen a raft of brand activations aimed at engaging with children, including The Beano at Intu, Kidzania and Lego's Imagination Factory.

The Beano will take over Intu centres during the school holidays
The Beano will take over Intu centres during the school holidays

The Beano at Intu

Shopping centre chain Intu is in the midst of a Beano takeover, in partnership with publisher DC Thomson. The takeover is running from 1-30 August, hosting arts and crafts sessions where children can make studious pencil cases or mischievous whoopee cushions.

A treasure hunt, sing-a-long sessions and prank workshops are running throughout the month. Children can also attend readings from The Diaries of Dennis the Menace author Steven Butler, and comic masterclasses from the Beano cartoonist Kev Sutherland. 

Kidzania London

Kidzania London, a child-scale cityscape at Westfield, launched on 25 June. The educational space aims to empower children aged 4-14 through role-play exploration of the workforce. Children are checked in at Kidzania airport for an immersive four-hour experience in which they can try their hand at over 60 professions including photography and dentistry.

Numerous brand activations within the cityscape offer insight into the world of work, from Cadbury’s chocolate factory to BA’s cabin crew training school. Parents can engage with their child’s experience by taking a seat in the audience area of the theatre, or as a passenger on the real BA A319 aircraft.

Lego Imagination Factory

The brand experience will also feature a Duplo area

Lego’s Imagination Factory invites families to unleash their creativity through the infinite possibilities of Lego. Play areas offer children the chance to develop their imagination and building skills whilst fuelling the factory’s ‘power station’. Children under five are encouraged to participate in the Duplo play area.

Guests can have their photo taken with Lego characters which will be displayed on an augmented reality (AR) brick photo wall. An in-store Action app has been developed to complement the AR technology, available on both iPhone and Android. The tour arrives at The Centre: MK in Milton Keynes today (20 August) until Sunday (23 August) and wll move to Westfield London on 28-31 August.

Emirates Air Line and K’Nex challenge

The Emirates Air Line and K'Nex challenge will take place on 31 July

On 31 July, Air Line Emirates teamed up with construction toy company K’Nex for a family-friendly activation testing teamwork and creativity. During a 20 minute round-trip cable car ride from Emirates Greenwich Peninsula terminal, families were challenged to build a construction inspired by the view. K’Nex supplied building materials and all entries competed to win prizes, including K’Nex toys and a family ticket for the Emirates Air Line and Thames Clippers. 

Indesit Family Fun Experience

Leo Wilkinson

Appliance brand Indesit teamed up with Arsenal FC and Puma for a Family Fun Experience at Camp Bestival from 30 July to 2 August. Children were invited to participate in a 45-minute soccer school coaching clinic in which Puma taught guests how to be ‘forever faster’, whilst Arsenal coaches demonstrated how to ‘play the Arsenal way’.

To complement the football sessions, Indesit activated their festival launderette service where parents of mini muddy footballers made the most of free Innex washer-dryers.

Gruffalo Experience at Bluewater

An immersive and interactive experience, based on popular children’s book The Gruffalo launched at Bluewater earlier this month. Situated at the shopping centre until 13 September, the experience has been put together by events company Unit 10 Eventive.

Actors, puppets, lighting, sounds and smells have been used to bring the story to life, in a bespoke structure located outside Bluewater’s Village. Guests are guided through zones, including the deep dark wood that is featured in the book, before coming face-to-face with the Gruffalo.

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