We love the sound of this jamboree: the National Gallery’s first family festival, which takes place over the Sunday and Monday of this coming half-term. You’ll find characters brought to life from paintings, screenings of great movies like A Wizard of Oz and Fantasia, puppet shows, animation and puppet workshops (the latter with the wondrous author and illustrator Polly Dunbar), pop-up concerts by the Aurora Orchestra, mystery-adventure-story-telling tours, a room transformed into a Rubens inspired enchanted landscape for playing in, ‘pram tours’ of the Gallery, and lots more. All the individual events sound great, but what we particularly love about this festival is that a) it suits children of all ages, rather than just older kids, and b) though you have to book tickets for some of the events – if you want to take part in the animation workshop, for example – many of the other events, such as the feather and wing making workshop, and an all day screening of of child-friendly short films, are free, and you can just drop in and out of them depending on how much time you have or how enthralled your little ones are. Plus things like the Aurora Orchestra and the Story-Telling Tours (both also free with no booking necessary) take place three or four times a day, so again you can catch them more or less when it suits you. If you do want to go to the ticketed events though, do start booking now to ensure you get the slots you’re after.