Wild City | Family activities with Guildhall Art Gallery and friends

Nature surrounds us, even in urban centres like London. Last year, Guildhall Art Gallery and friends welcomed families on a nature trail in the City where children and adults alike could discover the artists inspired by nature in Guildhall Art Gallery, find out why The Salters’ Garden has so many bee-friendly flowers, and then on to Barbican Children’s Library to hear tales from nature. This year as things are a little different. The team at these three special locations are inviting you to take part in activities and discover nature near your homes.

They have put together a whole day’s worth of activities to help you connect with nature. You can take part in some or all of the activities, and feel free to think of other ways to explore nature where you live.

Morning activities


Guildhall Art Gallery

Make your own pocket flower press with Guildhall Art Gallery.

You will need:

  • Some cardboard
  • Some A4 paper (you can use scrap paper)
  • Scissors
  • Something to decorate your flower press cover with, such as felt-tipped pens or collage materials and a glue stick

You can find written instructions of how to make a flower press on page 8 of our Vivacious Victorians Party Pack.

Once you have made your flower press, why not head outside to your local park or garden to find some flowers or leaves to press? They will be ready in around a week. Once they have dried, you can stick them into a scrapbook or use them to decorate a card or bookmark.

This activity was inspired by the Victorian love of flower pressing and the many Victorian artworks in Guildhall Art Gallery that contain plants and flowers painted in great detail. You can also download a nature in art hunt trail to do while you are there.

If you would like to visit the Gallery to see some of these paintings, you can book tickets here.

Can you think of a way to make your lunchtime nature-related? Take a picnic outside, perhaps, or try making a salad fit for a hungry caterpillar.


Early Afternoon Activities


The Salters' Company

They are are buzzing for you to create your very own bee hotel with them! You will need:

  • Plastic bottle or tin can
  • Straws, bamboo canes or rolled up tubes of paper
  • Toilet roll or kitchen roll tubes
  • Rope or twine
  • Scissors/Knife



Take to your parks, take to your gardens and help look after London's bee population. The Salters’ Company have their very own garden, full of beautiful flowers and plants that the bees find delicious and pollinate.

We all need bees because they pollinate our fruit and vegetables for us. They also pollinate our amazing environments, making them colourful and varied and we get to enjoy these spaces.  

The Salters’ Company garden is open and free for the public Monday- Friday, 9am-5pm.

For more family fun and fascinating facts, visit the website and take a look at the downloadable resources.

Late afternoon activities


Barbican Children’s Library

Join Barbican Joel for a singalong and a wildlife-related love story with a not-so-happy ending.


Barbican Children’s Library is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am - 3.30pm, and Tuesday and Thursday from 11am - 7pm. Why not head down to pick up your own stories related to nature and wildlife? See the website for visiting information.  

For more stories and songs from Barbican Joel, head to the YouTube channel, where he uploads a new video every day at 11am.


Do you have any stories about wildlife or nature that you could read before bed tonight?

If you are looking for more nature-related activities, we recommend taking yourself on a tree hunt using the London Tree Map or if you live close to the Square Mile, try the City of London Tree Trail.

Thanks for joining us in this Wild City adventure. We hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Guildhall Art Gallery have new family activities for you every month at cityoflondon.gov.uk/artgalleryfamilies. You can join their mailing list by emailing learning.artgallery@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

To find out more about family fun with the Salters’ Company you can join their mailing list by emailing outreach@salters.co.uk.

If you would like to join the Barbican Children’s Library mailing list please email joel.janiurek@cityoflondon.gov.uk.