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Three children drawing with an adult surrounded by paintings and plants in DCA Gallery

Summer at DCA

Enjoy films and creative fun for all ages during the school holidays

The school holidays are here, and we're excited to welcome you to DCA for a summer of fun-filled activities. Whether you've got energetic pre-schoolers itching to make some art, or older kids who want to see the best new films, we've got lots to entertain you – even if it rains!

Download our Family Activity Calendar below – it's updated every month so be sure to check back for July and August event calendars. 

Family Activity Calendar

Download our Family Activity Calendar to see what's coming up in DCA over the next month and plan your visits.
414 KB (PDF)
Gru, Honey and Baby Gru in Despicable Me 4

Treat them to a cinema trip

We've got two fantastic family films coming up – Inside Out 2 and Despicable Me 4. Both feature all-star voice casts, stunning animation and hilarious adventures that kids of all ages can enjoy. We've got special ticket prices for family groups of three and four, as well as concessions for students, seniors and under 21s too.

Plus, check out our Discovery Family Film Club screening Kensuke's Kingdom, a castaway adventure based on the book by Michael Morpurgo. Discovery Family Film Club film tickets are Pay What You Can, so you can choose your price, from £0 to £8, and there's a Relaxed showtime available too, for anyone who would benefit from more consistent sound and lighting, and the freedom to move around in the cinema space.

Children drawing at a table in Create Space

Create art together

It's free to drop-in to our colourful Create Space, a flexible, comfortable and imaginative place where people of all ages can see, think, make and do. You'll find art materials and activities inspired by the exhibitions in DCA Galleries

Come in and make your own art to display on the walls or take home with you. You can also relax on our comfy sofas with a range of children's books that relate to the themes of the exhibition. 

If Create Space is closed when you visit, you can find a selection of activity sheets and materials on our Art Cart which is located nearby in the Information Space. 

Take a look at what's on to find out our current opening times or check here for future dates.

Child looking into a triangular box that's lit up with a yellow light

Join a creative workshop

Try one of our free drop-in sessions or Pay What You Can workshops, coordinated by our Learning team.

Come along and express yourself through electronic music making at Soundplay Drop-in. Wee ones will enjoy seeing the impact they can have by pushing buttons, playing instruments and moving around and the Soundplay Projects team will also be sharing tips on low-cost kit you can use at home.

Our final Family Art Lab inspired by the work of Sukaina Kubba will take place in July. Join us for a gallery visit and then use lots of different materials to create your own rug designs, motifs from nature and try different print making techniques, all with help from our artist tutors.

Our popular Messy Play workshop for 0-3 year olds will be taking a break in July but will be back for August. Booking will be available from Thu 1 August - be quick!

A man and baby look at a hanging artwork at DCA Galleries

Explore DCA Galleries

Sukaina Kubba's exhibition Turn Me Into a Flower is open from Wed – Sun from 11:00 until Sun 4 August, and features hanging artworks filled with shapes and techniques that are sure to engage and inspire. 

Our friendly Visitor Assistants can show you the Sensory Box, where you can feel samples of the various materials used in Sukaina's work too. Eco-friendly plastics, papers, stitching, printing and even coloured markers – there are lots of materials that will be familiar to young artists, so you can have fun creating your own Sukaina-style art in our Create Space or at home. 

Person carrying a tray of coffees

Enjoy a little lunch

Jute Café Bar is a highlight of any DCA visit, open from 10:00 every day serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in-between! We have plenty of highchairs and a great kids' menu, and of course we're breastfeeding-friendly too. Just ask if you'd like some colouring pencils – the menu features a portrait of Artie the Penguin to colour and decorate!

Plus, don't forget – if you need somewhere quiet to reset, we have a fantastic infant feeding and changing room available on the ground floor.

Jute Children's Menu July 2024

1.5 MB (PDF)

Browse DCA Shop

DCA Shop has a unique collection of design, jewellery and craft sourced both locally and from across the UK, including an irresistible selection of children's books and toys.

Come and browse every day from 10:00 to 17:30, or check out our online shop now. 


Box of crayons in DCA Shop
Hello Kitty pin badges at DCA Shop
Hello Kitty!
wooden painted alphabet blocks in DCA shop
Alphabet blocks in DCA Shop
Colourful markers with cute animal and vegetable character designs at DCA Shop