Family Fun Day: Science Fiction

Arrive any time between 11.00am and 4.00pm, Saturday 2 June

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • A 1970s illustration of a future space colony.

    A 1970s illustration of a future space colony. Art work by Rick Guidice

    Credit: Public Domain, via NASA
  • Enjoying hands-on science at the Ri

    Credit: Hugh Harper


Standard £16

Concessions £10

Ri Members £7

Ri Young Members FREE!

Event description

Levitation, space travel and even creating life itself - science on TV and films is always one step ahead of real life, but how many of these cool things we see are actually possible? Come for this season's Family Fun Day, and get hands on with the exciting science behind Frankenstein, Star Wars, Doctor Who and more.  Join Dallas Campbell and Dan Plane for exciting talks in the theatre, and our usual wide range of hands-on activities. You'll never look at Science Fiction and Fantasy in the same way again!

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds though older and younger siblings are also very welcome. All under 18-year olds must be accompanied by an adult. Entrance for Ri Young Members is free, but please book your free place.

Download the full programme here.


Dallas Campbell: How to leave the planet
12.15pm and 2.15pm; 30mins
An eclectic mix-tape of space travel stories both real and imagined, plucked from Dallas’ acclaimed book Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving The Planet: Hair-raising tales from the Jacobean space program, astronaut origami, and the Soviet tortoises that won the race to the moon when no one was looking.

Dan Plane: Real adventures in science fiction
11.30am, 1.15pm and 3.15pm; 30mins
Join science communicator Dan Plane as he takes you on a Science Fiction adventure. With your help he’ll be performing science demonstrations based on, imitating, or inspired by, classic science fiction ideas like alien planets, shape-shifting robots, and flying cars. And just maybe, on the way, we’ll discover some science facts.


Activities on the day will explore the wide ranging science found in science fiction films and books. Have a go at building a space colony using mathematical knowledge, learn how to (almost) make gold with chemistry, and explore strange superpowers like invisibility and magnetic strength. With around 20 different activities and demonstrations to take part in, there is something for all the family to enjoy!

Activities will also be run by our partners ioLight microscopesUK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, UCL Cognitive Neuroscience and more!

About the Speakers

Dallas Campbell is an actor, author and TV presenter. He has filmed in some of the most extraordinary and challenging locations all over the world: sewer diving in Mexico City, abseiling off the world’s tallest building in Dubai and filming Tim Peake’s rocket launch to the international space station, but he has always been fascinated by space. He was also an understudy for the 2014 CHRISTMAS LECTURES: How to hack your home and appeared via hologram in the final show.

Dan Plane is a Science in Schools presenter for the Royal Institution and has worked in education for nearly 20 years. He's been a science communicator for the last 8 and his interest in all areas of science is ever growing. He especially enjoys bringing fun and excitement to the demonstrations he has been creating and performing in science centres and schools across the UK.

Dan is all about getting everyone, kids and adults alike, to explore the past, present, and future of science, and is especially proud to be a part of the rich history of science communication here at the Ri.

Please note

All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. More details regarding the talks and activities at the event will be released in the coming weeks. We advise booking tickets in advance because we have been known to sell out up to a week before the event.

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