Family Fun Day: Chaos, contagions and cures for catastrophe

Arrive any time between 11.00am and 4.00pm, Saturday 26 October

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

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Kellet School
  • Enjoying gettings hands-on with science!

    Credit: Harry Harper
  • Blowing things up in the name of science!

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson
  • Credit: Tim Mitchell
  • Type

    Family Fun Day
  • Audience

    Ages 7+


Standard £16

Concessions £10

Ri and RSC Members/Patrons £7

Ri Young Members FREE!

Event description

Get hands on with science at this season's Family Fun Day! Expect a fun and interactive day exploring medicine, engineering and the science to saving the world! Our Family Fun Days are extremely popular so remember to book early.

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 7–12-year olds though older and younger siblings also very welcome. All under 18-year olds must be accompanied by an adult. Ri Young Members enjoy Family Fun Days for free, but don't forget to book tickets before taking part on the day. 

All activities and talks run throughout the day, so you do not need to arrive at 11.00am. There is sometimes a queue when we first open, so you might find it easier to arrive a little later, and you will still have time to see all the talks and try out all the activities.


Dan Plane -  A Disastrous Day at the Movies

11.20am, 1.15pm, 3.15pm; 30mins

Family Fun Day is all about chaos and disasters. No stranger to chaos, Dan Plane will take us through some of his favourite disasters, those from the movies. Inspired by 90's blockbusters, Dan will demonstrate some of the science behind the city destroying disasters of fact and fiction. Volunteers will be needed for earth shaking, breath taking, mind blowing demonstrations, and maybe some sweet treats. Want to know more? Join us at Family Fun Day for 'A Disastrous Day at the Movies'.


Joanne Pennock -  Contagious Critters: real stories to make your skin crawl and your stomach churn...

12.15pm and 2.15pm; 30mins

Jo Pennock is a Senior Lecturer and Public Engagement champion at the University of Manchester. She researches the interaction between humans and the bugs around us. Why are these bugs so happy to live inside us, and why do they keep coming back? Will they ultimately cause the extinction of the human race, or might they actually be doing us good  in a creepy kind of way? Come and find out some little known facts about bacteria and parasites - perfect for budding scientists planning to save the world!


Activities at this season's Family Fun Day are all exploring science at the end of the world. 

Explore the world of chaos around us with fractals and our chaotic pendulums, learn how to fight a disease outbreak in London, and figure out how to survive on this planet, or even another. This is just a taste of what is on offer; there will be a building full of hands-on science for you to explore on the day. 

As well as activities from the Ri, we are happy to welcome along London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Royal Veterinary College, Baylab and UCL Department of Cognitive Neuroscience.


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 eight years and his interest in all areas of science is ever growing. 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.


Jo Pennock is a Senior Lecturer and Public Engagement champion at the University of Manchester. She specialises in gut immunology and the interaction between humans and the bugs all around us. 


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email:

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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