This is a past event. For more events from the Ri, check out What's on

Family Fun Day: Everything changes

Family Fun Days at the Ri are packed full of hands on science demonstrations and experiments, as well as exciting, explosive theatre shows.

Chaotic light patterns
Kevin Dooley via Flickr

Event description

Our world is constantly in flux, and nothing ever stays the same: liquids turn to gas, plants and animals adapt, and order turns into chaos. Join us at the Ri for another exciting day of hands-on science experiments, demonstrations and talks exploring the intriguing and sometimes puzzling science that takes place when things change.

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.


Dan Plane: The most exciting houseplant in the world (after a few small changes!)11.20am, 1.15pm, 3.15pm; 30mins

Join Dan Plane as he attempts to create an exciting and even explosive finale using only the materials from his house plant. We'll look at how small changes in temperature, size, mixture and more can completely change how a material behaves. With your help, Dan will investigate how wood really burns, how rockets fly, and how colours can be added to fire. A tour through chemistry, physics and history with loud noises and bright flashes along the way!

Jenni Barclay: Volcanoes, everything changes in a minute12.15pm and 2.15pm; 30minsThere are over 1400 potentially active volcanoes in the world, but they are not all the same! Through a number of hands-on and sometimes messy experiments, Jenni Barclay will show you the weird and wonderful processes that cause volcanoes to erupt, explore how and why these different types of volcanoes erupt so differently and also look at the ways they can rapidly change the landscape around them. Perhaps the UK is more shaped by volcanoes that you might think!

About the Speakers

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.

Jenni Barclay is a Professor of Volcanology at the University of East Anglia. She has spent over 20 years researching volcanoes in the field, in the laboratory and by talking to the people affected by their eruptions particularly in South America and the Caribbean. Active volcanoes are thin on the ground in the UK, so inspired to rectify this she is part of a team who have built and erupted model volcanoes at various locations as well as devising ‘Volcanoes Top Trumps’ , which is almost as exciting as watching a volcano erupt!


How can sand change into a liquid? Can coins change colour? How do visual illusions work? Why do birds have so many different types of beaks? Find out the anwers to these puzzling questions and many more with over 20 interactive hands-on activites. As well as activities run by the Ri, we will also be joined by our friends from Chelsea Physic Garden, Imperial College London Department of Engineering, The Linnean Society, the Royal Veterinary College and UCL Department of Cognitive Neuroscience. 

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. 

Family Fun Day is now sold out! There are only limited tickets available on the door. At 1.00pm we will look at building capacity to see if we can let any additional guests into the building.