What is God? How do I know I’m not dreaming right now? Why do I have to go to school? Who decides what is bad and what is good? What makes me a girl and him a boy? Children are said to ask an average of 73 such difficult questions a day. Tired of coming up with the answers yourself? Bring your children along to HowTheLightGetsIn festival. We are proud to be family-friendly and under 12s are welcome on site for free – no ticket required.
The Park Hangout tent is full of fun and games like Giant Chess, Giant Jenga, Giant Guess Who and a whole lot more.
Right next door, the Mars Rover tent will be home to a replica of the rover that will be launched to Mars in 2020 and will travel the surface of the Red Planet looking for clues about its past. The rover will be possible to view close up in all its complex engineering glory. There will be video content around it offering the opportunity to learn more about Mars and the next mission.
Elsewhere, national treasure and former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo is on the line-up, with an exclusive launch of his new book and an interview about the creative process behind his most famous titles like War Horse and Private Peaceful.
The People’s Front Room and the Stage provide an all-day live soundtrack to the comings and goings of the festival, so if your children like to dance, sing along or just listen, there is always something for them to feast their ears on.
For budding space scientists, bookworms, players, and thinkers alike, HowTheLightGetsIn has plenty on offer to keep children busy.
At HowTheLightGetsIn we are passionate about making philosophy, science, and politics interesting and accessible for people of all ages, which is why we offer 30% off festival tickets for under-25s.
We’re not only about intellectual intensity at HowTheLightGetsIn - there is also an amazing line up of musicians. Whether it’s bewitching vocals and lyrical tales or chart-topping pop and cutting edge DJs that excite your ears, we’ve got a wealth of musical talent coming to play. Or if it’s a laugh you’re after, our comedy line up is showcasing household names as well as rising stars. A note to parents though, some of the comedy may include explicit content or strong language.
People of all ages are welcome at our debates and talks, but younger audience members may be especially interested in our debates Into the Unknown (space exploration), The Mystery of Life (life in space), Modern Crises and Ancient Gods (the environmental crisis and nature as religion), What's Wrong with Us (AI and healthcare), The Future of Thought (the rise of China and Eastern philosophy), Improving Ourselves (education), Dressed: A Philosophy of Fashion (the meaning behind how we dress), The Making of Us (nature vs nurture), The Malthusian Catastrophe (population crisis), Tyranny of the New (novelty in the arts), and The Adventure of Space (space exploration).
The Hat Sessions are also a great way of learning in a more interactive environment: from practicing opening your mind in order to have better conversations with those we disagree with (How To Help Your Body Help Your Mind), to the possibilities of space travel (How To Land on Mars).
For a full list of events suitable for teenagers, please see our programme page.
If you are looking for a dedicated space for 16-18 year olds, we also run the IAI School. Specially designed for sixth-form students, the two-day course will deliver a series of stimulating lectures, seminars and small group discussions from world-leading thinkers, as well as workshops and a Q&A with admissions tutors from both Cambridge University and King’s College London.