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Earlier, quieter, tantrum-dodging bonfire nights in the capital

Fireworks sound like the perfect family experience. But the reality is often tired and grumpy children, wailing or sleeping through zingers and screaming at the bangers.

So hurrah to our top family firework picks below, which all offer earlier, tantrum-dodging displays, in or near London, with many providing quieter fireworks, plus kid-pleasing entertainment, from face-painting and fairground rides to kid’s performers. There are also plenty of hot toddies to warm and loosen up the grown-ups. BOOM.


Battersea Park Fireworks Family Night

Fireworks = Good. Tired, grumpy children after an 8pm display = Bad.

Enter stage left, Battersea Park Fireworks with their special Family Night on 5 November. The event kicks off at a much more civilised 5pm, with fireworks at 7pm. And as well as food and drinks, there will be face-painting and the bonfire is replaced by a more child-friendly and impossibly pretty, light display.

Battersea Park Fireworks, London SW11 4NJ. 5 November. 5pm. £12.30 per adult. £8.25 per child. Under 5s go free.

Coram’s Field, Bloomsbury

Not only is this fireworks show brilliantly early - the event kicks off at 3.30pm with fireworks at 6pm - it is also free. The seven-acre Bloomsbury spot hosts its annual, family fireworks event on 3 November, with food stalls and a mini funfair alongside the sky sparkles.

Coram’s Fields, Guildford Street, 3 November. Free.

Beckenham Fireworks in the Park

This family-friendly firework stalwart has been exploding since 1946 and offers a quieter, earlier display for young children at 6pm, followed by a main display at 7.45. Both are set to music.

There will be 18 food stalls offering everything from Malaysian Blue Rice Bowls and Polish sausage Hot Dogs to Churros and chocolate. And rides will run from doors opening at 5pm until the end of the display.

Beckenham Fireworks. Croydon Road Recreation Ground (Beckenham Rec) 319 Croydon Rd, Beckenham. November 4th. Doors open 5pm, quiet display at 6pm, full display at 7.45. Tickets £15 per aduls, £5 per child (5-14)

Dulwich Fireworks Display

These guys have their zingers lit specifically for little ones. This family event is just one pound for kids under 16, and kicks off at 5pm with mulled wine, real ale (for the kids’ plus ones) plus live musical performances of popular kiddie songs as well as adult bangers. There’s a barbecue, burgers, Indian, pizza and kids’ stalls and an early 7pm display. Boom. Dulwich Fireworks. Dulwich Sports Club, Giant Arches Road, London, SE24 9HB. Adults £11.50. £1 for under 16s. 5pm-7.30. 4 November

Morden Park Fireworks Display

Not only does this bad-boy kick off at a brilliantly child-pleasing 5.15pm with fireworks at 6.45pm, it also has a magic theme. There is also a funfair, plus a second show for older banger fans, with louder displays and a One Hit Wonders theme, of big tunes from the past decades. Morden Park Fireworks, Morden Hall Roa, London, SM4 5JD. £9 per adult. £6.50 per child. Under 4s go free. 12 November. 5.15pm to 10pm

Fireworks Spectacular at Kent Life Heritage Farm

On 4 and 5 November Kent Life will launch its farmy, family firework behemoth. Kicking off at a much more civilised 3pm, kids can enjoy the bulging activities at the farm, from indoor and outdoor play areas, tractor rides, vintage buildings, and animal feeding sessions. Then they can launch themselves into fairground rides, glow sticks (a licensed bar for the adults - boom) and an early 6pm fireworks display.

Kent Life Fireworks Spectacular, Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU. 4 and 5 November. £16 adult. £13 children (2-15). 3pm-5.30pm.

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