Another half term is around the corner and if you’re scrambling for ways to fill your week with, fear not. We’ve clubbed together the ultimate itinerary of things to do in half term, from family-friendly exhibitions to out-of-this-world space adventures, wizardry workshops to must-see musicals.
Top Things To Do This Half Term
The Gruffalo, Southbank Centre
Heading on stage once again will be Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved children’s tome The Gruffalo. A modern classic in its own right, the loveable story of Mouse and co will come to life on stage in this musical adaptation.
Follow as the wandering Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the bewildering Gruffalo save Mouse from being dinner for the woodland creatures?
When: 01.06.2023 – 04.06.2023
Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Ted’s Space Adventure
Little astronomers at the ready… Ted’s Space Adventure is the Royal Observatory’s planetarium show aimed to inspire younger audiences.
With shows daily during the school holidays, your little ones can explore the Solar System with a bear named Ted and his companion Plant, learning about space and the things you find there.
When: Daily during school holidays + Weekends during term time
Where: Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ
Horniman Museum & Gardens will be bringing the dinosaurs back to life this year with their epic exhibition, titled Brick Dinos.
This family-friendly exhibition takes a look at the Jurassic and Cretaceous Period, offering visitors the chance to get to meet dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. And the interesting part? All of the creatures have been built using LEGO® bricks.
For more upcoming exhibitions, check out our guide to the biggest exhibits opening in 2023.
when: until 29.10.2023
where: 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ
Whether you’ve got a budding actress in the family or a little one who can’t stop singing musical numbers, the V&A’s Re:Imagining Musicals exhibit is a must-see.
The exhibition champions the wonderful world of musical theatre, from its evolution to the brilliant and dedicated craftsmanship behind some of the world’s biggest performances. Expect to see posters, costumes, memorabilia and set designs from musicals including Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, SIX the Musical and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.
WHEN: until 27.11.2023
WHERE: V&A SOUTH KENSINGTON, CROMWELL ROAD, SW7 2RL
Jungle Book Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel
Afternoon tea is always exciting especially for little ones. Make their half term and book in for the Jungle Book tea at Brown’s hotel. The award-winning tea in inspired by the great classic novel, complete with tasty treats and savouries.
Look forward to tucking into animal shaped cookies with milk chocolate dips; strawberry pavlovas; chocolate lollipops; and, of course, freshly baked scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream.
Check out our guide here for more family-friendly afternoon teas.
Where: Ground Floor, 33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
Battersea Power Station
A day out at Battersea Power Station is always a good idea. Head down this half term and visit the brand new LEGO® store where you can experience innovative displays and play areas and put your building skills to the test.
In the Battersea Power Station Turbine Hall B, luxury Swiss watchmaker will be launching a conceptual installation. Celebrating the launching of its new Top Time classic cars collection. Expect the Breitling Café and Boutique to be humming with American muscle cars and the watches they inspired, a great one for your little car obsessed kiddies.
Also, over the half term, you can expect bumper cars and kids workshops across the neighbourhood to be taking place.
where: across battersea power station
The Everywhere Bear, Polka Theatre
Another Julia Donaldson story is set to get the theatre treatment this spring-summer as The Everywhere Bear lands at the Polka Theatre.
Follow the small bear’s big adventure as his time as class bear become a little different when he tumbles out from a backpack. The Everywhere Bear embarks on this learning journey, through sea and ends up being carried off by a seagull. Will he ever make it back to Class One?
When: 27.05.2023 – 13.08.2023
Where: Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, SW19 1SB
Big Fish Little Fish are renowned for their epic kid-friendly raves and their next installment is landing at Alexandra Palace this half term.
Celebrating both Alexandra Palace’s 150th anniversary and Big Fish’s own 10th birthday, this weekender is set to be a sellout. Expect astro turf dancefloors and a giant tree, fairylight festoons and rave tunes from DJs Mark XTC and Toshiki Ohta.
Where: West Hallat Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY
View this post on Instagram
Taking inspiration from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked reimagines the backstory and possibilities of these colourful characters.
Having won over 100 major international awards, brilliant set design and exciting characters, this is the West End show everyone in the family will love.
Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 wilton road, SW1V 1LG
It wouldn’t be a half term guide without a mention to our favourite little ship: Cutty Sark. Now around 200 years old, kiddies can uncover all about the history of the Cutty Sark, the fastest clipper, discover its weird and wonderful characters, and explore the incredible naval college buildings.
This May half term, head over to try your hand at moving cargo, head on a Cutty Sark trail and meet some of the character actors.
When: throughout half term 27.05.2023 – 04.06.2023
Where: King william walk, greenwich, se10 9ht
Always dreamt of sleeping under the stars with wildlife surrounding you? Make your dreams come true with a visit to one of the UK’s top zoo and wilderness reserves you can actually spend the night in.
From lodges with leopards and lions to out-of-hours zoo experiences, there are plenty of options dotted around the country. Read our guide of the best ones to choose from.
View this post on Instagram
Put your putting skills to the test and let the kids’ competitive streak come out to play with a round of mini golf at Puttshack.
Home to four locations across the city, Puttshack raises the stakes of mini golf thanks to its tech-infused games meaning you don’t have to keep scores yourself and can spot when anyone tries to cheat.
WherE: Bank, Lakeside, Watford & White City
Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Barbican Family Film Club
A favourite all round, Barbican’s family film club is a must-visit for little ones. Hosted every Saturday, the team will pick out a classic movie that the whole family will enjoy.
This May half term’s pick is Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the Studio Ponoc adaptation of The Little Broomstick children’s book.
Where: Barbican Cinema, Beech Street, EC1Y 8AA
Frozen The Musical
Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the umpteenth time, Frozen the Musical brings Disney’s most loved princesses to life on the big stage. Now on stage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, let your imagination run wild as you see Elsa and Anna’s story unfold through beautiful costumes, special effects and stunning scenery.
Before you go onto the adventure, why not stop by The Grand Saloon at The Lane to try Lily Vanilli’s picture-perfect afternoon tea.
Where: The Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5JF
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur, Natural History Museum
If you’ve got a little dinosaur-obsessed human at home, make their dreams a reality Easter break and book in for the Natural History Museum’s brand new exhibition dedicated to the largest creatures to have ever walked our planet.
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur takes a look at the Patagotitan mayorum. On display for the first time in Europe, this gigantic dino is four times heavier than Dippy the Diplodcus and 12 metres longer than Hope, the museum’s blue whale.
The dinosaur kingdom will come to life through this mega exhibition, from illustrations of Cretaceous plants and animals to interactive zones.
WHEN: until 07.01.2024
WHERE: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, CROMWELL ROAD, SOUTH KENSINGTON, SW7 5BD
Harry Potter Themed Workshops
Have a little one who LOVES Harry Potter? Let their imagination run wild and visit one of London’s many Potter-themed attractions.
From cauldron-brewing cocktails to a wizardry escape room, Warner Bros. Studio Tour to magical spots around the city, we’ve rounded up the very best wizardry wonders.
Sixes Social Cricket
For something a little different, Sixes Social Cricket reimagines the humble game and adds in high-class technology into the mix. Grab a bat and get swinging your perfect shot – all scores are recorded on the global leaderboard.
Feeling peckish? Stay a while and order from their BBQ-inspired menu, from loaded fries and pizzas to burgers and sharing plates.
WherE: Various locations
View this post on Instagram
BBC Earth Experience
For an immersive experience the whole family will love, book you and the clan into BBC Earth Experience. Created in partnership with BBC Studios, Moon Eye Productions and Live Nation, the experience offers a 360 degree audio-visual journey, featuring footage from the TV series Seven Worlds, One Planet.
Narrated by David Attenborough, you’ll have the chance to be fully immersed and get stuck into the wonders of planet Earth. Journey through the ocean floor in the Water Life room, immerse yourself in the drone footage on the Vista Stage and see the wonders that grace the plant on a microscopic level in the Micro Life room. Educational and fun, this is a great one for all the family.
When: Until 31.07.2023
Where: The Daikin Centre, Earl’s Court, Empress Place, SW6 1TT
Feeling peckish but don’t know where is best with a screaming toddler and sulky teenager? Say goodbye to the tantrums at your next family lunch out with our top picks for London’s best family-friendly restaurants. From crowd pleasing pizza joints to restaurants that feel grown-up but know how to charm your little ones…
Here are the best family-friendly restaurants in London
London’s largest toy shop is putting on quite the performance this half term. Head down to the seven-floor landmark and let the kids discover all of their antics, from puppet shows to dance performances, storytelling to meet-and-greets with the Hamleys bear.
Even when it’s not half term the toy emporium will keep the kids entertained for hours on end.
WHERE: 188-196 REGENT STREET, SOHO, W1B 5BT
Kew’s Interactive Children’s Garden
Let the kids run wild at Kew Gardens’ Interactive Children’s Garden, a place specially designed for two to 12-year-olds to explore and play.
There’s plenty of space to let loose as the garden is the size of 40 tennis courts and is filled with over 100 trees, hidden treasures, adventures and a canopy walk wrapped around a 200-year-old oak tree.
Where: Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE