It feels like we’ve blinked and it’s already almost half term… Cue another week of parents making a dent into their annual leave – or better still, calling in sick for the whole week straight – and scrambling to find things to do that’ll keep the kids entertained. 

Luckily for parents who read The Handbook, we’ve got your backs with our edit of the very best activities going on in and around London. From day trips to city farms to entertaining theatre productions, here’s everything you should be doing this half term.

Haugen’s Kids Dessert Masterclass

Is your child obsessed with getting mucky in the kitchen? Then they’ll love this. On Thursday 17th February, Haugen Restaurant will be hosting a kids dessert masterclass. Their team of trained chefs will teach them how to make a child-friendly dessert with.

As well as the masterclass, there’ll be a two-course lunch, soft drink and a personalised Haugen apron that the kids can take home and don in their own kitchen.

When: 17.02.2022

Where: Haugen Restaurant, 9 Endeavour Square, E20 1JN

Website: www.haugen-restaurant.com

Imagine Children’s Festival

Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns for another year. The largest festival of its kind in the UK, the bumper 12 day event is packed with the highest-quality international children’s theatre, music performances, literature activities, comedy shows, workshops, parties and just about everything else in-between! 

There’s something for everyone here, even the grown-ups can look forward to getting stuck into the 160+ events. And the best part? Over 50% of the festival is completely free. 

When: 09.02.2022 – 20.02.2022

Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

Website: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature 

Rediscover Beatrix Potter’s loveable characters this February at the V&A’s family-friendly exhibition, Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature. Open to fans from 12th February, the exhibition will guide you on a journey through Potter’s life as a scientist and conservationist, spanning the places and animals that inspired her famous characters.

Created in collaboration with the National Trust, the exhibition features drawings and detailed illustrations, studies and paintings created by the children’s author. Fall back in love with Peter Rabbit and all of his friends in this fun and detailed exhibition.

WHEN: OPENING 12TH FEBRUARY

WHERE: THE PORTER GALLERY AT V&A, CROMWELL ROAD, SW7 2RL

WEBSITE: WWW.VAM.AC.UK

Holiday To Space

Keep the kids from running riot this half term and book in for the Royal Observatory’s interactive workshop. Follow Ted and Plant as they guide you through the Solar System in search of the best place to take their holiday. 

When: 17.02.2022 – 18.02.2022

Where: Royal Observatory, Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ

Website: www.rmg.co.uk

London’s Petting Zoos

There’s no denying London is short of a field or two, but it is littered with petting zoos a’plenty! Pop on your wellies and get stroking a few sheep, patting a couple of pigs and cuddling your fluffy favourites. We’ve rustled together a few of our favourite zoos and farms that’ll see you doing just so here.

Cutty Sark

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 February half term, they’ve got activities going on too, from ‘move the ship’, a chance for the kiddies to see what it’s like to set sail, to building their very own cargo winch.

When: Half term activities from 14.02.2022 – 18.02.2022

WHERE: KING WILLIAM WALK, GREENWICH, SE10 9HT

WEBSITE: WWW.RMG.CO.UK

Weird & Wonderful Museums

There’s no denying London is abrim with museums galore, whether you’re running around the Natural History Museum escaping the dinosaurs to discovering the latest science discoveries at the Science Museum. But, if you’re looking a little weirder, we’ve rounded up a few of the lesser known beauties for you to explore this half term.

Kew’s Interactive Children’s Garden

Let the kids run wild at Kew Gardens’ Interactive Children’s Garden, a place especially 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
Website: www.kew.org

Beano: The Art of Breaking The Rules 

Add some fun to half term and book in for a visit to the Beano exhibition running at Somerset House. On show until 6th March, the exhibition will bring all of your favourite childhood characters to life before your  eyes.

Take a trip down memory lane as you jump into the pages of the comic and visit Beanotown, exploring the icons that became principal to childhood and bending the rules of artistry. See all of the gang, from Dennis and Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Bananaman and the Bash Street Kids.

WHEN: UNTIL 6TH MARCH

WHERE: EMBANKMENT GALLERIES, SOUTH WING, SOMERSET HOUSE, STRAND, WC2R 1LA

WEBSITE: WWW.SOMERSETHOUSE.ORG.UK

Family Film Club at the Barbican Centre 

You might not know but the Barbican Centre hosts a weekly family-friendly film club. Every Saturday your little ones can be swept off into the world of imagination as they sit through some of the greatest animated films of the moment. 

This half term they’ve got Bugsy Malone playing on Saturday 12th and Encanto on Saturday 19th.

Where: Every Saturday 

WHERE: BARBICAN CENTRE, SILK STREET, EC2Y 8DS

WEBSITE: www.barbican.org.uk

The Light Festival at Battersea Power Station

Hoping to brighten up the wintry months is the return of Battersea Power Station’s Light Festival. Open until 27th February, expect six stunning installations, all curated in partnership with the Light Art Collection. 

Two of the festival’s installations Antenna Sud by Italian lighting designer Michela Bonzi and Picto Sender Machine by Felipe Prado will excitingly be making their UK debut, while LAVA’s ‘Digital Origami Tigers’ nods to the Lunar New Year. Don’t miss this Light Festival and the chance to wander around with a warming drink or patisserie from one of Battersea Power Station’s sites.

WHEN: Until 27.02.2022

WHERE: BATTERSEA POWER STATION

WEBSITE: WWW.BATTERSEAPOWERSTATION.CO.UK

Queen Mary I at Hampton Court Palace

How well do you know Mary Tudor? This half term, the kids will be able to peek behind the scenes as they journey through her great five-year reign. Educational and entertaining, they’ll be able to meet some of the people who knew her best and learn just how her story went from rise to fall.

When: 12.02.2022 – 20.02.2022

Where: Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU

Website: www.hrp.org.uk

Tiny Tea at Bluebird

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon indulging in sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Well, look no further because Tiny Tea is returning to Bluebird, eek! The little ones will even be able to decorate their own cupcakes, indulge in Nutella stuffed doughnuts and sip mini milkshakes pretending it’s tea.

 

When: Until 27.02.2022

Where: 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU

Website: www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Add a little magic to the half term with a trip to Warner Bros. Studio and watch the Harry Potter stories unfold before your very eyes. Brand new for 2022, the studio will be revealing the filmmaking trickery behind the film sets, shining a light on the pranks and mishaps in their new feature, Magical Mischief. 

Great for all ages, don’t miss your chance to uncover the secrets of the greatest magic story ever told.

WHERE: STUDIO TOUR DRIVE, LEAVESDEN, WD25 7LR

WEBSITE: WWW.WBSTUDIOTOUR.CO.UK

Cats and Dogs at Horniman Museum & Gardens

Know your pet pooch pretty well? Think again. Horniman Museum & Gardens presents a brand new exhibition designed to teach kids and adults alike more about their furry friends. 

Cats and Dogs is an interactive offering, exploring everything from animal behaviour to examining human relationships with our feline friends and doggos. Throughout half term too, they’ll be putting on a few very special storytelling sessions, retelling the stories of the Brothers Grim, Cat and Mouse in Partnership and H.C. Andersen’s Tinderbox.

When: 12.02.2022 – 30.10.2022

Where: 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ

Website: www.horniman.ac.uk

Matilda The Musical 

If you haven’t tried to throw a newt at your least favourite tutor with your eyes, have you even lived?

Watch the magic unfold with your children in the vivid reimagining of Matilda. It’s irresistibly good fun that’ll have you laughing, crying and singing your way from start to finish. The production will leave you rooting for Matilda and dreading Miss Trunchbull.

WHERE: CAMBRIDGE THEATRE, EARLHAM STREET, WC2H 9HU

WEBSITE: www.theatreticketsdirect.co.uk

Biscuiteers 

Put your artistic skills through their paces as you learn the ins and outs at the School of Icing. From recreating your very own Paddington Bear to trying your hand at icing your best friend, Biscuiteers provides a whole lotta fun budding artists, or just fans of delightful biscuits.

WHERE: NOTTING HILL, Belgravia & Northcote Road

WEBSITE: WWW.BISCUITEERS.COM

Six The Musical 

A history lesson and a musical all rolled into one? Go on then! Behold Six the Musical, a hilarious retelling of Henry VIII’s six wives. Expect the historical elements to be intertwined with a flash of 21st century girl power.

WHERE: Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

WEBSITE: www.theatreticketsdirect.co.uk

Hamleys

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 take part in Quidditch competitions, puppet shows, dance performances, storytelling and even their legendary half term party parade.

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

WEBSITE: WWW.HAMLEYS.COM

The Lion King 

It’s the story we grew up with, the tale that can lift you up and bring you down within a heartbeat and it’s an integral part of our lives in some way or another, so where better to spend the half term than with a trip to see The Lion King on the big stage.

WHERE: LYCEUM THEATRE, 21 WELLINGTON STREET, COVENT GARDEN, WC2E 7RQ

WEBSITE: www.theatreticketsdirect.co.uk


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