Half term is coming. Rather than rushing around the school routine and making sure everyone has two shoes on and their book bags, you now have a week to fill…luckily London is filled with plenty of activities to entertain, intrigue, educate and tire out little ones.
Backyard Cinema is back! They’ve gone and got themselves a new (permanent) venue, right near Handbook HQ in Wandsworth and to celebrate their biggest venture yet, they’re starting off with one of their most loved themes, The Winter Night Garden. Far more exciting than your average cinema experience, Backyard Cinema starts when you open that magical wardrobe door and find an enchanting forest filled with favourite and new films including Dumbo, Aladdin, Toy Story 4 and Casper. For adults there are cocktails too…just in case you’re wondering how to sit through another watching of The Greatest Showman. Tickets are selling quickly so you’ll need to be speedy.
Until the 10th November 2019
Where: Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET
Once upon a time London wasn’t just home to pigeons, rats and foxes, in fact at one point the Tower of London was home to zebras, lions and even a polar bear. Get your little ones out of the house on a rainy day, away from the screens and over to the Museum of London for their new exhibition, Beasts of London. It’s a fully immersive digital experience where the animals of London’s past from the Roman period right up to today, tell you just how they shaped our city’s history.
Where: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican, EC2Y 5HN
Looking for a way for your children to burn up some of their relentless energy? Well, London’s most iconic ice skating rink at the Natural History Museum has announced that it’ll be opening on the 19th October in time for the half term holidays. For those with toddlers, during the week you can skate up until 3pm and get a free hot chocolate, tea, coffee or soft drink after, before everyone else descends on the ice fuelled on mulled wine.
19th October 2019 -12th January 2020
Where: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
There are plenty of activities going on at the Royal Albert Hall this half term including classical music events, storytelling sessions and Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventures For Kids. SK Shlomo is a world-record breaking beatboxer making music with just his voice and his mic and now he needs some sidekicks. Described as by The Guardian as ‘jaw-droppingly good’ the interactive show is great fun, just get ready to be subjected to beat boxing renditions at home after.
Where: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
The old ones are always the best, and in this case they’re around 200 years old. A good old fashioned day out in Greenwich is the perfect activity for a half term day. Discover all the history of the Cutty Sark, the fastest clipper, check out the incredible naval college buildings, the market or take a pedalo and finally picnic in the park. Perfect. This half term, set sail on a music adventure across the high, high seas with their international music and dance classes, from Bollywood workshops to Flamenco dancing.
Where: King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9HT
London Literature Festival isn’t just for you grown-ups! This year let’s sprinkle some fairy dust and join the little fairy tale trail at the Southbank Centre. Kiddies can discover the wildest of secrets from their favourite fairytales through cryptic puzzle-solving, creative looking, drawing and games.
Running 21st – 27th October
So your child turned eleven and didn’t get their letter to Hogwarts…they’re a muggle. As disappointing as this is (and it really is) there is a way to meet witches and wizards and to see just how and where they live among us. The Department of Tourism and Muggle Relations is inviting you to join them to discover the magical side of London on one of their daily tours. Lasting around two and a half hours the award-winning walking tour (which includes a quick tube journey) is led by witches and wizards and will show you secret places hidden in plain sight, the locations where our two worlds meet and stories about Harry Potter.
Where: Starts Near London Bridge Tube Station
Dining out with kiddies is certainly not the easiest. It requires a hell of a lot of multitasking, organisation and bribing, and then it’s finding a restaurant that actually caters for children is a whole other ball game. Well, you help you mums and dads out we’ve rounded up seven of our favourites…
Website: Foodie Delights This Way...
The annual Horniman Halloween Fair is back! The free event takes place on the 26th and 27th October and is a weekend of ghouls, ghosts and spooky events. There’ll be a creepy creatures crave where you can meet tarantulas, scorpions and snakes, story telling, a Halloween parade, arts and crafts, face painting and a bouncy castle!
Where: Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ
A city run by kids sounds chaotic, doesn’t it? Well, the people at KidZania have created an indoor city where the kids run the city. They’ll be given the chance to independently choose from a number of real-life entertaining activities, giving them a fun and realistic taste of adult life. It’s designed for children aged four to 14, and blends learning and reality with entertainment to bring the kids a whole day of fun perfect for when the weather’s playing up.
26th and 27th October 2019
Where: KidZania London, Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
Nearest station: Shepherds Bush (0.2 miles)
Imagine a world of lego. Well now you can thanks to at the London Rebuilder Workshops, as part of LEGO’s ongoing ‘Rebuild the World’ campaign. In a two-day half term event, families can take part in fun and inspiring workshops where they’ll use their imagination to come up with solutions to three real-life challenges to help make the world a fun, better and more playful place. It’s free, but spaces are limited so reserve your space here
Monday 21st & Tuesday 22nd October
If you’ve visited the Beast of London exhibition and now want to go and see the animals that still live in our city, or you just want to see some cute furry faces then check out our guide to the best places to see everything from sheep and cattle to meerkats and parakeets.
Where: Across London
Website: Read Our Guide Here
Watch your favourite children’s novel come to life as The Gruffalo returns to London this October half term. Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood… Will you able to help Mouse from being eaten from the hungry woodland creatures?
Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27th October
Roaaaaaar! Greenwich is full of dinosaurs! Take a tube to Greenwich Peninsula, then take a time machine to 67m years BC. Dinosaurs In The Wild allows you to experience these prehistoric creatures in person. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you’ll come face to face with these terrifying creatures in one of London’s most exciting exhibitions.
Where: West Parkside, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0BE
This year Kew Gardens opened their Interactive Children’s Garden a place especially designed for two to twelve year olds, to explore, run about and most importantly 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
Loving a pun just as much as we do, SEA LIFE London is transforming from an aquarium to an ascarium this half term with a spooky trail for little ones to follow. Discover a world of razor sharp teeth, tentacles and piranhas as you look out for letters to crack the code that lies at the bottom of the ocean. Solve it and you’ll get a prize! There’s also a colouring sheet you can download to carry on the fun at home which is filled with creepy creatures and fun facts.
19th October – 3rd November 2019
Where: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
Sure, we’ve all heard of the Natural History Museum, the Design Museum, the Science Museum, the V&A and… well, you get the picture. But how about exploring London’s wild, weird and whacky museums this October half term? We’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up ten of London’s random and slightly questionable museums just for you. Enjoy…
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.
Running 21st – 27th October
Where: 350 King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU