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Top ten half-term activities in London

Impress the kids with some of the best activities London has to offer this half-term

© James Berry

As much as we love telly and video games, we have to admit: a half-term in London spent on the sofa is one wholly wasted (Monday May 30 - Friday June 3 2016). With that in mind, here’s our round-up of the capital's best events, activities and more to keep the kids entertained. Batteries not included – or necessary.

RECOMMENDED: explore the full guide to half-term in London

Top ten half-term activities for kids

A Boy And A Bear In A Boat

Set sail for a maritime adventure this half term, joining two mariners stuck with just a suitcase, a teapot, and a ukelele to help them. There's plenty of ukelele-strumming fun in store at this joyful kids show, adapted from Dave Shelton's popular story. Ages five-plus.

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Artsdepot , North Finchley Sunday June 5 2016

Sunset Safari

Delve into after hours zoo-life and get the chance to see animal having dinner or bedding down for the night. A self-guided Safari Trail will lead you through a packed schedule of feeds and wild talks, performances in the Theatre of Life will reveal fascinating insights into unusual animal behaviours and once darkness has fallen you can relax with some live acoustic music in Safari Base Camp. A world food market will provide dinner for any hungry humans.

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London Zoo , Regent's Park Friday June 3 2016 - Friday July 15 2016

Above and Beyond

Experience the marvellous world of flight and aerospace innovation at 'Above and Beyond', an immersive exhibition offering a look at the past and future of the science behind flight. Expect interactive experiences using flight simulation, augmented reality and virtual reality.

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National Maritime Museum , Greenwich Friday May 27 2016 - Monday August 29 2016

Sensational Butterflies

The Natural History Museum's butterfly house returns for an eighth year in 2016 to a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum's east lawn. Visitors can come face-to-face with tropical butterflies, including the swallowtail, blue morpho, the moon moth and many others originating from Africa, Southeast Asia and North and South America, and take part in games, activities and challenges that teach more about the sensory world of the fluttering creatures. 

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Natural History Museum , Brompton Until Sunday September 11 2016

Land of the Lions

Construction of this vast new exhibit began back in 2014. Two years on, the zoo is ready to rehome its pride of endangered Asiatic lions in this enclosure which is styled on the ruins of an amphitheatre-like lion temple. Visitors can get up close to the beautiful big cats thanks to newly installed 'windowless-views' created using fine wires and explore the park filled with rickshaws.

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London Zoo , Regent's Park Until Saturday December 31 2016

Dinosaurs: Monster Families

Expect to see life-size models, interactive exhibits and authentic specimens at this family-friendly exhibition exploring dinosaurs and prehistoric approaches to parenting. Visitors can find out how dinosaurs cared for their eggs, nest and babies as well as marvelling at a near-complete skeleton of a dinosaur embryo and an incredible collection of fossils. 

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Horniman Museum , Forest Hill Until Sunday October 30 2016

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Critics' choice

'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' returns to the Little Angel Theatre in Spring 2016. This review is of the production's 2014 run. ‘We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared.’ Michael Rosen’s rhythmic tale about a family which goes looking for bears is addictively popular with tots. 

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday June 26 2016

Aladdin

Disney's lavish musical adaptation of its enormo-smash 1992 film has already been a walloping smash in New York, and this West End transfer has been on the cards for yonks. The London production will be anchored by Broadway cast member Trevor Dion Nicholas, who will follow in the late, great Robin Williams's footsteps in the pivotal role of the wisecracking Genie. 

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Prince Edward Theatre , Soho Friday May 27 2016 - Saturday October 1 2016

The City Garden

Inspired by gardens in the City of London, artist Rebecca Louise Law has created an installation especially for new Guildhall gallery The City Centre. Fresh flowers entwine with copper wire above head height where they will, over the summer, dry out and preserve themselves. Films accompany the exhibition.

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The City Centre , Moorgate Until Sunday September 25 2016

Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York

This glam little exhibition makes the V&A's permanent 'Theatre and Performance' collection look positively drab with its flashing lights, sequins and showstoppers. It's a collection of posters, costumes, artefacts and recordings that represent the biggest shows in West End and Broadway history. 

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V&A , Brompton Until Wednesday August 31 2016

Find more family-friendly fun in town

101 things to do in London with kids

There need never be a dull moment in this city – London is jam packed with fantastic experiences and days out for families and kids. Here are 101 of the best things to do with children in London.

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By: LauraLee Davies

Comments

5 comments
lilibartley
lilibartley

Thanks ThomasCrock, I am going to take you up on the Lincoln thing! My daughter is weirdly obsessed with him so that will definitely wile away a few hours...

ThomasCrock
ThomasCrock

great selection. thank you, has been invaluable. Did also go to the new Tiger space at London Zoo, unfortunately was a very rainy day and the tigers (as with most of the animals) were in hiding. Have also been using www.lincolnfingerpuppet.com as a companion to keep the kids amused!

Daniela Dellacqua
Daniela Dellacqua

hello i am very impressed with your choices of children half term activities only i would like to suggest to include a few for the under 5 years old many thanks

Anne Bradley
Anne Bradley

Half term for some parents outside of London started on the 11 February 2013. London should take into account this.

Maureen
Maureen

I do feel sorry for more than 2 kids in family as I feel they do miss out I know my 4 grand children do I want to take them to places but just cant afford places of interest as 4 comes so expensive.