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Top ten half-term activities in London

Impress the kids with some of the quirkiest 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 (Monday May 30 - Friday June 3 2016) spent hunched on the sofa is one wholly wasted. With that in mind, here’s our round-up of London’s best events, activities and even more this half-term. Batteries not included – or necessary.

RECOMMENDED: explore the full guide to half-term in London as we'll be updating this page as more events are announced

Top ten half-term activities for kids

1

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
2

Sealife London Aquarium

In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, including stingrays, sharks, piranhas and sea scorpions, the aquarium's Shark Walk allows visitors to walk over a floating glass platform with sharks swimming just below their feet.

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South Bank
3

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Run by the team behind London Zoo and set in 600 acres of Bedfordshire parkland with views across the Chilterns, Whipsnade offers a huge variety of animals including all the favourites – chimps, lions, elephants, camels, zebras, hippos and giraffes. The emphasis is on learning about how the animals live in near-as-possble natural habitats, with viewing huts providing exceptional views through glass walls. There are also daily shows where you can watch feeding time and find out more about the zoo's exotic beasts. The ZSL Animal Photography Prize Exhibition runs at the zoo until July 1, featuring impressive images of animals around the world.

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London
4

Cartoon Museum

Downstairs the artists' names are immediately recognisable; upstairs – where comic strip art from 2000AD, the Dandy and the Beano is displayed – is much more about the characters portrayed: Rupert the Bear, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd et al. The excellent shop is recommended. Children's animation workshops are held during school holidays.

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Bloomsbury
5

Up at The O2

This attraction at the O2 gives visitors the chance to go on a guided expedition across the arena roof, via a tensile fabric walkway that peaks at 53m above ground level. At the summit there's an observation platform, giving views right over London: the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, the Shard and Canary Wharf. This outdoor challenge begins at 'Base Camp', where participants are kitted out in jumpsuits, shoes and safety harnesses before being guided in groups along the walkway.

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Greenwich Peninsula
6

Science Museum

Critics' choice

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles.

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Brompton
7

Tower of London

Despite the exhausting crowds and long climbs up stairways, this is one of Britain's finest historical attractions. Who would not be fascinated by a close-up look at the crown of Queen Victoria or the armour (and prodigious codpiece) of King Henry VIII? 

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Tower Hill
8

The View from the Shard

The View from the Shard offers panoramic, 360-degree views across the capital and beyond (up to 64km or 40 miles on a clear day) from 244 metres (800 feet) up – almost twice the height of any other viewing point in London. The attraction is a two-level deck on floors 68 to 72 of the skyscraper, to which visitors are whisked in two stages on supersmooth, high-speed lifts that take just 30 seconds to reach the 'View'.

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London Bridge

Now find more family-friendly fun

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.

Read more
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.