Top 10 half-term activities in London

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

Family activity day © Pia Ostlund

As much as we love telly and video games, we have to admit: a half-term (Mon May 25 - Fri May 29 2015) 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.


In the Night Garden Live

Critics' choice

At the live show you are greeted by the HaaHoos (huge full-size bouncy things) before venturing into a pristine white inflatable tent where the atmosphere is cocooned and cosy, though it's not small. As in the TV shows, the story is simple and easy to follow, the music playful. A great introduction to theatre for under-fives.

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The O2 and Richmond Old Deer Park Until Saturday July 4 2015

May Half-Term at Discover

It's Oliver Jeffers Week at Discover! As well as checking on the interactive exhibition of his work, you and your kids can enjoy Jeffers-themed events right across half-term week. It kicks off on Bank Holiday Monday with the Hueys taking over Discover for the day. Tuesday and Saturday are all about kites: hear about Floyd's love of kites, before getting a chance to make and decorate your own kite. 

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Discover Children's Story Centre Until Sunday May 31 2015

Create and Make

Kids aged five to 11 can become a designer in these informal art workshops inspired by the Design Museum's temporary exhibitions. The monthly events focus on making activities and are free with museum entry. No booking required.

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Design Museum Sunday May 31 2015 - Sunday August 30 2015

Free Range Urban Kids Forest School Holiday Club

Drop off your four to eight-year-olds for an outdoor adventure. Activities could include building dens or a bug hotel, going on a mini-beast hunt, climbing trees, making musical instruments and opportunities for child-led free play. 

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Millfields Park Friday May 29 2015

Half-Term at the Geffrye Museum

A series of drop-in, first-come first-served activities for two to 16 year-olds inspired by the museum's current exhibition, 'Home of the Homeless'. Workshops include making wacky nest hats (Tue May 26, 10.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-4pm; ages 5+), decorating wooden birdhouses (Wed May 27, 2pm-4pm, ages 11+), and a day of garden-themed events to celebrate Chelsea Fringe Festival, including a new activity cart in the beautiful back gardens (Thur May 28, 2pm-4.30pm). Look online for a full list of activities and timings.

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Geffrye Museum Friday May 29 2015 Free

The Cosmic Dancer

Combining ballet and digital projection, 'The Cosmic Dancer' is a piece about Pepita the aspiring cosmic dancer, performed by La Baracca for Polka during the half term. It's staged with the romantic piano music of Claude Debussy. Ages 4-8.

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Polka Theatre Until Sunday May 31 2015

Visit the Victorian Skittle Alley

Alleviate your kids' boredom in the same way nineteenth-century Greenwich Pensioners entertained themselves: at the Old Royal Naval College's Skittle Alley. It's open for May half term and every Saturday in June, and these unique tours take visitors back in time to discover the history of the ORNC and the lives of the people who called it home. Don't worry, it's not just walk and talk: you'll get a chance to have a go at using original wooden skittles and bowling balls.

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Old Royal Naval College Until Saturday June 27 2015

Rascals and Rogues: London’s Highway Robbers

Visitors to the London Dungeon this May half-term will need to have their wits about them as a number of the highwaymen and women who terrorised the rich on the roads during the 17th century will be resurrected. The notorious Moll Cutpurse and Claude Duvall will be demonstrating the ultimate highway robbery, signing up those daring enough to deliver the goods to a life of crime alongside them. Those who aren't so brave may well have their purses pinched.' Rascals and Rogues' is included in the standard ticket price. 

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The London Dungeon Until Sunday May 31 2015

The View from The Shard: Kids Go Free

Fancy taking the kids to see the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace for free, all at the same time? During half-term week each paying adult can bring two children for free to see the whole the capital from its highest point at The View from The Shard. Check online to confirm opening times.

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The View from the Shard Until Sunday May 31 2015

Animal Encounters

Get a closer look at the many creatures which have made their home in the wetland reserve in these free drop-in sessions for all ages. Learn how and where to spot beautiful birds, amazing moths, slippery amphibians and reclusive reptiles, and find out more about how dragonflies begin their lives as underwater predators. Bug hunts, reptile rambles, duckling walks and pond dipping sessions will also be available to join in with.

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London Wetland Centre Until Sunday May 31 2015

Looking for more half-term ideas?

Half-term in London

Summer looks to be on its way so the kids needn't be stuck in front of the telly all week. This May half-term London has enough fun lined up to have the family raring to leave the house

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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...


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 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.


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.