Top 10 half-term activities in London

Spend the week with the kids doing some of the coolest and quirkiest activities London has to offer this October half-term

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As much as we love telly and video games, we have to admit: a half-term 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 (Monday October 27 – Friday October 31 2014). Batteries not included – or necessary.

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Imagine Children's Festival

The kids are in charge at the Southbank Centre once more this February as their two-week children's festival returns. In 2015, expect a wide range of captivating theatre, dance, music, film and comedy plus readings from some of the UK's favourite authors, with free and ticketed events for young people of all ages. A panel of children from south London schools, the Festival Ideas Cloud, will be asking 'What Would I Do as Prime Minister for the Day?' at their very own Question Time, and have created a free magazine on the topic which will be available at festival events. 

  1. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Mon Feb 9 - Sun Feb 22
More info
2

Frozen the Pop-up Experience

Every modern Disney fan's wishes come true with this trip to Arendelle itself to enter a magical 'Frozen' winter wonderland. Princesses Elsa and Anna will provide musical performances and visitors can sing, dance and play amid the glittering frost-inspired installations and light effects. There'll be a pit of real snow in which you can build a snowman friend for Olaf, and budding royalty can visit the Princess Parlour for a makeover.

  1. Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker Crown Buildings, Kelvedon Hall Lane, CM14 5TL
  2. Mon Feb 16 - Sun Feb 22
More info
3

Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots

If you have had preschoolers in the house in the last ten years, you will probably be au fait with Peppa Pig. The cheeky piglet is up in five-minute slices of appealing 2D which toddlers gleefully eat up. This February half-term there will be a porcine picturehouse charge as the Pig family graces the big screen for the first time. Kids can settle in with their popcorn for a new 15-minute special, 'The Golden Boots', plus reruns of favourite episodes and clips featuring Channel 5's 'Milkshake!' presenters making up the hour-long running time. 

  1. Various Venues
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Fri Feb 20
More info
4

Nature Explorers: Winter Art

This day of outdoor games and activities is sure to keep the kids entertained during the half-term break. Equipped with magnifying glasses, children aged between eight and 11 can explore the wintry and wonderful patterns found in Hyde Park during chilly months. They'll also have the chance to create a giant outdoor sculpture using natural materials and construct clay habitats for mini-beasts residing in the park. Booking is essential.

5

Out of this World Activity Mornings

Little stargazers are invited to join the Royal Observatory's astronomers this half-term to learn more about dwarf planets and asteroids in these morning workshops. The sessions are suitable for ages five and over and include a planetarium show, three short workshops and entry to the Royal Observatory's North Site and the Meridian Line. Booking recommended.

  1. Royal Observatory Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ
  2. Mon Feb 16 - Tue Feb 17
More info
6

Fun with Folk

Kids aged six to nine can take dancing right back to its roots in this dance and music workshop focusing on English folk songs and concluding with a performance for family and friends. Previous sessions have focused on the likes of morris dancing, molly dancing and broom dancing, but no experience is required. Be prepared for an energetic day of live music and fun traditional dance.

  1. Cecil Sharp House Regent's Park Rd, NW1 7AY
  2. Mon Feb 16
More info
7

Opening Weekend at Lee Valley Park Farms

As the farm swings open its gates for 2015, visitors of all ages are invited to come and find out what the animals have been up to all winter with daily activities and handling sessions. A new family of meerkats have moved in this year, and there are hundreds of other animals to meet, too, including giant rabbits, pygmy goats, birds of prey and llamas. Kids can also help with the Dino-dig or fly down the toboggan run.

  1. Lee Valley Park Farms Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 2EF
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
More info
8

Mini Vault

Waterloo's underground theatre festival gains a family-friendly world of fun for 2015 in Mini Vault, with a line-up packed with lively performances to please under-11s. Three weekends of comedy, music, circus and theatre will be joined by heaps of free activities such as crafts, dance and hula hooping. The schedule kicks off with a free circus performance from Pirates of the Carabina, and a family-friendly rave from Big Fish Little Fish will round things off. See the Mini Vault website for more details and to book.

  1. The Vaults 10 Leake St, SE1 7NN
  2. Sat Feb 7 - Sun Mar 8
More info
9

Muse of Fire

Learn about the Globe's fiery history at a story-based treasure hunt that will engage children aged six-to-11 and their parents alike. The experience is directed and produced by Globe Education with the help of Punchdrunk's Matthew Blake, sound artist Melanie Wilson and Little Angel puppet theatre, so best to expect the unexpected as you explore the fascinating nooks and crannies of this bankside reconstruction of Shakespeare's favourite seventeenth-century theatre. Book well in advance.

  1. Shakespeare's Globe New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT
  2. Mon Feb 16 - Fri Feb 20
More info
10

Plantastic

This family-friendly, interactive exhibition is one big tribute to the plant. They're clever, useful and beautiful and visitors will discover a huge amount about their diminutive world through exhibits and games. Discover how a bee sees the world, how essential plants are to the world's survival and how they move without being uprooted. Look out for the February half-term workshops Family Art Fun and Nature Explorers.

  1. Horniman Museum London Rd, SE23 3PQ
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Nov 1
More info

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Users say

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.