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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

© Chris Christodoulou

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. With that in mind, here’s our round-up of the capital's best events, activities and more to keep the kids entertained over the Autumn half-term (Monday October 24 - Friday October 28 2016). Batteries not included – or necessary.

RECOMMENDED: explore the full guide to half-term in London as we'll be updating this page with events nearer the time

Top ten half-term activities for kids

Pick Your Own Pumpkin

Pick your own pumpkin from the pumpkin trailer with your kids this half term at The Strawberry Farm just a mile from Upminster Station. From £1.

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Strawberry Farm , Cranham Monday October 24 2016 - Sunday October 30 2016

How To Hide A Lion

Iris has a brand new friend, but she knows her family and friends won't love him quite as much as she does. This story of a girl trying to hide a lion in all sorts of devious ways is adapted by Peter Glanville from Helen Stephen's children's story, and will feature songs by singer-songwriter Barb Jungr. There are two versions: one for todders ages 1-2, and another for kids ages 3-6. 

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Polka Theatre , South Wimbledon Wednesday October 26 2016 - Sunday February 26 2017

Discovery Day: Hair-Raising Halloween

A family-friendly open day with a spooky twist for Halloween. Little ones can explore the witches den, make their way through a nature trail and create potions using herbs and plants from the garden. There will also be bat mask making and the chance to make a bat box to take home (£15 with limited availability). 

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Education Centre, Hyde Park , Knightsbridge Wednesday October 26 2016

Roald Dahl And The Imagination Seekers

As the beloved author's centenary approaches, everyone's going doolally for all things Dahl. The Lyric is hosting an interactive kids' adventure that takes children on a journey through his best-loved stories, from the whimsy of 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' to the gross-out horrors of 'The Twits'. Ages 7-11.

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Lyric Hammersmith , Hammersmith Thursday October 27 2016 - Friday October 28 2016

The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Belgian artist Carsten Höller (who set up a pair of spiral slides outside the Hayward Gallery as part of his 2015 exhibition) has designed this new addition to the Olympic Park's sculpture-cum-attraction. Guests will be able to fly down the world's longest and tallest slide as part of their visit.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit , Stratford Until Saturday December 31 2016

Fire! Fire!

On September 2, 350 years ago, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary about ‘an infinite great fire’ raging in London. Homes burned, people scrambled to save their goods and pigeons ‘hovered about the windows and balconies till they some of them burned their wings’. It’s a compelling tale but, for a museum, a tricky one to tell. How do you stage an exhibition when so many of the artefacts have been incinerated? 

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Museum of London , Smithfield Until Monday April 17 2017

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

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 Until Saturday February 11 2017

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

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.