Half-term in London

Stuck for things to do with the kids this February half-term? Panic over, we've got plenty to keep them sweet

Wintery weather needn't mean that the kids be stuck in front of the telly all week. This year's February half-term falls on Mon Feb 16 – Fri Feb 20 2015, and luckily London has enough fun lined up to have the family begging to leave the house.

What's on this half-term?

Things to Do

Ice skating in London

Quick, before the ice melts! Take the kids for a spin on one of London's many outdoor ice rinks

Read more
Things to Do

Animal feeding times in London

Find out when to spot the city's cute critters

Read more
Kids

Free indoor play spaces in London

We've sought out a few diverting ideas that are strictly for older kids

Read more
Museums

Top 10 museums in London for kids

Dinosaurs, mummies, rockets and planes – who said museums were just for grown ups?

Read more

A handful of highlights this half-term

Things to Do

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

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Kids

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. Odeon, Vue, Empire, Cineworld, Showcase and Picturehouse cinemas will be screning the Peppa special.

Read more
Kids

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. Come in your 'Frozen' finery, too, because there are prizes to be won in the fancy dress parade. The Frozen Feast café will provide themed food and cocktail slushes. The experience is housed in a secret nuclear bunker that was decommissioned in the 90s, so accompanying adults can take the opportunity to explore the underground world which would have housed our government in case of worldwide chemical disaster. Perhaps a 'Hunger Games' theme would have suited it better?

Read more
Things to Do

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. 

Read more

What to see with the kids

Film

Take a trip to the cinema

Can't keep them quiet? Our pick of family-friendly films will have them hooked this half-term

Read more
Theatre

Top 10 children's theatre shows

A sure-fire way to keep the whole family happy this holiday

Read more

Escape the rain at London's top museums

Things to Do

V&A Museum of Childhood

Home to one of the world's finest collections of children's toys, dolls' houses, games and costumes, the V&A Museum of Childhood shines bighter than ever after extensive refurbishment, which has given it an impressive entrance. Part of the V&A museum, the museum has been amassing childhood-related objects since 1872 and continues to do so, with 'Incredibles' figures complementing bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes. There are regular exhibitions upstairs and the V&A Museum of Childhood has plenty of hands-on activities for kids and special events at weekends and during school holidays, while the café helps to revive flagging grown-ups.

Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Read more
Museums

London Transport Museum

Among the vehicles on display at the London Transport Museum is the first underground electric train, which had no windows because there was nothing to see underground. The trouble was that no one could tell which stop they were at, a glitch resolved by employing an athletic announcer who ran to each carriage at every station, shouting out the stops. Dating from 1890, this is one of several museum exhibits you can board. The design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. For children, the London Transport Museum has an under-fives play area decorated with Steven Appleby illustrations and the chance to sit in the driver's cab of a red bus and guide a Northern Line simulator through tunnels and up to platforms – (truth be told, it's fun for adults, too).

Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Read more
Things to Do

Natural History Museum

The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. The Natural History Museum’s Life Galleries are devoted to displays on animal life, from creepy crawlies to the plaster cast of a Diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall. The Earth Galleries explore the natural forces that shape our planet, the treasures we take from it, the effect we have on it and its place in the universe. The museum's wildlife garden attracts urban wildlife such as dragonflies, blackbirds and wrens and highlights inner-city wildlife conservation.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Museums

Museum of London

The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum's archaeological digs. Check the website before your visit as a packed programme of temporary exhibitions, talks, walks and children's events is central to the life of the Museum of London.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Museums

Science Museum

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. The Wellcome Wing showcases developments in contemporary science, medicine and technology. The Medical History Gallery in the museum's attic contains a substantial collection of medical history treasures. Pattern Pod introduces under-eights to the importance of patterns in contemporary science and Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles. Exhibits in the Exploring Space galleries include the three-metre-high, 600kg Spacelab 2 X-ray telescope that was flown on British space missions and full-scale models of the Huygens Titan probe and Beagle 2 Mars Lander. Tickets to the museum’s in-house IMAX cinema cost extra. The shop is worth checking out for its wacky toys, while the Dana Centre is the Science Museum’s adults-only centre for free lectures and performance events on contemporary scientific issues (www.danacentre.org.uk).

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Museums

Household Cavalry Museum

This museum within the historic Horse Guards building affords a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into the ceremonial duties and operational role of the Household Cavalry regiments which make up the Queen's official guards. Their story is told through a collection of ceremonial uniforms, royal standards, gallantry awards, musical instruments, horse furniture and silverware amassed over 350 years of serving the Royal family. Family activities take place during school holidays. Visitors to the Household Cavalry Museum can see troopers working with horses in the 18th-century stables of the horses which parade just outside every day; the stables are separated from the main museum by no more than a screen of glass. The museum's newest exhibit, created in response to visitor demans, is a video explaining where the horses come from, how they are chosen, why so many of them are black and how they are cared for and trained. The museum is closed between June 18 and September 6 2012 to accommodate the London 2012 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball competition.

Read more
Museums

Cartoon Museum

On the ground floor of the Cartoon Museum - a transformed former dairy - the cartoons are displayed chronologically, starting with the early eighteenth-century when high-society types back from the Grand Tour introduced the Italian practice of the caricatura to polite society. From Hogarth the displays move on to British cartooning's 'golden age' (1770-1830). 'Modern times' covers political wartime cartoons and social commentary produced between 1914 and 1961. The 'new satire' section – works published from 1961 onwards – includes Ralph Steadman, Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Matt and others. 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, as is the library where – by appointment – you can search the catalogue of some 3,000 books. Children's animation workshops are held during school holidays.

Read more
Museums

Grant Museum

Recently re-opened at a new address – an Edwardian former library in the UCL complex – the Grant Museum of animal skeletons, taxidermy specimens and creatures preserved in fluid retains the air of the house of an avid Victorian collector while posing questions about issues in life sciences today. The collection includes remains of many rare and extinct animals, such as the skeleton of a quagga (an extinct zebra) and a dodo.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
SEE MORE CHILD-FRIENDLY MUSEUMS IN THE CAPITAL

Comments

0 comments