Don't just spend the May half-term (Monday May 29 – Sunday June 4 2017) pottering around the house with the kids – get out and about and enjoy London.
There are all kinds of top-notch activities to wow the young ones, so here's our guide to the very best stuff half-term happenings around the capital.
RECOMMENDED: Chek the full guide to half-term in London for more events.
Half-term activities for kids
Meet a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-foot tentacles and a huge house fly with a vacuum cleaner mouth at the Horniman Museum’s Zoo for larger-than-life robot animals made from familiar machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the robot creation will reveal how real animal anatomy works. Book tickets here.
Kew Gardens' celebration of the orchid returns for its 22nd year, this time with an Indian theme. Sounds of India will surround the visual displays in the glasshouse, which will feature elaborate floral creations inspired by Indian markets. The festival includes behind the scenes tours, hands-on workshops and ‘Orchid Lates’ - allowing you continue the fun after hours.
Explore the imaginative world of Dr Seuss and his fantastical stories including 'Green Eggs and Ham', 'The Lorax' and 'Oh The Places You Will Go' at this family-friendly exhibition. Little ones can take part in dressing up sessions, play music with the Boom Band and meet characters such as Sam I Am! and The Cat in The Hat. The exhibition opens in the newly refurbished Discover Children's Story Centre designed by Studio Weave.
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? There are some poignant objects in the Museum of London’s show about the Great Fire: a Bible with singed pages, a heat-buckled key, a half-finished piece of embroidery, apparently salvaged from the blaze. But many of the exhibits are representative of the kind of objects that were around at the time; generic 17th-century wine bottles stand in for the flasks Pepys buried in the garden to keep them from the flames. The interactive bells and whistles include a stylised recreation of Pudding Lane, complete with the artificial scent of bread to evoke the bakery where the fire began. It’s hard to escape the suspicion that all this is compensating for the lack of objects with the gee-whiz factor. It's a show designed with pint-sized visitors in mind; children will enjoy fighting flames on a touch screen and dressing up as firefighters. Adults may find Pepys’ prose gives a more vivid account of the catastrophe.
Now in its fifty-second year, the renowned and celebrated annual wildlife photography competition and exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with images of the most extraordinary species on the planet, captured by professional and amateur photographers. And FYI, all wannabe animal-snappers out there: next year's competition will be open for entries from October 24 and will close on December 15. Please note that last entry to the exhibition is daily at 5.15pm.
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.