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Top ten half-term activities in London

Keep the kids busy and entertained this May half-term with some fantastic activities around London

© Chris Christodoulou

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: Check the full guide to half-term in London for more events.

Half-term activities for kids


Robot Zoo

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. 

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Horniman Museum , Forest Hill Until Sunday October 29 2017

STAR WARS Identities

Explore a collection of 200 props, models, costumes and artworks from the Star Wars film series to explore the genetics and psychology of characters in its universe. You can even develop your own original character while you visit. 

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The O2 , Greenwich Peninsula Until Monday September 4 2017

Matilda the Musical


Opening to rave reviews in Stratford-upon Avon before transferring to the West End in 2011 and snatching up Olivier Awards with all the alacrity of a sticky-fingered child in a sweetshop, Matthew Warchus's RSC production remains a treat.

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Cambridge Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday December 17 2017

The Fantastic World of Dr Seuss

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. 

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Discover Children's Story Centre , Stratford Until Friday June 30 2017

The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a truckload of Lego making its way to the South Bank. A purpose-built tent will pop-up by the London Eye this month for 'The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes', a collection of larger-than-life sculptures of iconic comic book characters contructed entirely in Lego. Artist Nathan Sawaya used almost 2,000,000 bricks to recreate the heroes and villains of your childhood. It's like seeing life in 8-bit.

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South Bank , South Bank Until Sunday September 3 2017


Will robots enslave the human race? Who knows, but in case they do it's probably a good idea to catch The Science Museum's exhibition so you know what you're up against. There are over 100 of the mechanical critters at the show, which charts the 500-year development of our automated friends. Prepare to meet a sixteenth-century mechanical monk, a giant robot from 1950s Italy and Inkha, a 'mischievous robot receptionist'.

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Science Museum , Brompton Until Sunday September 3 2017

The Hive at Kew Gardens

Wolfgang Buttress' 17 metre high, 40 tonne installation already wowed audiences in Milan and now it's setting up home in Kew Gardens for the summer. Visitors can stand, lie or sit within the massive lattice structure as thousands of LED lights flicker and an orchestral arrangement plays, triggered by the activity of bees in a nearby hive. The music has been specially composed to mimic a bee's singing voice, namely in the key of C.

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Kew Gardens , Kew Until Sunday December 31 2017

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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.

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Natural History Museum , Brompton Until Sunday September 10 2017

The Sherlock Holmes Experience

Once upon a time, the basement of Madame Tussauds was home to the Chamber of Horrors. The wax likenesses of murderers and criminals have made way for a Sherlock Holmes-themed interactive experience, which brings the world of the fictional detective to life for a walk-through adventure. See Holmes's drawing room, walk along a lamp-lit Victorian street and search for the infamous 'demon' hound on a dark moor. This permanent addition to Madame Tussauds London is included in the venue's entry price.

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Madame Tussauds , Regent's Park Until Saturday July 15 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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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.

Read more
By: Laura Lee Davies



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 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.


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.