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

Half-term activities for kids


Adventures in Moominland

A major new immersive, interactive exhibition presents new insights into author Tove Jansson’s life and influences with rare archive objects and illustrations built into the experience. Part of the Southbank's Nordic Matters season. 

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Spirit Level , South Bank Until Sunday April 23 2017

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 October 15 2017

Orchid Festival

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. 

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Kew Gardens , Kew Until Sunday March 5 2017

The Red Balloon

Puppet Theatre Barge use their signature wood-carved marionettes to tell the story of 'The Red Balloon'. This artful mime performance is accompanied by a specially composed soundtrack. 

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Puppet Theatre Barge , Maida Vale Saturday March 4 2017 - Sunday March 19 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

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? 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.

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Museum of London , Smithfield Until Monday April 17 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

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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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Wednesday March 8 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

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.