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The best half-term activities in London

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

Sensational Butterflies

The sun should be showing its face by the time May half-term (Saturday May 26-Sunday June 3) rolls around, but whatever the weather, there are tons of brilliant things to do, shows to see and exciting events happening in London to suit all ages. Read on for our pick of the best family-friendly half-term activities in London – get the kids off the sofa… and get out!

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

Half-term activities for kids

1

Underbelly Festival

The Underbelly tent has once again landed on the South Bank and it’s bursting with tip-top entertainment for kids. Over half-term you can catch circus shows ‘Soap’ and ‘The Very Circusy Caterpillar’, comedy from ‘Screaming with Laughter’ and ‘Harry and Chris’, the Belly Theatre’s ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, a special children’s variety show and the spectacle that is ‘The Amazing Bubble Man’. And while their older brothers and sisters are enjoying that little lot, toddlers can get grooving in Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall.

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South Bank
2

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

Ever wondered how Han met Chewie or how he first got into leather waistcoats? This ‘Star Wars’ spin-off starring Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke should provide all the answers when it opens on Thursday May 24.

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3

‘Sensational Butterflies’

In a specially constructed tropical enclosure, kids can come face-to-face with butterflies, including the swallowtail, blue morpho, moon moth and many others originating from Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas, and take part in games, activities and challenges that teach them about the sensory world of the fluttering creatures. There are so many butterflies that you have to take care not to trample them underfoot (so perhaps not the best environment for toddlers) but this is a wonderful chance to learn about these creatures and immerse yourself in every stage of their brief lives.

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4

‘Small Wonders’

In recent years, hugely respected immersive theatre company Punchdrunk has turned its hand to inventive kids’ shows like ‘Against Captain’s Orders’, a piratical adventure that took over Greenwich Maritime Museum. It’s showing off its child-friendly side again with this show for LIFT Festival, which is set in Nanny Lacey’s flat. She’s moving to a care home, but before she goes, she’ll show kids the magical miniature creations she’s used to house her memories in.

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Bernie Grant Arts Centre , South Tottenham Saturday June 2 2018 - Friday July 13 2018
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5

Half-term at the Horniman

The Horniman Museum can always be relied upon to put on some fab family events over half-term. This May you can join free drop-in arts and crafts sessions, go pond dipping, listen to performances and talks based on the museum’s musical instrument collection, and learn about buzzy creatures as part of Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count. Best of all, most of the activities are free. And if you have time, be sure to check out the fascinating exhibition ‘Colour: The Rainbow Revealed’.

Photo: Megan Taylor

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Horniman Museum , Forest Hill Saturday May 26 2018 - Friday June 1 2018
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7

Spring Rising: Children’s Workshops and Supper Clubs

Feed your kids' minds and bodies at this fab learning and eating combo event. Crafty workshop leaders PomegranArt will teach the little ones how to make a crepe Fantasy Flower and then they'll be fed a hearty supper of popcorn chicken and mini pork rice from Old Spitalfields Market restaurant Jiaba, plus an ice cream sandwich from Happy Endings.  

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Old Spitalfields Market , Spitalfields Monday April 23 2018 - Monday May 28 2018
8

‘Peter Pan’

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Recommended

You know summer’s properly on the way when Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is back in business. This year, the London institution will be hoping for clear skies for its first show of the season, a jaw-dropping and wonderfully magical production of ‘Peter Pan’. Other child-friendly treats to come at the venue include musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and interactive spectacle ‘Dinosaur World Live’.

 

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Regent's Park Open Air Theatre , Regent's Park Thursday May 17 2018 - Friday June 15 2018
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9

‘The Future Starts Here’

As Whitney Houston sang, ‘The children are our future’, and this exhibition aims to show what they’ll be up to in the years to come. Kids can browse a collection of more than 100 objects, ranging from futuristic smart appliances, satellites, and versions of artificial intelligence to the more cutting-edge aspects of internet culture. Welcome to the world of tomorrow.

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V&A , Brompton Saturday May 12 2018 - Sunday November 4 2018
10

How Does It Feel to Be Loved? Children’s Disco

If you don’t want to hear kids’ music at a kids’ disco there is an alternative. How Does It Feel to Be Loved? is an unashamedly indie club night – Belle & Sebastian, The Smiths and the Pixies are some of its staples, although pop and soul make an appearance too. It also puts on monthly Sunday afternoon shindigs for families: the same music policy applies, with the tunes played at a more kiddie-friendly volume. Give the youngsters a dose of musical history.

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The Phoenix , Marylebone Sunday April 29 2018 - Sunday May 27 2018
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11

‘Star Trek’ in Concert Weekender

Take older kids (12+) to a matinee screening of JJ Abrams’ 2009 ‘Star Trek’ reboot (Sat June 2) or 2016's ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ (Sun June 3) at the Royal Albert Hall, with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra playing along to the soundtrack. The scores were written by composer Michael Giacchino, who mixed vintage ‘Star Trek’ tunes with new music – these live performances are sure to boom around the room.

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12

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2018

Will Exeter make it two in a row or could our very own Saracens take the trophy? Or maybe another team will slip in and upset the applecart. If you and your rugby-mad kids want to see all the action live, head to Twickenham for the biggest match of the year. And make the most of the pre- and post-match excitement at The Fan Village, where last year there was an interactive games zone and a pop-up pitch for a spontaneous scrum.

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Twickenham Stadium , Twickenham Saturday May 26 2018
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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.

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By: Laura Lee Davies

Comments

7 comments
mia a

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.

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olivia e

 All kinds of top-notch activities to wow the young ones, i go outside & enjoy these things but first i release  the stress of students by placing an order to "http://www.assignmentlounge.co.uk/ 

 & enjoy the moments.

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

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

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

Half term for some parents outside of London started on the 11 February 2013. London should take into account this.

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.