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The best half-term activities in London

Keep the kids busy and entertained this May 2019 half-term with some fantastic activities around London

London Puddle Jumping Championships
By Things To Do Editors |

If you’re looking for things to do with the kids in London this May half-term (Monday 27 -Friday 31 May), you’re in luck. We’ve picked a bunch of the best children’s events taking place in the capital over the week, so you can pack your calendar with must-dos. From family-friendly festivals to rainy-day exhibitions and outdoor film screenings, there’s loads to keep them busy. Book ahead wherever possible, get there nice and early and stock up on snacks for the queues.

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

Half-term activities for kids

Brick Wonders
Photograph: Warren Elsmore
Things to do, Exhibitions

Brick Wonders

icon-location-pin Horniman Museum, Forest Hill

Lego lovers will be in their element at the Horniman Museum’s Brick Wonders exhibition. There are about 50 Lego models on display – that’s about half a million bricks if you’re counting – covering everything from ancient pyramids to the International Space Station. There are interactive play areas and a mini-cinema showing LEGO animation shorts, and you can buy a combi ticket if you fancy ticking off the aquarium and Butterfly House while you’re here. Family ticket £18.

Beasts of London
Things to do

Beasts of London

icon-location-pin Museum of London, Smithfield

Come face-to-face with the beasts who once roamed the city in the Museum of London’s new interactive digital installation. 'Beasts of London' takes visitors on a journey through London’s past via a cast of animal narrators. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

May Half Term at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

icon-location-pin Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford

Since it was spruced up after the 2012 Olympics and opened to the public five years ago, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has become a mainstay for family fun in the capital. Things are no different this May bank holiday, with the park opening its doors for lots of fun things, including the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide, an enormous water obstacle course at the London Aquatics Centre, BMX and skateboarding sessions and plenty of food and drink. It's like getting out of the city, but without leaving Zone 2.

The Luna Cinema
Things to do, Film events

Luna Kids Cinema

icon-location-pin Multiple venues

The kids version of this popular pop-up cinema outfit doesn't disappoint. This year's event takes place during half-term in Dulwich Park, before moving to Hampton Court Palace for the summer. Weather dependent (obvs) it not only gets your little ones out the house but keeps them (and you) entertained, too.  

Things to do, Festivals

All Points East: In the Neighbourhood

icon-location-pin Victoria Park, South Hackney

You'll have heard of All Points East, the London music festival taking over Victoria Park, with headliners including The Strokes, The Chemical Brothers and Christine and the Queens. It'll be hosting a whole heap of top-notch artists for two weekends at the end of May and beginning of June, but in the week between the gigs (which happens to be half-term) there's a huge programme of free, family-friendly events going down. Little ones can get stuck into kids’ sport and art workshops, children’s theatre and storytelling. While big kids can snack on street food and watch open-air cinema with everything from ‘Napolean Dynamite’ to ‘Black Panther’ on the bill. 

© Isak Pretorius / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

icon-location-pin Natural History Museum, Brompton

Now in its fifty-fourth year, the renowned and celebrated annual wildlife photography competition exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with images of the most extraordinary species on the planet captured by professional and amateur photographers. This year saw more than 45,000 entries from across the globe, with 100 selected for what is always a highlight in the NHM's calendar.

'The Slightly Annoying Elephant' at Little Angel Theatre
Theatre, Children's

The Slightly Annoying Elephant

icon-location-pin Little Angel Theatre, Islington

Bestselling kids' author David Walliams' elephant story is getting the Little Angel treatment this summer - the theatre's seasoned crew of puppeteers will bring this quirky animal tale to life. 'The Slightly Annoying Elephant' follows a boy who adopts a zoo animal, but quickly discovers that cohabiting with a pachyderm is harder than he thought. 

Find more family-friendly fun in town

101 things to do in London with kids, A child dressed as Spiderman peers over a wall on the South Bank, London.
© Peter Csongedi

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.

More to explore

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