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Half-term in London

Looking for fun stuff to do with the kids over the 2017 May half-term in London? Get inspired with our guide of half-term events and activities

The May half-term in London (Monday May 29 – Sunday June 4 2017) has plenty to offer the kids. There are all kinds of fun activites to keep you and your gang going, whether you fancy a child-friendly museum exhibtion, taking in a children's theatre show or visiting one the city's best best parks, plus lots of free stuff for when you need to save the pennies.

We'll be updating this page with events nearer the time, so keep checking back for the latest half-term highlights.

May half-term in London ideas

May half-term activities
Kids

May half-term activities

Ten ace ideas for entertaining the little ones over half-term

Top 10 museums for kids
Museums

Top 10 museums for kids

Dinosaurs, mummies, rockets and planes – who said museums were just for grown ups?

Free things to do with the kids
Kids

Free things to do with the kids

Keep the children entertained without spending a penny

Top ten children's theatre shows this half-term
Theatre

Top ten children's theatre shows this half-term

Stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids this half-term? Hit the theatre! London has tons of great children's theatre during the May half-term (Monday May 29 – Sunday June 4 2017), so treat the gang to some culture and keep them entertained. And remember you're allowed to treat yourself too, so why not check our critics' round-up of the best new theatre openings. RECOMMENDED: explore the full guide to half-term in London.

City farms in London
Things to do

City farms in London

Meet the animals at one of these urban green spots

Harry Potter experiences in London
Things to do

Harry Potter experiences in London

Here's how to go from muggle to wizard in the day

A few half-term in London highlights

Adventures in Wonderland

Adventures in Wonderland

Multi-sensory fun for children aged 5 and up. Theatre company Les Enfants Terribles create the entire weird world of Alice over several rooms underground. 

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Brambly Hedge: the Art of Jill Barklem

Brambly Hedge: the Art of Jill Barklem

Take a closer look at the stunning illustrations featured in Barklem’s classic children’s books about the lives of hedgerow creatures and their families. Her intricate and carefully researched wildlife illustrations of flora and fauna are a joy to look at for young and old. Artworks will also be available to buy. Illustration Cupboard Gallery, until Jun 3. Free.  

Merrydown Festival of Mucky May’hem

Merrydown Festival of Mucky May’hem

Hobbledown farm and adventure play park hosts its popular feast of outdoor messiness including foamy, slippery activities and lots of silly wet frolics. Activities include the Slip ‘n Slide ride, Bubble Workshop, Quad Bungee, Maze Runner match and eating competitions! Free with main park admission. Hobbledown. May 30-Jun 1. £16, £10.50 concs, £17 children, under-twos free.  

Half-term at Woodlands Farm

Half-term at Woodlands Farm

There’s lots going on to inspire young nature explorers at this farm during the half-term break. Take part in a drop-in hunt around the farm on Wednesday, have a go at pond-dipping on Thursday and find out all about brilliant bees on Friday. Woodlands Farm Trust. May 31-Jun 2. £1-£2 per child per session.

Drawing and Discovery

Drawing and Discovery

Have a go at designing your own seed packet, inspired by the museum’s collection. Travel through the Time Tunnel to gather ideas for how you might make it, inspired by designs dating back as far as Victoria times, and take home your own cress seeds. Museum of Brands, Mon May 29-Jun 4. £9, £7 concs, £5 under-16, under-sevens free.  

Picturing Hetty Feather

Picturing Hetty Feather

An exhibition dedicated to the popular storybooks of Jacqueline Wilson, featuring a spirited Victorian foundling called Hetty. The exhibition is a must for Hetty fans but also for visitors of all ages who are interested in the history of this period. Foundling Museum, Fri May 26-Sep 3. £8.25, £5.50 concs, children free.  

Place, House and Building

Place, House and Building

Got a brood of budding builders? Get along to the V&A Museum of Childhood where there’s a half-term schedule of construction activities inspired by the new permanent installation ‘Place (Village)’ by YBA Rachel Whiteread – a magically lit ‘community’ of dolls houses.  There will be other drop-in activities, too. V&A Museum of Childhood, Mon May 29-Jun 2. Free.

Modern Marvel

Modern Marvel

Through half-term week you can find out how Tower Bridge was designed and then have a go at making your own paper model to take home. Ages five-plus. Museum of London Docklands, Sun May 28-Jun 3. Free.  

London's child-friendly museums

V&A Museum of Childhood
Museums

V&A Museum of Childhood

Home to one of the world's finest collections of children's toys, dolls' houses, games and costumes, the V&A Museum of Childhood shines bighter than ever after extensive refurbishment, which has given it an impressive entrance. Part of the V&A museum, the museum has been amassing childhood-related objects since 1872 and continues to do so, with 'Incredibles' figures complementing bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes. There are regular exhibitions upstairs and the V&A Museum of Childhood has plenty of hands-on activities for kids and special events at weekends and during school holidays, while the café helps to revive flagging grown-ups.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
London Transport Museum
Museums

London Transport Museum

Among the vehicles on display at the London Transport Museum is the first underground electric train, which had no windows because there was nothing to see underground. The trouble was that no one could tell which stop they were at, a glitch resolved by employing an athletic announcer who ran to each carriage at every station, shouting out the stops. Dating from 1890, this is one of several museum exhibits you can board. The design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. For children, the London Transport Museum has an under-fives play area decorated with Steven Appleby illustrations and the chance to sit in the driver's cab of a red bus and guide a Northern Line simulator through tunnels and up to platforms – (truth be told, it's fun for adults, too).

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. The Natural History Museum’s Life Galleries are devoted to displays on animal life, from creepy crawlies to the plaster cast of a Diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall. The Earth Galleries explore the natural forces that shape our planet, the treasures we take from it, the effect we have on it and its place in the universe. The museum's wildlife garden attracts urban wildlife such as dragonflies, blackbirds and wrens and highlights inner-city wildlife conservation.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museum of London
Museums

Museum of London

The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum's archaeological digs. Check the website before your visit as a packed programme of temporary exhibitions, talks, walks and children's events is central to the life of the Museum of London.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
FIND MORE CHILD-FRIENDLY MUSEUMS IN THE CAPITAL

More half-term inspiration for little ones

101 things to do in London with kids
Kids

101 things to do in London with kids

There need never be a dull moment in this city

Kid-friendly climbing walls in London
Things to do

Kid-friendly climbing walls in London

Take your little ones to grand new heights this half-term

The best kids’ movies on Netflix
Film

The best kids’ movies on Netflix

When you're exhausted from all those half-term activities, why not settle in and enjoy one of the best kids' movies on Netflix.

The best child-friendly restaurants in London
Restaurants

The best child-friendly restaurants in London

These central and neighbourhood restaurants in London know how to feed the whole family, offering value for money grub for babies, children and adults, too. You can even enjoy a cocktail while the kids are kept entertained. 

Comments

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Dora M
Dora M

Come to the UCL Your Universe Festival of Astronomy!