Half-term in London

Looking for fun stuff to do in London with the kids over the October 2018 half-term holiday? Get inspired with our guide to half-term events and activities

101 things to do in London with kids
© Peter Csongedi

The October half-term in London (Saturday October 20-Sunday October 28) has plenty to offer kids. From Halloween activities and interactive exhibitions to rainy-day activities and walks in parks overun with crunchy leaves, London’s got it all. There are all kinds of fun activities to keep you and your gang going in the run up to Halloween and Bonfire Night, plus lots of free stuff for when you need to keep an eye on the pennies.

October half-term in London ideas

October half-term activities
Kids

October half-term activities

Ace ideas for entertaining the little ones over half-term

Free things to do with the kids
Kids

Free things to do with the kids

Keep the kids entertained without spending a penny

Top 10 museums for kids
Museums

Top 10 museums for kids

Dinosaurs, mummies, rockets and planes – London is full of museums and those museums are full of stuff that kids love

City farms in London
Things to do

City farms in London

Meet the animals at one of these green urban oases

Harry Potter experiences in London
Things to do

Harry Potter experiences in London

How to go from muggle to wizard in a day

Free indoor play spaces
Kids

Free indoor play spaces

We’ve sought out a few diverting ideas for when the weather’s not playing ball

A few half-term in London highlights

Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Things to do Buy tickets

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The Natural History Museum is home to London’s most enchanting ice rink, thanks to the beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's buildings, a row of trees dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice. It's become a London winter classic.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
A Pirate’s Life for Me
Museums

A Pirate’s Life for Me

The V&A Museum of Childhood launches its new exhibition: fictional pirates from the past 300 years, from Captains Pugwash and Hook to Lego’s legendary ‘Black Seas Barracuda’ set. Plus! An interactive pirate ship.

Body Worlds
Museums

Body Worlds

Your children probably weren’t even born when faintly sinister German anatomist Dr Gunter von Hagens performed a human autopsy live on Channel 4 in 2002. Since then, there have been numerous tours of his pioneering ‘Body Worlds’ exhibition of plastinated human bodies. But it’s never had a permanent London base – until earlier this month, when the ‘Body Worlds London Museum Experience’ opened its doors in Piccadilly Circus.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Museums

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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. Any mini-nature lovers will adore it. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures
Things to do

A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures

This blockbuster exhibition at Discover in Stratford – running until September 2018 – is an immersive landscape of wonder and fun. Venture into forests, squeeze past a big cow, explore Monkey Puzzle jungle and basically 'fly', romp and play your way through a recreated universe filled with characters from their much-loved picture books. Suitable for ages up to eight (but older children welcome too).

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.

Users say
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).

Users say
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
Book online
Museum of London

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.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
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

13 London parks for autumn walks
Things to do

13 London parks for autumn walks

Get out and about as the greenery of the summer months starts to turn

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.