Half-term in London

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

© Peter Csongedi

The May half-term in London (Saturday May 26-Sunday June 3) has plenty to offer kids. There are all kinds of fun activities to keep you and your gang going plus lots of free stuff for when you need to keep an eye on the pennies.

May half-term in London ideas

May half-term activities
Kids

May 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

Underbelly Festival
Nightlife

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.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
Film

‘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.

All Points East: In the Neighbourhood
Things to do

All Points East: In the Neighbourhood

All Points East is a new London music festival that's taking over Victoria Park for two weekends at the end of May and beginning of June. In the week between the gigs, which happens to be half-term, there's a huge programme of free events and activities for the whole family, including an open-air cinema, kids’ sport and art workshops, a street food market, children’s theatre and storytelling.

Love Your Zoo week
Things to do

Love Your Zoo week

You can hang out with various critters this half-term at Battersea Park Children's Zoo, where you'll be able to take part in animal-themed activities and help the keepers give some of their wards a special treat. Each day a different creature will be in the spotlight – participants include meerkats, coatis, monkeys and farm animals – and there'll be special celebrations on Wednesday May 30 for World Otter Day.

‘Sensational Butterflies’
Things to do

‘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.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
‘Astérix in Britain: The Life and Work of René Goscinny’
Art

‘Astérix in Britain: The Life and Work of René Goscinny’

Getafix of the long-running career of René Goscinny, co-creator of Astérix. This exhibition's vitalstatistix include scripts, storyboards, photographs, films, sketches and even a bit where you can dress up. Just make sure you're not Unhygienix. 

Dalston Children's Festival
Things to do

Dalston Children's Festival

On the Saturdays that bookend half-term, Dalston will be buzzing with free events for kids. There's an emphasis on creativity so little hands will be encouraged to make things like fruit pizza, a Day of the Dead mask after a screening of ‘Coco’, and science experiments. Dalston Square will be transformed into a giant playground and, on Saturday May 26, Stonebridge Gardens will host the Hackney Pride 365 family picnic, featuring storytelling sessions with drag queen Maxi More. Photo: Andrew Woollard

Zip Now London
Things to do Buy tickets

Zip Now London

Zip Now London has brought its high-flying antics back to the South Bank, so you can take in the sights of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament while zooming through the air on a 225-metre zip wire. Anyone brave enough above the age of eight can experience the daredevil dive – after jumping from a 35-metre-high tower you’ll reach speeds close to 50km/h on the ride, which now has a new Mega Drop freefall experience and an additional wire so three people can ride alongside each other at the same time. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy tickets

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
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.

Users say
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

4 comments
Dora M

Come to the UCL Your Universe Festival of Astronomy!