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Top Half Term Activities: London

Heading down to London during the holidays? Find the top things to do to keep your kids entertained this half term holiday.

Half term activities in London

Entertaining Kids in London During Half Term

Finding days out and things to do with the children can be a challenge - especially with costs of everything rising including transport. We explore some of the best London activities to do this half term with your kids and some are completely free!

From theatres to museums and everything in between, come and explore London in a slightly different way.

Half term falls across two different weeks this year, as parts of the country are off school slightly later (from 20th) look out for the dates on these as in London half term is from 13th. That being said, if you are off from 20th, you may find a lot of these attractions much quieter that week so definitely worth a visit even if some of the 'special' half term activities may not be running.

National gallery London Half Term

Play Build Play at the National Gallery

When? 14, 15, 16th Feb, 11am - 4pm

Cost: FREE

Ages: All Ages

Booking? It's a drop-in event but you do need to book a free gallery entry ticket here.

This is all about exploring the architecture at the National Gallery. Seek out decorative details throughout the museum with artists James and Eva from Play Build Play. Taking a closer look at the buildings behind the paintings - you can play with scales shapes and sensory materials to create new structures inside the fabulous domed structure of the gallery.

If the kids don't last all that long, not to worry you have all the galleries to explore inside and the towering statues of Lions and the fountains in Trafalgar square outside to give them a run around afterwards.

Imagine Children's festival - Southbank Centre

When? 8th to 18th Feb, 10.30am - 6pm (closed 14th 10.30-11.30 for relaxed hours visitors)

Where? Southbank Centre

Cost: from FREE (some shows are chargeable)

Ages: Under 12's

Booking? Not required for everything - check the website for more details.

This is set to be another year of fantastical entertainment for all children (and adults!) With activities and events themed round everything from dinosaurs and magic to hip-hop and astronomy and all for FREE it is worth checking out this festival on London's Southbank. Being quiet is not required - the festival is fully relaxed so you can come and go as you please and you can even get noise cancelling headphones for the littles or too avoid sensory overload.

11 days packed with a wide variety of family shows, entertainment, story-telling and activities. Including YolanDa's Band Jam, Ashley and Jordan Banjo, family games, beatboxing, Hip hop dancers and so much more - it's all going on!

Tate Modern London Half Term

Uniqlo Tate Play - Threads Holiday Make Studio

When? Running 11th 19th Feb, 10.30am - 6pm (closed 14th 10.30-11.30 for relaxed hours visitors)

Where? Tate Modern Turbine Hall

Cost: FREE

Ages: All Ages

Booking? Not required

Visiting the Tate Modern can be a thrilling experience for little minds, this activity will allow them to really get stuck in. With inspiration from artists Cecilia Vicuña and Magdalena Abakanowicz they can experiment with weaving and knitting, big and small. They want whole family to knit together to create a big cylinder-shaped artwork using reels of threads on the large looms in the Turbine Hall. There will be lots to see and giant versions of the classic knitting tool, even for the little ones too.

Tower Bridge London Half Term

Tower Bridge Cat Trail

When? Running from 11th February throughout the year. 9.30am to 6pm (last entry 5pm)

Cost: Included with entry to Tower Bridge which is £11.40 for adults and £5.70 for children - only £1 if you live in Southwark, Tower Hamlets or City of London.

Ages: All Ages.

Booking? Yes via the website here.

Inspired by the award winning books, the trail has just been launched (launch day 11th February includes a whole range of activities). Find the Bridge Master and his team Hannah, the Cook, Poppy, the Painter, and Stan, the Stoker, and identical twins Eddie the Engineer and Olly the Oiler – who will help you answer key questions about the bridge's history and complete many tasks throughout the attraction. You can collect and stamp your Apprenticeship Record to become a special member of the team at the end of the trail.

If you head there on 11th February you will find:

  • Book readings with author Tee Dobinson on the hour, from 11:00 to 17:00.

  • Book signings with author Tee Dobinson and illustrator Steve Cox.

  • Meet the characters from the books, brought to life by live actors.

  • Exclusive early access to 'The Tower Bridge Cat ABC' book

  • Face painting, balloons and lots of fun!

London half term battersea light festival

Battersea Power Station Light Festival

When? Until 5th March - 8am until 11pm daily

Where? Battersea Power Station

Cost: FREE

Ages: All Ages

Booking? Not required. Download a festival map here

This has been going for three years now, and contain 8 different art installations around the old Battersea power station. Alongside the installations, visitors can enjoy some great food huts and trucks joining the festival this year including Roti King, Chipsy, Fondue Power, Cheese King, Simply Lebanese, Queen of the Crepes and Simply Hog Roast from 12-9pm Friday until Sunday. There are also plenty of restaurants so you can enjoy the installations as part of a evening out. There are plenty of child-safe eateries so you needn't worry about that part. You can find them all here.

National Maritime Museum - Sailing Out

When? Running 12th 19th Feb, 11-1pm and 2-4pm

Where? National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Cost: FREE

Ages: All Ages

Booking? Book your free tickets here

The famous museum in Greenwich is putting on a whole range of different workshops and activities across the half term week. These include constructing costumes inspired by Elizabeth I, create a rainbow mer-person, heroes from maritime history, colourful creatures, stories, crafts and load smore.

Find out what is going on by clicking the button below.

The Trial of Josie K at the Unicorn Theatre

When? Running until 19th Feb, 11am - 4pm

Cost: £16-18 / £11.50-13

Ages: 9-13 years

Booking? Yes via the website here

If you like the theatre, and would like to introduce your children to a theatrical experience that is easy to access this is one to look at. This show is aimed at a younger audience but will be thoroughly enjoyable for parents as well.

Sometimes adults just don't make sense - Josie K has found herself in a very weird and crazy situation and she needs help to find her way out. This is inspired by Kafka's 'The Trial' and is a story of defiance, friendship and finding hope. The rules have not been explained, so join Josie on her adventure to find out what on earth this is all about!

The Instrumentals London Half Term

The Instrumentals at the Little Angel Theatre

When? Running until 16th April, 11am & 2pm

Cost: £8/8.50

Ages: 4-8 years

Booking? Yes via the website here

Marked as an icon of North London childhood by Time Out, this theatre is running the show The Intrumentals as well as family workshops this half term. The family workshops last an hour so perfect for ages 4-8. At their studios on Sebbon Street they will be making some Instrumentals inspired puppets, and learning how to make them sing and dance!

The show itself is aimed at the same age range, and is bursting with soulful music, love and life. If you have slightly younger children, they are running a show called the Flying Bath (one of Julia Donaldson's lesser known titles) aimed at 2-5 year olds from 10th February until 23rd April. So even if you can't get there this holiday, you have plenty of time to catch it.


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