If you’re like me, sometimes planning a day out with a toddler can be a more terrifying prospect than getting a tattoo while at the dentists. But on the days when neither of us is grumpy, ill or teething, my son and I have had some amazing times in London. Our favourite is the Science Museum, but it can also be fun to head into Oxford Circus to meet friends and have a romp in various toy stores (preferably with a cafe attached.)
I’m sure it can be even more daunting for parents with several children of different ages. So with some help I’ve put together a list of fun Half-term activities for the entire family. If you’re heading out with the littlest ones in the family, of course I would recommend using Gobaby App to help find stair free Underground, Overground and DLR stations as well as the nearest baby changing spots. For children of all ages, here are some fantastic spots for a great day out.
All Ages – Drop in Events
British Museum: Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November. Free, all ages. Come to the Great Court every day during half term from 11am-4pm and take part in a series of simple activities worked around the exhibit Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Columbia.
Geffrye Museum: Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November. Loads of art-making activities all week long, for all different ages at the Geffrye Museum.
Isis Education Centre: Wednesday, 30th October 11am-3pm. Free, all ages. Come and learn about the Isis Education Centre and all the amazing activities for children. For this event, kids will be making potions with sticks and mud; making bats; exploring feely boxes and more. If you have not been, do come and get inspired by the curious and imaginative centre.
Museum of London: Saturday 26th October – Sunday 3rd November. This is an excellent museum to explore during the school holidays. The museum explores the history of London which for school age children is an amazingly accessible topic. Over the half-term the theme will be monsters and gargoyles – different art workshops and storytelling session.
National Portrait Gallery: Monday 28th – Friday 31st October, 11:30 – 4pm. Every day there will be a variety of quality workshops where kids will learn and engage with history and art of the Elizabethan era. These events are generally for ages 5+ with younger siblings warmly welcomed.
Ragged School Museum: Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st October, 10-5pm. Free, all ages. Come and learn about Dr. Bernardo’s work (the man who founded the first ragged school) and what a miserable life you would have had as a poor Victorian. To lighten the mood there will be face-painting, arts and crafts.
Stepney City Farm: Open Tuesdays – Sundays and Public Holiday Mondays from 10:00 – 4pm, free for all ages. Come visit a working farm, Rural Arts Centre and community meeting place in London’s East End, giving children and adults a chance to meet farm animals, learn how to grow food and try out arts and crafts.
Liminal, come and explore the Tate collection with hands-on, artist-led experiences for young children in the galleries. Thursday 31st and Friday 1st November. All ages, free. BP Family Festival, Time Loop: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November, free, all ages, 10am-3pm. Pass through a time machine and span 500 years of British art through music, visual arts, movement and sound.
V&A: Make-it, Chinese Painting: Monday 28th Oct-Friday 1st Nov (book ahead, £7.50 per session) make your own Chinese brush painting, ages 5-12. Sat 26th – Sun 3rd. Digital Kids: Bring Chinese paintings to life. 10:30-5pm, ages 3+. Imagination Station: explore the Year of the Snake 10:30-5pm, ages 3. Pop-up performances, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, all ages.
Have a lovely Half-term break everyone.
Written by Jen Corlew