15 Things To Do With The Kids in London - February Half Term Special
The weather is admittedly pretty cold but there’s still plenty to do with the kids in London this month. We’ve also included some options for half term (February 13 to 17) and tried to keep it a mixture of free and paid events and activities.
From February 5 until March 5 2017
Visit an exciting collection of genuine items created for Tim Burton’s movie adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children which featured Eva Green, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench. You’ll get to see outfits worn by the stars, including a dress for Eva Green, who played Miss Peregrine as well the peculiarly incredible Perpetual Calendar, Miss Peregrine’s Birdcage, Enoch’s Heart in a Jar and Barron’s (Samuel L. Jackson’s) snack of choice…. eyeballs! Yuck!
There’s also an all-new 'Peculiar Explorer Trail' featuring ‘peculiar’ themed questions; simply collect the clues to spell a mystery word. Everyone who enters the correct word online has a chance to win a trip to Amsterdam for four, including flights, accommodation, a stay in a Peculiar hotel entry to Ripley's Amsterdam. Ripley’s London is open every day of the year and you can get 2 for 1 tickets here.
Southbank Centre Imagine Children’s Festival
Friday 9 to Sunday 19 February
Take your pick from dance, music, theatre and installations, alongside readings and workshops with some of the top children’s authors from the UK and Nordic region. More than half of the Imagine programme is free, with a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy on each day of the festival. You can see what’s on in detail here.
Museum of London Docklands Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail
Friday 10 February – Sunday 3 September: 1000 - 1800
See the most complete range of archaeological objects unearthed by the Crossrail project, Europe’s largest infrastructure project on display alongside the story of this great feat of engineering in a major new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands.
Entry is free and it's suitable for all ages.
More info here.
Rebuilding London - Museum of London
Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 February: 1200 - 1600
Take part in a week of daily free family events exploring how London was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666. Create your own map of London or make a phoenix masterpiece out of burnt materials. Enjoy interactive storytelling or help poet Sara Hirsch create a fire-themed poem. Daily event info available here. Suitable for a variety of ages.
Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna
Royal Albert Hall
We reviewed the event in full here but we’re including it in this round up because it’s very family friendly and as the performances don’t start until 2000, it’s perfect for the non-school nights during half term. The Times describes the show as “thrillingly executed” and you and the kids will be blown away by the aerial acrobatics.
Tickets from £20. Book here.
Puppetry: Iron Man
4, 11 + 18 February. Unicorn Theatre.
Suitable for kids aged 8 to 10.
Make your very own shadow puppets to take away with you. Matthew Robins - the creator of the theatre’s production of Iron Man - will demonstrate the techniques he uses to make the puppets in his own shows, as well as other ways to create images with light and projections. Suitable for all abilities.
£15 ticket includes one adult and one child. Workshop lasts one hour. Book here.
Street Dance + Circus Course
Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 February. The Albany Theatre
A three-day course to learn street dance, acrobatics, pop and lock, break dancing and circus skills. Suitable for kids learning new skills or developing existing ones, they’ll get the chance to perform for family and friends on the last day. The class is led by professionals from dancers at Upswing.
Suitable for kids age 8 to 12 (bursaries available and free entry for Lewisham Homes Residents)
Click here for more info or contact email@example.com
Stop Motion 32 Bit! Animation workshop at the British Film Institute
Wednesday 15 February 2017 1100 – 1600
Drop the kids off at 1100 and leave them to enjoy an imaginative workshop where they’ll be making animations to replicate the look of the old video games – complete with authentic sound effects and music. They’ll learn how to layer special effects into a film – perhaps an explosion? Or a huge mallet squashing a character? Or an alien craft whisking a baddie away?
Si5 SpyMission (closed on Mondays)
Croydon’s Si5 SpyMission’s is a fast-paced ‘James Bond meets Crystal Maze’ activity experience where children and adults can become spies for the day. Recruits of all ages can take on one-hour missions that include a series of mental and physical puzzles and challenges all set aboard the battle cruiser UNS Steadfast. Brilliant storylines bring the mission to life, from covertly boarding the vessel to the adrenaline-fuelled escape, whilst in between aiming to disable a battle cruiser with a nuclear missile that has been seized by enemy forces.
The objectives are a mix of physical and mental challenges against the clock. A guide will also be on hand to help any budding spies who find themselves stumped. With specially tailored covert operations for different ages (Malice’s Revenge 6-7yrs; Shadow Force 8+ years; Covert Sword, big kids - you know who you are), Si5’s new London site is perfect for kids but also does packages for families. Adult missions are trickier and impossible to complete alone, so you’ll need to pull together as a team to save the world!
Prices from £9 per person. Book here.
Saturday 18 February: 1100 and 1400. Half Moon Theatre.
Suitable for kids ages 3 - 7. Running Time: 50 mins
Links and Rex are like light and dark, left and right. Links is logical - she likes order and fact. Rex is different -she is imaginative, a daydreamer. Watch these two opposites get their wires crossed and their noodles in a muddle as they strive to find ways to work and play together. With humour and mesmerising visuals, Bright Sparks explores the beauty of difference, inspired by research into how both sides of the brain must strike a balance for us to see, move and speak. More info here.
Family Circus Workshop
Saturday 19 February: 1300 and 1430. The Albany Theatre
Tumble, balance and spin on a hairpin while you learn circus skills with your child. Great fun and the activities encourage bonding and trust between parent and child. Ages 3 +
£16 per pair. Book here.
The Tale of Kitty in Boots at House of Illustration
Until February 26 2017
Kings Cross used to be (in)famous for drugs and ladies of the night but the area has been massively redeveloped – you won’t recognise it!
Enjoy an exhibition of Quentin Blake's original illustrations for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, the recently re-discovered Beatrix Potter manuscript. The book about 'a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life', features classic Potter characters including Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Mr Tod re-drawn by Blake.
The exhibition features Blake’s 50 illustrations for the book, a sketchbook and reference material. It also contains the original Beatrix Potter manuscript and one of Potter’s only two illustrations for the book, on loan from the Victoria + Albert museum.
Child ticket from £4.00. More info here.
Saturday 25 February: 1100 and 1400. Half Moon Theatre.
Suitable for kids aged 2 - 5. Running Time: 50 mins
Chester Tuffnut isn’t your ordinary tree mole – in fact, he is one of a kind. Chester likes wearing jumpers and sitting in his armchair, but most of all he loves adventure! The curious creatures in Woodland have gone so long without excitement they’ve forgotten how to have fun. Luckily, Chester is on hand to bring happiness and laughter back to his friends.
Told with puppets, original music and imaginative antics, this show is full of humour, thrills, spills, near misses and great escapes. This is a story about discovering new places and making friends, while encouraging everyone to have at least one adventure a day. After the performance you can meet the woodland creatures and explore their dens. Book here.
Open daily from 1030 - 1730
Horniman Museum is every parent’s dream; it’s a tad too far to be full of tourists but definitely worth the trip even if you don’t live south of the river. A true hidden gem. It’s our favourite child-focused museum and we’d visit every weekend if we could. There’s always something family friendly happening so you can just head down there knowing you’ll all have a great time. Choose from hands-on exhibitions, workshops, story time, singing, art – whatever you’re in to, you’ll find it here. (can you tell we love Horniman Museum?)
Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery
Visiting museum mile during half term might sound like a recipe for disaster but if you get there at opening time, it’s certainly possible not to be crushed by hordes of excited children. Our latest favourite is The Statoil Gallery at the Science Musuem. For £6 you can have day-long access to Wonderlab, allowing you to enjoy the seven different zones and get hands on with real scientific phenomena. You can order live experiments at the Chemistry Bar, see lightning strike before your eyes, play with forces on giant slides or travel through space under a canopy of stars.
National Rail is offering 20% off Family & Friends Railcard from 3 - 20 February, perfect for longer trips this half term. The sale means that the Railcard, which saves a third off most adult rail fares and 60% off kids’ fares, will be available for just £24, for a year’s unlimited usage. To take advantage of the sale visit: familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/sale and use code: FEB17.
This is month two of our round up of things to do with kids in London. Make sure you join our mailing list to be in with a chance to win our monthly giveaways and find out what's on in March.
Do you have any tips on making half term more enjoyable? Events, activities or crafts wise?