Things To Do In London In Half Term: 24 May-1 June 2014

Catch the fun fair at Alexandra Palace.

Catch the fun fair at Alexandra Palace.

All Week

PECKISH?: Have a look at our round-up of child-friendly restaurants in London.

SHARK WEEK: Head to the London Aquarium for a week celebrating all things shark. Come face to face with up to 15 sharks at Shark Reef, learn about threats to sharks in the wild and how to help them, and Shakey the Shark will be making daily appearances. Included in admission price, prebooking recommended, 19-31 May

LOVE THE TREESLondon Tree Week celebrates all the woodlands and green spaces in town. Expect guided walks and cycle tours, wanders in the woodland and even pop-up forests in town. Check website for events and prices, 24- 31 May 

TRANSPORT MUSEUM: The Mecca of all things transport in Covent Garden has several family activities going on throughout half term. Storytime happens daily at 11am and 2pm with stories about buses during the First World War. At 11.30am and 2.30pm daily there is a chance to design a bus badge from clay and string. Plus the new Family Station has various craft activities for children aged 5-12. Included in admission price, just turn up, 24 May-1 June

GARDENS AT V&A: The V&A museum has several activities going on throughout half term. The Imagination Station gives people a chance to re-design the John Madejski Garden while Digital Kids lets you grow your own garden using drawing, model making and animation. For one day only (24 May) the Museum’s pop-up performance features 18th century house and garden designer, William Kent. All free, just turn up, 24 May-1 June

MEDAL MAKING: Hop aboard the HMS Belfast and take part in their medal-making activity. In honour of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day make your own medal to commemorate the sailors, soldiers and airmen who took part in Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. Be prepared for mess as it involves plaster cast. Included in admission price, just turn up, 24 May-1 June

CULTURE FESTIVALWandsworth Heritage Festival has a rich programme of free events, bringing back to life the history of the borough. Expect guided walks, talks, family activities and so on. Free, prebooking suggested, 24 May-8 June

ZOO FUN: It’s Love Your Zoo week at Battersea Park Zoo, with a chance to help keepers prepare food for the animals, listen to animals stories, make badges, and more. Additional charge for some activities, just turn up, 26-30 May

VICTORIOUS VICTORIANS: The V&A’s Museum of Childhood hosts a series of events around the Victorious Victorians. There’s storytelling, a children’s trail, art workshops and dressing up. Free, just turn up, 26-30 May

KIDS GO FREE: The View From The Shard is offering free child tickets this half term. Up to two children age 4-15 can go free with a paying adult. More information here. Prebook, 26 May-1 June

HORNIMAN MUSEUM: Every day this week, Horniman Museum has art workshops inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show, a chance to join in sporty activities in Horniman Gardens, and a chance to get hands-on with some of the exhibits. Free, booking required for some events, 26-30 May

Saturday 24 May

COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Expect history, family fun and even fitness at the Hither Green Festival. Most of the events are free or very cheap, tickets need to be collected in specific venues. Until 25 May 

FAMILY FUN: Enjoy a weekend of family activities on board HMS Belfast, in order to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the role of HMS Belfast during the historical event. There will be free family workshops, including making medals and tattoo t-shirts. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm until 25 May

FOOD FESTIVALThe Morden Hall Park Food Festival has artisan food traders, cookery demonstrations, children’s workshops and talks. Free, prebook, until 26 May

TUDORS AT THE TOWERThe Tower of London has a tudor themed weekend, as the court of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII in 1533 is re-enacted, with Tudor cooking, crafts, and games to take part in. Included in admission, pre booking recommended, until 26 May

GARDEN PARTY: The Charles Holden pub in Colliers Wood opens its garden for the summer and celebrates the event with special live entertainment across the whole bank holiday weekend. Expect barbecue treats, products from the pub allotment, family fun and even charity raffle. Free, just turn up, until 26 May

MAMMOTH EXHIBITION: Natural History Museum’s new exhibition, Mammoths: Ice Age Giants today. There is a chance to see fossils, skeletons and huge life-size models of mammoths. £10/£6, prebook

THEATRE: Catch Pirate Gran, based on the books by Geraldine Durrant and Rose Forshall, on stage at ArtsDepot. £9/£11, prebook, 11am

FAMILY WORKSHOP: The Soane Museum has a free family workshop based around the current exhibition, Piranesi: Fantasy and Excess. Go along for a chance to make a creature headdress. Free, prebook, 11am-3pm

MORE FAMILY FUN: The Whitechapel Gallery has organised a family day connected to their current exhibition about filmmaker, writer and photographer Chris Marker. Use words, sounds and images then make your own film. Free, prebook, 12pm-4pm

FAMILY WEEKEND: Museum of London has a family weekend festival, to learn more about the city. Free, just turn up, Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-6pm

Sunday 25 May

INVESTIGATE: The Natural History Museum’s Investigation Centre has an open day. Use tools and equipment used by real scientists to have a go at investigating some of the museum’s specimens. Free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

Monday 26 May

MUSICAL LONDON: Head to the Museum of London for musical workshops for under 5s and their carers. Free, just turn up, from 11am

LEGO FIGURINES: Does your child collect Lego Figurines? Take them along to Waterstones Orpington where they can swap their figures and fill the gaps in their collection. Free, just turn up, 9am-7pm

Tuesday 27 May

POND-DIPPING: Horniman Museum has a nature trail and pond-dipping activity in the gardens. £2, just turn up, 11am, 1.15pm, 3pm

VICTORIAN MEDICINE: The Royal College of Surgeons offers visitors a chance to meet a Victorian Surgeon and learn about the dangers or undergoing surgery before more recent scientific advances. £2, prebook, 11am/2pm/3.30pm

PUPPETRY WORKSHOP: Oxford House in Bethnal Green has a puppetry workshop, giving children a chance to make puppets for the new puppet theatre parade.Use recycled material to create giant puppets, learn puppetry animation, acting and production skills from professional puppeteers. Prebook 2pm-4pm, repeated Wednesday

REPTILES: Learn all about Ravenous Reptiles at the Grant Museum of Zoology. The half term activities focus on reptilian artefacts, including the world’s largest crocodile. Free, just turn up, until 31 May

Wednesday 28 May

QUEEN VICTORIA: The Ragged School Museum in Mile End celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria with Victoria sponge cake, bunting, a chance to make your own crown, create a silhouette of the lady herself, and more. Free, just turn up, until 29 May

TRADITIONAL GAMES: Strawberry Hill House has a morning of traditional children’s games such as sack races, tug of war and hoops, run by Hahahopscotch. £4.50, just turn up, 10.45am-12.45pm

VICTORIAN SURGERY: Learn all about going under the knife in Victorian times, at the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Included in admission price, just turn up, 2pm

Thursday 29 May

FUTURISTIC: Make. Hack. Do. is a four-day festival at Science Museum for children age 10+, with workshops and activities exploring electronics and 3D printing. Learn about computer coding, meet a 3D artist and more. See full list of activities here. Free, just turn up, until 1 June

WOOLLY GOOD FUN: Stepney City Farm has a Fleecy Fun Day, with an opportunity to lean about shearing the sheep and watch experts spinning the wheel. Free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

Friday 30 May

JAPANESE CRAFT: The Japan Foundation in Russell Square is running free workshops on making Kaburimono, a type of outlandish headgear from Japan, led by Japanese artist Norio Nishihara. Ages 7+. Free, prebook, until 31 May

MATHS IN ART: The Royal Institution holds a family workshop about creating anamorphic art — that’s art that becomes 3D when viewed from a certain angle. Learn about the the mathematics of making these transformations and have a go at producing your own anamorphic art. £12/£8/£6, prebook, 10.30am/1.30pm

SECRET GARDEN: Discover the stories and secrets of the Horniman Gardens on this story tour led by Miss Horniman at the Horniman Museum. Free, just turn up, 11.30am/1.15pm/3pm

Saturday 31 May

FARM FUN: There is a Big Lunch and Family Fun Day at Stepney City Farm. Bring a dish to share and take part in family activities such as crafts and a farm tour. Free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

Sunday 1 June

FUN FAIR: Today is the last day of the fun fair at Alexandra Palace, with rides, food stalls and games. £1, just turn up, 12pm-7pm

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Laura

Article by Laura Reynolds | 136 Articles | View Profile | Twitter

  • London Street Games

    And not forgetting Treasure Trails – 33 treasure hunt trails for all the family in London alone! Not to mention great days out exploring the Home Counties too :) http://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/london