Things To Do In London In Half Term: 14-22 February 2015

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 34 months ago
Things To Do In London In Half Term: 14-22 February 2015

Keep an eye on our family section for child (and teen) friendly events and activities throughout the year — there's plenty for parents too.

All Week

Meet the animal actors from Harry Potter.

PECKISH? Have a look at our round-up of child-friendly restaurants in London, and keep the whole family refuelled throughout the week's adventures.

ART GALLERIES: Thought galleries were no-go for kids? Think again. We've rounded up the 10 best family-friendly art galleries in London.

FAMILY THEATRES: We've also waded through all of London's theatres to find the best theatres for children.

CINEMA: For older teenagers, take a look at our suggestions for London-y films released this month. Many have 12a and 15 certificates, but there's something for everyone in Shaun the Sheep (U).

BUTTERFLIES: The winged insects are the subject of several events at London Zoo as the Butterfly Paradise exhibit has just had a makeover. Butterfly Ambassadors will be on hand to share fun butterfly and moth facts. Kids can collect nectar from flowers while wearing their own human-sized proboscis — a tongue-like stem that butterflies use to drink and eat — and discover all there is to know about the butterfly and moth life-cycle with interactive models (included in ticket price). Prebooking recommended, throughout half term

CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Southbank Centre's Imagine Festival has a plethora of events going on all week, including author appearances from the likes of David Lucas, family workshops, an animal parade, music workshops, and animal noise bingo. See all events. 9-22 February

HARRY POTTER: Know some little animal lovers? Head just outside London to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios for a chance to meet the animal actors that starred in the films. A menagerie of owls, cats and a toad will be showing off their acting skills with a series of live demonstrations. Various prices, prebook, 13-25 February

FAMILY THEATRE: A modernised version of The Elves and the Shoemaker comes to the stage at artsdepot in North Finchley. It's the story of a shoemaker who is terrible at his job... until one night two tiny visitors climb through the window and give him a hand. Age 3+.  £10, prebook, 14-18 February

TATTOO T-SHIRTS: Step aboard HMS Belfast to learn all about the Navy and design your very own t-shirt inspired by traditional Navy tattoos. Free, just turn up, 11am-2pm, 14-22 February

DIG UP THE DEAD: The London Dungeon's half term theme is grave-robbing in 1840s London. Learn about the resurrection men who made a living digging up the dead and selling them to hospitals for research. Usual admission price, prebooking recommended, 14-22 February

WIND IN THE WILLOWS: Open Book Theatre Company tours its show of Wind in the Willows around several London Libraries throughout half term. Join the inimitable Toad, as well as his friends Ratty, Mole and Badger, as they take you on a journey through the beautiful English countryside All tickets are free but donations to the Crowdfunding page are welcome, prebook, 14-22 February

PRINT IT: Have a go at drawing your favourite artworks on display in the Imperial War Museum's Truth and Memory exhibition, then turn your design into a print you can keep. Free, just turn up, 11.30am/2.30pm, 14-22 February

MINIATURE MAKING: Everything's gone miniature at the Museum of Childhood to tie in with the Small Stories exhibition. Take in Miniature Worlds through storytelling and dressing up, have a go at making a Miniature Book, Miniature Wallpaper or Miniature Furniture. Some workshops free, most £5 and require booking, see individual webpages for details. 16-20 February

CERAMIC ACTIVITIES: The V&A Museum in South Kensington has several activities going on throughout the week, around the theme of ceramic. The Imagination Station lets kids get creative with ceramic. Digital Kids invites them to create an interactive landscape using digital tools. Pop Up Performances let families solve the puzzle of the Willow Pattern, a famous blue and white ceramic print. 16-22 February

UP THE SHARD: Up to two children can go free to the View from The Shard for every paying adult. 16-22 February

KIDS GO FREE: Under 13s go free to the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill with this voucher. 17-20 February

LEGO: Forever treading on little plastic figures and bricks at home (hurts, doesn't it)? Little Lego lovers will be enthralled by The Art of the Brick exhibition at Truman Brewery, near Brick Lane. It's pricey, but worth it. While kids are looking at plastic interpretations of dinosaurs and One Direction, adults can contemplate the deeper pieces. From £8 child/£14.50 adult, prebook, until 12 April

LEGO LONDON: The ArcelorMittal Orbit in London goes one better with Lego by creating London landmarks out of the bricks. Compare the models to their real counterparts, several of which can be seen from the viewing platform. £15/£7, prebook, 15-22 February

Saturday 14 February

Valentine's Day at Battersea Park Zoo.

PLANTASTIC FUN: Horniman Museum's new family exhibition, Plantastic, opens today, giving young botanists a chance to explore the world of plants in detail. £8.50 adult/£4.50 child/£22 family, until 1 November

BOOK SWAP: If your children are in need of a new tome or two to keep them quiet over the week, take them to one of the venues taking part in the London Children's Book Swap. Bring along a book you've finsihed with, take home a different one to get stuck into. Some venues have additional events giong on too. Free, see individual venue websites for more information

VALENTINE'S ANIMALS: Head to Battersea Park Zoo and show the animals some love. Help the keepers prepare food in the shape of hearts, or make a 'Lovebird' puppet. Free/£1, just turn up, from 11am

PIRATE DAY: Head to the Golden Hinde II, a replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, to experience a day as a pirate. Join the crew, raise the anchor and fire the cannons before trying to find the hidden treasure somewhere aboard the ship. £7/£5, prebook, 11am

FAMILY DAY: Whitechapel Gallery encourages children and their families to get inspired by abstract art and create costumes, hats and jewellery to become a walking work of art themselves. Free, prebook, 12pm-4pm

Sunday 15 February

WISH FESTIVAL: The Wish Festival celebrates the release of Beatie Wolfe's charity single Kids Wish For The World. The family event takes place at Whole Foods Market in Kensington and consists of arts, games and tech activities, plus a performance of the single. Money raised goes to NSPCC’s ChildLine and War Child. £5/£2, prebook, 10am-12pm

DINOSAURS: Got a budding dinosaur fanatic? Take them along to the Natural History Museum to learn about the little-known Lambeosaurus — a palaeontologist will try to convince you it's cooler than T-Rex. Prebook, 12.30pm/2.30pm. Repeated 18 February at 2.30pm. There's also a chance to handle real fossil specimens and learn about the scientists who study them. Prebook, 11am/2pm (repeated several dates)

FAMILY DAY: Head to Keats House in Hampstead for tales of fairies, heroes and monsters. Learn some legendary songs, draw a dragon and try your hand at inventing a myth of your own. Just turn up, 1pm-4pm

Monday 16 February

FUN WITH FOLK: 6-9 year olds can enjoy a day of folk dance, music and song at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, before performing to family and friends at the end of the day. £15/£12, prebook, 10am-4pm

MAKE A LIPBALM: Have a go at making you own lipbalm from natural ingredients at Horniman Museum, while learning about medicinal plants and their properties. £2, buy ticket on day, 11am/1.15pm/3pm. Repeated tomorrow.

Tuesday 17 February

NATURE EXPLORERS: Children can spend a day close to nature in Hyde Park. Using magnifying glasses to find hidden designs in leaves, create a giant outdoor sculpture using natural materials, and then create art using the natural things you find. Ages 8-11. £15, prebook, 10am-3pm

ANIMAL PUPPETS: The Natural History Museum has an animal puppet show, giving little ones a chance to learn about native wildlife such as squirrels and badgers in a fun way. Prebook, 11pm/12pm/1pm/2pm. Repeated 18 and 19 February.

ORNAMENTS: Awesome Ornaments is the theme of the half term activities at Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. Create clay containers, photo frames, clocks and more, inspired by the objects on display in the museum. Free, just turn up, 10.30am/2pm, daily until 20 February.

Wednesday 18 February

Sing along at the Dominion Theatre.

FROZEN SINGALONG: If your kids can't just Let It Go, the Dominion Theatre hosts sing-a-long screenings of Disney juggernaut Frozen, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen. £10 kids, £16/£19 adults, prebook, 18-28 February

VICTORIAN TOURISM: Head to the Ragged School Museum in Mile End to learn about tourist attractions in London during Victorian times, including penny farthing rides in Hyde Park and the opening of the zoological gardens. Free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

Thursday 19 February

CHINESE NEW YEAR: To mark Chinese New Year, the Museum of Childhood has a day of workshops and activities. Make a Chinese shadow puppet and tell the story of the New Year Monster, or watch theatre performances. Free, sign up on the day (places are limited), from 10am

TALES FROM THE SHED: Chickenshed Theatre presents vibrant, interactive theatre shows that are perfect for young children. They are informal, lively and engaging, as the performers and audience share the same space. Expect plenty of colourful puppets and live songs. Age 0-6. £6, prebook, 10am/11.30am. Repeated tomorrow at 10am.

MATHS ON TOAST: Head to St Pancras Square Children’s Library for a free creative family maths afternoon based on the theme of shapes with activities including colouring and construction. Aimed at kids aged 5-12 and accompanying grown ups. Free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

Tales from the Shed at Chickenshed Theatre.

Friday 20 February

SHAUN THE SHEEP: Debenhams Oxford Street is giving kids a chance to make their own model of Shaun the Sheep, guided by an expert Aardman model maker. Takes place in the Restaurant. Free, just turn up (get there early to avoid disappointment) 11am/1pm/3pm

HORNIMAN TOUR: Take a tour of the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, led by Mr Horniman himself, fresh out of his time machine and sporting top hat and tails. He'll tell all sorts of stories about his museum. Age 3+ Free, just turn up, 11.30am/1.15pm/3pm

MEET THE GRUFFALO: Oh help! Oh no! It's a Gruffalo! If that's a familiar refrain in your household, head along to Foyles book shop at Royal Festival Hall on Southbank where there's a chance for kids to meet and have their photo taken with the literary character. Free, just turn up, 2pm-3pm

Saturday 21 February

TUDOR BATTLE: If your little ones are studying the Tudors, take them along to the Golden Hinde II where they can see what it was like to be a crew member in the 16th century, and experience life as a sailor. £7/£5, prebook, 11am

Sunday 22 February

KID'S COMEDY: Head to artsdepot for a performance by Comedy Club 4 Kids. See the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit do their thing, without the rude bits — perfect for an audience of children and their families. Age 6+. £7, prebook, 12pm/2.30pm

CHINESE NEW YEAR: Stanfords in Covent Garden gives kids a chance to celebrate Chinese New Year by learning how to write in Chinese, make Chinese decorations and take part in a quiz. £3, prebook, 12pm/2pm/4pm

Last Updated 11 February 2015