Things To Do In London In October 2018 Half Term

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Things To Do In London In October 2018 Half Term

Events happening all half term week

Go pumpkin picking near London

PUMPKIN PICKING: Embrace all things autumnal and take the kids to one of these farms or pumpkin patches near London where they can pick their own. Some have play areas, tractor rides and other fun activities too — and one will even let you carve your pumpkins there, to save you making a mess on the kitchen table at home. Don't forget your wellies!

HALLOWEEN: It's the spookiest week of the year, so take a look at our guide to Halloween in London. There are plenty of family-friendly activities, including a rave for young boppers, an interactive musical show, and scary fun at the Aquarium.

CELEBRATE THE CIRCUS: It's 250 years since circus as we know it was born in London. Find out more about the science behind acts including highwires and beds of nails in this show. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 20-28 October

POTION ROOM: Hot on the heels of this Soho bakery's fantastic Genie's Cave afternoon tea comes an even more magical Potion Room afternoon tea. Attend a potion class at the secret School of Wizarding Alchemy, and enjoy a sweet and savoury afternoon tea paired with the potions you make. Age 8+. Cutter & Squidge (Soho), £49.50 (£39.50 kids), book ahead, until 2019

The Potion Room wizard themed afternoon tea at Cutter & Squidge, Soho, London for half term October 2018
Attend a potions class at Cutter & Squidge

RAINBOW REVEALED: Last chance to catch this exhibition at Horniman Museum in Forest Hill showing how colour is made and perceived, and how it shapes our world. It's family-friendly, with plenty of interactive games to keep little ones interested. £7/£4, book ahead, until 28 October 2018

FAMILY DAYS OUT: Bored of trudging round the same old museums and parks? Try one of these seven alternative family days out in London, featuring caves, windmills and more. Or visit a budget-friendly alternative to the big attractions. Take a look a our map of where you can see animals in London — whatever the weather.

WHERE TO EAT: Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more options than just pizza and chips. The pub may seem like an inappropriate suggestion, but bear with us — we've rounded up the best family-friendly pubs in London. See if your local made the list. Alternatively, try out these restaurants where kids eat for free.

CULTURE VULTURES: You may think art galleries and theatres are a no-go when you’ve got little ones in tow, but these London theatres are great for kids' shows, and these family-friendly art galleries will keep children happy — and have plenty for mum and dad too.

Saturday 20 October

GAMELAN TASTER: Kids can make some noise at this Javanese gamelan taster session. Learn how to play the unusual instrument. Southbank Centre, £10/£5, book ahead, 11am/2pm

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: Kids' book Guess How Much I Love You is brought to the stage for kids age 3+ and their families. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), £14/£11, book ahead, 20-21 October

Sunday 21 October

The poppy wall at National Army Museum, Chelsea, London,
The poppy wall at National Army Museum

POPPY MAKING: With Remembrance Day coming up, introduce your little ones to the concept by making a paper poppy and add it to the Remembrance wall. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 10.30am/2pm

ROMAN DEAD: Tying in with the current Roman Dead exhibition, kids age 5+ can hear tales and Roman myths about life and death in an interactive storytelling session. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2pm/3pm

MUSICIANS OF BREMEN: This musical stage show tells the tale of four animals put to pasture, too old to be of any use to their masters: a donkey, a cat, a cockerel and a dog. Don't worry though, we're told it's an inspiring and uplifting tale. Ages 3-10. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), £9, book ahead, 12pm/3pm

AFRICAN FESTIVAL: Mwalimu Express is a monthly family-friendly event celebrating all things African. Expect live music, dance workshops, stalls, food and more. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free entry, just turn up, 2pm

Monday 22 October

Family-friendly film screening at Royal Albert Hall, London
Watch Inside Out at Royal Albert Hall

KIDS' AFTERNOON TEA: Today sees the launch of a new children's afternoon tea, created in collaboration with Daunt Books, at The Langham. It has an interactive elements to keep little minds busy, with jigsaw puzzle sandwiches and a cake to put together themselves — before eating it, of course. They'll even be able to choose a book to take home. £29, book ahead, from 22 October

RECREATING ROMANS: Recreate a Roman Londoner in this art workshop, using clues left behind in their skeletons to get an idea of what they would have looked like, and what job they would have done. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12.30pm/3pm

INSIDE OUT: Not seen the Pixar film Inside Out yet? Today's screening is a relaxed one, making it suitable for young people with autism and sensory and communication impairments, and their families. Royal Albert Hall, book ahead, 10.30am

BIG DRAW: ArtsDepot is getting involved with national festival The Big Draw, and while details are hazy, we've been told to expect "a day filled with more arty activities than you can shake a pencil at". Arts Depot (North Finchley), £4 entry (some activities have additional cost), 11am-4pm

Tuesday 23 October

Roman skeleton exhibition at Museum of London Docklands
Find out what skeletons tell us at Museum of London Docklands

HARRY POTTER: One for older kids (and young-at-heart adults). Watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the large screen, accompanied by a live orchestral soundtrack. Royal Albert Hall, from £28, book ahead, 23-24 October, 1pm/7.30pm

WRITTEN IN BONE: What can skeletons tells us about the lives of past Londoners? Find out what bones and DNA give away, with the help of a museum expert. Museum of London Docklands, free, 11.3oam/1pm/2.30pm

Wednesday 24 October

Moomins puppet show at ArtsDepot, North Finchley, London
Moomins at ArtsDepot

MOOMIN VALLEY: Puppets, music, and an imaginative set all help to bring this trip to Moomin Valley to life on stage for 4-7 year olds and their families. Expect snow, mischief and surprises. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), £10, book ahead, 24-25 October

Thursday 25 October

Natural History Museum winter ice rink in South Kensington, London, at Christmas
Natural History Museum's ice rink opens today

ICE RINK: We hate to say it... but Christmas is coming. The Natural History Museum's Christmas ice rink opens to the public today, so get practicing your figure of eights. If that's got you excited for the festivities, find out when London's other ice rinks open with our guide. From £12.65/£8.80, book ahead, until 6 January 2019

ROMAN LONDON: Walk the streets of Roman Londinium on this family-friendly walk, led by Museum of London experts. Visit the remains of a Roman city wall, a long lost fort and a hidden amphitheatre. £7/£5, book ahead, 11am (repeated Saturday)

Friday 26 October

HALLOWEEN SLEEPOVER: 7-11 year olds and their families are invited to spend the night in Museum of London Docklands's Night Owls Halloween Sleepover. There are spooky crimes to solve, and stories of terrifying crimes in Victorian London. £60, book ahead, 26 October

KIDS' PARTY: Burgh House and Hampstead Museum are hosting a party for young Londoners (8 and under), with spooky storytelling and creepy craft activities. There's also a costume competition, so get thinking. £10, book ahead, 26 October

Saturday 27 October

Family-friendly jazz concert with children at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Introduce your kids to jazz at the Royal Albert Hall

SINFONIA CONCERT: Southbank Sinfonia's 33 musicians are putting on a special concert for kids age 5-11 and their families. As they play, close-up videos are projected onto the screen for a closer look at the instruments they're playing and how they work. Southbank Centre, £8/£4, book ahead, 11.30am

JAZZ FOR KIDS: If that Sinfonia concert doesn't appeal, how about introducing your kids to jazz music instead, as this special concert designed to appeal to littles ones. Royal Albert Hall, £12/£6, book ahead, 11am/1.30pm

Sunday 28 October

Family-friendly storytelling session for kids at Museum of London Docklands
Storytelling at Museum of London Docklands

EVERYONE A MAKER: Had enough of the normal board games and family games this half term? This family workshop puts a twist on the familiar games, with 'Fashionista Hang Man', a live portrait based 'Guess Who?' and more. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, book ahead, 11am

UNDERWORLD: Hear the tale of Dido and Aeneas and learn what happened to them as they travelled through the Underworld at this storytelling session. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2pm/3pm

PUMPKIN CARVING: Here's a freebie for any parents feeling the strain at the end of half term. Ramsey Flowers in Canonbury are offering the chance to carve a pumpkin, make compost or do some gardening. Sounds messy, but it's free, and environmentally friendly. Free, book ahead, 12pm-5pm

FAMILY RAVE: Family party whizzes Big Fish Little Fish bring their unique brand of fun to Hangar in London Fields. Think dance floor with bubbles, balloons and confetti cannons — sounds more fun than a lot of adult parties we've been to. £10/£7, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm

Last Updated 19 October 2018