Events happening all half term week
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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