Things To Do In London In Half Term: 24 October-1 November 2015

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 25 months ago
Things To Do In London In Half Term: 24 October-1 November 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

Anyone for dinosaur mini golf?

HALLOWEEN: Looking for spooky soirees and ghostly goings-on for the kids? Take a look at our round-up of family-friendly Halloween events in London.

ANIMALS: From tigers to frogs to coatis to chickens, take a look a our map of where you can see animals in London — whatever the weather.

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.

WHERE TO EAT: Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more options that just pizza and chips.

FOR MUM AND DAD: 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.

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.

DINOSAUR MINI GOLF: This particular niche of mini golf is surprisingly common in London. We recently visited Sidcup's offering, Lost Island Encounter. Other Jurassic fairways available.

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

MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD: The V&A's lesser-known Bethnal Green cousin, the Museum of Childhood, has a programme of children's events throughout the week, from drawing to a theatre workshop. Free/£5, 26-30 October

PIRATE PEPPERBEARD: Stop Pirate Pepperbeard from getting his hands on the valuable spices at Kew Gardens. Follow a map trail and solve puzzles as you wander round the gardens. You can also create your own pirate hat and see historical maps from Kew's archives. Free with entry to gardens (£15 adult, £3.50 child), 24 October-1 November

TURTLE FEST: London Aquarium celebrates Turtle Fest, with family friendly talks, games and competitions to learn more about sea turtles; what they do, where they live, what threats they face and how we can help them. 3-31 October

TRAMPOLINING: If the weather's not great but the kids have still got plenty of energy to burn, head to London's first (indoor) trampoline park, open now in West Acton. They can bounce their way across 150 trampolines while you watch from the safety of the cafe.

Saturday 24 October

Paint: a child's dream, a parent's nightmare. Get stuck in at Southbank Centre.

PUPPET THEATRE BARGE:  The Puppet Theatre Barge will be mooring in little Venice and inviting people on board to watch The Three Pigs and The Wolf in the 55-seat space. Suitable for 3-8 year olds. £8.50-£12, prebook, 24 October 11am/3pm, 25 October 3pm, 26-30 October 11am-3pm

WHY?: Southbank Centre's What's Happening for the Young festival celebrates the rights of children and young people today. Events are aimed at all ages and include talks from Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen, film screenings, music sessions and a talk about online safety. See full programme. 22-25 October

Sunday 25 October

BIG DRAW 2015: artsdepot in North Finchley is taking part in the Big Draw 2015, with drawing activities for all ages based around the theme 'Every Drawing Tells a Story'. This year, there are some activities for adults too. £3 (additional charge for some activities), prebook, 11am

WOLF TALES: Natural History Museum uses puppets to tell stories of the natural world and about human and animal nature. Book at information desk on the day. 12pm/1.30pm (repeated 26 and 30 October)

Monday 26 October

UNICORNS: Michael Morpurgo’s story I Believe In Unicorns is brought to life on stage at artsdepot. It's set in a library and tells the story of Tomas who meets the Unicorn Lady there. Age 6+. £11/£8, prebook, 1pm/4pm

AUTUMN SHED: Got a budding actor in the family? Send them along to Chickenshed's theatre workshops. The five-day course for 5-12 year olds features drama, dance, singing and story-making. Parents and friends will be invited in on the final afternoon to see a performance. £130 for five days, prebook, 26-30 October

EXTRAORDINARY OWLS: Learn all about owls at Horniman Museum. There's a chance to see and touch their taxidermy owls, dissect an owl pellet to find out what they eat, and learn how they're suited to their environment. Age 5+. £2 per child (accompanying adults free), book on day, 11am-3pm (repeated tomorrow)

Tuesday 27 October

Family theatre workshop

DINOSAUR INVESTIGATION: Budding paleantologists can get their hands on real dinosaur fossils at the Natural History Museum, and hear from real museum scientists. Free, drop in, 2pm/3pm/4pm (repeated on 29 and 31 October)

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: This family theatre workshop is an opportunity to explore the characters from Alice in Wonderland and create a short performance piece to share at the end of the workshop. Age 6-11 years. Free, prebook, 2.30pm

Wednesday 28 October

DEEP BLUE SEA: Explore the animals of the ocean at the Grant Museum of Zoology, from giant Japanese crabs to lion’s mane jellyfish. Have a go at printing and drawing with a museum artist to help create a giant seascape scene. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

CARTOON NETWORK: BFI Southbank hosts a family fun day with preview screenings of Cartoon Network shows including Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gumball, with a chance to meet the people who make the shows. Tickets go on sale 6 October.

RATATOUILLE: Watch a high definition screening of 2007 Disney Pixar animation Ratatouille at the Royal Albert Hall, with a live orchestra accompaniment. Various prices, prebook, 2pm/6pm

SCAREDY CATS: Visit Battersea Cats Home to take part in a range of family activities throughout the day including arts, crafts and quizzes. On Friday there's a special Catwalk Fancy Dress competition. Normal admission charges apply, 28-30 October

Thursday 29 October

BRER-RABBIT BAG MAKING: The William Morris Gallery has a chance for you to de corate a bag to take home with you. Your inspiration will be the Brer (Brother) Rabbit design by the famous Victorian craftsman and designer,William Morris.  You will produce your own design which will be transferred onto a cotton bag. Free, prebook by emailing admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk, 10.30am

HIBERNATING INHABITANTS:  Head to Forty Hall in Enfield to learn about the creatures on the Estate who hibernate over winter. Make a creature out of clay, feathers, straw and raffia to take home with you. Age 4+. £5/£4, prebook, 11am/2pm

FROZEN: Let it go, let it gooooo...fed up of hearing this? Take them along to the Royal Albert Hall to get it out of their systems, with a screening of Frozen accompanied by a live orchestra. Various prices, prebook, 2pm/6.30pm

Friday 30 October

CREEPY CRAWLING: Head to Chelsea Physic Garden to meet a whole menagerie of animals including a hissing cockroach, giant millipede, corn snake, giant African snail and Mr. Jelly Belly the tree frog. Find out how they are suited to their environments and hold them (if you want to). Various prices, prebook, 10.30am/1pm

Saturday 31 October

KIDS' CINEMA: Zarafa is this week's film at Rich Mix Kids Cine Time. The PG-rated flick is about the friendship between 10 year old Maki and Zarafa, an orphaned giraffe who is a gift from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France. £1.75, prebook, 12pm (repeated tomorrow)

Sunday 1 November

LIGHTS AND LANTERNS: Severndroog Castle holds a family event, lighting up the castle with Diwali lights, Chinese lanterns and firework art. Activities include crafts and storytelling. £2.50 per person, 10.30am-12.30pm, 1 November

HURRICANE BOY: Head to artsdepot for a performance of Hurricane Boy, an imaginative tale of chaos and calm, with physical storytelling and live music. £7, prebook, 11am-2pm

Know of a kid-friendly event happening in London over half term? Let readers know in the comments section.

Last Updated 26 October 2015

Francesca Fenn

And not forgetting that any day of half term a Step Outside Guide book will give you a whole, child led and cost free day exploring our glorious capital! Just saying. ;-)