Things to do in February half term is sponsored by ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained in London in half term? Take a look at these events and activities going on across town during the school holidays. Plenty of these things to do are free, or cheap, so keeping children happy needn't break the bank.
WINNIE THE POOH: Kids (and adults) of all ages will love the V&A's latest exhibition, dedicated to all things Winnie the Pooh. Visitors not familiar with AA Milne's work may not enjoy it so much, but for everyone else, it's a much-needed dose of childhood nostalgia — and there's plenty to keep kids interested too. £8, book ahead, until 8 April
JOEY'S CIRCUS: The Puppet Theatre Barge's latest production is Joey's Circus, about a clown and a dog who work together to prevent the circus from closing down. £8.50-£12, book ahead, 13 January-18 March
OTHELLO: Southwark's Unicorn Theatre is introducing 8-12 year olds to Shakespeare through this modern version of Othello. £8-£18, book ahead, 3 February - 3 March
IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Southbank Centre's annual Imagine Children's Festival is back, with a focus on children's literature and theatre. Puppetry, interactive music performances, storytelling, art workshops and even a chance to meet Jacqueline Wilson. Most events are free, but some charge and require booking, 7-18 February
NAVIGATION CHALLENGE: Get mappy at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, where a navigation challenge is taking place. Take part in craft materials and design your own rivers, mountains and seas. Free, just turn up, 10 February-18 February
AIRFIX: Keep crafty hands busy at the RAF Museum in Hendon, where kids can make a model aeroplane using an Airfix kit, and take it home with them. £3, book tickets on the day, 11am-3pm, 12-16 February
MICHAEL MORPURGO: The Museum of Childhood's current exhibition is dedicated to Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse and several other much-loved children's books. See his original drafts and unpublished manuscripts and learn about the process that goes into writing some of his books. Free, just turn up, until 25 February 2018
WHALES: Kids and adults will love Natural History Museum's Whales exhibition. More than 100 specimens from the museum's collections are on display giving an insight into how whales have evolved, and how they're adapted for life underwater. It's an ideal opportunity to get yourself acquainted with Hope if you haven't already. £12.50/£8.50, book ahead, until 28 February 2018
GENIE TEA: Aladdin fans of all ages will be clamouring to tuck into this genie-themed afternoon tea at Cutter & Squidge. The menu includes magic carpet cookies, hidden gem macaroons and other sweet and savoury themed treats, all served in a decadent cave setting — plus, you'll get a treasure from the Genie Cave to take home. Cutter & Squidge (Soho), £29.50-£34.50 adults/£14.50 for under 10s, book ahead, until March 2018
RAINBOW REVEALED: There's a new 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, 10 February-28 October
ZAPSPACE: Stratford's newest family-friendly addition is a trampoline park inside a former theatre building. There's plenty to keep the kids happy (and wear them out) including a ping-pong jump, a drop slide, a cardio wall, and a tumble lane, as well as large open trampoline areas and dodge ball courts, and a soft play area for the littler ones. There's a cafe and restaurant onsite too. £12 for an hour of freejumping, book ahead, permanent
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.
BUTTERFLY HOUSE: Horniman Museum has a permanent tropical butterfly house. Get up close to species from all over the world (they change seasonally) without leaving south London. Horniman Museum, £5.40, booking recommended.
Saturday 10 February
CHINESE NEW YEAR: Ahead of Chinese New Year (officially 16 February, London's parade takes place on 18 February), celebrate the Year of the Dog at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Activities will include song and dance performances, mask making, martial arts demonstrations and tea ceremonies. Free, just turn up, 11.30am-4.30pm
BOOK SWAP: Get your children stacked up with new stories ready for half term. There are book swaps taking place today at Unicorn Theatre (12pm-5pm) and ArtsDepot (11am-4pm). It's a great chance to have a clear-our too — take along some of their old books that they don't read anymore, and replace them with ones they haven't read yet.
EAT YOUR GREENS: Head to the Museum of London to create a model of a building in London... then make it green by sowing cress on the roof. Children can take their creations home and watch them grow — that's one way to get them interested in salad. Age 5+. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm/2.30pm, 10-11 February
THE MUPPETS: Who doesn't love the Muppets? Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is screening The Muppets Take Manhattan. It's got Kermit, it's got Miss Piggy... what more do you need? £8.50/£6, book ahead, 4pm
Sunday 11 February
PIRATE DINOSAURS: The Magic Cutlass is the sequel to Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, and it's coming to the stage at ArtsDepot for one day only. Three children are whisked away by a T-rex and forced to search for the Magic Cutlass. Age 3+. £13/£10, book ahead, 12pm/3pm
OLAUDAH EQUIANO: Head to Museum of London Docklands to learn all about Olaudah Equiano, a famous abolitionist in London in the 1700s. Kids will hear all about the slave trade and Equiano's campaign to abolish it. Age 5+, free, just turn up. 1pm/2pm/3pm, 10 & 11 February
Keep the kids occupied this half term at the ArcelorMittal Orbit
With a fabulous two-deck observation platform and the world’s longest tunnel slide, we’re big fans of the ArcelorMittal Orbit all year round — but this half term, Stratford’s lofty landmark adds PAW Patrol’s pups to the line-up.
Chase and Marshall, the puppies of Nick Jr. fame, will be mingling with visitors throughout the day on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February, cementing this iconic east London attraction as a must visit for families this half term.
As part of your ticket, you’ll take in the best of London’s landmarks from more than 80m up, with panoramic views of up to 20 miles across the capital. Adrenaline junkies can upgrade their ticket to include a trip down the world’s longest tunnel slide too — definitely the coolest way to make your way back down to ground level!
With extended opening hours, enjoy all aspects of the ArcelorMittal Orbit from 10am – 6pm daily. Click here to find out more and book tickets.
Monday 12 February
TALES FROM THE SHED: Theatre company Chickenshed brings its popular Tales From The Shed to the Royal Albert Hall. Performers and the audience share the same space, with puppets and songs — and children are encouraged to make plenty of noise. Ages 0-6, £7-£10, book ahead, 11am/1.15pm, 12-13 February
Tuesday 13 February
BIRD FEEDER: If your kids are interested in nature, take them along to Battersea Park Zoo where they can make a bird feeder to help feathered friends through the colder months and into spring. £1 + zoo entry fee, just turn up, 11am/1.30pm
RUBY NETTLESHIP: Meet a city-dwelling fox at Museum of London and hear the story of Ruby Nettleship, a girl who turns the whole of London into a green playground with the help of a magic lolly stick. Ages 5+, free, just turn up, 1pm/2pm/3pm, 11 and 13 February
Wednesday 14 February
CHILDREN'S STRIKE: Take the little ones along to Museum of London Docklands where they can learn about the Victorian London children who went on strike to demand changes in their schools. Let's hope it doesn't give them any ideas... Age 5+. Free, just turn up, 11am/1.30pm
FAMILY SONGBOOK: Monkeys, bears, socks and mud all feature in Nick Cope's Family Songbook, an interactive family-friendly concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Cope is a professional singer and songwriter. Aimed at ages 0-8, but everyone's welcome. £7/£10, book ahead, 11am/2pm
BRILLIANT BIRDS: Head to Hyde Park to hear all about birds, take part in some bird watching, and make a bird feeder to take home. Feathery family fun all round. Free, book ahead, 11am-3pm, 14-15 February
SEED BOMBS: It may not be looking like spring in London yet, but Museum of London wants to change that by hosting this workshop where kids can learn all about guerilla gardening, and make their own seed bombs to take home and spread some colour round the city. Age 5+. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm/2.30pm, 11 and 14 February
Thursday 15 February
FORTY SMALL: Head for London's northerly tip to get a glimpse at a miniature version of Forty Hall in Enfield. Children can use it as inspiration to make their own room diorama, complete with tiny people to go in it. Ages 4-11. £5-£7, book ahead, 10.30am/2.30pm
TONGUE FU: This kid-friendly version of spoken word show Tongue Fu at the Royal Albert Hall features poets, storytellers, rappers and a live band. Age 7-11. £11.20-£14.26, book ahead, 11am/2pm
LOVEBIRDS: Valentine's Day may be over but love's still in the air at Battersea Park Zoo — lovebirds, to be precise. Littl'uns can get creative making their own lovebird puppet at the zoo today. £1 + zoo entry fee, just turn up, 11am/1.30pm
Friday 16 February
WHEN I GROW UP: The Royal Albert Hall's resident Albert Band performs a family-friendly concert on the theme of what kids want to do when they grow up. £10/£5, book ahead, 12pm/2.30pm
PIRATE AFTERNOON: Yo ho, a pirate's life for me. Waterstones Piccadilly hosts an afternoon of pirate-themed activities with Jonny Duddle, author of children's book The Pirates of Scurvy Sands. Free, book ahead, 2pm
Saturday 17 February
STORYTELLING STROLL: Ideal for kids who can't sit still, this storytelling session takes place on the move around the Museum of London. Sight, touch, smell and sound all feature in this lesson about London. Age 5+. Free, just turn up, 1pm/2pm/3pm
Sunday 18 February
BEAR AND BUTTERFLY: Puppetry, live music and storytelling bring to life this tale of a bear and a caterpillar who become the best of friends, until one day the caterpillar starts to look unwell, before emerging as a butterfly. Takes place at Artsdepot, aimed at ages 4-7. £8, book ahead, 11am/2pm
SOUND OF MUSIC: Oh yes, the hills are alive... or at least the Prince Charles Cinema is, as it hosts a singalong version of the classic film. Don't forget to warm up with your do re mis. £16/£11, book ahead, 1pm