February half term 2022 runs Saturday 12-Sunday 20 February for most London schools. Here are some family-friendly events and things to do in London during half term week. As always, check with the venues directly for the latest information and restrictions.
ICE SKATING: Though Christmas is long gone, ice skating is still an option. Canary Wharf's ice rink stays in situ until the end of February — or if you prefer something more immune to the British weather, these indoor ice rinks are open all year. Canary Wharf ice rink until 26 February
BATTERSEA LIGHTS: Similarly, this winter's light festivals haven't completely run their course yet. Wander around the Battersea Power Station area each evening to see six glowing installations, including a tiger that kids will love. Until 27 February
IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Southbank Centre's epic celebration of children's literature, Imagine Children's Festival, is back. The programme is packed with activities for all ages (and budgets) including story-time, live performances, self-guided trails, and, of course, Peppa Pig. Stand-out events include appearances by authors Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, and Jacqueline Wilson. 9-20 February
DEAR ZOO: North Finchley's artsdepot hosts a week of performances of favourite children's book, Dear Zoo. Ben and Sally take their search for the perfect pet to the stage, in a lively show with a 55-minute runtime. Age 18 months-6 years. 12-17 February
VETS IN ACTION: Future vets can try their hand at the occupation at ZSL London Zoo's Vets in Action activities. Talks and demonstrations take place throughout the week, and there's a chance to practice treatments and examinations on soft toys. Activities are included in Zoo admission price. 12-20 February
CATS AND DOGS: Just in time for half term, Horniman Museum opens its latest family-friendly exhibition, Cats and Dogs. It offers an insight into the creatures we share our homes with, looking at the scientific, social and cultural role that cats and dogs play in our world, and offering a chance to experience what it's like to be a dog or cat. 12 February-20 October
BEATRIX POTTER: Following Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland, the V&A Museum continues it foray into children's literature with an exhibition about writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter. The woman who brought us Peter Rabbit and co. took her inspiration from her work as a conservationist. Find out more and see some of her drawings and sketches in the exhibition. From 12 February
RAINBOW WEEK: To mark LGBT+ History Month, the National Maritime Museum hosts a series of family events and workshops, including a chance to make your own Pride maritime signal flags. 13-20 February
SWEET-MAKING WORKSHOPS: Kids aged 5+ can get sticky making their own sweets at a series of special workshops at Horniman Museum. They'll learn a bit about the science behind their favourite sweets, as well as getting hands on. 14-18 February
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: Older kids and teenagers — especially those who love animals or are handy with a camera — might enjoy Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It's one of our favourites each year, and this year more than 100 stunning snaps are on show, from all over the world. Until 5 June 2022
BEANO: Another one for older kids (and, let's be honest, parents of a certain age) — Somerset House's Beano exhibition is still going on, delving into the history of the comic, with plenty of artwork to ogle, and looking at how it influenced other areas of culture. Here's our 5* review. Until 6 March 2022
MUSICALS: Its launch was somewhat overshadowed by lockdowns and restrictions, so we'll forgive you if you haven't seen Frozen The Musical yet... but your kids probably won't. Seeing the story of Anna and Elsa unfold in front of them on stage is the ideal half term treat. Other popular family-friendly musicals running at the moment include The Lion King and Matilda, as well as magical play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
DAY TRIPS: Fancy getting out of London for a day or two? Take a look at our map of day trips from London for inspiration. Particularly child-friendly is avisit to the real-life Hundred Acre Wood as featured in AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh books, which celebrate their 95th anniversary this month. Wellington Country Park is also an excellent bet for energetic kids when it reopens on 19 February 2022.