Things To Do In London In Half Term: May 2019

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Things To Do In London In Half Term: May 2019

All week

Lions, foxes and fleas tell their stories at Museum of London

POSTAL FUN: The Postal Museum has plenty of half term activities lined up, many of them focusing on the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria — the face on the world's first ever postage stamp, the Penny Black. Activities include making hand puppets, mastering Victorian calligraphy and creating a Victorian top hat — see the website for what's happening when. Anyone called Victoria can get free entry to the museum throughout May (photo ID required). Postal Museum (Clerkenwell), included in admission, just turn up, events throughout May

SOUNDPIT: Immerse yourself in a 'soundpit' and find out what sound looks and feels like. The installation consists of giant sandpits illuminated by huge graphics, with music created as you move about in the sand. Southbank Centre, £8, book ahead, until 2 June

BRICK WONDERS: Egyptian pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef, Greek temples and the old London Bridge are just some of the landmarks, both historical and present day, that have been recreated in Lego bricks for this fantastic exhibition. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £8/£4.50, book ahead, until 27 October

BEASTS OF LONDON: Museum of London's enchanting interactive experience Beasts of London tells the history of the capital through the animals that have lived here. Fleas, foxes and elephants are just some of the animals voiced by celebrities including Brian Blessed. Aimed at age 7+. Museum of London, £10/£5, book ahead, until January 2020

POTION ROOM: Wands at the ready as you tuck into a 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 December 2019

Soundpit at Southbank Centre

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 at 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 25 May

Time-travelling magicians come to Underbelly

BEASTS OF LONDON: Tying in with the current Beasts of London exhibition (see above), Museum of London hosts a family festival all about life on the wild side. Create an animated animal puppet show, design your own animal mask, and look out for members of the animal cabaret show. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 25-26 May

PETER AND THE WOLF: Watch Russian fairy tale Peter and the Wolf at today's Family Film Club. Get there early to take part in a free music workshop to complement the film. Barbican Cinema, £3.50, book ahead, 11am

MAGIC SHOW: Aimed at kids and childish grown-ups, Morgan & West's Utterly Spiffing Magic Show brings together magic, tricks, illusion and tomfoolery for a captivating show. Oh, and the performers are time travellers. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £10.25, book ahead, 1.15pm

Sunday 26 May

Baby Disco Dance Hall gets little ones dancing

GREAT FIRE WALK: Take part in an interactive guided walk aimed at families, exploring the 1666 Great Fire of London. There are mini challenges for kids to complete as you visit key historic sites. Museum of London, £7.50/£5, book ahead, 11am

MEET ELMER: Elmer the patchwork elephant is 30, and Waterstones is throwing a party to celebrate. Meet David McKee, the author responsible for creating the fictional elephant, and have your book signed. Elmer himself is also scheduled to make an appearance... Waterstones Westfield London, free, book ahead, 2pm

DISCO DANCE HALL: Under fives and their parents have the floor to themselves at Monski Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall. The friendly event is designed as an introduction to the world of disco, with retro tunes and nursery rhymes blended seamlessly. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £8.50, book ahead, 1.15pm, 25/27 May and 2 June

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN: 1970 film The Railway Children is screened at BFI, telling the story of three Edwardian children who are forced to move from London to Yorkshire with their mother when their father is taken away. BFI Southbank, £4-£8.80, book ahead, 12.30pm

Monday 27 May

It's Love Your Zoo week at Battersea Park Zoo

BIRD MIGRATION: Learn all about bird migration from the Easy Wings Travel Operator at Museum of London. They offer an insight into all the places in the world that birds from London migrate to. 12pm/2.30pm (also on 30 and 31 May)

LOVE YOUR ZOO: Battersea Park Zoo celebrates Love Your Zoo Week with a series of activities and events themed around different animals. Take part in craft and storytelling events, watch the keepers making enrichment toys for the monkeys and see the otters swimming for their supper. Battersea Park Zoo, included in admission, just turn up, 27-31 May

WIND IN THE WILLOWS: Greenwich becomes an open air stage as Quantum Theatre moves in with its production of Wind in the Willows. Watch the tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger and friends in this adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book. Royal Observatory Gardens (Greenwich), £12/£6, book ahead, 27 May-1 June

Tuesday 28 May

Explore nature in Hyde Park

NATURE EXPLORERS: Drop the kids off in Hyde Park and let them spend the day exploring nature. Activities include learning how to survey park habitats, counting species of animal and insect, and exploring the ponds. Hyde Park, £20, book ahead, 10am-3pm

VIVACIOUS VICTORIANS: Aimed at 8-12 year olds, Vivacious Victorians Live is a historically-inspired filmmaking day. Using props and green screen, budding camera operators can follow in the footsteps of fearless Victorian filmmaking pioneers, who went down rivers and up volcanoes in pursuit of the perfect shot. BFI Southbank, £37.50, book ahead, 10.30am

ORCHESTRAL ADVENTURE: Introduce children to the music of Strauss, Stravinsky and the like on a Great Orchestral Adventure. The show highlights the sounds of the past, via an interactive show which involves rescuing an orchestral conductor who's stuck in the future. Royal Albert Hall, £15-£42.50, book ahead, 2pm

Wednesday 29 May

Things get lively with Trash Test Dummies

ROYAL BIRTHDAY: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are turning 200. Celebrate with a Victorian day in Hyde Park. Don a costume from the period and have a go at skipping, yo-yoing, hoop and stick, and other Victorian toys. Learn about how the royal couple influenced the development of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and hear about Victoria's childhood in the area. Hyde Park, free, book ahead, 11am-3pm (repeated tomorrow)

BOOK SIGNING: Liz Pichon, author of popular children's books, the Tom Gates series, signs copies of her newest release, Tom Gates: Mega Make And Do (And Stories Too!). Waterstones Westfield London, free, just turn up, 2pm

TRASH TEST DUMMIES: Circus, acrobatics and slapstick combine in Trash Test Dummies, a lively show based around dustbins that's likely to have the kids screaming with laughter and gasping in disbelief. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £11.50, book ahead, 3pm, 29 May-2 June

Thursday 30 May

Politics for kids comes to South Bank

POLITICS FOR KIDS: Adults struggle to follow politics much of the time, so how are kids supposed to keep up? How Does This Politics Thing Work? is a show by Comedy Club 4 Kids, aimed at ages 6+, introducing them to politics in a fun way. You never know, mum and dad might learn something too. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £10.25, book ahead, 30-31 May

VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR: Childhood classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar (spoiler alert: he eats a lot) is brought to life on stage to celebrate its 50th anniversary. 75 puppets are used not just to tell the caterpillar's tale, but to recount several of author Eric Carle's other books including The Very Lonely Firefly. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 30 May-2 June

Friday 31 May

Create your own Roman-inspired relic

ROMAN RELICS: Take part in a craft workshop and create your own brooch, inspired by the Roman relics and treasures often found in the River Walbrook. Everything from jewellery to statues has been discovered there, so there's plenty of inspiration. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2.30pm (repeated tomorrow)

Saturday 1 June

It's all about elements at the Royal Institution

101 DALMATIANS: Battersea Dogs Home teams up with Barbican Cinema for a special Family Film Club screening of 101 Dalmatians. Before the Disney animation is shown, hear a short talk about the animal welfare work that Battersea does. Barbican Cinema, £3.50, book ahead, 11am

ELEMENT SCIENCE: The periodic table is 150 years old this year. Celebrate at this family fun day aimed at 7-12 years olds, which has a series of talks and hands-on science workshops to take part in. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 11am-4pm

Sunday 2 June

MUSIC HALL: The animals at Museum of London are getting ready to perform an animal cabaret show... but some of them are snoozing in the galleries, with only a few minutes until curtain up. Help round them up, then enjoy the show of dancing and singing. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 12pm

KIDS COMEDY: Comedy Club 4 Kids is exactly what it sounds like — an adults-style comedy club, with cleaner jokes more suitable for a younger audience. It manages to avoid being patronising, and kids and adults are all guaranteed a giggle or two. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £10.25, book ahead, 3pm

Last Updated 02 May 2019