Things To Do In London In Half Term: February 2023

Things To Do In London In Half Term: February 2023
YolanDa's Band Jam is part of Imagine Children's Festival at Southbank Centre

February half term 2023 runs Saturday 11- Sunday 19 February for most London schools. We've selected some family-friendly events and things to do in London — however old your kids are and whatever your budget.

February half term events in London

MAKING CONNECTIONS: As the London Underground turns 160, London Transport Museum celebrates with a programme of February half term events on the theme of Making Connections, included in the museum ticket price. Activities feature a giant game of Connect 4, a puzzle trail through the galleries, and a chance to add your message to the #LoveTheTube wall — on top of the museum's usual exhibits. 11-19 February

VETS IN ACTION: Included in tickets to ZSL London Zoo this half term is Vets in Action, a programme of activities which lets kids get a taster of the work done by the zoo's vets. The roleplay experience takes place in a recreation of the vet centre, with soft toys waiting to be examine and operated on. There are also demonstrations and talks about keeping the animals healthy throughout the week. 11-19 February

Vets in Action is back at London Zoo. (c) ZSL

KIDS' COMEDY: A comedy show the whole family can enjoy? That's the idea at Comedy Club 4 Kids at artsdepot, which is a regular comedy show without the rude bits, designed to make everyone age 6+ laugh. 12 February

SAILING OUT: LGBTQ+ History Month is the focus of the National Maritime Museum's February Half Term activities in Greenwich. The programme includes a workshop where you can construct your own hat to show your identity, make a rainbow fish inspired by the Pride flag, and a focus on heroes from the LGBTQ+ maritime community. FREE, 12-18 February

Ice Rink Canary Wharf is open throughout half term

I WANT MY HAT BACK: Jon Klassen’s beloved children's books, I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat come to life on stage in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. The show is aimed at children age 3-6 and their families. 13-14 February

OUT OF THIS WORLD: The Royal Observatory in Greenwich offers Mars-themed family workshops where visitors can learn all about our explorations of the Red Planet. Age 7+. 14-15 February. The same venue also offers a Holiday to Space, where 3-6 year olds can explore the solar system through a planetarium show and interactive workshop. 16-17 February

Cirque du Soleil is back at the Royal Albert Hall. Image: Mathew Tsang

IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Now in its 21st year, Imagine Children's Festival returns to Southbank Centre with all manner of theatre, comedy, music, dance and poetry events for 0-11 year olds and their families. Highlights include a band jam with CBeebies saxophonist YolanDa, an appearance by children's author Michael Rosen, a daytime rave, and, much, much more — browse the full programme. SOME EVENTS FREE, 8-17 February

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is Cirque du Soleil's latest show, a steampunk-inspired performance which takes over the Royal Albert Hall, featuring acrobatics, clever contortions and more. There are no age restrictions for the show, but bear in mind that it's over two hours long (including a 25-minute interval) so might not be suitable for particularly wriggly little ones. Until 5 March

Family-friendly exhibitions in February half term

Woman and young girl sitting in front of an Elmer artwork on a museum wall, with other Elmer artworks on display in the next room
Elmer and Friends at Horniman Museum. Image: Seven Stories

ORCHIDS: Older children might appreciate a trip to the Orchids festival at Kew Gardens. Housed within the Princess of Wales Conservatory, it focuses on the orchid species of Cameroon this year, and includes sculptures made from plants, and an exhibition of photos by young people and women from the rural area of Lolodorf, Cameroon. It's included in admission to the Gardens, so you can make a day of it. 4 February-5 March 2023

ELMER: Children's book character Elmer the Elephant stars in a colourful exhibition at Forest Hill's Horniman Museum. Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee offers visitors a chance to step into the world of the the beloved children's books, with Not Now, Bernard; Mr Benn; and King Rollo also featuring. Aimed at under-7s and their families. Until 16 April

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: Another one that's great for curious older kids and teenagers is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year show at Natural History Museum, which showcases photos of the natural world taken all over the planet, interspersed with videos and quotes from the photographers. Until July

Free things to do in London in February half term

A young girl with long blonde hair plays on an orange metal climbing frame that's shaped like a train
Find your nearest playground. Photo: Londonist

PLAYGROUNDS: If the weather's playing nice, few things bring a smile to children's faces like a playground — and they're usually free, so it's a win for parents and carers too. Check out our map of playgrounds in central London — there are more than you might think, and many are located handily near tourist attractions so you can burn off some excess energy on a day out.

FAMILY TRAIL: As part of Imagine Children's Festival (mentioned above), Southbank Centre offers a free family activity trail inspired by Sam Winston’s book One & Everything, aimed at ages 2-11. Learn about mysterious scripts, secret alphabets and hidden stories. FREE, 8-17 February

BRILLIANT BIRDS: Drop into The LookOut in Hyde Park to learn more about native bird species through activities including bird-watching, a discovery trail, and a chance to create a birds' nest or bird feeder to take home with you. FREE, 14-16 February

PLAY IN THE PARK: Obstacles, slack lines and zipwires all feature in a day of free play activities in Regent's Park, inspired by the movements of animals in nature. FREE, 17 February

Family-friendly activities in London in February half term

SWIMMING: A kiddie favourite, London has plenty of options for swimming, whatever the weather. From an Olympic venue to local leisure centres, these are some of London's best indoor pools (we also have our pick of London's outdoor pools and lidos — but maybe save that one for the summer holidays, eh?)

ICE SKATING: One of London's seasonal ice rinks — Canary Wharf — stays open right through half term and beyond, and it's undercover too, so no need to worry about the weather. But London also has year-round ice rinks, including one slap bang in the middle of the Central line.

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 a visit 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.

Last Updated 03 February 2023

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