8 cool things to do in London this October half term


From terrifically terrifying Halloween activities to super shows and family trails, there’ll be no time for boredom with these fun things to do in the capital 


Snail trails and tales
As part of The Royal Parks’ Mission Invertebrate initiative – a project to challenge families to learn more about London’s tiny grassland invertebrates – the capital’s iconic Brompton Cemetery is hosting two Halloween-themed days of creepy crawly fun. From eerie earthworms to scary snails and monstrous millipedes, all activities will be focused around the Mission Invertebrate’s giant Snail Trailer. Little ones can learn more about the miniature world of invertebrates with storytelling, arts and crafts, and more. Extra treats will even be given to those who arrive in invertebrate-themed costumes!
When? Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 October, 11am to 3pm
Where? Brompton Cemetery, Fulham Road, London SW10 9UG
How much? Free


Shop ’til you drop
Children’s clothing and accessories brand Trotters is teaming up with the wonderful parenting support network Kensington Mums this half term for a special in-store party. Pop along to the High Street Kensington boutique for themed drinks and nibbles, exclusive shopping discounts, magicians, balloon-modellers and face-painters, drawing competitions and plenty more. Goodie bags will be handed out to the first 100 customers on arrival, too, so don’t miss out!
When? Thursday 26 October, 10am to 6pm
Where? Trotters, 139-141 High Street, Kensington, London W8 6SU
How much? Free


Royal crafts 
There’s a whole host of activity going down at the capital’s royal residences this October, including watercolour workshops and The Big Draw activities in the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, and a special Canaletto & The Art of Venice storytelling exhibition at the Palace’s Queen’s Gallery. Little ones can design their own sparkling carnival masks and 3D Venetian cityscapes, and have a go at composing opera music using historical instruments. There are plenty of events going on for under-fives, too, with storytelling sessions and the chance to learn more about colours and shapes while exploring the magnificent carriages and horses at the Mews.
When? Saturday 21 October to Friday 27 October, 11am to 3pm
Where? The Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0QH
How much? Adults, from £10; children, from £5.80; under-fives go free


Sweet St Martin’s 
St Martin’s Courtyard will be a hive of activity this half term, as it celebrates National Honey Week. The courtyard will be hosting a buzzy day of activity filled with free workshops, talks and delicious honey made right there in Covent Garden on the St Martin’s Courtyard rooftop. There will be plenty of free tastings, beeswax candle-making classes, and delicious jars of honey will be available to pick up throughout the day for a small charitable donation towards The Bee Keepers Association.
When? Wednesday 25 October, 11am to 2pm
Where? St Martin’s Courtyard, Slingsby Place, London WC2
How much? Free


Bear hugs at the Museum of London
To celebrate the release of the new film Paddington 2 on Friday 10 November, the Museum of London will showcase a brand new series of events, especially for half term. The marmalade-loving bear returns to the museum with a behind-the-scenes exhibition featuring original costumes, pop-up books and costume designer sketches, and families can enjoy activities such as crafts, storytelling and illustration workshops. There will also be readings from author Michael Bond’s daughter, Karen Bond, a special Paddington trail, themed rhyme time, puppets and more.
When? Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 October, activity times vary
Where? Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
How much? Free


Wild at the wetlands 
Pop down to the WWT London Wetland Centre this half term and use your ID skills and powers of observation to guess which wetland resident your partner has selected with a fun game of Guess Who? – does your animal have feathers? Does it have two legs? Once you’ve finished playing, enjoy a wander around the reserve to see them in real life and learn more about the other animals that live there. There’s plenty of other activity going on, too, including building bug hotels and pond-dipping.
When? Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 October, 10am to 4pm
Where? WWT London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT
How much? Adults, from £11; children, from £6; under-fours go free


Fun at the theatre
Children’s favourite Dr Seuss is back at the Old Vic, with a performance of eye-popping colour, cool puppetry and infectious music that will enchant both adults and children alike. And if you want to make a full weekend of it, the Mondrian London hotel – just a 10-minute walk from the theatre – has now launched a dedicated family package for a limited time. Book in and you’ll get to enjoy a two-course pre-theatre dinner at riverside restaurant Sea Containers, four tickets to watch Dr Seuss’s The Lorax, and complimentary in-house films to enjoy in your swanky suite.
When? Until Sunday 5 November
Where? Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
How much? From £408 per night, based on a family of four sharing two rooms


Spells and shopping
An enchanted world of magic and potions comes to shopping destination London Designer Outlet this half term, with free spellbinding activities for children every day until the 29 October. Immerse the kids in the Wizard Workshops, where little ones can make bespoke wands, learn spells and have a blast mixing magical mixtures in potion-making classes! There will also be fun mini shows full of mystery and comedy, featuring lookalikes of a few – rather famous – wizarding characters, including meet-and-greets.
When? Monday 23 to Sunday 29 October, 11am to 4pm
Where? London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park Boulevard, London HA9 0QL
How much? Free