If you’re wondering how you’re going to keep the kids occupied this February half term, there’s plenty to see and do around the capital
Imagine Children’s Festival
Head over to the Southbank Centre, where you’ll find a buzzing variety of theatre, literature, music, comedy and dance to keep little ones occupied all week long. The festival will also be celebrating the centenary of Roald Dahl with The Wondercrump of Roald Dahl interactive exhibition and a performance of his latest tale, The Minpins, with live orchestral accompaniment. There will be a range of free activities and workshops for the under-13 crowd and their families to enjoy, plus music and dance activities for under-fives. In fact, there’s so much to see and do here, keeping them entertained all day will be a breeze.
When? Daily, until Sunday 21 February, 10.30am to 4pm
Admission: Free. Some activity prices vary
Half term at the Museum Of Childhood
Drop-in sessions include Play-Doh workshops for ages four to 12 years, to mark 60 years since the squishy toy launched. Join illustrator Amy Brown and artist Helen Rousseau for some colourful story and modelling fun.
When? Monday 15 to Friday 19 February, 11am to 4pm
Admission: Free entry, Play-Doh workshops £5 per child
Rapunzel The Musical
The Emmy Award-winning team behind the sitcom Friends have gone all fairytale on us, with this exciting family musical showing at Greenwich Theatre. The familiar children’s tale is given a modern spin, with plenty of laughter and catchy songs galore.
When? Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 February, performance times vary
Admission: Adults, £13.50; children, £8.50
Half term at Battersea Park Zoo
As well as making friends with all the animals, there’s loads to get involved with at Battersea Park Zoo, including the Love Heart Hunt (see how many hearts your little one can count around the zoo and post your answer in the shop to be entered into a prize draw) or join the colouring and story sessions, with your chance to meet all the cute and cuddly characters.
When? Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 February, 10am to 4.30pm
Admission: Adults, £8.95; children, £6.95; family, £29; under-twos go free
Orchid Festival 2016
Step into spring and admire the transformation of Kew Garden’s Princess of Wales Conservatory into a celebration of Brazil’s magnificent plant life for this year’s Orchid Festival. Expect a vibrant carnival theme and a riot of colour. There are plenty of drop-in activities for the little ones to take part in, including mobile making, face painting and carnival headdress making, not to mention the Climbers & Creepers play zone, the Badger Sett and Log Trail play areas.
When? The Orchid Festival is open daily until Sunday 6 March. Children’s activities from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 February, 11.30am to 3.30pm
Admission: Adults, £15; under-16s go free but additional charges apply for individual activities
Dinosaurs: Monster Families
This new exhibition at the Horniman Museum & Gardens reveals the fascinating family life of dinosaurs, and how they cared for their nests, eggs and young, through authentic specimens and life-size models. Meet Baby Louie – the near-complete skeleton of a dinosaur embryo – and let your little ones dig in the discovery pit, check out the incredible collection of fossils and come face-to-face with T-Rex’s relative – the Tarbosaurus.
When? Daily, until Sunday 30 October
Admission: Adults, £7; children, £4; under-threes go free
Half term at the London Transport Museum
There’s a whole range of activities happening at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden this month, including half-term story time and a range of creative workshops. Children are encouraged to create their own mosaics, inspired by the one on display in the Night Shift exhibition in the museum, using pieces of colourful card. For younger toddlers and babies, check out the All Aboard family play zone, where little ones can sit in the seat of a real bus, repair a mini Tube train, sail the ‘Thames Nipper’ and play in the ‘Lost Property’ office.
When? Museum open daily. Half-term activities from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 February, 11am to 2.30pm
Admission: Adults, £17 for an unlimited annual ticket; under-18s go free
Puddle Jumping at WWT London Wetland Centre
Raining outside? No problem! Grab your coat and your wellies and head over to the WWT London Wetland Centre for some splash-tastic fun at its first-ever London Puddle Jumping Championships (yes, you read that right). Children of all ages are welcome to have fun jumping in puddles and enjoying the fresh air – and points will be given for style, creativity, enthusiasm and size of splash. There will be prizes awarded each day. Afterwards, explore the grounds and visit the local inhabitants, including the playful otters and beautiful birds.
When? The centre is open daily. The official competition takes place at 2.30pm every day from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 February
Admission: Adults, £13.10; children, £7.20; under-fours go free. Competition entry is free
Magical Lantern Festival
To coincide with Chinese New Year, the world-famous Magical Lantern Festival comes to Chiswick House & Gardens for the first time. Adults and children alike will love this stunning art installation of hand-sculpted lanterns in various forms, from animals and birds to buildings of all shapes and sizes. Marvel at the amazing illuminations as you wander through the grounds at dusk.
When? Daily, until Sunday 6 March, 5pm to 8.45pm
Admission: Adults, £18; children, £12; family, £56; under-fours go free
‘I Can Make Dolls’ Clothes’ workshop
Calling all mini fashionistas! Budding designers aged seven to 12 years will love creating show-stopping outfits for their dolls at this two-hour workshop happening in both Camden Lock and Bethnal Green during half-term. Children will be able to perfect their sewing skills, learn pattern-cutting techniques, as well as get an insight into the world of fashion from friendly design duo Georgia Vaux and Louise Scott-Smith. The workshop is based on the pair’s new book of the same name.
When? Tuesday 16 February at Tea & Crafting, Camden; Friday 19 February at St Margaret’s House, Bethnal Green
Admission: From £15