School may be out but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stay in. From thrilling theatre trips to hanging out with dinosaurs, we’ve pulled together plenty of half-term inspiration for your diaries – with events across London there’s something for everyone to enjoy this coming break.
1. DUSTY’S PUDDLE-JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
News splash! Dusty the duck is back this half term with his puddle-jumping competition. Don your wellies and enjoy splashing about in the fresh air. It is free with admission, so be sure to do a bit of nature spotting in the grounds afterwards.
Admission: Adults, from £11; children, from £6; under-fours go free.
Location: WWT London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT
020 8409 4400
2. POP-UP PET PORTRAITS
Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 February, 10am to 12.30pm.
Over two days, little ones can learn the art of paper-folding, collage and illustration, allowing them to create a pop-up portrait of their favourite animal or pet.
Admission: £35 per child and accompanying adult.
Location: Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD
3. DINOSAURS IN THE WILD
Monday 12 February to Tuesday 31 July, from 9.30am.
After successful runs in Birmingham and Manchester, this awe-inspiring production comes to the capital. Step into a time machine and go back 67 million years to enjoy a guided dinosaur safari, watch hatchlings emerging from their eggs and visit a lookout with panoramic views of teeming prehistoric life in every direction.
Admission: Adults, from £25; children, from £22.
Location: Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0SQ
4. TONGUE FU FOR KIDS
Thursday 15 February, 11am and 2pm.
This new show, in partnership with the Southbank Centre, is jam-packed with wordplay, improvisation, audience participation and musical wizardry from poets, rappers, storytellers and the brilliant Tongue Fu band. Created for children aged seven to 11, Tongue Fu’s frontman Chris Redmond is a regular at UK music and literature festivals, and his experience as an educator includes work with CBBC.
Admission: Adults, £14; children, £11.
Location: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP
5. CREATIVE FAMILY MATHS SESSION
Saturday 10 February and Saturday 10 March, 2pm to 5pm.
The Maths on Toast charity will be hosting its monthly sessions down at Pancras Square Library – a new space in Kings Cross. The free classes incorporate cutting, sticking and games to make learning fun, and each month has a different theme.
Location: Pancras Square Library, 5 Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG
Until Tuesday 10 April.
For the first time, Walt Disney classic Pinocchio comes to life on stage, with unforgettable music and songs that kids and adults alike will recognise from the film. For the ultimate day out, check out the themed afternoon tea available at the National Theatre’s House Restaurant until 31 March.
Admission: From £15 each.
Location: National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
020 7452 3000
7. CIRQUE BERSERK!
Monday 5 to Saturday 17 February, times vary.
Now in its fifth year, this jawdropping spectacular returns with more than 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, daredevi stuntmen and the hair-raising motorcycle act, Globe of Death.
Admission: Adults, from £15; children, from £7.50.
Location: The Peacock, Portugal Street, Holborn, London WC2A 2HT
8. THE WINTER’S TALE
Wednesday 14 to Wednesday 28 February, times vary.
This new version of Shakespeare’s classic tale is reimagined for children aged eight to 12. Join the brave and intelligent Perdita on a journey of magic, as she uncovers her story.
Admission: £12 each.
Location: National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
9. DISCOVERIES & INVENTIONS
Monday 12 to Friday 16 February, 11am to 3pm. Eltham Palace is the perfect place to get your thinking caps on this half term, with exciting workshops for budding Darwins and Brunels. Take a trip through history’s coolest inventions – from the practical to the downright wacky – and create your own to add to the books.
Admission: Adults, £14.40; children, £8.60; under-fives go free.
Location: Eltham Palace & Gardens, Court Yard, Greenwich, London SE9 5QE
10. HOCUS POCUS: CHILDREN’S MAGIC WORKSHOP
Saturday 24 February, 1.30pm.
West End Magic arrives at the Museum of Comedy for a series of workshops this year. Welcoming children aged seven to 13, the workshops are led by top Magic Circle magicians. They cover the basics of magic and teach tricks using everyday objects, with a chance for kids to do a show for parents at the end.
Admission: £15 per child.
Location: Museum of Comedy, The Undercroft, St Georges Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SR
11. HARE & TORTOISE
Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 February, times vary.
Pied Piper Theatre Company heads to the Lyric Hammersmith this half term to present this funny and tender adaptation of the well-loved story. Suitable for children aged three to seven, and their families, discover who will finally win the race – the younger, fitter Hare, or the slow and steady Tortoise?
Admission: £10 each.
Location: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, London W6 0QL
020 8741 6850
12. BUILDING THE PALACE
Wednesday 14 February, 11am to 3pm.
Does your child love building things? Drop in at Fulham Palace for a host of architectthemed fun, including the chance to try your hand at brick rubbing, build a new palace out of paper, fashion a Tudor arch and travel back in time with costumed storytellers. Before you head home, make sure you get dressed up and have your photo taken in the pop-up photo booth.
Admission: £2 per child and accompanying adult.
Location: Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, London SW6 6EA
020 7736 3233
Daily, 9am to 9pm.
If you’ve got a mini ski or snowboard enthusiast on your hands, or want to get some practice in before a trip, Dukes Meadows in West London sees the return of its indoor ski slope this winter. The continuously rotating track provides a surface which sees everyone from beginners to advanced learners improve their skills 10 times faster than on snow. There will be plenty going on during February half term, too, so be sure to takethe kids. Suitable for little ones aged five years and over.
Admission: Adults, £37.95; children, £32.95.
Location: Dukes Meadows Golf & Tennis, Dan Mason Drive, London W4 2SH
020 8994 3314
14. POP-UP PERFORMANCE: WINNIE-THE-POOH
Every Saturday until Saturday 24 March, 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
To celebrate the V&A’s new Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic exhibition this winter, the museum is hosting performance activities every weekend. Take your littlest ones along to enjoy storytelling, music and puppetry.
Location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
15. ROYAL MEWS HALF TERM
Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February, 10am to 4pm.
Stop by the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace for a selection of arts and crafts. As well as free hands-on activities, little ones can try out a royal carriage for themselves, learn how to tack up a pony, and spot a real horse or two at the stables.
Admission: Adults, £11; children, £6.40; under-fives go free.
Location: The Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0QH
16. CHINESE TALES & RIBBON DANCE
Tuesday 13 February, 11am and 1.30pm.
Celebrate Chinese New Year at the British Library, as artist and performer Jih Wen Yeh weaves fascinating stories and performs a beautiful ribbon dance. You can even get involved yourself, with a ribbon dance workshop for the whole family. This drop-in event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Location: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
17. KIDS EN CUISINE X PLANET ORGANIC
Saturday 17 February and Saturday 17 March, 10am.
If you have a budding chef on your hands – or simply want to encourage your little one to develop their kitchen skills, Kids en Cuisine hosts regular cooking workshops around the capital, with two events happening down at Planet Organic Wandsworth over the next two months. The company provides all the utensils and ingredients required, with some brilliant recipes to take home and share with the family.
Admission: £12.50 per child and accompanying adult.
Location: Planet Organic, 52 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4FT
18. BRIGHT SPARKS
Sunday 11 February, 1pm and 3pm.
This humorous and visually exciting play explores the beauty of difference and how things are always better when people work together. Watch as two opposite characters get their wires crossed and their noodles in a muddle as they strive to find ways to work and play together.
Admission: £7 each.
Location: The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG
020 8692 4446
19. AURORA ORCHESTRA: FAR, FAR AWAY
Saturday 10 and 17, and Sunday 11 and 18 February, times vary.
Gather round and join the talented musicians from the Aurora Orchestra on a glittering adventure through the Marvellous Kingdom – dance with the dewdrops, spy the Sugar Plum Fairy and get ready to tussle with the rascally Mouse King! This immersive performance, designed for little ones aged up to four, makes the perfect introduction to classical music and Tchaikovsky’s enchanting ballet arrangements, with storytelling from writer-inresidence Kate Wakeling.
Admission: Adults, £8.50; children, £6.50.
Location: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
020 7520 1490
20. IMAGINE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Wednesday 7 to Sunday 18 February, event times vary.
The Southbank Centre’s annual kids’ arts festival returns for its 17th year. With storytelling at its heart, families can enjoy 12 days of theatre, literature, music, dance and visual arts. Highlights include the Super Hero Party with theatre-maker Jess Thom; author Jacqueline Wilson discussing her much-loved characters and latest novel; BBC Radio 1’s Greg James and Chris Smith presenting an actionpacked superhero event based on their new book, and Harry Hill bringing his new character to life with illustrator Steve May. More than half of the events are free, too, with something for all ages.
Admission: Free; charges may apply for specific events.
Location: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE18XX
Compiled by Mia Cresswell-Melstrom