Looking to entertain the little ones over February half term? We’ve rounded up the best family days out and things to do in and near London during February half term.
There are two words that tend to spark fear into lives of busy parents: half term. No school, excitable children and pressure to cram as many activities and play dates into one or two weeks humanly possible.
Family Days Out: Things to do in February Half Term
To help you come up with some creative ideas to keep you and your little ones occupied during February half term, we round up the best family days out and things to do in and around London.
[review by Kate Freud]
I had heard a lot about how wonderful Frameless was from other friends with children, but it truly is an experience that has to be seen to be believed. Set in the heart of London’s Marble Arch, the impressive space encompasses a gorgeous café where lots of young families were gathering, alongside four separate ‘exhibitions.’
Without wanting to give two much away, each experience takes approx. 20 minutes, during which time, several paintings from a certain genre of art, will be constructed and deconstructed, set to beautiful classical music, allowing you to get inside paintings so to speak!
It sounds crazy, and it is, but it’s a truly extraordinary and memorable experience for every generation. Babies seemed to enjoy it as much as the elderly patrons, and for anyone who has ever tried to take very young children to a proper exhibition, this is the perfect place to start. It’s informal, no hushed tones and disapproving looks, just great fun for even the littlest art lovers.
Cirque de Soleil
[review by Kate Freud]
Anyone who has ever taken their children to a show at the theatre will attest to what a pure joy it is, enjoying a live experience through young, fresh eyes, making it all the more magical. Take them to see Cirque de Soleil and it’s in a league of its own! My children sat in silent awe, eyes wide, mouths open for the entire running time of the new Cirque de Soleil show KURIOS, a steam-punk inspired spectacle.
It truly is the perfect show to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the iconic Royal Albert Hall, in all its glory. I don’t want to give too much away, but from the extraordinary gymnastic feats to the trapeze artists who swing low across the audience, the beautiful music to the contortionist performers, it is a sensory overload in the best possible way.
And, for those who have seen a Cirque show before, you will know there is always an element of comedy thrown in for good measure. But KURIOS I have to say, is the funniest by far, look out for the mime artist pretending to be a cat in particular. I haven’t laughed so much in a very long time. I cannot recommend this highly enough for people of all ages.
Football Family Fun at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
It’s time to get the fun started this February half-term with exciting football freestyling sessions and face painting activities for kids at the Tottenham Experience.
From Saturday 11th to Saturday 18th February, families who book a tour to step behind the scenes of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be able to also enjoy football freestyling sessions.
Kids will have the unique chance to learn how to pull off tricks and ball juggling skills like a true football pro; perfect for impressing their friends when they return to the playground.
When: 11–18 February 2023
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
London’s Leading Arts Festival: Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre
This is London’s leading arts festival for children aged 0-11 years. Over 100 events are lined up, spanning theatre, dance, music, poetry, literature and more – and 50% of events are free.
The festival will see events from the likes of acclaimed street artist STIK, Cressida Cowell (How To Train Your Dragon), Michael Rosen (We’re Going on A Bear Hunt), Guinness World Record Holder DJ Archie, Cbeebies’ YolanDa’s Band Jam, balletLORENT, Aurora Orchestra, Beeja Dance Company and many more.
When: 11–19 February 2023
Where: Southbank Centre, London
Create & Grow at Squire’s Garden Centres
Squire’s Garden Centres sees the welcome return of its popular ‘Create & Grow’ event this coming half term. Paint a bird shaped ceramic flowerpot, yours to take home to put on your windowsill and bring colour to your bedroom, and join in the fun with our Bird Treasure Hunt – follow the paper trail of birds around the centre to help find the magic word and receive a sticker.
When: Monday 13 February – Friday 17 February, 9.30am – 1.00pm
Where: Various Squire’s Garden Centres
Family Trail at Tower Bridge
London’s defining landmark, Tower Bridge, is launching a new Family Trail, inspired by The Tower Bridge Cat book series on 11 February 2023. Tower Bridge Cat Day also sees the launch of the fourth instalment of the award-winning ‘Tower Bridge Cat’ series.
The book includes beautiful illustrations for each letter alongside fun storylines featuring Bella the Tower Bridge Cat and her friends set in and around the historic silhouette of London’s Tower Bridge and the new interactive activity trail will give families the chance to explore the inside of Tower Bridge and enjoy breath-taking views from the upper levels of London’s most famous structure.
On launch day, Saturday 11 February, visitors will be able to hear exclusive book readings from the author, Tee Dobinson and signings from both Tee and the illustrator Steve Cox.
When: 11 February– December 2023, 09:30 – 18:00 with last entry at 17:00.
Where: Tower Bridge, London
Little Angel Theatre Productions
Little Angel Theatre Productions’ 2023 spring season commences with an adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s The Flying Bath, and the world premiere of The Instrumentals, a heartfelt show with songs taken from the African-Caribbean diaspora. Having recently been shortlisted for The Stage’s Fringe Theatre of the Year award, Little Angel Theatre offer up their most exciting season to date.
Julia Donaldson and David Roberts’ playful and adventurous story splashes into life in this adaptation featuring catchy songs, quirky bath toys and everyday heroes.
The Instrumentals is a brand-new show for all children with characters, story & inspiration from the African-Caribbean diaspora. It’s full of uplifting original music with soulful sounds and seventies grooves. Combined with innovative puppetry and comedy, this fun musical journey will have audiences dancing in the aisles! Over Feb half term, Little Angel will also be putting on family workshops on puppet-making.
When: 11 February– 23 April 2023
Where: Little Angel Theatre, Islington, London
Shrek’s Adventure! London
Puss in Boots and his fur-midable feline friend Kitty Softpaws are the purr-fect additions to Shrek’s Adventure! London this February half-term.
Youngsters will be able to join a fun new interactive trail at Shrek’s Adventure! London – the capital’s most immersive and interactive family attraction – by picking up an activity sheet and collecting stamps before dancing and having their picture taken with either Puss or Kitty and their compadres – don’t forget to practice your best sword yielding pose!
The Puss or Kitty meet and greets are included in the standard ticket price and are just one reason to visit Shrek’s Adventure! London this February half-term. The fairytale walk-through experience, situated on the South Bank next to The lastminute.com London Eye, sees guests whisked away to Far Far Away aboard a magic 4D bus to an enchanting world of magical dreams (and waffles).
The exciting adventure features 12 fairytale-themed live shows featuring popular characters from the Shrek franchise, including Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Muffin Man, Pinocchio and Cinderella, culminating in a meet and greet with Shrek himself. Look out for the penguins of Madagascar and Toothless the Dragon from How to Train Your Dragon as well!
When: 11-19 February 2023
Where: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Overnight Stay with Pan Pacific Hotel London x Bonpoint
The first hotel partnership of its kind in the UK, Pan Pacific London and Bonpoint have worked together to create an altogether unique offering for the hotel’s dedicated Wellbeing Floor, giving children the chance to dip their toes into the world of wellness.
Designed for children aged 6-16 years old, a range of unisex skincare treatments and packages provide an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their little ones, and to treat them to a spot of pampering. Each of the three signature treatments exclusively uses Bonpoint’s carefully crafted skincare products, specially formulated for children’s skin using natural and hypoallergenic ingredients.
Whilst one child has a pamper, the other is invited to play, and make use of the hotel’s Interactive D-WALL and it’s engaging gaming experience. With a wide variety of immersive choices, from skiing and shooting through to flying, each game is designed to challenge and stimulate, whilst also helping to train the child and gain valuable balance, agility and perception skills.
Also included is a 50% discount on meals for children 12 years and under, a kids’ amenity pack complete with ‘Singa’ soft lion toy, activity book and a treasure map, dedicated children’s swimming hours, and organic children’s bathroom comforts.
When: 11-19 February 2023
Where: 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB
Bizzy Buddies Half-Term Activity Camp at Chiswick House & Gardens
The ultimate indoor/outdoor playground with multisport, arts & crafts and team building for children aged 3 – 14 years. The kids won’t get bored playing various sports such as football, tennis, dodgeball, archery, rugby and more! With lots of throwing, running, catching and jumping, they provide a fun-filled day of sporting activities.
They also have an Arts and Crafts Camp, located inside the cricket pavilion. Let the creativity flow with painting, drawing, clay modelling, arts and crafts projects and much more.
When: Monday 13 February – Friday 17 February, 9am-12pm/12pm-3pm)
Where: Chiswick House & Gardens, Staveley Road W4 3ES
This immersive, physical version of the world’s favourite board game, has challenges for all ages. With four unique boards available, families, friends, and children will love racing around the life-sized Monopoly boards, with real-life characters of the legendary board game Tokens as their guides.
Monopoly players can relive their beloved childhood Monopoly memories, while the City board takes visitors to the streets to hurtle through London landmark-inspired challenge rooms. There’s also a delicious Monopoly-inspired menu at the on-site ‘Top Hat Bar & Restaurant, and family tickets are available with a 20% discount.
When: Most days from 12pm-11pm
Where: 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7PS
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Skate beneath Canary Wharf’s twinkling skyline and treat yourself to one of London’s most captivating winter experiences. This year promises to be the most exciting year yet, and there’s no chance of rain cancelling play with the new roof, lit up by the glow of over 1,000 sparkling fairy lights.
When: Saturday 22 October to Saturday 25 February 2023
Where: Canary Wharf
February Half Term at Warwick Castle
Further afield and perfect for a day trip from London, Half Term at Warwick Castle gets underway from February 11th, as the Festival of Archery takes over the castle grounds. Expert archers put their skills to the test in a series of exhilarating performances as bows bend and arrows soar right in front of your eyes. Feeling inspired? Try it for yourself and take your shot at ‘Have-a-go-Archery’.
On your day of half-term fun, you’ll also be able to get lost in time in the Horrible Histories® Maze, have your very own up-close encounter with our incredible birds of prey, and explore the imposing towers and ramparts.
There’s so much for budding young dragons to see and do at Warwick Castle. Zog super fans will love to roam, roar and explore around the world’s first Zog Playland, and can even meet Zog as he flies in for February half term.
When: 11-19 February
Where: Warwick Castle, Warwick
160 Year Anniversary: February Half-term Family Activities at the London Transport Museum
Kids go free at the award-winning London Transport Museum in Covent Garden over February half-term. Take part in lively games and craft activities that celebrate London’s famous Tube network and the ways it connects people to the places they love.
The world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, first opened to passengers on 10 January 1863. Operating steam trains, the line had seven stations and ran between Paddington and Farringdon. On its first day it carried almost 40,000 people.
The Tube inspired half-term activities are one of the ways London Transport Museum will be marking the Underground’s 160th birthday this year. From the antics of London’s nocturnal wildlife to weird and wonderful jobs on the transport network, this hidden side of London life will be the theme of movement workshops, ‘make and take’ craft activities and a family trail around the Museum’s galleries.
When: 11-19 February, everyday from 10am-6pm
Where: London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London
Half-term Family Workshops at Foundling Museum
From animation to sculpture making, indulge your child’s inner artist with fun creative workshops this half term. There’s everything from playful family workshops to treehouse building and animated portraits.
When: 11-19 February
Where: The Foundling Museum, Camden, London WC1N 1AZ
Half Term Family Cooking Workshop at The Garden Museum
The Garden Museum is offering a family cooking class this half term to explore cooking with oranges and lemons, inspired by the tangerine painting currently on display at our Lucian Freud: Plant Portraits exhibition. As well as learning about various types of oranges and lemons, you’ll cook together in the class and make Broccoli Lemon Pasta Bake, Blood Orange Salad and Tangerine Cake.
When: 15 February 2023, 10.30am-12.30pm
Where: Garden Museum, Lambeth, London
Chelsea Physic Garden Family Half Term Events
Hidden in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden. Join Chelsea Physic Garden this February half term, with a Valentine’s Card Making Family Workshop, Valentine’s Day Chocolate Family Workshop, Rainbow Family Plant Drawing Session and Valentine’s Floral Arrangement Family Workshop
When: 11-19 February 2023
Where: Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea, London
Capital Karts at Canary Wharf
The UK’s fastest indoor go karting track has just opened in Canary Wharf, with 800 metres of track and speeds up to 40MPH for both first-time karters and seasoned pros.
The track features multiple twists and turns, and can facilitate up to 16 drivers on the track at one time, but the venue can host groups of all sizes, so is perfect for a family day out. Each kart has been made in London and includes state-of-the-art technology that measures lap time so drivers can track improvement.
Capital Karts is the latest in a series of leisure activities at Canary Wharf, ranging from ping pong to basketball, and outdoor cinema to London’s largest collection of outdoor public art, where over 100 pieces from some of the world’s best known artists are free to view.
When: 10:30am to 11pm daily
Where: Canary Wharf, London
Dinosaur Adventure, Norwich
If you fancy getting out of London this half-term, the UK’s number 1 dinosaur-themed park, ROARR!! Dinosaur Adventure, has a host of events lined up.
With 85 acres of park to explore and over 20 epic activities to sink your teeth into all included in the ticket price, at ROARR! you’re in for a mammoth adventure.
Whether you’re swinging on the Predator High Ropes, meeting the (non-Jurassic) animals in the Secret Garden or dashing about in Norfolk’s biggest indoor play area Dinomite, it’s an out-of-this-world adventure for intrepid explorers, dino-hunters, and adventure-seekers of all sizes.
When: 11-19 February, 11am – 4pm
Where: Lenwade, Norwich NR9 5JE
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