Half Term London Kids Scoop (October 24-November 2)


Why Whats Happening South Bank
It’s a special Half Term London Kids Scoop bursting with activities to keep you and your family busy this weekend and over the next seven days. Let me know anything you tried and loved and hope to bump into some of you fabulous readers out and about!


Why? What’s Happening for the Young at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
Taking the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its backdrop, Southbank Centre invites children to stand up for their rights at this mini festival filled with live music, spoken word and lots of debate. Highlights include kids making banners and joining protest songs, an interactive session led by UNICEF, and That Catherine Bennett Show, a performance that challenges the role models society puts forward for 8-year-old girls. From 10am-5pm daily; day passes adult £12/child £1; prices vary for some performances (Oct 23-26)

BP Family Festival: Close Encounters of the Art Kind at Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG (Pimlico/Vauxhall tube)
A weekend of family friendly arts, live electronic music, film making and dance performance in the company of artists, performers and educators. Explore Henry Moore’s sculptures to movement, try out props and discover new art forms. For ages 7-14, younger siblings welcome. 11am-4pm, FREE (Oct 25-26)

View from the Shard: Kids Go Free, Joiner St, SE1 9SG (London Bridge tube/rail)
Fancy a game of I Spy with an exciting new spin? Climb onto the highest viewing platform in Western Europe and enjoy 360 views of the city. Up to two children go free with every paying adult. Daily from 10am-10pm; adult £24.95 adv/£29.95 door + up to 2 children and under 3s FREE (Oct 27-Nov 2)

StoryStock Festival at Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Rd, W12 8LJ (Shepherd’s Bush Market/Shepherd’s Bush tube)
Angels & Urchin’s travelling story circus returns to the Bush Theatre for 3 jam-packed days – Michael Morpurgo Day, Big Draw Day and Adventure Day. Day 1 sees performances from Morpugo himself and his award-winning show I Believe in Unicorns: Day 2 is stacked with big names like Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came To Tea), Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola), Jeanne Willis (Supercat) and CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell; Day 3 has fun times with Poetry Joe Show star, Anansi stories by Jan Blake and a Day of the Dead party with Mexican restaurant Wahaca. Plus treasure hunts, dress-up, workshops and loads more throughout the festival. For ages 0-11. Daily activities from 9.30am, price range £4-£16 (plus some FREE), pre-booking advised. (Oct 28-30)

Geffrye Museum 100th Birthday, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA (Hoxton overground)
The wonderful Geffrye Museum celebrates its centenary with Halloween inspired activities over half term. Make flying bat puppets and skull-shaped lights, cake-shaped candles and luminous lanters, spooky hats and mini beast soaps. Workshops are split into ages 5+, 8+ and 11+ but there are daily activities for all ages. 10.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-4pm; FREE (arrive 30 minutes before workshops as it’s first come, first served) (Oct 28-31)

Dennis the Menace at St Pancras International, Euston Rd, N1C 4QP (King’s Cross St Pancras tube)
All aboard for some cheeky fun with everybody’s favourite stripy-jumpered comic kid. Dennis is running riot through St Pancras over the next few months, so keep an eye out for Beano-themed activities. Pose for snaps with comic strip photo boards, play ping pong on a black and red Table Dennis, view an exhibition of annual covers dating back to 1939 and meet Dennis himself. Daily, FREE (until Jan 4)

The Art of the Brick at Old Truman Brewery, Loading Bay 91, Brick Lane, E1 6QL (Shoreditch High St overground, Liverpool St/Aldgate East tube)
LEGO mania hits Shoreditch as the long-awaited Art of the Brick exhibition comes to Brick Lane (geddit?). Gawp at 80 sculptures lovingly crafted brick by brick by NY artist Nathan Sawaya from more than 1 million pieces of LEGO. Why not make a lazy Sunday visit to the show, then have a browse of the vintage shops and stalls on Brick Lane market, grab a bite to eat from local street traders (we recommend the Rib Man but don’t bother after 1pm!), and, if you still have the stamina, round off with a trip to nearby Spitalfields City Farm. All ages. 10am-6pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-8pm (Thu), 10am-7pm (Fri-Sat); adult £14.50/child £8/family of 4 £40 (Mon-Thu); adult £16.50/child £9.50/family of 4 £47 (Fri-Sun) (until Jan 4)



Museum of London Free Half Term Family Fun, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN (Barbican/St Paul’s tube)
There are loads of prehistoric beastly adventures planned at Museum of London, through digital art, crafting, drama and storytelling. Make big beast puppets or masks, hear wild tales, dig for ancient clues, turn bones into furry sculptures and learn more about prehistoric London. Varying times and ages, museum opening hours 10am-5pm, all activities FREE (Oct 25-Oct 31) (Also see Museum of London Docklands Half Term Events)

National Portrait Gallery Family Activities, St Martin’s Place (off Trafalgar Square) WC2H 0HE (Charing Cross tube)
Daily drop-in activities for little ones include workshops in clay, design, printing, wallpaper samples, puppet making and e-textiles (!). You’re also just in time to catch the less kid-friendly exhibition Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision (ends Oct 26). Workshop times vary between 11am-4pm, all FREE (Oct 25-31)

British Museum: Big Draw Ming Family Day, Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG (Russell Square tube)
Chinese adventures, shadow puppet workshops and secret code making are all on the cards over half-term. And don’t miss The Big Draw Ming family day (Oct 26) where you can listen to stories fit for emperors and create your own plate designs or draw lions in the Great Court. Age range 5-7+, Big Draw day for all ages. 11am-4pm, FREE (Oct 25-Nov 2)

Pizza Making and Crafts Workshops at The Doodle Bar, 33 Parkgate Road, Battersea, London SW11 4NP (Battersea Park rail/Sloane Square tube)
Come down to the scribble-friendly bar in Battersea for a whole week of crafty and cooking activities. Make spoon puppets with Tangled Tales (Mon); scary Halloween crafts with Captain Cookie and The Minnow Club of Camp Bestival fame (Tue); there’s storytelling, 3D Dragon mask making and creative writing with Margaret Bateson-Hill (Wed); and felt bags, sewing and applique with The Old School Club (Thu). Little pizza chefs can also make, bake and munch their own pizzas in workshops with Well Kneaded every day. For ages 4-7. 10am-12pm (crafts), 11.30am-1pm (pizza making); £10 per workshop. NB: Pre-booking essential for workshops, pizza sessions are drop-in. (Oct 27-30)

Half Term at Cutty Sark, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT (Cutty Sark DLR)
Always lots on at the Royal Museums Greenwich and this half-term at Cutty Sark you can try new augmented reality game from Gamar while on board the ship, and take part in The Big Draw’s family workshop (Oct 27-28) exploring the more than one million miles Cutty Sark has sailed. On Halloween (Oct 31) you can make your own spooky ship puppet show to take home with you. 11.30am-1.30pm & 2pm-4pm, Cutty Sark entry from adult £12.15/child £6.30/family £21.50 (Oct 27-31)

V&A Museum of Childhood: Wizz Bangs and Pipsqueaks, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA (Bethnal Green tube)
It’s a First World War themed week for October half-term, where little ones can hear tales of a heroic rescue pigeon, deliver secret messages, design war medals and dress up in military costume for snapshots. Also a great time to check out the Toy Stories exhibition, ongoing through December. 10am-4.30pm, FREE (Oct 27-Nov 2)

Imperial War Museum: Inside the Horse, Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ (Lambeth North tube)
Even if you’ve not seen stage hit War Horse, this promises to be a fascinating outing. Go behind the scenes of the show with associate puppetry director Jimmy Grimes, who reveals how War Horse was created. And there’s a chance to meet life size horse puppet Joey after the demonstration. Ages 4+. 3pm-4pm, £10 for event; regular entry to the museum is FREE (Oct 28-29)

We also like
Half term is also a great time to visit Horniman Museum in Forest Hill; explore Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea; or try out the triple bill of Science Museum, Natural History Museum and V&A Museum all in South Kensington (go super early to avoid crowds).

Jump Sadlers Wells


Shiny at Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15 1BX (Stratford tube/overground/DLR)
For the first time ever Dance Umbrella presents a show for the very young, with dancers from Turned On Its Head. Two people find friendship, joy and treasures in a long forgotten room, filled with playfulness and sparkle. Separate performances for ages 6-18 months and 18 months to 5 years. 11am for 6-18 months & 1.30pm for 18 months-5 (Fri); 11am for 18 months-5 & 2pm for 6-18 months (Sat); £8 / £6 concs / £24 Family of four (must include at least one child) (Oct 24-25)

Shakespeare’s Untold Stories at The Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT (Blackfriars/Mansion House tube)
Discover the magic of Shakespeare in these specially adapted shows for kids. These half-term performances see The Merchant of Venice become the cautionary A Banker’s Tale, following city hotshot Antonio who makes an unusual deal for cash. Also catch Titus Andronicus (The Pie Maker’s Tale), Romeo & Juliet (The Party Planner’s Tale) and Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Convict’s Tale). For ages 6+. 11am & 2pm, 1 adult + 1 child £15/additional tickets £8 (Oct 27-31)

The Party at Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Rd, N6 5AA (Highgate tube)
It’s party time with a crazy twist as four of the UK’s best circus performers come together for the maddest birthday celebration of all. See cupcakes gone wild, upside down cycling, climbing, tumbling and a totally out of control game of pass the parcel. 12pm & 3pm, £9.95 (Oct 28-Nov 1)

Psst! Secrets of a White Rabbit at Barbican Centre, The Pit Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS (Barbican/Moorgate tube)
Fall under the spell of a playful little white rabbit conjured out of tissue paper by two clowns. Heartwarming and enchanting theatre aimed at very small people and their grown-ups. For ages 2+. 12pm & 2pm (Oct 28-Nov 2), 11am & 1pm (Nov 3-4); £8 (Oct 28-Nov 4)

Jump at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre
(pictured), Portugal St, WC2A 2HT (Holborn tube)
We’ve seen some blinding shows at Peacock Theatre and this sounds like an absolute blast. Jump tells the story of a pair of burglars who break into a house and get a comeback they weren’t expecting (including a karate chopping mum)! Dazzling acrobatics, martial arts and physical comedy create an experience to flip your lid. For ages 5+ (younger ones not admitted). 7.30pm (Tue-Sat), 2.30pm (Sat), 2pm & 6pm (Sun); adult £15-£38/child under 16 half-price (Oct 28-Nov 15)

Oliver Jeffers Weekend/The Way Back Home at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
A gorgeous sounding adaptation of the popular picture book about a young explorer who flies to the moon on an aeroplane he discovers in his bedroom. Puppets, live music and evocative design for ages 4+. Keen fans can also hear from Oliver Jeffers (12pm, Nov 1/£10/ages 6+) about his inspiration; see Quentin Blake in Conversation with Oliver Jeffers (3pm, Nov 1/£10/ages 10+); catch a screening of Lost & Found (4pm, Nov 1/all ages/FREE); or watch Oliver Jeffers and some illustrator buddies in The Great Draw Off (1pm, Nov 2/FREE). Shows 11am & 2pm; adult £14/child £7 (Oct 29-Nov 2)

Fantastic Mr Fox at Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, N1 2DN (Angel tube)
Watch the very clever Mr Fox in a battle of wits against the farmers trying to trap him, in this joyous adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale, performed by puppets. Best for ages 4-11, baby-friendly performances on Sundays at 11am. Regular shows 10am & 1pm (Wed-Thu), 1pm & 5pm (Fri) and 11am & 2pm (Sat-Sun); adult £14/child £12/Friday 5pm shows £5 (until Nov 9)

We also like
A brilliant mix of performances for all ages in Family Dance Week at The Place (Oct 24-31); the ever popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at Arts Depot (Oct 25-Nov 2); Romeo & Juliet adapted for 8+ at National Theatre (Oct 29-Nov 14); and Alice in Wonderland at Wilton’s Music Hall



Spend pocket money prices to watch How to Train your Dragon 2 at Vue Kids AM (Oct 23-30) and Odeon Kids Club screenings (Oct 24-30) all around town.

Cosy up with your little ones on the front row beds or the deep leather armchairs to watch The Boxtrolls at Electric Cinema Kids Club (Oct 25)

Framed Film Club at Barbican Cinema is showing lovely sounding animated shorts for ages 0-7, from the London International Animation Festival (Oct 25 & Nov 1).

See Planes: Fire and Rescue (Oct 25) or Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nov 1) at Rio Cinema Kids Club in Dalston.

Settle in for a luxurious Saturday morning picture show with brunch as well as popcorn at Soho Hotel Children’s Film Club showing The Wizard of Oz (Oct 25) and The Boxtrolls (Nov 1) over half-term.

Belt out Let it Go with other raving fans at the Frozen Singalong at Prince Charles Cinema (Oct 25-31 & Nov 3-4, ongoing)

Psst… you can also catch The Boxtrolls at the Everyman Cinema in Selfridges (and sneak in some shopping after). All week (Oct 24-30)



Ally Pally Tree Climbing at Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY (Wood Green tube)
The Segway Rally’s sold out but you can still get up a tree at Ally Pally, safely attached in a harness throughout your climb. And if you fancy a mini adrenaline rush, take the zip wire on your way down! 10am-4pm, £15.50 (Oct 25)

London Wetland Centre: The Yuk Show Bizarre Bodies, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT (Hammersmith tube)
It’s Halloween and half-term so what better time to combine family fun with a little creepiness in this show delving into skeletons and sinews, guts and gizzards, organs and oddities. Find out the weird ways creatures adapt to their environments and get your hands on some grisly specimens. All ages. Centre opens 9.30am, show at 2.15pm, FREE with regular entry adult from £11/child from £6/under 4s FREE (Oct 25-Nov 2)

Isis Education Centre Discovery Day: Go Batty for Bats at The Lookout, Hyde Park, W2 2UH (Hyde Park Corner tube)
As the nights get darker and bats prepare to hibernate, the Isis Centre explores these nocturnal creatures with a bat trail and some bat-themed crafts. It’s all in time for Halloween, so feel free to come in costume and indulge in spooky games and potion making. 11am-3pm, FREE but donations welcome (Oct 29-30)

Ski & Snowboard Show at Earl’s Court 2, SW5 9TA (Earl’s Court tube)
The super chilled festival comes back to Earl’s Court with tons of family friendly activities for everyone from newbies to seasoned ski pros. Check out the latest in ski and snowboard gear, let the kids go wild on the children’s slide, introduce the minis to snowboarding at the Burton Riglet park, have your first ever ski or snowboard lesson, and join the Ice Queen, Princess and Happy Snowman for a frosty singalong. There will also be 20,000 free lift passes for a number of resorts around the UK and Europe given out to show visitors and don’t forget to indulge in some apres ski fun. 11am-9.30pm (Thu), 10am-9.30pm, 10am-6pm (Sat-Sun); adult £12/child 11-16 £5/family of 4 £25/under 11s FREE (Oct 30-Nov 2)

Have you seen our Halloween London Kids activity guide? Don’t miss a trick!

Images via Southbank Centre, The Doodle Bar, Sadler’s Wells, Disney, Ski & Snowboard Show

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  1. says

    Oh wow so much on and we’re in London this week too for a few days, fab round up as ever, was telling my neighbour about your blog as she’s off to London for half term too xx

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