10 Great Half-Term Days Out in London
We've teamed up with KidRated – the website where all the reviews are done by kids to help families make more informed choices – to bring you our essential guide to London's best half-term days out...
1. Magical Lantern Festival
If you and the family enjoyed Christmas at Kew Gardens, then you’ll love this festival in the gardens at Chiswick House.
This is the first time it’s been held in the UK, and boasts a spectacular artistic installation of beautifully sculpted lanterns taking various forms from animals and birds to buildings and abstract designs of all shapes and sizes.
Kids will love: Roasting marshmallows and the brightly coloured, cute animals.
Adults will love: Getting outdoors and seeing your kids’ faces light up.
Until Sunday 6th March; magicallantern.uk
2. Mini Vault Festival
The maze of caves and caverns beneath Waterloo station are transformed into a magical world for under 11s to create a family festival of underground shows and events.
There will be DJs and bands, plus kids can get involved in art adventures, and try their hands (or mouths!) at beatboxing. Other highlights include pirates, clowns, magicians and jellyfish.
Kids will love: The fun atmosphere of the vaults.
Adults will love: The family palm reading. Under-11s go free.
Saturday 13th February & Sunday 14th February (10am – 3pm); vaultfestival.com
3. London RIB Voyages
The London RIB Experience has yet to get a bad review from our K-Raters. Excciting, informative and always fun, their hilarious and knowledgeable guides are the icing on the speedy cake. Warm coats are provided and don’t forget to take your camera because nothing beats the sights of London when seen from the Thames.
Kids will love: Going fast of course!
Adults will love: The in-jokes and nostalgic soundtrack.
Daily, London RIB
4. Zippo's Cirque Berserk
The circus comes to the Peacock Theatre in this jaw-dropping spectacular. With an international cast of over 30 acrobats, jugglers, aerialists (with no safety harness!), and death defying stuntmen, families are guaranteed unique, edge-of-the seat theatre!
Kids will love: The Globe of Terror: four motorcyclists speeding at over 60mph inside a steel cage.
Adults will love: Tweedy, the award-winning clown and fire-breathing Giant Robot.
Monday 8th February – Wednesday 24th February; Cirque Berserk
5. Wicked Women at The London Dungeon
KidRated is always amazed at just how good a trip to the iconic London Dungeon is. True, it’s not the cheapest day out, but with a two-hour tour and a talented cast of actors we think it’s really worth the money and our K-Raters agree.
This half term, along with the usual band of terrifying villains from history, you'll also meet the fearsome Boudica, Queen of the Iceni who tried to fight the Romans out of Britain. That's got to be worth a visit, right?
Kids will love: The quirky cast members waiting to creep them out.
Adults will love: The fact it teaches kids about history as well as giving them goosebumps.
Saturday 13th February – Sunday 21st February; The London Dungeon
6. Puddle Jumping at the WWT London Wetland Centre
The first ever London Puddle Jumping Championships is being held at WWT London Wetland Centre, and children of all ages can grab their wellies and have fun making a splash.
Points will be given for style, creativity, enthusiasm and size of splash. There will be a prize each day for our selected ‘super-splasher’ and a Puddle Jumping Champion will be selected at the end of the week, with the chance to go on to further glory by becoming WWT’s Big Splash national champion – who could resist?!
Kids will love: Getting soaked, of course!
Adults will love: The multiple photo opportunities of the kids having the best fun ever.
Saturday 13th February – Sunday 21st February; WWT London Wetland Centre
7. Fashion Week at Madame Tussauds
In this ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience, visitors will get an exclusive peek ‘backstage’ at an international fashion event, brought to life through a multisensory set. Fans will also get to hang out with two of the fashion world’s most famous faces – Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne (plus a guest appearance from Anna Wintour*).
There will also be prizes up for grabs every day awarded to guests who find a hidden Golden Tag in the clothes rails. These include Maybelline New York makeup, TONI&GUY hair products and appliances, AND Lavazza coffee machines. Don’t forget to visit the Star Wars Experience when you’re there, too.
Kids will love: The goodie bags and taking selfies with the models.
Adults will love: Raiding their kids’ goodie bags.
Saturday 13th February – Sunday 21st February; Madame Tussauds
8. Imagine Children's Festival
This year, the Imagine Children’s Festival is celebrating the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. There are loads of free activities for under twelves but some of the more special events should be booked in advance. We recommend Judith Kerr, author of the Tiger Who Came To Tea in conversation, and watching Minpins, Roald Dahl’s final story with a live orchestral accompaniment.
Kids will love: The giant satchel art installation from Matilda The Musical.
Adults will love: Most of the activities are free, there’s wifi, somewhere to sit and great cafés.
Wednesday 10th February – Sunday 21st February; Imagine Children's Festival
9. Ripley's Believe It Or Not
This half term, Ripley’s and the Hard Rock Café are teaming up to create an awesome pop-up. There will be one-of-a-kind items on display from Lady Gaga, Elvis, Paul McCartney, Rihanna and loads more to celebrate the Hard Rock Café’s 45th birthday.
Kids will love: The weird and wonderful exhibits throughout the six floors.
Adults will love: Explaining who Elvis and Paul McCartney are!
Daily, Ripley's Believe It Or Not
10. Play-doh Fun at Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is celebrating 60 years since Play-doh first hit the toyshop shelves with this great exhibition. You can take part in drop-in activities throughout the week, or book in advance for workshops, including a fun foray into animation, featuring the iconic modeling toy.
Kids will love: Letting their imaginations run wild and taking home their creations.
Adults will love: The nostalgia and the smell!
Monday 15th February – Friday 19th February; Museum of Childhood
For more fun days out ideas, head to KidRated