Get ready for a week of free family fun during the May half-term holiday 2020 (also known as summer half-term).
Despite the current coronavirus outbreak and closures of many London venues, there are still heaps of free London-themed things to enjoy during May half-term.
Plan your May school holiday break with our guide to the top things to do during half-term from home: enjoy virtual experiences, find unmissable half-term activities and workshops, and tune in to online kids' shows and concerts.
Creative May half-term activities
- Hogwarts is calling! Make your own magical props and have a go at film-making with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
- Each Saturday brings a new episode of London Transport Museum's Hidden London Hangouts, covering secret spots on the Underground. 23 and 30 May
- Disney lovers can dabble in some awesome Disney-themed artsy activities.
- Upgrade your doodles during online drawing classes with Nick Ellwood, as you draw cartoons inspired by Greenwich's heritage. Until 31 May
- Get hands-on and reuse household waste to make a cardboard clipper based on Thames Clippers' boats.
- Look out for a new fun activity from Royal Museums Greenwich each day during half-term based around the sea, space and exploration. Daily
- Help the little ones make their own tiny book for their dolls by following the British Library’s tips.
- Turn your trash into treasure with the Horniman Museum and Gardens, which is putting on lots of crafts activities this half-term.
- Searching for a good story? Join the Polka Theatre for storytelling and activities based around Gorilla, The Paper Dolls or The Everywhere Bear.
- Curious kids can learn about botany through online edu-tainment workshops provided by Kew Gardens.
- Make some treats to devour later with Carnaby's Crumbs and Doilies' founder Cupcake Jemma; or take on the Biscuiteers Ice-olation Challenge.
Things to do from home for teens
- Join #LeakeStreetLIVE to learn a thing or two about graffiti, plus enjoy a live gig. 28 May at 5.30pm
- Learn about the Churchill War Rooms, the wartime bunker of Winston Churchill, with an online tour.
- Are you down for a Monday quiz? Beat your friends as you whizz through The National Theatre at Home Quiz themed around nature, literature and of course… theatre! 25 May at 7pm
- Make your way onto Somerset House’s website for a talk by DJ, poet and artist Juliana Huxtable about sustainability in the arts. 26 May at 7pm
- Are you a budding storyteller? Take the first steps with a Bush Theatre masterclass looking into the difference between theme and story. 27 May at 11am
- Join the Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomers on Twitter to learn new space facts each day of this month during #AstronoMay. Until 31 May
- Work out as a family at an online fitness class lead by London’s fitness experts.
- Missing museums and exhibitions? Here are some virtual art exhibitions and online museum exhibitions you’re bound to love.
- Use London backdrops as you catch up with your friends over Zoom with these awesome London-themed Zoom backgrounds.
Best online shows for kids and teens
- Teens interested in politics will want to see This House from the National Theatre. From 28 May
- Watch Sadler's Wells recording of Hussein Chalayan’s Gravity Fatigue dance performance, which explores themes of identity and displacement. 29 May
- Looking for free live gigs? See Imogen Heap (29 May) and Kaiser Chiefs (30 May) perform as part of the Royal Albert Home series.
- Add some West End theatre to your Friday, as The Shows Must Go On! revisits one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre shows each week. Past recordings have included Cats The Musical and The Phantom of the Opera. 29 May at 7pm
- Check if your school has access to the National Theatre Collection, an epic one-stop shop for more than 30 world-class productions previously played at the National Theatre.
Fun and educational activities for kids
- Join the latest in the series of Adventures in History with Imperial War Museums, as CBBC presenter Ben Shires meets a submariner in the navy. 27 May at 2pm
- Hooked on Animal Crossing? Look out for clues on Twitter as the V&A’s art challenge tasks you with collecting Arts and Crafts-themed items hidden on the museum’s website to bring into the game. Until 1 Jun
- Enjoy a royal treat each day at 10.30am with Westminster Abbey's live Royal Challenges on Facebook, including quizzes and treasure hunts for children aged three and above. Daily at 10.30am
Parks and gardens to enjoy this half-term
- If you're already in London, connect with nature by walking or cycling to one of London’s stunning parks. But make sure to stay safe and follow social distancing rules during your day out.
- Prefer to spend your week in the comfort of your home? Take a virtual wander through gorgeous Kew Gardens with a video tour.
- Spend some time at home admiring sculptures and interesting spots dotted along The Line, London’s first dedicated public art walk connecting The O2 to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.