Keep the kids entertained during October half-term (21 to 29 October 2023) in London with our pick of the capital’s best family activities and events over the school holidays.
Whether it's with teenagers or toddlers, pack your London October half-term holiday with fun activities, Halloween events and unique experiences. There are so many things to do over half-term in London, that you can easily fill the whole break: these family-friendly hotels and top restaurants for kids will help you plan your visit.
Only got the one day to explore the city? Make the most of your visit to the capital and tick off London’s top sites on the Total London Experience.
The week-long half-term holiday differs across the UK, with some regions choosing one week and other regions opting for the following week.
Reach family goals at top London attractions
- Pick up a Merlin London attractions pass to enjoy top attractions, including Madame Tussauds London and the London Eye.
- Spend some time at London’s top attractions for kids, from entering the land of the lovable ogre at Shrek’s Adventure! London to the historic Tower of London, which is home to the Crown Jewels.
- Go on a sightseeing cruise with City Cruises – pick up a 24-hour sightseeing pass and hop on and off to your heart's content.
- Have a fun family day out and say hello to some of your favourite animals at London Zoo this half-term.
- Stand 243m (800ft) above London while snapping family selfies at The View from The Shard.
- Or ride high above the river Thames on the IFS Cloud Cable Car, the perfect way to watch the sunset over the London skyline.
- Spend the day exploring some of the capital's best museums and galleries, from the Natural History Museum to the National Gallery.
Find more London attractions for October half-term.
Cool stuff for teens this half-term in London
- Get the adrenaline pumping on a thrilling adventure, from The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, to fast and furious speedboat rides or a vertigo-busting Up at The O2 climb.
- Master your skateboarding skills at London's best skate parks.
- Step into the city’s unique immersive experiences, from giant ball pits to VR games rooms.
- Create FOMO among your friends as you snap away at top Instagram spots in London, including Tower Bridge’s glass walkway, colourful Neal’s Yard and views from the Sky Garden.
- Grab an Insta-worthy cake and coffee at one of London's quirky cafes, including Peggy Porschen, Farm Girl or Biscuiteers.
- Go on a high-wire adventure at one of Go Ape’s testing courses.
- Have a go at table tennis or challenge yourself to mountain biking and BMX trails at Lee Valley VeloPark.
- Immerse yourself in culture at London's best museum and gallery exhibitions.
Find more things to do with teenagers in London.
October half-term activities in London for younger kids
- Head to the child-sized city of Kidzania in Westfield London, where little ones can enjoy more than 60 interactive activities.
- See the best London shows and musicals for kids including the award-winning Lion King musical London, mesmerising Wicked, and family-favourite, Matilda.
- Experience magical moments as the extraordinary tale of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to life on stage.
- Or watch London's longest magic show, West End Magic mix of illusion, comedy and more. 14 Oct
- Look out for school holiday activities at more of London’s children's museums and attractions during the half-term break.
Discover more family fun with our 101 things to do with kids in London.
Get your spook on at Halloween in London
- Transport yourself to the wizarding world at Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter for The Dark Arts Halloween takeover. Be sure to watch out for those who follow He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named roaming the studio...
- Encounter unsavoury characters from London's past at immersive The London Dungeon.
- Prepare for the ultimate scare as you navigate the Tombs at the London Bridge Experience.
- Take to the streets on a Ghost Walking Tour of Royal Maritime Greenwich* to discover sorrowful tales of drunken sailors and lingering spirits of the Royal Family.
- Spend Halloween at the Tower of London, following in the footsteps of the most infamous prisoners coming face to face with ghosts that roam the grounds.
- See if you have what it takes to be a sailor aboard the Cutty Sark and hear the gruesome tales form its trips around the world.
Look out for other spooky children's Halloween activities across the city.
October half-term events in London
- Attend talks, workshops and readings at the Southbank Centre London Literature Festival.
- Head to Covent Garden for an Autumn of entertainment with its famous Pumpkin Market, international street food pop-ups, and much more.
- Find out how people get around the city through rhythm, dance and storytelling at a Singing and Story session at the London Transport Museum.
Check back closer to the time to discover more October half-term events.
Outdoor half-term activities
- Get up close to some of your favourite big-screen stars with Scenes in the Square, including Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.
- Head over to Trafalgar Square and wave at the four bronze lion statues overlooking this iconic London landmark.
- Let the kids run wild during a visit to London's leafy Royal Parks, including Greenwich Park, sprawling Hyde Park and pretty Regent's Park.
- Treat yourself to some delicious street food from the open-air Southbank Centre Food Market.
Hit the shops in London
- Take a day trip to Bicester Village, a haven for those who love to bag a great deal on designer items.
- Discover the flagship LEGO Store's huge collection of exciting LEGO sets and create your own LEGO portrait with the in-store mosaic maker.
- Explore a colourful chocolate-filled wonderland with a visit to M&M's World in Leicester Square.
- Step into the magical world of Hamleys and browse the shelves of London's largest toy shop this half-term.
- Source the latest fashions for your winter wardrobe: head to Zara, or Primark on Oxford Street for great value items, venture to Carnaby for iconic brands such as Dr Martens and Liberty London or find the latest sportswear in Lillywhites and Niketown.
- Peruse the big-name stores at London's shopping centres and outlets, such as ICON Outlet at The O2, the London Designer Outlet, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
- Look for vintage threads in London’s markets, such as Portobello Road Market or Camden Market.
- Or stock up on sustainable fashion finds at the Buck Street Market.
- Be pampered in Covent Garden and Seven Dials as you stock up on makeup and beauty products. Options include Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Toni&Guy.
- Pop over to hidden gem St Christopher's Place to discover a trendy array of shops and boutiques.
Seek out more shopping hotspots in London.