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Things to do during October half-term in London

Go Ape adventures. Image courtesy of Go Ape.
Treat the kids to top family-friendly attractions, interactive activities and fun October events in London during the October half-term school break. Read More

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Keep the kids entertained (and on your side) during October half-term 2019 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. And with so many things to do over half-term in London, make sure you stay for the whole break: these family-friendly hotels and top restaurants for kids will help you plan your visit.

Cool stuff for teens this half-term in London

Find more things to do with teenagers in London.

Refresh your look

Seek out more shopping hotspots in London.

Reach #familygoals at top London attractions

Find more London attractions for October half-term.

Try October half-term activities in London

  • Head to the child-sized city of Kidzania in Westfield London, where little ones can enjoy more than 60 interactive activities.
  • Learn how Miss Florence Nightingale became one of the world’s most famous women during a special storytelling activity at the Florence Nightingale Museum.
  • Celebrate Diwali with a range of activities, from Diwali on Trafalgar Square, to the Diwali: Festival of Light at National Maritime Museum.
  • Prepare your sea legs for a musical adventure on the high seas, with Cutty Sark’s Ports of Call experience.
  • Calling budding filmmakers… Take on the Documentary Film Challenge with your family at IWM London. You can gain some inspiration by meeting war veterans or joining storytelling sessions about animals’ roles in conflict.
  • Search for hidden messages and crack difficult codes as you go on a D-Day family mission on HMS Belfast, or keep the ship in top-notch condition during Ship Shape Saturdays.
  • Be amazed by the animals that once lived in London with video-based exhibition Beasts of London at Museum of London.
  • Snap an Instagram shot at Carnaby’s ZSL London Zoo pop-up, For People, For Wildlife, as you learn about the life in Nepal, all in aim of helping the local communities.
  • Learn about the lives of female prisoners in the Tower of London through trails, performances and more.
  • Hear tales and music of the world during free Tales from afar at the British Museum.
  • Join in on Abbey Birthday celebrations with brass-rubbing, meet medieval characters and family-friendly Eucharist as Westminister Abbey turns 750-years old.
  • Take the job of Queen Elizabeth I's spy masters with cool workshops and performances at Hampton Court Palace.
  • See if Princess Louise gets her way as her mother, Queen Victoria visits her at Kensington Palace, then follow Victoria's story trail, finding the Queen's treasures along the way.
  • Enjoy heaps of activity at the Unicorn Theatre: see Maggot Moon or Anansi the Spider, then get your creative flair on at Anasi Patterns and other art workshops.
  • Explore the National Portrait Gallery with an added tonne of fun as you follow trails which teach you and the kids how to draw – then enjoy a special offer on kids’ lunchbox at Portrait Café.
  • Pull out your detective’s gear for a fun-filled Where’s Wally? hunt at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club or the London Transport Museum.
  • Celebrate autumn with a ceilidh, then munch on street food, dig through the market and attend workshops, all as part of Seasonal Shindig at Geffrye Museum.
  • Learn how plants got their names in storytelling sessions, become an expert stage performer or explore the vast grounds during Autumn Antics at Kew Gardens.
  • Look out for school holiday activities at more of London’s children's museums and attractions during the half-term break, including sleepovers and arts and crafts.

Discover more family fun with our 101 things to do with kids in London.

Find out-of-this-world experiences

  • Be transported to the land of fairytales at Southbank Centre this half-term. Move with the music at a fairytale-themed dance workshop, follow a special trail or be part of an interactive show full of magical stories. 
  • Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in Greenwich: see artefacts from the Apollo 11 mission at The Moon Exhibition at National Maritime Museum; learn about other moons at the Royal Observatory’s Marvellous Moons displays; study an Elizabethan portrait with Mortal Moon at Queen’s House; or see a moon-themed planetarium show at Peter Harrison Planetarium.
  • Experience a sneak peek of winter at the Ice Bar with a cosy cape and hot cuppa in hand, where kids go free this half-term.
  • Watch the kids learn the best of theatre's tricks as they produce their own animal-inspired show during Behind The Scenes Magic workshop at the Museum of London.
  • Master the controls as you emulate being a pilot at the Emirates Aviation Experience.

Get your spook on at Halloween in London

Look out for other spooky children's Halloween activities across the city.

Book the best kids half-term London shows

Find more children's shows in London.

Dig into hands-on activities

  • Let the kids channel their creativity at Nick Ellwood's drawing and art workshops during The Big Draw at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
  • Go on an Operation river rescue! workshop at Museum of London Docklands to investigate the reason behind pollution in rivers.
  • See the kids learn about street-art from Carleen de Sözer, and even create their own murals at Alexandra Palace’s five-day From the Street workshop.
  • Create a self-portrait painting masterpiece or get your hands dirty with a sculpture workshop at the Royal Academy.
  • Master the art of origami at Bang Bang Oriental's free workshop.
  • Assist wildlife researchers (and become one yourself) as you pond-drip, birdwatch and create your own leaf hero at the London Wetland Centre.
  • Take the little ones down to the National Gallery for a session of Studio Play – an open-ended play featuring sensory materials, inspired by the surrounding paintings and exhibits.
  • Surprise little cooks with pizza-making classes at Mews of Mayfair.
  • Watch the kids master the world of digital technology and design through Digital Kids workshops at the V&A.
  • Or see them dive into acting at drama workshops at The Old Vic.
  • Prep Greenwich Park for upcoming winter season at bunch of autumnal activities and talks (and possible visits from squirrels!).

If you're visiting London in and around half-term, check out our pick of the best things to do in autumn, including key October events. And keep an eye out for family-friendly activities with our guides to what's on this weekend and things to do today.

Book tickets to family-friendly attractions in advance, to save money and guarantee entry.

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