There are plenty of fun and exciting activities for kids to enjoy during the May half term from May 27th to June 4th in London.
Here are some ideas:
Location: Chiswick House W4 2QN
Dates: 2nd -19th June
Ticket prices: Adults: From £20/ Children: From £10/ Under 3s: free
The ever-popular Giffords Circus will return for an extended three-week run in Chiswick this summer with a brand-new show ‘Les Enfants du Paradis.’ The renowned production designer Takis will be designing sets and costumes for a new Giffords Circus show, which promises to transport audiences to a magical world under the big top. The show, titled ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’, features Tweedy the Clown, who has been with the circus for over 15 years and will showcase new comic routines and skills. Tweedy will be at the centre of the story and action, and his slapstick comedy designed to have everyone laughing.
Location: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT
Dates: 30th and 31st May 2023
Tickets: seating from £25 -£35 / standing £5,£10
This unique new production with a BBC CBeebies twist, will be performed especially for preschool children and their families, featuring CBeebies’ favourite stars. Four performances will be recorded in front of a live audience in London’s iconic open-air Globe Theatre before airing on the BBC CBeebies Channel and BBC iPlayer in 2024. Guaranteed to include plenty of songs, dancing and joining in. You can also extend your visit to Shakespeare’s Globe with a Twelfth Night: Family Workshop, perfect for 3 – 5-year-olds and their grown-ups.
Location: Paddington, Kingston, Thames Ditton and Canary Wharf: £85 – £95 per boat / from £11 per person with 8 people in the boat.
Explore London from the water in a self-driven boat. They are purpose-built picnic boats, where you can enjoy the city’s sights and wildlife. It’s the perfect way to spend time with friends and family.
Location: 55 Wells Street, W1W 8HJ
Date: 31st May, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Learn how to design your cartoon characters and then draw them in a one-page comic strip story. Study the best ways and bad ways to draw pictures for comics, and how to do proper speech bubbles. Great for beginners, and fun for those with a little more experience.
Location: 66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS
Bee Kindness Family Workshop (aged 5+)
Date:28th May, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Price: £15 Adult, £10 Child
Learn about the history of beekeeping through cultures and see how pollinator-friendly plants grow.
Chocolate Workshop (aged 5+)
Date: 31st May, 10am -12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Price £25 Adult, £20 Child
Learn about the way chocolate is grown and made into the bars we all love today. Everyone will have a chance to create their chocolate treats and experiment with a variety of botanical ingredients.
Family Plant Painting Workshop (aged 5+)
Date: 29th May, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Price: £10 Adult, £5 Child
Unlock the vibrant colours living in our plants to create your paint from them. Children will mix their paints and enjoy a relaxing studio time where they will have a chance to transform plants into art. The price includes entry to the Garden that day.
Location: 240 The Broadway, SW19 1SB
The Polka Theatre is one of the leading theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively for children aged 0-12. They have a huge selection of workshops and performances . A great one to check out is The Everywhere Bear (aged 3-7). Children can join in the bear’s big adventure when he falls unnoticed from a backpack whilst in Class One. He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, and carried off by a seagull… how will he ever make it back to Class One? This is a beautiful story, from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb, springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.
Dates: 27th May – 13th August, times vary.
Price: from £9.
Location: Pentland Theatre, 5 Nether St, N12 0GA
Date: 27th May – 1st June
Tickets: from £12
Join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a tiny snail’s incredible trip around the world, inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book.
Location: Apthorp Gallery, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, N12 0GA
Date: 28th May – 3rd June, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sat: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
To celebrate Artist Anna Bruder’s current books Fun for Fingers and Finger Sports published by Graffeg, she has created an exciting, interactive exhibition perfect for children and their families. Step into an illustrated world and wriggle, skip and twirl your fingers in an array of hilarious games based on your favourite hobbies and sports. On Saturday 3rd June, there will be a drop-in interactive workshop where you will be able to make your finger puppets and games which you can take home at the end of the day.
Science Museum: Science Fiction
Location: Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD
Date: end of August 2023
Price: £15 (free for ages under 7)
The Science Museum’s Science Fiction exhibition invites visitors to embark on an exciting and interactive journey guided by artificial intelligence of alien origin. Explore a unique spaceship, look out for an unknown planet, and discover how scientists and science fiction creators have imagined and built new worlds to help us understand our own. The exhibition features authentic objects from celebrated movies, TV shows, and books, as well as paintings, artworks, and photography, and offers visitors a deeper understanding of how scientific imagination inspires the future.
The Southbank Centre has so much to offer over the half-term, here are a few great examples of what they have lined up. For the full program click here.
Location: Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
One & Everything Family Trail (aged 5+)
Date: 31st May – 4th June, 10.30am
The trail introduces us to some bouncing alphabets, two young brothers who invented their own way of writing and some exciting ways for you to tell your own tales.
Discover mysterious scripts, secret alphabets and hidden stories, all inspired by Sam Winston’s book One and Everything.
The Gruffalo (aged 3+)
Date: 1st – 4th June, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm
Price: Adult £22, Child £16.50
Everyone’s favourite classic. Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Marvellous Myth Huner Ceilidh (aged 5+)
Date: Fri 2nd June, 1:00 pm
Love heroes, monsters and myths? Dust off your maps and jetpacks to visit Scotland’s most famous loch and have a knees-up at a fantastical live ceilidh.
Spring Family Festival at London Zoo (all ages)
Dates: 27th May – 4th June
Tickets: free as part of the zoo entry (standard weekend adult: £33/child: £23.10) (standard weekday: £31/child: £21.70) all other price variations click here
Location: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
You and your family can celebrate the Zoo springing into life with an action-packed festival programme of animal talks, colourful arts and crafts, interactive game shows, music, workshops and a whole host of other spring festivities to mark the season.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Location: Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Take part in these fantastic family workshops. You can work with plasticine to create your very own celeb sculpture at the Make-it: Sculpture, on the 27th May, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm, £12. Or join the creative drop-in workshop Celebration Wall Art , led by designer Tihara Smith to create wall art inspired by Caribbean culture on the 30th May, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm (free), this is aimed at children between the ages 5 and 12.
Wendy Shearer author and storyteller of Caribbean Tales will host a wonderful storytelling session for the whole family to enjoy on 31st May, 11:00 am – 3:40 pm(free). You are invited to participate in magical tales of shapeshifters and tricksters from a variety of islands.
Natural History Museum: Family Fun
Location: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, SW7 5BD
Date: 29th May – 4th June, 11:00-16:00
This May half-term, to celebrate the opening of their newest exhibition, Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur . They are inviting families to explore prehistoric life through fossils and engage in palaeontological activities and talks. Families will develop their interest and understanding of palaeontology through a variety of playful activities, such as Wild Mystery Detective, Dino Dig and Hands-on Nature: Dinosaurs.
Horrible Histories at Hampton Court Palace
Location: East Front, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey Surrey KT8 9AU
Date: 27th May – 3rd June; 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm ( 31 May will be British Sign Language interpreted)
Price: Adult £15.00 (ages 16 +) Child (ages 2 –15) £9.00 (ticket price doesn’t include palace entry)
This May half term, the zany production of Barmy Britain is set to take the stage at Hampton Court Palace. Audiences will have the chance to encounter the eccentric figures and impolite leaders of Britain’s peculiar history, such as King Henry I, William the Conqueror, and Henry VIII.
Hyde Park: Discovery Day – Time Travellers
Location: Hyde Park
Date: 30th May 2023 – Thursday 1st June
Travel back in time through The Royal Park’s history! Drop in anytime between 11:00 am-3:00 pm to take part in a variety of activities including creating a plant print with Hapa Zome, designing a park of the future or trying your hand at Calligraphy. Also, have a meet and greet with Queen Victoria. The activities are suitable for the whole family to enjoy, allowing you and your children to connect with heritage and nature together.
Location: 5 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QS
Date: until Oct 2023
Price: members go free, adult: £25.40, child: £12.70, cons: £20.30, groups: £23.40
The Crown to Couture exhibition at Kensington Palace in London is being called “the starriest fashion exhibition London has ever seen” by the Evening Standard. It features over 200 objects including ball gowns, court suits, handbags, and jewellery from both modern-day red carpet events and the Georgian Royal Court in the 18th century. The exhibition showcases iconic looks from recent years worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lizzo, Billy Porter, and Kendall Jenner, alongside historic pieces such as the yellow mantua on loan from National Museums Scotland and the Rockingham Mantua from the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection of Historic Royal Palaces.
Postal Museum – May half-term (aged 5-11)
Date: 30 May – 3 June 2023 / 11:00 – 16:00
Location: 15-20 Phoenix Pl, WC1X 0DA
Price: adult: £16, child(aged 3-5)/disabled young person(aged 16-24): £9, young person(aged 16-24): £11, all other prices click here. May half-term activities are included in museum entry ticket, it is a drop-in, we advise you to book in advance. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Look very closely and you might notice more than just the post when you visit the museum this spring. Some very hungry creatures can live in unexpected places, from helpful beasties to bugs keen to make a meal out of the museum collection. There will be a range of sustainable games, crafts, making and storytelling. Learn some fun ways you can help protect the natural world using recycled and reused materials. They will include: Munching Moths : 30th May: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Slippery Silverfish: 31st May: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Bothersome Beetles: 1st June: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Spider Guardians: 2nd June: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Snail Mail: 3rd June: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Location: 14 Pier Walk, SE10 0ES
Date: 27th May – 4th June
Price: Adult:£24, Cons:£23, 17 and under: free. Activities free with museum admission.
Enjoy curious and creative problem-solving challenges, and meet real-world engineers. Follow a self-guided interactive STEAM-inspired family-friendly trail. There are sessions of ‘Failure is your friend’ (aged 7+), a hands-on workshop, which will take place daily at 11:00 am, 100pm and 3:00 pm. Where families can learn about London’s various modes of transport and how engineers are working on green solutions to climate change. Work together to build a prototype and experiment to help make a difference. Step into the shoes of an engineer to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. There are 30-minute Storytelling sessions daily at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Plus the All Aboard play zone is a available to enjoy and explore.
Dalí : Cybernetics: The Immersive Experience (all ages)
Location: The Boiler House. 152 Brick Lane, E1 6RU
Date: on going, Mon, Weds, Thurs : 10:00am-7:00pm, Fri: 10:00am-8:00pm, Sat:9:00am – 8:00pm, Sun: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Price: Adult (13–64): £22.90, Child (4–12): £13.90, Senior (65+), Student (13–26), or NHS: £17.90. For all other ticket prices click here.
This exhibition allows you to step into the world of the surrealist Salvador Dalí’s work. Explore his creative mind through immersive installations and interactive displays. The exhibition features over 100 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs, alongside augmented reality experiences, virtual reality installations, and more.
Location: 48-49 Doughty St, WC1N 2LX
Date: 31st May – 2nd June, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm; book tickets in advance – click here
From the stench of sewage and coal smoke to the soap-filled washhouse, London was alive with smells. It was full of people, some rich and many poor. On this sensory family tour, you will step back in time and experience what life was really like in the height of the Victorian era. Learn about the past through a plethora of pungent smells and uncover some startling truths about the lower and middle classes as you handle objects from the past. You can also visit the exhibition “A Great and Dirty City: Dickens and the London Fog” after the tour.