Family-friendly activities for February half term
If you’re visiting London with children over the next few weeks, you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s school holiday time (referred to in England as ‘half-term’). There are mountains of activities for you to take your kids to around the city, so scroll down for our top picks.
Commonwealth Family Week at Westminster Abbey
Monday 12 – Friday 16 February
The Commonwealth is a historic partnership of 52 countries, each previously part of the British Empire. This half-term, Westminster Abbey is teaming up with the Royal Commonwealth Society to host a series of family-friendly activities. You can take part in sessions such as ‘Art in the Nave’ and ‘Dance, Music and Storytelling’, while there’s also a daily Commonwealth Family Tour of the Abbey at 1.15pm, from Monday to Thursday.
Family tickets for Westminster Abbey start at £40. Read more and book tickets at westminster-abbey.org.
Chinese New Year at Shrek's Adventure! London
Saturday 10 – Saturday 18 February
This is the place to meet the characters from the much-loved Shrek films, through live, fairy tale-themed shows and on board the four-dimensional DreamWorks Tours bus. During half-term however, the attraction will also be home to Master Po Ping, star of the Ku Fu Panda films. Meet him inside Mr Ping’s Noodle Shop, where you can celebrate Chinese New Year together – and get a few selfies.
Online family tickets start at £84 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children). Book tickets at www.shreksadventure.com/london.
Frankenstein at Kensington Central Library
5-6pm on Monday 19, Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 February
This immersive theatrical show follows the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and is specially designed to bring libraries to life. Follow the ghost of Victor Frankenstein around the museum’s secret hidden corners, to experience the story right in front of you with accompanying sound effects.
Tickets cost £6 each. Read more and book tickets at designmynight.com.
Oceans Family Festival at Natural History Museum
Tuesday 13 February – Thursday 15 February
Expect wave after wave of family fun in South Kensington, where the Natural History Museum has organised activities to keep children busy in various places around the building. Make your own coral, build a marine reptile skeleton, or join in at an interactive science show. What’s more, for the whole of February the museum is offering free entry for kids (under 17 years old) to its Whales: Beneath the Surface exhibition.
Entry to the majority of the Natural History Museum is free. Read more at www.nhm.ac.uk.
Ship Shape at HMS Belfast
10.15am-12.40pm or 1.15pm-3.40pm on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February
The floating museum HMS Belfast is 80 years old this year, so the staff have got a big task on their hands making it clean and tidy for the celebrations. For half-term, you can join the team of conservation experts and help them make everything shipshape. It’s a unique way to learn more about this historic warship and you’ll even get a badge at the end for your efforts.
General entry to HMS Belfast starts at £26 for a family (1 adult and 2 children), then book your Ship Shape place via firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more and book tickets at www.iwm.org.uk.