Family-friendly activities for February half term
If you’re visiting London with children this week or next, you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s school holiday time. There are mountains of activities for you to take your kids to around the city, so scroll down for our top picks.
Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank Centre (pictured above)
Tuesday 13 – Sunday 24 February
Head to the riverbank for this annual festival, where kids are at the centre of everything: there’s theatre, comedy acts and plenty of free events on the line-up, so it’s bound to be madness – and lots of fun.
Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX | Various charges for selected events | www.southbankcentre.co.uk
Damage Control escape room at HMS Belfast
Saturday 16 – Sunday 24 February
This escape room takes place on board the HMS Belfast, a World War II warship that now lives on the Thames. It’s based on ship-training exercises and players must limit the amount of damage inflicted on the ship. Meanwhile, on Saturday 16 and 24 Feb (11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm) HMS Belfast ticketholders can join a free Ship Shape session, during which you’ll help a team of conservation experts give the ship a good clean.
The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2JH | Adult £16.20, child £8.10 | Damage Control £94 per group (up to six players), which includes entry for the whole day | www.iwm.org.uk
Giant Games at the National Army Museum
Saturday 16 – Sunday 24 February
Head to Chelsea’s Army museum for these free, World War I-themed games. The museum has a life-sized board game, so the kids will feel teeny-tiny. The 30-minute sessions are free with entry to the museum, running every day between 11am and 4pm.
Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HT | Free entry | www.nam.ac.uk
Bricks in the Sky at the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Monday 18 – Sunday 24 February
This massive sculpture in Stratford offers great views of east London and an amazing, looping slide that takes you back down to the ground. For half-term, Lego artist Warren Elsmore will be up there, showing off his miniature models of London landmarks. There’s also a free play area filled with Lego bricks to enjoy.
Read our review of the slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2SS | Entry and slide: adult £17.50, child £12.50 | www.arcelormittalorbit.com
A Practically Perfect Adventure at the Bank of England Museum
Monday 18 – Friday 22 February
Follow a costumed actor around the museum on a storytelling adventure, then the kids can get creative with a chalkboard activity and colouring worksheets. The tours take place at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm every day.
Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH | Entry, tours and activities free | www.bankofengland.co.uk/museum
Roar Hide & Seek at Byron
Friday 22 – Sunday 24 February
This month the popular burger brand has reintroduced its dinosaur-themed menu options, including the Byronsauraus Rex BBQ beef burger (above). From Friday 22, every Byron restaurant is hiding 30 tiny T-Rex figurines in the surrounding area. If you find one, you’ll get a free beef, chicken or veggie burger!
Over 30 central London locations | B-Rex Burger menu from £12.50 | www.byronhamburgers.com
Videogames at The Victoria and Albert Museum
Until Sunday 24 February
South Kensington’s applied arts hub is diving into the world of computer gaming to explore design influences, as well as the cultural impact they’ve had from the mid-2000s onwards. There are also games to play and immersive installations.
Read our review of Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt
Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL | Free entry to the V&A; Videogames exhibition adult £18, child (11 and under) free | www.vam.ac.uk
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 at the Natural History Museum
Until 30 June
For slightly older children and teenagers, this firm favourite on the museum’s calendar is a good choice. In two dark rooms, the exhibition takes you around the world, under the sea and across the desert, highlighting the natural world’s struggle for survival along the way.
Read our review of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019
Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD | Free entry to the museum; Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition adult £13.50, child £8 | www.nhm.ac.uk
Did you know that global brand Body Worlds has opened its flagship here in London? Read our review of Body Worlds at London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus to find out more