October half term is coming soon and we’ve got some great activities to do with kids in London in our guide here. Our half term activity guide includes indoor and outdoor family-friendly activities to try this autumn school break. And we know not everyone feels comfortable getting out and about with their family during this Covid-19 pandemic, so we’ve included some virtual events to keep you entertained during half term at home. Feel out, while in! Enjoy…
Kew Gardens: Gruffalo Adventures
Gruffalo Adventures sets a trail though Kew’s Arboretum – home to 14,000 trees – and encourages families to play the role of the ‘little brown mouse’ to track down the legendary beast from the much-loved children’s book. Pick up your trail pack and get set for an adventure. Follow footprints, marks and feathers and figure out clues on our family-friendly trail. Keep your eyes peeled to spot the Gruffalo himself…
Where: Kew Gardens
When: 17 October – 1 November
Age recommendation: all
Cost: Included with entry to the Gardens. You must select a time slot for your visit in advance.
More info: website
RELATED CONTENT: Review of The Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens
artsdepot: Very Hungry Caterpillar
The timeless classic has made its way off the page and onto the stage. Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show The Very Hungry Caterpillar who celebrated its 50th Birthday in 2019.
When: 24-27 October, tickets limited don’t wait!
Where: artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 0GA
Age recommendation: Ages 1+. Children under 18 months (babes in arms) go free. They will not be allocated a seat but will require a ticket.
Cost: Tickets from £9
AFRORETRO: Upcycle old unloved t-shirts and sweatshirts into handy bags.
Story Time with Sita Thomas: Join Channel 5’s Milkshake! presenter Sita Thomas for an upbeat and interactive story time.
artsdepot Creative Explorers: Halloween session full of creative, sensory and messy play to help your little one explore the world and learn through play.
More info on all events: website
Within easy reach of London there are many pumpkin patches to explore. All are requiring pre-booking this year so make sure you get a slot in advance. Spend some time outdoors strolling around a farm, carefully choosing your pumpkin pals to bring home. Some farms are holding family events as well, so check websites for more details. Ones to try: Cammas Hall, Hitchin Lavender, Stanhill Farm and Pumpkin Village at Marsh Farm.
Westminster Abbey Family Day: Building History
Explore what it took to build the Westminster Abbey we know today and be inspired by people who helped build the history and stories told here. Discover the power of stories and buildings, the seen and the unseen, and reflecting on how we can tell today’s story. On this family day you’ll hear tremendous tales with storyteller Olivia Armstrong, follow a historic trail, meet an important Lady from the past who will reveal stories from her time at the Abbey, make a craft to help you explore the Abbey, and pick up a pack to continue the day at home.
When: 30 October; 10am – 3:30pm
Where: Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean’s Yard, SW1P 3PA
Age guidance: Activities are suitable for children aged 5+. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: Activities are free with entry to the Abbey.
Building History Virtual Tour: Have you ever wondered what lies behind the many locked doors of Westminster Abbey? Families are invited to join this interactive virtual tour that could only ever be delivered digitally.
More info on all events: website
London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo Half Term Activities
Both ZSL zoos have Halloween themed trails to help families have fun exploring the grounds and learning about the inhabitants. There will be zookeepers on hand to tell stories of how nature bites back, with Halloween-themed pop-up talks throughout the day.
ZSL video channel – watch the animals at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos come alive on the web. Videos are regularly posted showing what’s new and taking you on exclusive behind the scenes tours, as well as showing you all about ZSL’s conservation and science work.
RELATED CONTENT: Review of London Zoo’s Animal Adventure Zone