Thank you Alia at Explore London With Kids for this fantastic half term guide! Alia is mother to two young boys and cofounder of Explore London With Kids. They curate and review the best attractions and upcoming events, incorporating technology, to make it accessible for busy modern parents.
Half term can be a stressful time for parents as they prepare to host the kids unshackled from the structured routine of normal school days. Whilst parents may initially delude themselves and imagine a utopian setting where their kids will be able to self-entertain and be constructive at home for five days, those thoughts are quickly replaced by the nightmare scenario that every parent dreads i.e. a marathon run of back to back screen time flipping between cartoons, movies and video games. That image alone is enough to kick off the frantic google searches.
At Explore London With Kids we believe half terms should be an opportunity to make new memories, expand their horizons and of course offer some amazing stories to share with their friends on return to school. We also appreciate, with the other hundred or so things going on, how difficult and time consuming it can be for parents to organise an exciting half term week which both the kids and the parents will love. That’s why we have prepared a jam packed itinerary for parents to take inspiration from and which incorporates different interests, weather scenarios and range of budgets. So buckle up the kids and get ready to make some amazing memories!
10am: Our first stop has to be ZSL London Zoo as nothing is more enthralling for kids than seeing their favourite animals at the zoo. Look out for feeding times…
and the tons of live shows every day. For extra excitement you could remind the kids that this is the same zoo where the gorilla escaped from!
3pm: You could extend your time at the zoo or call it a day but since you’re here already you might as well take advantage of the boating lake and adventure playgrounds at Regent’s Park . The Marylebone Green Playground contains climbing frames, tunnels and sand pits divided into 3 themed zones.
10am: This venue is most conveniently reached by the tube (which offers even more excitement for the kids). The iconic Natural History Museum is full of amazing exhibits from the full sized animatronic T-Rex, giant blue whale skeleton, live earthquake experience and loads more. Don’t miss out on the themed Explorer Backpacks for kids under 7 (filled with pens, paper, games and activities) for an extra immersive experience. If your kids can’t get enough of dinosaurs then do check out the life size dinosaur trail at Knebworth House on another day when the weather is nice.
2pm: By the this point the kids will be buzzing with facts and in full explorer mode so why not walk 30 seconds and ignite their imaginations with space crafts and space suits at the Science Museum (literally next door!). Don’t miss out on ‘The Garden’ in the basement filled with hands on activities for the kids to enjoy including a bubble show.
10am: Read the abridged version of ‘10,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ (or Finding Nemo!) to your kids the night before to set the scene for this epic voyage deep into the sea to explore sharks, penguins and sea turtles at the SEA Life London Aquarium.
Look out for the augmented reality polar bear!
12pm: From deep under the sea to soaring above high. Let your kids see London as they have never seen it before – from 443 feet high in the air at the London Eye. Play a game spotting famous landmarks.
2pm: Round up the day with an immerse experience in the world of Shrek in the Shrek’s Adventures quest and ride attraction. Watch live fairy-tale themed shows, visit Shrek’s swamp, find your fortune in the crystal ball, get lost in the Mirror maze and reveal your inner Ogre when needed.
10am: You are strongly advised to set toy purchase budgets in advance of entering this magical world of toys and activities at London’s legendary toy store Hamleys. But this is so much more than a toy store with live demonstrations and play stations demonstrating a wide range of activities and toys.
2pm: Hamleys is a stone’s throw away from some of the best west end theatre venues and no half term can be complete without at least catching one matinee show. There are so many shows to choose from so check out what kids events are happening right now.
10am: Time for some animal shows, fun fair rides, carousels, inflatables, tractor rides, acres of outdoor and under cover soft play activities plus the Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground at the amazing Willows Activity Farm.
2pm: With the range of activities on offer Willows Activity Farm can easily last the whole day however if the kids (and you!) are still hankering for more, how about a round of crazy golf at Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf with waterfalls, streams, lagoons and huge dinosaurs with animatronic features.
Some additional options for the older kids to enjoy:
– Will your teenagers get excited about a tunnel slide? How about one that is 178m high and takes 40 seconds to slide down. Check out the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit. (8yrs+)
We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do with the kids over half term. This is only the tip of the iceberg with so many more attractions and upcoming events on offer at Explore London With Kids. We connect parents with fun things to do with their kids. So start exploring and discover your next family adventure!