LET OFF SOME STEAM HERE: Bewl Water
For families looking for an adrenalin-fuelled half-term activity, Bewl Water, an 800-acre site on the largest reservoir in the South East, has expanded its Laser Tag Challenge. Upon entering the 4,000sq metre laser tag area, guests will be provided with an infrared laser rifle and sensors, which players aim at and shoot to register a ‘hit’ or ‘kill’ in a variety of different games and maps. After working up an appetite, guests can then enjoy a selection of light meals, cakes, ice-creams and hot and cold drinks at Bewl’s dog-friendly Waterfront Café, which has a large terrace looking out over the water.
Lamberhurst, Kent, TN3 8JH
SEE A FILM HERE: Picturehouse Cinemas
Raining? Head to one of Picturehouse’s many venues for Kid’s Club, which will be showing Dora And The Lost City Of Gold during half-term. This live-action reimagining of one of Nickelodeon’s most popular pre-school cartoons fast-forwards to the teenage years of the young explorer. Now, Dora (Isabela Moner) faces her most dangerous adventure yet: high school. As intrepid as ever, she ends up leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg), a mysterious jungle dweller (Eugenio Derbez), and a ragtag group of teens on a quest to save her parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Peña) and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.
In cinemas from 22nd February
GO ON A DIGITAL TOUR HERE: V&A
Families can enjoy free activities and events at the V&A every day. During the school holidays, the museum lays on additional events to get families involved. We like the look of its digital games – which can be used via mobile or tablet using the museum’s free wi-fi – which span everything from quizzes to historical hairstyling challenges. Our pick is V&A Secret Seekers, where eight characters from the V&A’s history will guide families on a treasure hunt to unlock secrets of the museum.
Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL
PLAY DETECTIVE HERE: Sherlock: The Official Live Game
Sherlock: The Official Live Game is opening up its doors to families over February half-term with a limited-time family ticket offer. Suitable for detectives aged ten and over, the game combines an immersive experience with an escape game and themed dining area. Families can put their heads together to try and tackle a series of puzzles, challenges and mysteries over the 100-minute live gaming experience while exploring some of Sherlock’s most memorable sets via clues from original cast members including Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott. Families will be able to get 40% off tickets over half-term.
West 12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd's Bush, W12 8PP; 16th February-1st March
TAKE AN ART CLASS HERE: The Royal Academy
This half-term, the RA is holding family workshops based around some of its current exhibitions. As part of its Picasso and Paper programme, families can make and illustrate a pop-up book in a drop-in workshop all about inventing with paper like Picasso. Using his theatre sets as inspiration, participants will create a miniature stage set using cut-out and collage techniques. If your child doesn’t like crowds or loud noises, look out for the quiet zone available during select family studios: try a relaxing art-making activity or take some time out from the workshop in a peaceful environment.
Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD; 21st February
HEAD OFF TO CAMP HERE: Maggie & Rose
Maggie & Rose’s clubs are family friendly spaces for little ones and grown-ups to enjoy together. The clubs are all about learning through play and follows the Scandinavian model of lengthening the years of play for as long as possible. Maggie & Rose’s February half-term camps at the Kensington and Chiswick clubs are available to non-members and members alike. Running half- and full-day sessions, the camps aim to inspire and offer children unusual, creative themes. We like the sound of ‘L.O.V.E’, where children will explore romance by getting immersed in messy fun or whipping up a storm in the club’s cooking school.
Kensington and Chiswick; various dates between 17th-21st February
BOOK TICKETS FOR THIS: Matilda The Musical
Matilda The Musical has been seen by over 9m people across more than 70 cities worldwide. Still delighting audiences of all ages as it approaches its ninth year in London, the hit show plays to packed houses at the Cambridge Theatre six days a week. The theatre will be adding an extra performance on Thursday 20th February at 2pm especially for half-term. Expect excellent songs from Tim Minchin to enhance Roald Dahl’s classic tale.
Earlham Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9HU; 20th February
GET BAKING HERE: Bread Ahead
For the first time, immersive bakery Bread Ahead will be offering two family baking workshops at its Wembley site. First up, Bread Ahead will be teaching children how to create heart-shaped stained-glass biscuits. During the class, children will learn how to cut beautiful shortbread biscuits before decorating them with boiled sweets to make edible stained-glass treats. For those looking to roll up their sleeves and get their hands messy, the baking course lasts for 90 minutes and can be enjoyed as a family. One adult goes free for every child booked in.
26-28 Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0NP; 22nd February
BE ACTIVE HERE: Third Space Islington
Health club Third Space has opened its sixth spot, this time in Islington. The new club features state-of-the-art training facilities including a 7,000sq ft arena with a custom-built track, athletic rig, world-class equipment and performance cardio areas. New for the brand is its first kids’ gym concept, Little Space, a separate family area featuring a dedicated family pool, multi-functional sports hall, dance studio, climbing wall and a specialised, Ofsted-registered creche, Tiny Space, for children up to five. The Little Space programme will be synchronised to the adult timetable to enable parents and children to workout at the same time.
15 Esther Anne Place, Islington, N1 1UL
GET BACK TO NATURE HERE: Squire’s Garden Centres
There are some great things for children to do at Squire’s this half-term. The highlight is a class where children can paint ceramic bird feeders for the garden. There are also free activities, including a ‘Spring Hunt’ competition around the garden centre and a spring flower paper maze. All Squire’s ‘Create & Grow’ activities take place from 17th to 21st February from 10am to 4pm. There’s no need to book, simply turn up on the day. Each activity takes around 20 minutes.
Various venues across London and Surrey; 17th-21st February
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