The Best Things To Do With Kids This Half Term

It’s half term next week, and if your kids’ calendars are still looking sparse, don’t panic – this year’s October break is filled with family-friendly afternoon teas, fun days out around London and plenty of Halloween arts and crafts opportunities to get children feeling creative. Here are SL’s top picks to keep the little ones entertained…

Sleeping Beauty Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

This month The Dorchester is launching a one-off half term afternoon tea package for children. Complete with special entertainment from the English National Ballet School’s young dancers, the ‘Sleeping Beauty Afternoon Tea’ will see key characters from Sleeping Beauty grace The Promenade, pirouetting, plié-ing and jeté-ing amongst guests enjoying scones and cream, as they stop to share magical tales with younger visitors.

53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QA; 22nd-26th October


Pumpkin Carving at Fortnum & Mason

This October, Fortnum & Mason’s popular ice-cream Parlour will transform into ‘The Parlaghhh’, complete with a Halloween-themed menu. Menu highlights include toffee apple sundae with hot toffee sauce poured at the table; and ‘Witches Brew’ – a mix of white chocolate and spirulina served with whipped cream, popping candy, and chocolate and raspberry sauce. The department store will also be running children’s pumpkin-carving classes on 28th October. Here, children will be guided on how to safely and imaginatively carve pumpkins as they create their own lanterns.

181 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1A 1ER; 26th-31st October


Biscuit Decorating at GAIL’s Bakery

GAIL’s Bakery will be treating little ones to Halloween biscuit-decorating workshops throughout half term. Designed for children under ten, the classes will guide guests through decorating spooky-shaped gingerbread biscuits with icing. Spots at these classes are free of charge and the workshops will run in bakeries across London.

Various locations; 22nd-25th October


Aardman Workshops at Picturehouse Cinemas

We’re most excited about Aardman’s model-making workshops for families, taking place across different Picturehouse Cinemas. Aardman’s expert model maker George Watson will be leading the workshops, showing little ones how to make their very own Gromit or Shaun the Sheep. The session is for children and parents only and is suitable for ages six and over. Children need to be accompanied by an adult, but don’t worry, parents will be given modelling clay too.

Various locations; 23rd-26th October


Autumn-themed Family Games at HarvestFest

Skylight London, the pop-up at Tobacco Dock, has switched things up to focus on autumn. This half term, families are welcome to head to the rooftop where they will be able to play an array of seasonal lawn games and channel their competitive energy into a game of 'horseshoes', urban pallet skittles or 'apple draughts', where traditional counters are replaced by apples and played across a giant black and orange checkerboard.

Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF


Try A New Kids Menu at Sophie’s Soho

Sophie’s Soho has launched a new children’s menu, just in time for half term. For £7, kids will get a choice of Creedy Carver roast chicken served in a toasted pitta with tomato and cucumber salad; tomato and basil penne with Westcombe cheddar; Sophie’s classic hamburger with house fries; or pit-roasted baked potato with cheese sauce and salad; followed by a homemade ice-cream waffle cone or a fresh fruit salad. Crayons will be on hand, too.

42-44 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7NB      


Halloween Workshops at Squire’s Garden Centres

Things are getting a little bit spooky at Squire’s Garden Centres. Here, little ghouls can paint a ceramic bat tealight holder; decorate a spooky ghost mobile to scare away unwanted visitors; and enjoy a pumpkin pursuit around the garden centre. There’s no need to book, simply drop into Squire’s (excludes Chertsey and Windsor) anytime between 10am and 4pm. Fancy dress is very much encouraged.

Various locations around Surrey; 22nd-31st October


A Pirate's Life For Me at The V&A Museum of Childhood

On 20th October, the V&A Museum of Childhood launches its first major exhibition focused on fictional pirates and their influence in popular culture. At its heart a large-scale pirate ship will inspire learning through active play. Real pirate coins and treasures will bring visitors into contact with a more authentic world, allowing them to see what influenced their favourite pirate characters. Highlights include the first painting of Captain Pugwash, an original illustrated costume design for Captain Hook for the first production of Peter Pan in 1904, and Lego’s iconic Black Seas Barracuda ship.

Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA; from 20th October


The Tiger Who Came To Tea Afternoon Tea at The Savoy

The Savoy has partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Books to launch a children’s afternoon tea themed around The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Launched as part of the 50th anniversary of Judith Kerr’s treasured classic, the iconic picture book is the inspiration for a feast of teatime treats, drawn from the tea that Sophie shared with the visiting tiger: think child-friendly sandwiches, tiger-striped scones and pastries that playfully reference moments in the story.

Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 0EZ


Kids-Friendly Ramen at Kanada-Ya

Ramen restaurant group Kanada-Ya has launched a new kid’s menu, available only at its Upper Street branch. For £6.90, youngsters will be able to choose between chicken karaage and panda onigiri as starters, while the ‘Mini Mains’ selection features two favourites from the grown-up menu: mini chicken paitan and mini vegetarian ramen. Once the slurping is all done, kids will be kept busy colouring-in while grown-ups enjoy their full-sized portions.  

35 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0PN


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