What To Do With Kids This Half-Term

Half-term is approaching. 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 creative. Here are SL’s top picks for keeping the little ones entertained…


F&M’s official Halloween events have already sold out, but there’s still plenty of themed fun taking place around the department store. The Parlour will have two new spooky treats on the menu: the ‘Halloween Sundae’ comprises mint choc chip and Bickfield Farm milk ice-creams, spirulina, raspberry sauce, chantilly, charcoal powder and assorted Halloween sugar decorations; while a lemon drizzle cupcake offers a choice of red blood orange, black charcoal or green spirulina cream-cheese icing. The store’s new confectionery department is the place to head for trick or treaters – make sure to stock up on Heinz Baked Beanz truffles.

181 Piccadilly, St James’s, W1A 1ER; throughout half-term week

Visit FortnumAndMason.com

GET SPOOKY HERE: Gail’s Bakery

Gail’s Bakery is hosting Halloween biscuit-decorating workshops throughout half-term. Designed for children under ten, classes will guide them through the process of decorating spooky-shaped gingerbread biscuits with icing. Classes are free of charge and the workshops run in Gail’s bakeries across London.

Various locations across London; from 29th October

Visit GailsBread.co.uk 


Skylight London, the pop-up at Tobacco Dock, has switched things up to focus on autumn. This half-term, families should head to the rooftop to play an array of seasonal lawn games and channel their competitive energies 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

Visit TobaccoDockLondon.com

Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason
Gail's Bakery
Gail's Bakery
Tobacco Dock
Tobacco Dock

HAVE A SLEEPOVER HERE: V&A Museum of Childhood

The V&A Museum of Childhood is hosting a ‘magical’ half-term sleepover. Children aged 6-12 can enjoy an evening of magic and exploration as they bed down for the night among the museum’s artefacts. At the ‘Dead Disco’, children will be able to throw some shapes and mix an edible potion. During the musical bedtime story, guests will find out what happened to the museum’s last mischievous apprentice. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA; 12th-13th October

Visit VAM.ac.uk


The Savoy has partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Books to host an afternoon tea themed around The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Judith Kerr’s 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

Visit TheSavoyLondon.com


The RA is holding family workshops based around some of its current exhibitions. Drawing on Helene Schjerfbeck’s expressive and energetic studies of herself, children will learn to create their own self-portraits, experimenting with painting techniques from abstract to impressionist. Another workshop focuses on contemporary sculpture, inspired by the work of Antony Gormley. Guided by his forests of sculptures, big and small, little ones will explore his casting technique and make their own miniature plaster maquettes to take home.

Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD; 23rd October

Visit RoyalAcademy.org.uk

V&A Museum of Childhood
V&A Museum of Childhood
The Savoy
The Savoy
Royal Academy
Royal Academy


Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival returns for its 13th year with an exploration of fairy tales for our times led by some of today’s best writers, thinkers and cultural observers. Kids will love the ‘Fairy Tale Trail’. Using a playful trail kit, families can discover the secrets of their favourite fairy tales through cryptic puzzle-solving, creative looking, drawing and games. Interactive theatre-maker Anna Bruder’s activities explore classic, dark and multi-cultural fairy tales. For those brave enough to complete the trail, a reward awaits them.

Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX; 21st-27th October

Visit SouthbankCentre.co.uk

PLAY WITH LEGO HERE: Horniman Museum

Discover historical highlights from around the world made entirely from Lego bricks with Brick Wonders at the Horniman Museum. From an ancient Egyptian pyramid and Old London Bridge to a coral reef and the international space station, kids will travel through history and explore more than 50 models made using half a million Lego pieces. Visitors can build their own brick wonders in interactive play areas – including a graffiti wall and big bricks for little hands – and the exhibition includes a mini-cinema showing short Lego animations.

100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ; until 27th October

Visit Horniman.ac.uk


Ally Pally is offering the chance to see one of the UK’s bestselling and most beloved children’s authors as she launches the latest book in the Tracy Beaker series, We Are The Beaker Girls. At this interactive event, Jacqueline Wilson will reveal what happens next to Tracy and her daughter Jess, inviting us inside the mind of Tracy and her plans for the future. There will also be a guest appearance from the illustrator of Wilson’s books, Nick Sharratt, who will invite children to draw a character from the book along with him in real time. What’s more, all books pre-bought online will be signed by the author.

Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY; 21st October

Visit AlexandraPalace.com


Over half-term, Picturehouse cinemas around the UK will be holding ‘A Morning with Wallace & Gromit and Shaun The Sheep’ to celebrate 30 years of Aardman’s best-loved creations. The morning will feature a selection of Wallace & Gromit shorts – A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave – plus an exclusive sneak peek at Aardman’s new film, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon, which hits cinemas on 18th October.

Various locations and dates across the UK

Visit Picturehouses.com

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