Half-term is just around the corner, which means the kids will be off school and up for an adventure! Don’t worry though, keeping them busy doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve found the best free things to do this October half-term so you can make the most of that little snippet of quality time.
Family Sketching at the National Gallery
This is one for any budding artists. Have a look around the renowned National Gallery and its hundreds of pieces of artwork before stopping by their Family Sketching Salon. To mark their month of well being, the National Gallery are giving you a chance to get creative as a family by capturing paintings and places in playful ways.
Hackney City Farm
You don’t normally find a farm so close to a city, but Hackney City Farm makes a great day out. The farm is a community hub all about local produce and of course has a range of animals, including donkeys, pigs, goats and guinea pigs. Make sure you pop by the brilliant cafe and deli, Frizzante, while you’re there.
Anno’s Journey at Japan House
This is a beautiful exhibition by the Japanese children’s illustrator, Anno Mitsumasa. His work is characterised by a sense of warmth, curiosity and playful humour and this exhibition clearly demonstrates why his illustrations have appeared in children’s books for over 50 years. With a reading library and a chance to introduce beginner’s Japanese to the whole family, Anno’s Journey at Japan House is one not to be missed.
Workshops at the Museum of London
If you plan on going to the Museum of London's Beasts of London exhibition over half-term, make sure you do when there is a free event to go with it. There’s Behind the Scenes Magic, Backstage Tales, Teaser Trailers and so many more interactive workshops to get involved in. From storytelling to arts and crafts, there’s something for everyone.
Making Science Happen
You probably haven’t been to the Francis Crick Institute before, the biomedical research centre doesn’t automatically spring to mind when thinking about how to entertain the kids. However, Craft and Graft: Making Science Happen is a brilliant exhibition to showcase how the life-changing scientific research they do actually happens. Find out how the team feed a million fruit flies and why an eyelash is such an important scientific tool.
Create Your Fantasy World at the V&A
Lets face it, sometimes the kids are better at using technology than we are. This is a chance for them to put their digital skills to good use! The V&A are hosting innovative digital workshops where you can create your own fantasy world using their programming system. The sky's the limit so get creative and bring those drawings to life!
Splat: The Time Travelling Dormouse
There’s nothing better than a free show! This interactive music and theatre performance is another great thing to schedule into your visit at the Museum of London. Follow Splat, the Time Travelling Dormouse on his adventures through London’s past. You’ll have to avoid the plague, soothe some lions and join the circus, what a busy afternoon! This one is bound to be popular so make sure you book in advance.
Southbank Fairy Tale Trail
As part of the London Literature Festival, the Southbank Centre have organised a magical fairy tale trail for families to complete as a do-it-yourself adventure. Using their trail kit, discover the secrets of your favourite fairy tales as well as some more dark and mysterious stories. There may even be a reward if you manage to complete all the puzzle-solving and tasks along the way!
Hair-raising Halloween at Hyde Park
Finish half-term off by getting outside and into the Halloween spirit. Hyde Park is one of London’s most popular open spaces in the Autumn, but this hair-raising Halloween discovery day at the LookOut will make your visit a bit different. Explore the nature trail, investigate the witches den and create a potion before listening to a spooky story! Dressing up is encouraged so don’t forget you creepiest costume.
There are plenty of half-term activities to keep you busy but if you're still stuck, have a look at our other blog posts, 11 Fantastic October Half-Term Deals to Book Now and 13 Fun Things To Do With Kids This October Half Term.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.