Keep an eye on our family section for child (and teen) friendly events and activities throughout the year — there’s plenty for parents too.
HALLOWEEN: Looking for spooky soirees and ghostly goings-on for the kids? In the very near future we’ll be publishing our round-up of family-friendly Halloween events in London.
FAMILY DAYS OUT: Bored of trudging round the same old museums and parks? Try one of these seven alternative family days out in London, featuring caves, windmills and more. Or visit a budget-friendly alternative to the big attractions.
WHERE TO EAT: Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more options that just pizza and chips.
CULTURE VULTURES: You may think art galleries and theatres are a no-go when you’ve got little ones in tow, but these London theatres are great for kids’ shows, and these family-friendly art galleries will keep children happy, and have plenty for mum and dad too.
DINOSAUR MINI GOLF: This particular niche of mini golf is surprisingly common in London. We recently visited Sidcup’s offering, Lost Island Encounter. Other Jurassic fairways available.
PLANTASTIC FUN: Horniman Museum’s family exhibition, Plantastic, gives young botanists a chance to explore the world of plants in detail. £8.50 adult/£4.50 child/£22 family, until 1 November
MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD: The V&A’s lesser-known Bethnal Green cousin, the Museum of Childhood, has a programme of children’s events throughout the week, from drawing to a theatre workshop. Free/£5, 26-30 October
PIRATE PEPPERBEARD: Stop Pirate Pepperbeard from getting his hands on the valuable spices at Kew Gardens. Follow a map trail and solve puzzles as you wander round the gardens. You can also create your own pirate hat and see historical maps from Kew’s archives. Free with entry to gardens (£15 adult, £3.50 child), 24 October-1 November
TURTLE FEST: London Aquarium celebrates Turtle Fest, with family friendly talks, games and competitions to learn more about sea turtles; what they do, where they live, what threats they face and how we can help them. 3-31 October
TRAMPOLINING: If the weather’s not great but the kids have still got plenty of energy to burn, head to London’s first (indoor) trampoline park, open now in West Acton. They can bounce their way across 150 trampolines while you watch from the safety of the cafe.
Saturday 24 October
PUPPET THEATRE BARGE: The Puppet Theatre Barge will be mooring in little Venice and inviting people on board to watch The Three Pigs and The Wolf in the 55-seat space. Suitable for 3-8 year olds. £8.50-£12, prebook, 24 October 11am/3pm, 25 October 3pm, 26-30 October 11am-3pm
WHY?: Southbank Centre’s What’s Happening for the Young festival celebrates the rights of children and young people today. Events are aimed at all ages and include talks from Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen, film screenings, music sessions and a talk about online safety. See full programme. 22-25 October
Sunday 25 October
BIG DRAW 2015: artsdepot in North Finchley is taking part in the Big Draw 2015, with drawing activities for all ages based around the theme ‘Every Drawing Tells a Story’. This year, there are some activities for adults too. £3 (additional charge for some activities), prebook, 11am
WOLF TALES: Natural History Museum uses puppets to tell stories of the natural world and about human and animal nature. Book at information desk on the day. 12pm/1.30pm (repeated 26 and 30 October)
Monday 26 October
UNICORNS: Michael Morpurgo’s story I Believe In Unicorns is brought to life on stage at artsdepot. It’s set in a library and tells the story of Tomas who meets the Unicorn Lady there. Age 6+. £11/£8, prebook, 1pm/4pm
AUTUMN SHED: Got a budding actor in the family? Send them along to Chickenshed’s theatre workshops. The five-day course for 5-12 year olds features drama, dance, singing and story-making. Parents and friends will be invited in on the final afternoon to see a performance. £130 for five days, prebook, 26-30 October
EXTRAORDINARY OWLS: Learn all about owls at Horniman Museum. There’s a chance to see and touch their taxidermy owls, dissect an owl pellet to find out what they eat, and learn how they’re suited to their environment. Age 5+. £2 per child (accompanying adults free), book on day, 11am-3pm (repeated tomorrow)
Tuesday 27 October
DINOSAUR INVESTIGATION: Budding paleantologists can get their hands on real dinosaur fossils at the Natural History Museum, and hear from real museum scientists. Free, drop in, 2pm/3pm/4pm (repeated on 29 and 31 October)
ALICE IN WONDERLAND: This family theatre workshop is an opportunity to explore the characters from Alice in Wonderland and create a short performance piece to share at the end of the workshop. Age 6-11 years. Free, prebook, 2.30pm
Wednesday 28 October
DEEP BLUE SEA: Explore the animals of the ocean at the Grant Museum of Zoology, from giant Japanese crabs to lion’s mane jellyfish. Have a go at printing and drawing with a museum artist to help create a giant seascape scene. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm
CARTOON NETWORK: BFI Southbank hosts a family fun day with preview screenings of Cartoon Network shows including Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gumball, with a chance to meet the people who make the shows. Tickets go on sale 6 October.
Thursday 29 October
HIBERNATING INHABITANTS: Head to Forty Hall in Enfield to learn about the creatures on the Estate who hibernate over winter. Make a creature out of clay, feathers, straw and raffia to take home with you. Age 4+. £5/£4, prebook, 11am/2pm
Friday 30 October
CREEPY CRAWLING: Head to Chelsea Physic Garden to meet a whole menagerie of animals including a hissing cockroach, giant millipede, corn snake, giant African snail and Mr. Jelly Belly the tree frog. Find out how they are suited to their environments and hold them (if you want to). Various prices, prebook, 10.30am/1pm
Saturday 31 October
KIDS’ CINEMA: Zarafa is this week’s film at Rich Mix Kids Cine Time. The PG-rated flick is about the friendship between 10 year old Maki and Zarafa, an orphaned giraffe who is a gift from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France. £1.75, prebook, 12pm (repeated tomorrow)
Sunday 1 November
Know of a kid-friendly event happening in London over half term? Let readers know in the comments section.