The May half term is upon us, so we've been busy lining up a whole lot of fun things to do in London with kids all through the break.
Celebrate an animal sanctuary's 40th birthday
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, just out of town in the Essex countryside, is celebrating its 40th anniversary (pictured top) with a special Bank Holiday weekend family fun event, and then it's open every day during half term for you to hang out with around 500 rescued animals. A truly lovely place to visit with the kids.
When: Event 27-29 May, 10am until 4pm. Half term opening 10am until 4pm daily.
Where: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood CM15 9BZ www.hopefield.org.uk/events/40th-fun-weekend/
Catch a performance of WOW! Said the Owl
Explore the wonderful world of colours with a cute and curious little owl who is determined to stay awake to see what daylight brings in this puppetry version of Tim Hopgood's well-loved story of the same name. Suitable for little ones age 2-5 (and, of course, their grown ups). When: 20 May until 30 July 2023
Where: Little Angel Studios, Sebbon Street, London N1 2EH
Hang out with Shrek
We're feeling green with excitement about the shenanigans happening over at Shrek's Adventure! London this half term where you can take the whole family on a shrek-tastic journey to Far Far Away! Become the hero of this wonderful fairy-tale walk-through experience and have cameras at the ready for when you meet Shrek himself.
When: Half term activities running 27 May until 4th June 2023
Where: Shrek's Adventure! London, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB www.shreksadventure.com/whats-inside/events/may-half-term
Head to the The Tower of London for a gory exhibit
This June Half Term head to the Tower of London where the kids will love checking out the an exhibition about the methods of torture used at the Tower of London, complete with replicas of the instruments which inflicted such appalling pain. Ewww. Don't forget to #londonforkidz on your adventures if you do go, and also to read our Guide to The Tower of London before you head on over.
When: Open daily throughout half term Where: The Tower Of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
Get involved with family event at Shakespeare's Globe
Wherefore art thou, family fun for half term? At the Globe, of course! From interactive storytelling to family workshops led by actors, teachers and directors, there's something cool happening for kids age 5 all the way through to difficult to please teens.
When: Various dates during half term. Where: Shakespeare's Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT www.shakespearesglobe.com/seasons/family-events
Put a spring in your step at ZSL London Zoo
From 27 May to 4 June, you and your family can celebrate the Zoo springing into life with an action-packed Spring Family Festival programme of animal talks, colourful arts and crafts, interactive gameshows, music, workshops and a whole host of other spring festivities to mark the season. When: 27 May to 4 June Where: ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY https://www.londonzoo.org/plan-your-visit/events/spring-family-festival-london-zoo
See The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse at The Puppet Theatre Barge
London's only theatre barge is currently moored in Little Venice and its bringing to life the lovely tale of two mice, The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse. The Town Mouse must face the wild countryside, while the Country Mouse watches for the house cat and learns to navigate the noisy city traffic. They both end up much wiser as a result of their exciting adventures. A delight for young (suitable for 3+) and old, told with music, songs and rod puppets When: Now until 11th June 2023 Where: Puppet Theatre Barge, 35 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PF
Explore Lambeth Palace Garden for free
The 10-acre garden at Lambeth Palace, the official home of the Archbishop of Cantebury, is the third largest private garden in London and the first monthly open garden day of the summer season takes place on Friday June 2 from 12 noon until 4pm, and is a special edition hosted in partnership with the Lambeth Palace Library. During the afternoon there are guided tours of the gardens and the library, as well as activities for kids such as crafting workshops and cookie decorating. Entrance is free!
When: 2nd June 2023, 12-4pm
Where: Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU www.southbanklondon.com/events/lambeth-palace
Get your graffiti on at a Leake Street workshop
Unleash your inner artist like never before at a graffiti workshop with the artist in residence at the legendary Leake Street.
When: Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout 2023. Various times.
Where: Leake Street (off York Road next to Waterloo Station), SE1 7NN
Celebrate London Museum of Docklands' 20th birthday
Roll up, roll up! This half term, join the festivities to celebrate the museum’s 20th birthday by dancing, singing and being silly at its fabulous fete. Help decorate the museum in colourful style, take part in splendid Victorian parlour games and get your feet moving to your heart’s content in an old-fashioned East End knees-up – all for free!
When: 27th May until 4th June 2023
Where: Museum of London Docklands, No1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL
Go on a space adventure at The Royal Observatory
Now here's a May half term adventure the whole crew will love: Ted's Space Adventure, a live, special planetarium show for under-7s - perfect for little astronauts everywhere!
When: Daily during school holidays, various times Where: Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich SE10 8XJ www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/royal-observatory/holiday-space
Go on a free drawing tour at The National Gallery
Discover how to use drawing to record your family’s journey throughout the Gallery. Look closely and sketch together, guided by Gallery Educators and artists Jo Conybeare or Beth Lloyd-King. Throughout the tour, experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer creative suggestions – whether you are a confident drawer or complete beginner.
When: 30th, 31st May and 1 June, various times
Where: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Top image: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary
Need more inspo when it comes to things to do in London for the May half term? Then how about:
Best museums in London for families