Family days out

Where to find fun days out in London for February half term

Last updated 11th February 2023

Heading to London this February and looking for half term day out ideas? Look no further. We’ve rounded up the most fun from outdoor aerial adventures to trampoline parks, theatre, workshops and even a Cat Day at Tower Bridge. And just to add to the excitement some of our suggestions are 100% free this half term. Take a look.

Imagine Children’s Festival: half-term day out ideas for under 12s

Imagine Children’s Festival is free again this year. Catch the under-fives pre-half-term performances of Julia Donaldson’s Tales from Acorn Wood, live on stage. For older kids there’s a daytime rave with the world’s youngest DJ as well as talks by Michael Rosen. Shows include Everything Has Changed for 7 to 11 year olds and Rapunzel from BalletORENT. Plus, there’s a heap of activities and events themed round everything from dinosaurs and magic to hip-hop and astronomy.

This year it’s also a Relaxed Festival. So there’s an easy-going take on noisy kids and you can arrive or leave when you like. And, if it all gets a bit too exciting, just ask for free noise-cancelling headphones or have a minute in the chill-out zone.

Where: Southbank Centre, London

When: 08 to 18 February 2023.

Price: free.

Take a look at family hotels near the Southbank Centre


National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, half term day out ideas

Sailing Out: National Maritime Museum in Greenwich

When it comes to family day out ideas, trust the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to put a nautical spin on things and squeeze in plenty of fresh learning. This February half-term is a celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month and it’s all about kids getting creative at a series of free and fun workshops.

Find out how Queen Elizabeth I honed her personal image at Constructing Costume. Discover the museum’s merfolk and make your own using the colours of the Pride flag. Learn shipwright skills in the Magnificent Mary story and craft session. Find out about the extraordinary Humboldt Squid and create Rainbow Fish to take home. And get to know the historic heroes from the LGBTQ+ maritime community then work together with other families to help build the Maritime Marvels’ throne.

Where: National Maritime Museum in Greenwich

When: 12 to 19 February 2023.

Price: just drop in, it’s free.

Find family hotels in Greenwich for half term 

Family Film Club: hear Brendan Gleeson at the Barbican

So what does Brendan Gleeson do when he’s not scooping up Academy Award nominations? Join the Family Film Club at the Barbican for half-term and you can hear the star of The Banshees of Inisherin in Song of the Sea. This gorgeous animated film kicks off February’s Saturday line-up for little cineastes. And it’s introduced by animation expert Michael Leader: a bonus-reel for slightly older wannabe filmmakers!

If you miss Song of the Sea, book ahead for Spectacular Shorts on Saturday 11 February. Curated for kids aged four and over, this snack-size movie collection was incredibly popular last year, so consider this your advance warning.

Where: Barbican, London

When: from Saturday 04 February 2023.

Price: tickets from £3.50.

Find family hotels in London for half-term near the Barbican 


Grover Children’s Tea, JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London

Grover Children’s Tea: a half term treat for little dog lovers

If you’re fiercely loyal to the London afternoon tea tradition, you’ll love Grover Children’s Tea at JW Marriott Grosvenor House. Who is Grover? He’s a handsome British Bulldog, who also happens to be the hotel’s longest standing resident and mascot.

But more to the point, he’s lending his name to a treat-filled afternoon tea just made for under-12s. Dainty sweet and savoury sandwiches, cupcakes and mini-Knickerbocker Glories are just a hint of what’s on the tea table this half term. The theme is pretty pawsome, so young guests receive a personal letter from Grover himself, signed with a paw print, of course. And, possibly saving best to last, kids get a toy ‘Grover’ dog to take home too.

Where: JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane

When: 12.30pm to 6pm, Monday to Sunday. 

Price: £35 per child (under 12)

Book a stay at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London

The Making of Harry Potter: half term day out ideas for Potterheads

Would it be February half-term without a mention of The Making of Harry Potter? It’s not one of our cheap day out ideas, but if you’re looking for a classic London experience, they don’t come much more iconic than this one. And the tour packs in a lot, so it’s really quite good value for money.

New generation Potterheads can learn about the films’ special effects, visual effects and creature effects. Fantasy costumes mingle with those much loved uniforms, plus Harry and Ron’s big jumpers. Prop spotters will be in heaven spying out their favourite details. And of course, the sets are all here too. So if kids want a wander down Diagon Alley or take an atmospheric moment in Hogwart’s Great Hall, their wishes are granted, and then some.

Where: Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Leavesden

When: from 8.30am, 7-days, year round.

Price: tickets from £51.50.

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Bella the Tower Bridge Cat book illustration © Steve Cox

Tower Bridge Cat Day: day out ideas for story-loving cat-keen kids

Can you call a day out in London a real day out if you don’t have eyes on Tower Bridge? This February half-term we’re going one better and suggesting you head into the bridge for Cat Day. If that sounds like a curious combo, then allow us to explain.

Tower Bridge Cat Day is the launch of the new Family Trail to celebrate the release of ‘The Tower Bridge Cat ABC. It’s the fourth book in the ‘Tower Bridge Cat’ series and kids already familiar with Bella the cat will be so up for this event. As well as book signings by writer Tee Dobson and illustrator, Steve Cox, young visitors can meet the book’s characters brought to life by actors. And if that doesn’t sound like enough excitement the Cat Day also has quite a few surprises in store, think face painting, balloons and games for starters.

Where: Tower Bridge, London

When: 11 February 2023.

Price: tickets from £5.70.

Take a look at family hotels in Central London

Go Ape at Alexandra Palace: half term heaven for high flyers

Don’t feel like hunting down a forest for treetop adventures this half term? Fear not, our February day out ideas include high-flying with an urban feel. Go Ape at Alexandra Palace is all the rope bridges, swings, slides and aerial escapades you normally associate with wooded areas, only in this case, some of the best London views reward kids’ fearlessness.

We love Treetop Challenge for bold teens and show-off parents. Although the truly brave might prefer Treetop Challenge Xpress, the one with the 46ft Plummet drop. But in extra good news, younger kids aren’t spectate-only at Go Ape any more. In fact, if they’re over 1m tall they can face the Treetop Adventure. It’s easier and not so soaring as the challenges, but mighty big on ziplining and a great confidence builder.

Where: Go Ape, Alexandra Palace

When: daily from 9am to 3.30pm. 

Price: tickets from £23. 

Find London hotels for half term near Alexandra Palace


Battersea Power Station Festival of Light, half term day out ideas 2023

Battersea Power Station: The Light Festival is on for February

Glow up for February half term at The Light Festival at Battersea Power Station. Back for a third year and the brightest yet with eight stunning installations, it’s also an excuse for a sail down the river. Although it really doesn’t matter how you arrive, the dazzle is just as brilliant.

The cute, illuminated washing line will captivate kids, though teens are likely to be torn between cool food trucks and the super-cool Slinky: a whole new way to see the city. Parents can breathe easy too, the festival may be bright but the lights are largely LED, so their impact is nicely low. Installations are both indoors and out; switched on between 8am and 11pm daily, but naturally seen at their best after-dark,

Where: Battersea Power Station

When: daily from 8am to 11pm.

Price: free.

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Hampton Court Palace: haunting half term day out ideas

We’re with Henry VIII this half term. He might not have had a great reputation for wedded bliss, but when it came to palaces he was the unquestionable king. Proof needed? Head to Hampton Court. Even a ramble round its legendary hedge maze makes this one a half term must-do. But there’s a lot more going on in February.

Kids can take cooking lessons in the Tudor Kitchens, run around wild in the Magic Garden and meet the costumed re-enactors who, it’s fair to say, are now something of a legend in their own right. Teens who aren’t so impressed by playgrounds and secret grottos will definitely appreciate a tour of the Haunted Gallery, which is said to be visited regularly by the ghost of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard. And then there’s the maze, of course.

Where: Hampton Court Palace, Richmond-upon-Thames

When: daily from 10am. 

Price: tickets from £13. 

Find hotels for half term in Richmond-upon-Thames


Oxygen trampoline park, O2 Greenwich London

Oxygen Freejumping: half term jump around, jump around

How to prevent kids bouncing off your walls this half term? Let them bounce off someone else’s instead. In this case we recommend Oygen trampoline parks in London. There are three to choose from and first timers should think about booking a 60 minute Freejumping session.

Basically that gives kids the run of 150 trampolines as well as a ninja warrior course, foam pit, dodgeball and volleyball courts, slide towers, dive towers, airbag launchers and quite a bit more. Honestly, if you think you can resist bouncing about yourself, good luck with that. But we predict you’ll be wearing silly little socks and freejumping with the best of them!

Where: Oxygen Indoor Activity Parks, Croydon, Acton and O2 Greenwich

When: daily from 9am to 8pm.  

Price: tickets from £15, online booking only. 

Find family hotels in London for February half term


Brick built dinosaurs, Horniman Museum & Gardens, London

Horniman Museum: brick dinosaurs are go for February half term

Horniman Museum & Gardens was name Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2022. If you need more of an excuse to go, what about some LEGO® dinosaurs? Opening just in time for February half term, the Brick Dinos exhibition features miniatures of famously enormous prehistoric creatures created out of the world’s most famous brick.

If that isn’t quite exciting enough, rarely seen specimens from Horniman’s stores will also be on show. And really tricky to impress kids can even try their hand at building their own dinosaur and digging for fossils.

Where: Horniman Museum & Gardens

When: from 10 February, 10am to 5.30pm.

Price: tickets from £4.50.

Take a look at London hotels near the Horniman Museum

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