Score some serious cool points with the kids in your life this half term. Bring the little ones to the big city of London this half term for some fun, unique experiences they can wow their mates with in the playground. There are attractions, tours and treats you can all enjoy, for kids big and little. This is your guide to fun half-term activities in London.
For some top-notch thrills and spills, take a speedboat ride on a Thames Rocket and see the big London sights as you bounce, doughnut and whizz along the river. Hold on tight as speeds can get up to 35 miles an hour. There’ll be tunes and plenty of skipper jokes along the way and little ones can party on the pirate-themed tour. Children under 14 will need an adult, but most of the Thames Rocket experiences have no minimum age requirement, so there’s nothing stopping you! Of all the things to do in London during half term, this one is an absolute blast.
Test your family’s head for heights at the top of London’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard. The 360°sky-high viewing gallery has an open-air skydeck, so you can feel the air as you look down. Tick this activity off the bucket list during half term!
Alternatively, enjoy impressive views of The Shard and London’s big names from the stunning – free – Sky Garden, London’s highest garden on the 35th floor of the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper. Kids are welcome before 6pm, and you can book a table at one of the restaurants for a special family meal.
One of the most popular fun things to do in London during half term is to catch a smash-hit theatre show. There’s always a fantastic selection of musicals, comedies and kids’ classics on stage around the half-term holidays. Pick your seats well in advance or look out for ticket lotteries to get cheaper or last-minute tickets.
Take your kids to hit shows like Disney’s The Lion King, The Play That Goes Wrong and Wicked. For a show to remind your kids how great you are and how good their school really is, take them to see The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre.
Most of the capital’s big museums are free to enter and they always add in extra half-term activities. London’s popular Science Museum has rockets and satellites in its space exploration exhibition and plenty of interactive activities on level 3 to engage kids and teens. Head to the Natural History Museum to see the awesome installation in the main hall, and feel the earth move in the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery.
If you have Harry Potter fans in the family, a massive treat is pushing a trolley into the wall at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross for free. Then you can catch a Piccadilly tube to Covent Garden to see acrobats, magicians and street performers for free in the Piazza.
Watch the Changing of the King’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace. It usually happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11am, but check the schedule – and be there early for a good viewing spot. Then head to St James’s Park playground with boulders and sand pits for little ones and a climbing wall for older kids.
After all that half-term action, enjoy a warm welcome and great hospitality for all the family with a stay at one of our London hotels, such as the Thistle Hotel Hyde Park Kensington Gardens or Thistle Trafalgar Square.