Finding ways to keep children entertained during half-term and through into the Easter break isn’t always easy. But whether you’re based in the capital, or plan to visit, we’ve got you covered with these seven children’s activities in London.
It’s time to start planning fun days out with your little ones this spring. These exciting and educational excursions for inquisitive young minds should do the trick. From stage shows to opera and festivals to exhibitions (one complete with the world’s largest dinosaur), add them into your springtime diary to avoid hearing the words “I’m bored” over the coming months.
VISIT THIS The Imagine Children's Festival
The Imagine Children’s Festival at London’s Southbank Centre offers 11 jam-packed days with more than 100 events, 50% of which are completely free. Visit for the very best of children’s theatre, comedy, music, literature, poetry and dance. The festival runs through the February half-term break and, in the week before the school holidays, there’s a programme for under-5s, including Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Tales from Acorn Wood brought to life on stage. Half-term highlights include a modern retelling of Rapunzel by BalletLORENT, talks by Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, plus magic, astronomy, hip-hop and comedy. Friday 17 and Saturday 18 February have a special focus on ages 7 – 11; shows include Everything Has Changed, which playfully explores the impact of change. If you have one outing this half-term, make it this.
TRY THIS Family Sundays at the Royal Opera House
Discover ballet and opera with your children at this fun, interactive event. Family Sundays are a regular event allowing families to experience the Royal Opera House, its artists, and the world of opera and ballet. Each event is unique and packed with creative and practical activities for children to enjoy. Expect singing and performances from Royal Ballet dancers and musicians, alongside creative activities led by professional set designers; this is a chance for youngsters to really explore all the Royal Opera House has to offer. Family Sunday sessions last approximately two hours and 30 minutes and run in the mornings and afternoons.
DISCOVER THIS Titanosaur at the Natural History Museum
Just in time for the Easter holiday, an exciting exhibition opens at the Natural History Museum. For the first time ever Patagotitan mayorum – aka the world’s biggest dinosaur – will be going on display in Europe. At four times heavier than a Diplodocus and 12 metres longer than the museum’s resident blue whale, Hope, this gigantic creature will be a truly breathtaking sight. The museum’s new interactive exhibition allows children to follow the life of a Titanosaur, from a football-sized egg plucked from its nest to a fully grown adult, its tail bearing the marks of an encounter with a ferocious predator. After discovering what life was like as the biggest dinosaur, kids can discover more about the enormous animals we share our planet with today and how we can protect them. This exhibition is the Natural History Museum at its very best and is not to be missed. Book early.
SEE THIS Beyond the Streets at Saatchi Gallery
Looking for something older children and teens will enjoy? Take them to the new Beyond the Streets London exhibition, taking over all three floors at the iconic Saatchi Gallery. From defiant train writers to powerful large-scale muralists, over 100 international artists will be featured in this thought-provoking display, supported by Adidas Originals. It’s the most comprehensive graffiti and street art exhibition to open in the UK and follows successful exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York. Each chapter will explore exceptional moments in the history of this artistic movement; including the emergence of punk; the birth of hip-hop which marks its 50th anniversary in 2023; and street culture’s strong influence in fashion and film. A conversation-starting display that will challenge perceptions of what constitutes art.
ENJOY THIS The Elmer Exhibition
The Horniman is a wonderful treasure trove of a museum, packed with natural history and anthropology, but right now it’s adding to its appeal for younger visitors with an exhibition of the children’s classic Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. Still one of the most widely read children’s book series of all time – selling over ten million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1989 – Elmer is loved by kids everywhere. Step into David McKee’s colourful world in this first ever major retrospective of his striking illustrations. The first stop is Elmer’s world, where visitors will be greeted by a big magnetic Elmer game, before walking through Elmer’s jungle, encountering characters and stories along the way. There will be original artwork from Not Now Bernard, Mr Benn and an original storyboard of King Rollo. Visit the fancy-dress costume shop featured in Mr Benn, with dressing up and reading areas.
BOOK THIS Cirque du Soleil
When Cirque du Soleil comes to town it’s definitely worth going to see the show. Running at the Royal Albert Hall until early March KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is a 100 minute performance that children (and grown-ups) will love. You’ll discover a collection of otherworldly characters in a fascinating makeshift mechanical world via this outstanding performance from one of the world’s best theatre companies. Expect spectacular sets and first-class performances that will leave you wanting to see more and more from Cirque du Soleil in future. This is a show that has to be seen to be believed.
VISIT THIS The Little Angel Theatre
For a stage show with a difference take your children to the Little Angel Theatre in Islington. For over 50 years this fabulous company has been using puppetry to create and share inspiring stories, enthralling youngsters with their innovative sets and puppets. Upcoming Spring shows include The Instrumentals, a beautiful, musical tale about memories and how we celebrate life; The Flying Bath, a pre-school story about toys who come to life; and The Noisy Troll, a charming Scandinavian show. It’s never too early to introduce children to the magic of theatre and this is the perfect place to do so.