Is it half term already? Mummy in the City, aka Tine Farstad, knows just how you feel, so we asked the London blogger to come up with five ways to keep the kids entertained during the holidays, with a particular focus on her own stomping ground, south and west London…
1 Catch a show
Half-term is a great time to take kids to a theatre show, as many London theatres put on special productions for half-term week. Polka Theatre in Wimbledon presents an acrobatic circus show with clowning, juggling, cycling and tumbling, The Party, for half-term (ages 3 to 7), circus-themed workshops and the stage adaptation of How to Hide a Lion (ages 3 to 6). Lily and the Little Snow Bear (ages 3 and over) will be playing at Lyric Hammersmith bringing some winter magic with puppets, music and a snow scene, and at Rose Theatre Kingston, families can catch the Olivier-nominated musical adaptation of Room on the Broom, the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Ticket prices: The Party, £13.50 (+ booking fee); How to Hide a Lion, £13.50 (+ booking fee); Lily and the Little Snow Bear, £10; Room on the Broom, £13.50 (+ booking fee)
2 See giant lanterns
The Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House & Gardens is running for a second year in a row, celebrating Chinese New Year. The theme this year is ‘Explore the Silk Road’ and families can enjoy seeing the giant lanterns, highlighting the route of trade and culture from Europe to Ancient China. In addition to the light trail, there’s an ice rink, a virtual gaming experience, an ice bar and a mini fun fair at the festival, which is open until 26 February.
Ticket prices: Adults from £16.50, children from £10.50, family ticket for four from £50
3 Go skiing
If you would have wanted to take the kids skiing this half-term but are spending the week in London instead, why not hit Chelsea’s indoor slope instead? Chel-Ski is an indoor skiing centre off New King’s Road, where you can ski on a revolving astro turf mat. You can either hire the slope for an hour with the family, or book a standard ski slot (available for children over 5 and adults). It’s a great venue for learning to ski, getting used to the equipment and having a fun day out. Over half-term Chel-Ski and sister venue Clip n’ Climb also run holiday camps for children aged 5 and over.
Prices: Private slope hire, £199.95 for 1 hour; single sessions, £39.95 for adults, £34.95 for juniors
4 Head to the South Bank
With top London attractions like Dreamworks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure, Coca-Cola London Eye, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, and entertainment and exhibition venue the Southbank Centre all located on the South Bank, this makes for an ideal place to take the family for a fun London day out. Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns from 9-19 February, and there are a number of events, many of which are free, for all the family over half term. The youngest may like the innovative and contemporary immersive theatre experience, Neverland, and for slightly older children the Mischief and Mysteries in Moominvalley workshops and Adventures In Moominland experience look like great options.
Ticket prices: Adventures in Moominland, £13.50-£16.50 (+ booking fee); Mischief & Mysteries in Moominvalley, tickets £8 (+ booking fee); Neverland tickets, £14 (+ booking fee)
5 Get creative
To keep the imagination alive over half-term, children can get crafty at Kite Studios in Brook Green. There are daily holiday workshops for children aged 4 and over, and it’s also possible to book one-to-one clay sessions for children and adults. In Battersea, I’ve collaborated with the welcoming Battersea pottery studio Sammy Duder for several years, and children of different ages will enjoy painting pottery at Sammy Duder. Parents with babies who want to create memories to treasure will also like the options to make special keepsakes like silver jewellery or clay imprints.
Prices: Bespoke pottery classes at Kite Studios from £50, half-term workshops from £15
About Mummy in the City
Mummy in the City is written by London-mum Tine Farstad, who is mostly running around Chelsea, Fulham, South Kensington and Battersea with her toddler in tow. She also blogs for a number of children’s lifestyle companies and is a guest blogger for online fashion site, BrandAlley.