Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained this October half term? The Resident has teamed up with KidRated – a website where days out, attractions, events and activities are ALL reviewed by children using photos, video clips and short films (think Trip Advisor by kids) – to bring you some of the most entertaining ways to spend some quality family time together…
1 The View from The Shard
A half-term visit to London’s highest landmark is well worth the trip as kids go free. Timed access to the Viewing Gallery means it never really feels busy and overcrowded, and kids rate it (ahem) highly.
Kids Will Love: The express lifts, friendly guides and digital time travelling telescopes.
Adults Will Love: The views from the loos and the bar!
Cost: Kids go free from 22-30 October.
2 Bletchley Park
Less than an hour from London, Bletchley Park is a KidRated favourite. Packed to the gills with exhibits both historical and interactive you can easily spend all day here and many people do. Highlights include authentic Enigma devices, a restored Bombe machine and a dedicated exhibit to the great Alan Turing. Plus, over half term, you can enjoy an afternoon tea and on 28-29 October you can experience the park at night with their Blackout Bletchey event in association with Museums at Night.
Kids Will Love: The cool iPod guides.
Adults will love: The props from Oscar-winning film, The Imitation Game – still infused with essence of Cumberbatch.
Cost: Under-12s go free (£5 to Blackout Bletchley)
3 Thames Rockets
With their distinctive red ‘Rocket’ boats, the Thames Rockets has yet to get a bad review by our K-Raters. It’s exciting, informative and always fun especially with their hilarious and knowledgeable guides. Warm coats are provided but don’t forget to take your camera because the sights look amazing from the Thames.
Kids Will Love: Going fast!
Adults will love: The clever commentary and nostalgic soundtrack.
Cost: Kids from £25.95, adults from £37.50 (quote discount code ‘KIDRATED’ when booking via 020 7928 8933 for 20% off RRP on all seats)
4 Tower Bridge Exhibition and Walkway
The Tower Bridge Exhibition was always a great attraction but since it installed the glass walkway it’s become a must-see for visitors. There are maps, films, interactive exhibits and a brand new free family trail app. Don’t forget the bridge actually opens so if you time your visit right you could be there to see it.
Kids Will Love: Lying on the glass walkway.
Adults Will Love: Discovering they get two experiences for the price of one when they visit the Victorian engine rooms at the foot of the bridge.
Cost: Family tickets from £9.40
5 The Royal Albert Hall presents Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse
The Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most iconic buildings and nothing beats visiting to see a full orchestra do its thing. This half term you can listen to Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse read by Morpurgo himself and Joanna Lumley while being accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Kids Will Love: A storytime like no other!
Adults Will Love: Seeing and hearing the Royal Philharmonic. Book Now!
Cost: Tickets from £19.90
6 The Making of Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros Studio
Just like travelling to Mecca, at some point every Potterhead must make the pilgrimage to the Warner Bros Studios and Halloween is the perfect time? This Halloween, the tour is celebrating 15 years since the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone arrived in cinemas (hands up if you feel old) and you can at the Great Hall which will be decorated for the occasion with apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops.
Kids Will Love: Everything! This truly is an A-list attraction.
Adults Will Love: Visiting for the day and tiring the kids out. Book Now!
Cost: Family ticket £107
7 The Royal Observatory, Greenwich
As well as being able to stand on either side of the Meridian Line and exploring the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition, at the Royal Observatory, you can catch a show at the only planetarium in London. Over half term, there are two specific shows at the planetarium for kids. Out of This World is for 7-14 year olds and Holiday to Space is for 4-7 year olds.
Kids will love: Exploring space!
Adults will love: Being in beautiful Greenwich – grab some lunch at Greenwich Market while you’re in the area.
Cost: £6 for child or guardian (£5 members)
8 The London Wetland Centre
Not only can you spot all the usual flora and fauna native to the London Wetland Centre this half term, but kids can also learn loads about dinosaurs and fossils. Even if the weather isn’t great there’s still opportunities to have fun with dinosaur arts and crafts sessions. 2-28 October.
Kids Will Love: Anything to do with dinosaurs and the playground
Adults Will Love: Taking in some fresh air and getting back to nature.
Cost: Family ticket £29.94
9 Thorpe Park Fright Nights
Thorpe Park is THE place to be this half term if you want to be seriously scared because Fright Nights have returned. Among the list of scary things to do visitors can ride favourites like Colossus in the dark and explore the circus themed Big Top scare maze. Also on offer are four different Live Action Horror Mazes based on classic horror films like Saw and the Blair Witch Project. Not for the fainthearted and not for little kids. 13+ and over.
Kids Will Love: The horrible surprises lurking in the maze.
Adults will love: Finding an alternative to Trick or Treating.
Cost: From £34.99
10 Take a Trip to the CINEMA
With the British weather being errr British, it’s always worth having some film ideas in your back pocket incase you need a dash to the cinema. So first up is Trolls. The origin story of those silly toys with the silly hair is made by the creators of Shrek and features an all-star cast including Justin Timberlake. Younger kids and first-timers, check out Storks, an animated adventure about the birds that deliver babies. And finally the Queen of Katwe is an inspiring true story of a Ugandan girl who becomes a chess champion.
Co-founded by former journalist and TV exec, Simon London, KidRated launched in beta with over 100 reviews of London’s major attractions in June 2014, and has been growing ever since. The simple idea struck Simon after a holiday in Egypt, during which his 10-year-old son, Elliot made a video review of the hotel which they put on YouTube. It was only really meant for Elliot’s grandparents, but on returning a year later in 2011, they were astonished to find many kids not only recognised Elliot, but their parents had booked the hotel based on his son’s review. ‘It was like a bolt of lightening,’ says Simon. ‘Parents need ideas and inspiration for things to do with their kids, while kids need reassurance from their peers that it’s going to be great. So why not create a site that combines the two? Every parent knows, if the kids are happy, everyone’s happy. So get that bit right and you’re on to a winner.’