October half term begins Monday, October 23 and runs through to Friday, October 27, and London has plenty of fun family friendly events and things to do to keep you, and your children, entertained.

From adventure trails to exhibition, here are the best things to do with children in London these school holidays.

1 The Witches Adventure Trail, National Theatre

Throughout half term, children and young people visiting National Theatre will receive a game pack inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Witches and to mark the opening of the stage production. The game pack contains a series of activities inspired by Luke’s quest to defeat the Grand High Witch and stop her from seeing out her most evil plan yet. Players will move around the theatre completing challenges on display, including spotting the hidden witches illustrated on the NT’s walls, decoding the Grand High Witch’s spells, and finally deciphering a map to her deluxe suite at Hotel Magnificent. Players will then be able to return their completed game pack to claim their prize. This one is free and no bookings are required.

Address: National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX

Website: nationaltheatre.org.uk


2 David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away), King’s Cross 

This exhibition brings to life iconic paintings by the celebrated British artist, as well as some rarely seen pieces and new works in a show that embraces Hockney's love of media and the possibilities it brings to his work. Works are presented in six themed chapters and take the audience through LA, Yorkshire and Normandy, with a score composed by Nico Muhly. 

Tickets: From £25/£15

Address: Lightroom, Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4DY   

Website: lightroom.uk 

3 Horniman Museum, Forest Hill

This half term, Horniman hosts make your own dinosaur bag workshops and a Halloween fair in addition to its many exhibitions. The charming south London museum also lovely green grounds and gardens and a butterfly house, it's no wonder the free Horniman Museum is award-wining. The museum also has an animal walk, aquarium and nature base with alpacas, jellyfish, bees and other wonderous animals to look at.

Address: 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ

Website: horniman.ac.uk


4 Disney 100: The Exhibition, Royal Victoria Dock

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, this huge gala spectacle will take over the ExCel London. It features historical artefacts, moving stories, original costumes and interactive installations that capture the Disney magic across the ages.

Date: October 13

Tickets: From £16.50

Address:  Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Newham E16 1XL

Website: disney100exhibit.com

5 Japan: Myths and Manga at V&A Young, Bethnal Green

Deep dive into Japanese culture at this comprehensive and fun exhibition. It pulls together pop culture, history and multiple artforms as it draws connections between folklore and modern day pop culture icons such as Studio Ghibli, Pokémon, origami. More than 150 objects are on display under four sections – skey sea, forest and city. Designed for young people, but interesting for everybody.

Date: Opens October 14

Tickets: Passes cost £10 and are valid for multiple entries

Address: Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA

Website: vam.ac.uk


6 Curling Club, Southbank Centre

The Curling Club reopens on the South Bank in October, and children under 18 are welcome to have a go during the day sessions. There will be curling, naturally, and also Alpine-inspired street food such as bratwurst and raclette, a bar for mulled wine, beers and warming tipples and a programme of live entertainment.

Date: October 13 – February 11, 2024

Tickets: Pay for play from £24; packages from £75

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX

Website: thecurlingclub.com

7 Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Setting up shop in Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf’s long running rink returns for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day fun this October. The rink has a transparent roof, so that whatever the weather, you can still feel like you’re gliding around under the crisp wintery air.

Dates: October 21 to February 24, 2024

Opening Hours: 9am-10pm

Tickets: From £17.95/£13.50

Address: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB

Website: icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk


8 Horizon 22, City

You’ll find Horizon 22 on the 58th mezzanine level of 22 Bishopsgate, and this newly opened viewing platform is not just the highest in London, but it’s the highest free viewing gallery in London. It stands 254 metres tall; it’s more than twice the height of Lift 109 and almost 100 metres taller than the Sky Garden. So, you’ll get a pretty good view of London, whatever the weather. There are also other galleries you can try out too.

Address: 22 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AJ

Website: horizon22.co.uk

9 MCM Comic Con, ExCeL London

A pop culture fest celebrating film, TV, gaming cosplay and nerds (a complement), Comic Con has a stack of panels and events to get stuck into. This includes a Q&A with the cast of Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role; and talks with Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone from The Twilight Saga, Bombshell and The Last Airbender. Cosplay Lip Sync Battle, a live demo by British Sumo Champion Mandeep Singh Kundi and K-Pop dance performances are also scheduled.

Date: October 27-29

Tickets: From £21

Address: Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Newham E16 1XL

Website: mcmcomiccon.com


10 Monopoly Lifesized, Tottenham Court Road

Who doesn't love a game of Monopoly? There are four jumbo-sized iterations of the game to try these holidays that all add something new to the much-loved board game. Make your way around the board in teams of 4-6 as you take on dance-offs, stealth-based challenges and solve riddles and puzzles as well, as you battle it out to rule over London. Suitable for ages 9 and older. Closed Mondays.

Address: 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PS

Website: monopolylifesized.com

11 Twist Museum, Oxford Street

A museum dedicated to illusions and immersive experiences, Twist Museum marries immersive multi-sensory experiences with escapism, education and technology. It delves into how illusions work, exploring such questions as, when all your senses are deceived, what happens to the brain, and how do these stimuli shape your sense of reality? 

Tickets: From £23.50/£18.50 adult/child

Address: 248 Oxford Street, Oxford Circus, W1C 1DH 

Website: twistmuseum.com 


12 Royal Museums Greenwich

The Royal Museums, in particular the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, have plenty to occupy curious minds and verdant green spaces abound. Discover epic voyages of the past, uncover stories about female pirates and track currents and winds using live data. You can also star gaze in the planetarium while watching one of the galactically brilliant shows that are regularly put on.

Address: Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF

Website: rmg.co.uk

13 The Line, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the O2

 A free family day out that gets the kids moving and looking at art pubic art trail The Line connects the Stratford park to Greenwich’s O2 via the Royal Docks following the waterways and the line of the Greenwich Meridian. The outdoor exhibition of public art is an opportunity to explore art from artists such as Anish Kapoor, Gary Hume, and Yinka Ilori while soaking up London nature. Download the digital map to find the best places to hop on and off for you.

Website: the-line.org


14 Power Up at the Science Museum, South Kensington

This hands-on gaming trip boasts 160 consoles and a stack of games spanning the last 50 years. Pong, Pacman, Minecraft and Mario Kart all represent, along with other childhood favourites and next-generation virtual reality experiences. Come for a look a vintage and retro games or to try and beat your family and friends at a game or two. You’ve also got the V and A and the Natural History Museum nearby

Tickets: Free entry to museum, £10 day pass, or an annual pass for £15.

Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD

Website: sciencemuseum.org.uk

15 Cloud Cable Car, Royal Docks

Formerly the Emirate Air Line, the IFS Cloud Cable Car is a cable car that links across the River Thames an easy way to get across from Greenwich to the Royal Docks. Amazing views of the O2 and the whole of London and the City. It takes up to 10 minutes each way but if you board after 7pm then you can enjoy an extended night flight with music and video in the cabin.

Tickets: From £6/£3

Address: 27 Western Gateway E16 1FA

Website: tfl.gov.uk


16 Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens has a huge Children’s Garden, measuring 10,000 square metres – that’s about the size of 40 tennis courts. Here, kids can explore all the things plants need to grow – earth, air, sun and water – via trampolines, water pumps, a living bamboo tunnel, ‘worm-hole’ slides, windflowers, hammocks and periscopes, all leading to a 4m high tree-top walk wrapped around a 200-year-old oak.

Tickets: From £12/£4 adult/child

Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AF

Website: kew.org