London is awesome, isn’t it? There’s an unbelievable amount on offer for families, and frankly, we are sometimes overwhelmed by where to even start. So, with the half-term here, we asked some of our parents in our team for their half-term recommendations.
1. Discover Fulham Palace
This half-term head over to the lovely Fulham Palace in South West London—a firm favourite with local families and always lots on for children. They usually host activities and tours during the half term, which you can book through their website.
2. Take a trip to the Thames
During the school holidays, one of our favourite things to do is to hop on the river bus up the Thames. If you can manage to make it out of the house relatively early you can catch the commuter boat from most piers–much cheaper than the sightseeing boats but just as fun (about £7 for adults, £5 for 5-15year olds and free for under fours).
Usually we’ll get off at Embankment and enjoy the Southbank. The Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre are firm faves and usually have something free going on. You can also change at Embankment then go on to Greenwich on the boat—the O2 has some fab family-friendly places to eat, plus the Emirates airline takes you across the Thames on a cable car (if that’s your thing). This kind of day out suits most ages—and most piers have buggy/wheelchair access.
3. Head to London Zoo – Vets in Action
Go to London Zoo and take part in Vets in Action where kids can step into the shoes of vets, nurses and zookeepers who treat the patients of the zoo animal hospital. If your kids love role play and animals, this will make a fun activity over the half-term break.
4. Check out events at The Southbank Centre
Half-terms are full of activities and events at The Southbank Centre. Their family friendly events include musical parades, rhyme time sessions and bird raves! And you can finish off your day by exploring different foods at the food market.
5. Try a ‘yes’ day
Over half-term and school holidays, we can often get the feeling we need to entertain children and plan activities to ensure they’re stimulated and have structure. But try having at least one (if not many!) days with little planned. Being bored is also really important for children—they learn about their sense of self, their imagination grows and you get to watch what they come up with.
Even better, you could plan a ‘yes’ day, where the kids are in charge and you say ‘yes’ to their suggestions! Set some boundaries beforehand so nothing is suggested that you’re not comfortable with, and then hand over responsibility to them. They can feel huge pride at having taken on that role for the day, and you get to dial down the usual parenting flow of requests. Most importantly, don’t put pressure on yourself to make it a brilliant holiday. What they need more than anything is nurture, attention (and snacks!).