Hungry for ideas to keep the kids amused this half term? From movies and munchies to picnics in the park, we’ve got you covered for a deliciously different May school holiday…
Very Hungry Caterpillar…and Kids
We’ve all grown up with Eric Carle’s iconic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and can you believe this childhood classic is a whopping 50 years old! To celebrate this milestone, our favourite caterpillar will be brought to life on stage at Finchely’s ArtDepot between 30th May and 2nd June. 75 puppets are used not just to tell the caterpillar’s tale, but to recount several of author Eric Carle’s other books including The Very Lonely Firefly and Brown Bear. For a post-theatre pick me up, grab a kids picnic lunchbox from the family-friendly cafe at ArtsDepot and there’s even a free soft play area and a book corner for little ones to explore so mamas can eat their lunch in (relative!) peace.
Where: 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner North Finchley, N12 0GA
Nearest Tube: Totteridge & Whetstone / Woodside Park
Price: From £9 – be sure to book ahead / Suitable ages 2+
A Slice of Spain at Feria de Londres
Kicking off the school holidays in style, this Bank Holiday weekend why not soak up a slice of Spanish culture with the kids at Feria de Londres. Bringing entertainment and cuisine to London’s South Bank, kids can practice their best flamenco with mini dance workshop on Saturday afternoon and get crafty by fashioning their own Spanish fan and flamenco dress. Face painting and Spanish foodie delights aplenty are on offer from Camino, Brindisa, Circus Bros and the moreish Churros Garcia. Oh and did we mention there’s a cheeky wine tasting or two from those lovely folk at Tio Pepe for parched parents!
Where: Bernie Spain Gardens, (Next to OXO Tower Wharf), South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Nearest Tube: Waterloo
Price: Free event
Daylesford Days Out – Family Cookery Classes
A must-visit amongst families across London, Daylesford are a great choice for if you’re searching for a hearty brunch from farm to table. This May, why not escape the hustle and bustle of Half Term in the city and venture to Daylesford’s Cookery School in the heart of Gloucestershire. Their Family Cooking Together Course is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children (aged 4+) to experience a fun-filled day of cooking and eating. Tapping into their seasonal vales, expect dishes brimming with Spring flavours and fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from their Market Garden. Cook, create and enjoy the fruits of your labour with a well-earned glass or two of wine for the grown ups and delicious, organic juices for children.
When: 26th May / 10am – 2pm
Where: The Cookery School, Daylesford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire GL56 0YG United Kingdom
Baby Mats and Munchies and Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands is super venue for families this May Half Term. Older ones can explore the brand new Secret Rivers exhibition which is packed with workshops across the week. If you’ve babe in tow, there’s the beautiful birds sensory room on 30th May where you and your little one can rummage through soft feathers and touch the clouds, as you imagine soaring high above the London skyline. Did you know you can also hire one of the museums baby play mats? This brilliant inactive allows mums and babes to explore the museum galleries and play with a range of colourful, noisy and sensory items together. Looking for a family-friendly bite nearby? Canary Wharf’s Big Easy is BBQ heaven! Surf’n’Turf, banging burgers and towering triple decker chicken sandwiches. Their kids menu serves up three course for under a tenner – smaller bites of main menu classics – mini ribs, bitesized burgers, mac’n’cheese and BBQ chicken all come with veggie packed sides.
Where: Big Easy Canary Wharf, Park Level, Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London E14
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf / West India Quay
Penny Blacks and Pizza Pitstops
To celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday this month, The Postal Museum has a host of hands-on treats for tots to enjoy this half terms. From printing workshops led by RCA artist – Susie Foster, crafting Victorian top hats and tiaras fit for little prince and princesses, kids can even pay homage to the Penny Black by making a pop-out ‘Penny Black’ greetings card to send to family and friends. If all that arts and crafts and got your and your brood hungry, swing by Boxpark Shoreditch to grab slice at Voodoo Ray’s – two of their slices is equivalent to a whole 11 inch pizza! From a simple Ray’s Margherita smattered with oregano to the double cheese disco-dancing Giorgio Moroder oozing with goats cheese and mozzarella. All pizzas can be made gluten free for kids looking for a wheat-free pizza fix.
Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green
Picnics in the Park
If you’re planning a mums meet up en masse and fancy a quick foodie fix for the whole family why not make the most of Carluccio’s perennially popular picnics. From Italian classics to a brand new plant-powered offering. Both the Classic and Plant Power picnics are filled to the brim with delicious, freshly prepared Italian dishes, made from recipes adhering to Antonio Carluccio’s ‘MOF MOF’ food philosophy, minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour. From freshly baked focaccia and antipasto through to seasonal salads and Polpette di Fagioli – vegan bean balls with chickpea and aubergine purée. Pick-up your ready-made Italian feast in its chic, reusable Carluccio’s cool bag from your local restaurant and, to avoid disappointment mamas, on those super sunny days, order in advance! Individual Kid’s Picnics, priced at just £10, comes with grissini bread sticks, carrot, cucumber and celery sticks with tomato and basil dip; and meatballs in tomato sauce.
Carluccio’s – Available across London and the UK
DIY Biscuit Icing Cafe
If you’re a pottery café fan, Biscuiteer’s fantastic DIY Icing café will be right up your street. Parents and little Biscuiteers, can get creative by choosing from the daily selection of biscuit designs, icing colours and array of delectable decorations. Once you’re finished icing they’ll pack your favourite biscuit in to one of their hand illustrated biscuit gift boxes to take home. Biscuiteers DIY icing café lasts for up to an hour and is £18 for three biscuits, and includes all your icing materials plus one decorative box for your finished design. In the heart of Nappy Valley, their Northcote Road Icing Cafe is a brilliant afternoon treat for South London based families.
Where: 13 Northcote Road, London, United Kingdom, SW11 1NG
Price: £18 for three biscuits, additional £5 if you’d like an extra biscuit!
Kids Eat Free at HIX
Mark Hix has kids covered at his London restaurants with his epic kids eat free all year round offer. We all know that the school holidays can be expensive but dining at HIX is the ideal spot for an early dinner after a day in London this half term. Children under 10 can choose a complimentary main course from the kids menu when accompanied by a dining adult. With a kids menus offering the best of British seasonal food designed specially for our younger diners – expect to see dishes such as kids menu featuring dishes including HIX fish and chips with mushy peas, Glenarm minute steak with chips and Breaded chicken escalope with wild herb salad. Creative ones can also enter the HIX colouring competition to win a voucher for the family to dine at any of HIX’s restaurants.
HIX Soho – 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP / Tramshed – 32 Rivington Street, EC2A 3LX / Hixter – 16 Great Guildford St, SE1 0HS
101 Reasons To Love Half Term
Looking for an early-morning movie fix with the kids? The amazing Battersea Dogs Home have teamed up with Barbican Cinema for a special Family Film Club screening of 101 Dalmatians on Saturday 1st June (Book your spot here). Showcasing their welfare work, Battersea Dogs Home will give a short talk before the movie to educate little ones about pups at their sanctuary. With the movie kicking off at 11am, let us make lunchtime stress-free with a delicious suggestion – Chicken Shop. Just a hop and a skip from Whitechapel, their chicken’s are juicy and tender thanks to a long 24 hour marinate in sweet and smokey paprika, oregano, and garlic. Little ones will love their nuggets, corn on the cob and sweet potato fries.
Where: 27A Mile End Road, London, E1 4TP
Nearest Tube: Whitechapel
Music and Mexican at Southbank Centre
If you’re looking for creative play with a twist this May half term, journey to the Soundpit at The Royal Festival Hall. Created by artist Di Mainstone, Soundpit allows children and adults to explore their individual sense of sound, vision and touch. Run your hands through the sand, or even walk across it. Play in giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics, creating music with your own movements. You are the composer of your own masterpiece. A morning of fun for both big and little kids! If all that fun has got your little ones hungry why not nip into nearby Wahaca for a brilliant bite of Mexico’s street food. Only £5.50 with a drink included, Wahaca have created dishes especially for little Wahacos to explore the flavours of Mexico’s markets. Cheese toasted quesadilla sandwiches jam packed with guacamole are the gooey with goodness but we absolutely love the build your own tacos. Inspiring kids to craft their own meals, pick from chicken, steak, cod or veggies and layer up with crunchy lettuce, a zingy tomato salsa and mashed guacamole.
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Price: £8 per person
Nearest Tube: Embankment