Hungry for ideas to keep the kids amused this half term? From creepy crafts and wildlife wonders to treasure hunts and sushi snacks, we’ve got you covered for a deliciously different October school holiday…
Creepy Crafts and Grim Keeper Tours at ZSL London Zoo
If Halloween is firmly on the agenda this halt term, make a beeline for ZSL London Zoo. Celebrating the more gruesome side of nature, kids can creep onto the Grim Keeper tour which is included in your ticket price across 19th – 27th October. From beastly challenges, spooky Animals in Action and ghoulish gila monsters lurking in the reptile house, little ones can follow a morning of mischievous monkeys and slithering snakes by sinking their teeth into our new range of hearty autumnal meals at The Terrace Restaurant, which is ultra baby and child-friendly. Little Keepers can enjoy mini portions from the hot counters or pick and mix from the fridges to create your own lunch box. In true seasonal spirit, there’s even a cheeky pumpkin latte for ma and pa.
Where: Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
When: 19th – 27th October
Nearest Tube: Camden
Price: Adult tickets start at £29.95
Family Sketching at The National Gallery
If a slice of culture is on the cards with the kids this October,The National Gallery combines family sketching sessions with carefully curated child-friendly food offerings at The National Café within The National Gallery. With a new brunch menu designed by restaurateur Oliver Peyton, big kids can choose from a healthy take on all the brunch classics including shakshouka – baked eggs in tomato sauce with chorizo; duck hash with Clarence Court duck eggs, and chilli and acai bowl with bananas, peanut butter, homemade granola and fresh fruit. Feeding little culture vultures? The kids menu includes a healthy array of brunch picks from stacks of pancakes and toasted teacakes to filling bowls of porridge set to make even Goldilocks green with every. Scrambled eggs and toast are ideal for weaning ones. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
Where: Trafalgar Square, London , WC25 5DN
When: 22nd, 23rd and 24th October, 11am – 4pm
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Get Your Halloween Bake On at Gail’s Bakery
A smidgen after half term but a whole lot of Halloween fun, little ones can get there best baby bake on this October at Gail’s. From witches fingers to gingerbread ghosts, these dinky biscuit baking, shaping and decorating workshops are ideal for kids longing to get crafty in the kitchen. Workshops are free and available on a first come, first serve basis. Classes kick off at 4pm and will be taking place at the on 29th, 30th and 31st October at the following Gail’s bakeries…
Tuesday 29th October: Farnham, Summertown, Camden, Barnes, Old Town, Abbeville, Battersea
Wednesday 30th October: Temple Fortune, Blackheath, Seymour Place, Wokingham, Loughton, Balham, Earlsfield, Queen’s Park
Thursday 31st October: Crouch End, Pimlico, Brook Green, Wandsworth, Northcote Road
For more information about Gail’s Halloween Gingerbread Baking workshop – click here
Fairy Tales and Tacos
Back for it’s 13th year, Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival returns this Autumn. Focusing on the whimsical world of fairy tales, book loving babes can get involved this half term with The Fairy Tale Trail. This free, do-it-yourself trail leads little ones around a playful trail kit, discovering the secrets of childhood fairy tales faves through cryptic puzzle-solving, creative looking, drawing and games. 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
When: 21st – 27th October
Nearest Tube: Embankment
Kids Eat Free as Las Iguanas
We love high-street hero Las Iguanas and this term kids eat free! For each grown up ordering a main meal from the a la carte menu, you can claim a free niños meal which includes a munch-worthy main, two sides and dessert complete from the natty Iggy & Friends kids menu. Designed for little ones to build they own meal, why not combine crazy quesadillas with a mini mixed salad and wibbly, woolly raspberry jelly or succulent lamb albondigas with rice and peas and a cheeky churro sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and a lip-smacking dark chocolate dip. If mealtime freeness isn’t enough, Las Iguanas ingenious Iggy & Friends menu comes complete with a free book or toy with every kids meal – little ones can tuck into tacos whilst reading the adventures of Iggy and his quirky crew on tour around Latin America or get creative with slot-together cardboard models of Iggy & Friends. For the tinies, Las Iguanas have free organic baby food and they can help to reheat baby bottles.
Where: Across the UK
When: 18th – 28th October
Fancy a Slice of Gruffalo Pie?
Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? 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: Pentland Theatre, artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 0GA
When: 22nd – 27th October
Nearest Tube: Totteridge & Whetstone / Woodside Park
Price: From £9 – be sure to book ahead / Suitable ages 3+
Seek Out Wally & Snack on Sushi
To celebrate the release of the new Where’s Wally? book, Double Trouble at the Museum, the London Transport Museum will be donning it’s finest red and white striped jumperfor Where’s Wally? The Big Museum Hunt. Kids can pick up the play trail on entry and make their way round the museum searching high and low, between the historic buses and classic trains to seek out Wally. With role play, eye spy, playing cards and activities to test out your little ones searching and finding skills around the trail, eagle-eyed kids can also take part in singing and storytelling throughout the day inside some of the museum’s special vehicles, some of which are not usually open to the public to board! Where to Choo-choose after to eat? We recommend Sticks’n’Sushi for a fast, fresh sushi fix. With three Okosama menus available for little ones, each bento box is served with a complimentary chocolate fish and your choice of a small glass of milk, organic elderflower or apple juice. The Sticks’n’Sushi bento box is the perfect pint-sized taster featuring chicken meatballs and rice, hospomaki rolls with salmon or cucumber, edamame beans snow peas and carrots with a sticky sweet miso dip.
Where: Covent Garden Piazza (south east corner), WC2E 7BB
When: 19th – 27th October
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
Price: £18 for adults / Children under 17 go free – tickets valid for 12 months
Alma Kids – Half Term Camp
As passionate about families as they are about food, Alma Kids is focused on wellbeing, food, health and consciousness. From plant based plates in their Belgravia based deli to kids classes which balance the body, mind and soul, Alma go beyond food. This Autumn their half term kids camp runs from 21st – 25th October between 10am and 1pm. Suited to tots from 4 to pre-teens, this interactive week long camp will see little ones explore the seasons and create plant based recipes with Miss Happy Gut; get groovy with Miss Heartful and her soulful music and sensory sound classes; Mr. Good Fat takes kids on an arty journey to discover the colours and pigments, to create unique drawings and there’s mini-mindfulness with Mr Balance’s yoga and dance classes. This is just a taste of half term fun at Alma, for more information visit their website.
Where: 11 Eccleston St, Belgravia, SW1W 9LX
When: 21st – 25th October
Nearest Tube: Victoria
Price: From £75
Skate and Snacks in South Kensington
We may be only in October but secretly we’re counting down to Christmas! Come on, we know you are too! If the thought of skating with your brood against the backdrop of one of the city’s most iconic museums ticks your boxes this half term, you’ll be overjoyed to hear that the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum will be open from 19th October. Whilst our tekkers leave a lot to be desired, if your mini ones are more Torvill and Dean, they will adore the magic of the rink, twinkle of the fairy light clad trees and warming cup of hot chocolate awaiting chilly nippers post-skate. The Penguin Skate Club will also be running lessons for children aged four to eight. Wrap up all that icy fun with a nearby nosh at Honest Burgers. Chicken, beef or veg – the mini burgers come with our rosemary salted chips and a drink, and cost 50% less than the grown up sized dishes (£5.50). From South Ken to South America, Honest’s October special is the Texas – Honest beef, steak chilli, Monterey Jack, Bull’s-Eye BBQ Sauce, crispy onions, sour cream, lettuce and pickles.
Where: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
When: 19th October – 12th January 2020
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Price: Adults from £12.65, children from £8.80, families from £39.60
Books & Bites at Alexandra Palace
If you’re kids are 8 and upwards, don’t miss your chance to hear live from one of the UK’s bestselling and most beloved children’s authors – Jacqueline Wilson on 21st October at Alexandra Palace. Celebrating her new book in the Tracy Beaker series – We are the Beaker Girls, Jacqueline will reveal what happens next to Tracy and her daughter Jess, inviting us inside the mind of Tracy Beaker and her plans for the future. Plus, illustrator of Jacqueline’s books, Nick Sharratt, will invite children to draw a character from the book along with him in real time. Zip down to nearby Muswell Hill for a bite as Bob’s Cafe, for little culinarians will love their extensive kids menu stacked with veggies and wholesome dishes including chicken schnitzel, teriyaki salmon and a rather epic fish goujon burger.
Where: Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
Nearest Tube: Wood Green
Price: £19.99 for children/ £23.99 for adults