8 Half Term Ideas Near You
Keep boredom at bay with these brilliant February half term activities and attractions for the whole family
GLOBETROTTERS SAFARI AT ELTHAM PALACE AND GARDENS
Eltham Palace – which was owned by wealthy textile industrialists the Courtaulds – is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco design in Britain today – and there is much to explore there. While children can play dress up in wartime uniforms in the basement, the outdoor play area will also keep them busy. During half term, kids can turn safari hunters and explore the palace in search for the exotic animals that the Courtaulds loved, such as their Madagascan pet lemur Mah-Jongg, as well as games in the Great Hall.
18-22 February; adults £15.00, children £9.00, family £39.00
IMAGINE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
The Southbank Centre will be hosting several fun-packed events which are geared around kids’ literature and performing arts. There are shows, live music and plenty of book- related activities that form over 60 events – including singing and instrument workshops, face painting, and Elmer The Patchwork Elephant’s David Mckee offering a unique insight into his career as an illustrator, as well as presenter Sue Perkins guest conducting the Noisy Notes orchestra. Meanwhile, younger kids can enjoy Peppa Pig and family’s first-ever live concert.
13-24 February; see website for full listings and event tickets; Southbank Centre, www.southbankcentre.co.uk
LOVE BIRDS AT MORDEN HALL PARK
The National Trust’s Morden Hall Park has a brand new wildlife trail and families will be able to learn about our feathered friends by picking up a worksheet from the garden centre. Meanwhile, during half term to help celebrate National Nest Box Week, visitors can also make their own bird feeders and decorate a cosy bird box.
20-22 February, £5 per bird box session (bookable in advance) and £2 for a bird feed (just drop-in) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall-park whats-on
KNIGHT SCHOOL TOWER OF LONDON
Fancy swinging a sword at one of London’s most iconic landmarks? This February half term become a knight and defend the Tower of London — wannabe warriors will need to learn all the essentials to a knight’s arsenal from manners and étiquette to entertainment and martial arts skills. Finally, the training culminates in a knighting ceremony, where new recruits are enlisted to defend the Tower and keep it safe from marauding invaders.
16-24 February; adults from £27.50, children from £10.75
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
History comes alive this half term at Hampton Court – with special events exploring what life was really like in a Baroque Palace. Visitors will be able to meet characters from Hampton Court’s past and learn about the stories of Queen Anne and her courtiers via live drama and hands-on activities. Plus, not forgetting all the other usual attractions including the maze, gardens and Henry VIII’s kitchens.
16-24 February; adults from £19.20, kids from £9.60
THE GREAT BRICK SAFARI AT RHS GARDEN WISLEY
Look inside the Glasshouse and you’ll discover a wonderful array of 40 life-size LEGO brick sculptures nestled amongst the foliage – from lions and meerkats to a gorilla and elephant, there are even LEGO plants that have been created especially for Wisley. Not only can you learn about each animal and plant as you find them, but during half term you’ll be able to take part in LEGO making workshops and get a chance to sit and have your photo taken in a LEGO jeep, too.
16-24 February; adults £14.50, children £7.25. family £37.00
PUDDLE JUMPING AT WWT LONDON WETLAND CENTRE
We all know how much young kids love jumping in puddles – now here’s the chance for your little ones to actually be rewarded for their ‘splashing’ ingenuity! Why not enter the London Puddle Jumping Championships at WWT London Wetland Centre during half term. Children of all ages can grab their wellies and get splishing and splashing. There will be a prize each day for the selected ‘super-splasher’ and a London Puddle Jumping Champion will be announced at the end of the week. Don’t forget to bring your wet weather gear!
16-24 February; adults from £12.72, kids from £7.72
LAMBING SEASON AT BOCKETTS FARM
With the start of spring lambing season, head over to Bocketts Farm in Dorking, and ‘meet the shepherd’ to not only learn about these fluffy animals, but witness over 70 new born lambs! After the cute-o-meter has reached its peak, you still have tons of activities to amuse yourselves from pony and tractor rides to pig racing and animal feeding, as well as the huge outdoor and indoor play areas.
16-24 February; adults £11.00, children from £9.70