Looking for something to do in London with the kids for half term next week?
I’ve rounded up 12 London museums offering family activities. Best of all they are completely FREE – costing nought for either admission or the events themselves!
Remember to check with the venue to see if booking is required, and what ages the activities are designed for. In alphabetical order:
1. Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH
Tuesday 26 May-Friday 30 May 2014, 10.30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm and 4:00pm
A costumed storyteller will be in the Museum telling some of the adventures of Toad, Badger, Ratty and Mole, the popular characters from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ whose creator, Kenneth Grahame, was Secretary of the Bank from 1898 to 1908.
2. Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA
Monday 26 May-Wednesday 28 May and Friday 30 May 2014, times vary according to activity
Meet some local minibeasts on Monday,try your hand at puppet making on Tuesday, dress up in period costumes on Wednesday and come mudlarking on the foreshore on Friday.
3. Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA
Tuesday 27 May-Friday 30 May 2014, 10.30am-12.30pm and 2.00-4.00pm
Lots of ‘Ideal Homes’ themed craft activities throughout the week – make furniture sculptures, candle holders, plates and cup ornaments, bean bags, wall art, mini living rooms in a box, glorious garden cushions, a marvellous mirror, a designer lamp or a photo frame. There is story telling throughout the week for under 5s too.
4. Grant Museum, Rockefeller Building, UCL, 21 University Street,London WC1E 6DE
Tuesday 27 May-Saturday 31 May 2014, 1.00pm-4.30pm
Ravenous Reptiles – fun hands-on specimen based activities. See my review of the Grant Museum here.
5. Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ
Monday 26 May- Friday30 May 2014, 11.00am-2.45pm
From Monday to Wednesday you can create some beautiful paper flowers hidden inside a decorated cup, and watch the flower ‘grow’. On Thursday and Friday you can make nature nests, complete with mini-inhabitants.
6. Hunterian Museum, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE
Thursday 29 May 2014, 11.00am or 2.00pm
A Young Person’s Guide to the Hunterian – family friendly tours.
7. Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, London NW3 7JR
Monday 26-Friday 30 May 2014, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Fun hands-on activities, getting up close with Kenwood’s collections and drawing inspiration from the Masters.
8. Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Saturday 24-Sunday 1 June 2014, times vary according to activity
There’s something for families every day, kicking off with the weekend Family Festival: The City we Live in. This is followed by musical and story sessions for toddlers, art workshops inspired by London’s stained glass and parks, mapping London landmarks, exploring the stories behind London’s street names and drama workshops.
9. Museum of London in Docklands, 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL
Saturday 24 May 2014 and Monday 26-Saturday 31 May 2014, times vary according to activity
Art drop-ins include create your own city scenes, help add to their giant map project and transform maps into works of art. There’s also a workshop to create a beautiful art piece inspired by the words of different cultures and an ‘Explore the City’ themed toddler session.
10. Museum of the Order of St John, St John’s Gate, St John St, London EC1M 4DA
More information on their half term activities is promised soon.
11. Ragged School Museum, 46-50 Copperfield Rd, London E3 4RR
Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May 2014, 10.00am-5.00pm
Happy Birthday Queen Victoria! Expect bunting, slices of Victoria sponge cake and lots of fun family activities – make you very own, very regal crown, create a silhouette of the Queen’s regal face and send a birthday card to Queen Vic!
12. V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA
Monday 26- Friday 30 May 2014, times vary according to activity
A Victorious Victorians themed week! Activities include a Victorian Children’s Trail, dressing up, an Investigation Station, making a simple cup-and-ball toy to take home and storytelling with The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. British Sign Language interpretation is available for the 11.15 and 12.00 storytelling shows on Friday 30 May.
Don’t forget the nationals! The British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, National Maritime Museum, Science Museum, TATE, V&A Museum and The Wallace Collection will all be open, FREE and have plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Wishing you all a very happy half term, whatever you get up to!