Half-term can be a stressful time for parents, and can sometimes make the prospect of a trip to London seem like a bad idea. Well, there is so much going on in London this February half-term (Monday 17 February 2020 – Friday 21 February 2020) that London in February really doesn’t have to be limited to those booking Romantic Package Hotel deals. It can also be a family experience, and here is how to achieve it:
Fun afternoon tea: Harry Potter
Though hotels in Kensington London are undeniably some of the finest producers of the best Indian afternoon tea in London, there is no denying that a very formal tea experience isn’t quite a recipe for success when it comes to young kids. Yes, they will enjoy the sweet treats, but it doesn’t have quite enough excitement to warrant an exciting story which they will tell their friends. Luckily, London has a range of fun child-friendly afternoon tea experiences that come with a wealth of surprises and thrills. One of the best of the bunch is The Harry Potter Afternoon Tea, down in Cutter & Squidge’s Potion Room, has bubbling potions for drinking and magical snacks for devouring, making it a magical experience for not only the kids but parents alike.
Address: Cutter & Squidge, 20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ
To some, a trip to the theatre may seem like a distinctly adult experience – especially if you are thinking of a trip to the West End as an evening activity that is usually followed by a couple of cocktails. However, this would be entirely overlooking the fact that matinee performances exist. Not to mention, these afternoon screenings of some of London’s finest theatrical performances are usually cheaper, too. There are a few shows on throughout February which will prove a delight for the kids, including The Lion King at The Lyceum theatre, Mary Poppins at The Prince Edward Theatre, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Palace Theatre, Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, and last (but never least), The School of Rock at Gillian Lynne Theatre. You know your children best, so pick something you know will make their little sides split with laughter and happy mouths shriek with joy as they marvel at the West End’s remarkable ability to produce one showstopper after another!
Address: Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7RQ
The Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4HS
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham St, London WC2H 9HU
Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Ln, Holborn, London WC2B 5PW
The V&A Museum of Childhood
The V&A Museum of Childhood is yet another parental success in that it is fascinating for both adults and children, meaning a family day out is always more than achievable here. While the children play, the adults learn and vice versa. During the month of February, visit the museum knowing that there is always something to do, whether it is an organised event or a permanent exhibition – or even just the interactive play area. Make the most of the kid-friendly and often low-cost activities, designed to keep your child both entertained and stimulated during their holidays. There are games, exhibitions, interactive fun and more. Learning and playing are never so intertwined as from the inside of the V&A Museum of Childhood.
Address: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA
The Kids’ Kitchen
You will run out of ideas for what to do with the kids if you are focusing solely on typical children’s activities, like play parks or child-specific shows. While cooking is usually your job, the tables turn in London when you send your children to The Kids’ Kitchen. Don’t let your child miss out on the fun as well as fulfilling classes during the school holidays and on weekends, which offer children the opportunity to get their hands dirty in a safe environment. It will hopefully inspire them to enjoy food and help them understand the importance of nutrients. The kids will cook both sweet and savoury treats from scratch using fresh ingredients and a whole lot of holiday love. Best yet (for you, that is), the environment really encourages kids to try new things and may result in an easier home life for you when they are happy to experiment with what you cook for them (and even help out!)
Address: Oakleigh Ave, Whetstone, London N20 9JJ
The British Museum is a world-class museum which is just superb to attend all year, but they are particularly on the ball during the school holidays – it appears The British Museum knows just how tricky it can be to keep your little ones constantly entertained during their break. At the Families Desk in the Great Court, you can collect backpacks and activity packs to give yourself family-friendly and activity-dense self-guided tours of the museum. For just £6, you can purchase an audio guide – meaning your child gets the full audio-visual experience without you needing to play tour guide. During the school holidays, they have a variety of fun and fulfilling workshops which help the children fathom the complexity of this amazing museum in terms and ways they understand. There are a number of interactive digital exhibitions, explorer trails and exciting objects the kids will love. Top tip: arrive as early as possible to miss the crowds – it can get busy over the holidays because it is a really popular attraction with great activities on offer!
Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG
February is not just for romance and young couples booking Club Rooms London, it can also be a family destination this year during the school holidays. School holidays often evoke dread in loving but stressed and tired parents, and a trip to London may be what the whole family needs to unwind and be entertained.