Five Free Things to do in London This October Half-Term


Looking forward to a week with the kids? Here’s a round up of five of the best free things to do in London this October half-term…

1. The Big Draw

Billed as ‘the world’s biggest drawing festival,’ the idea is, simply, to provide opportunities for people of all ages to draw. This year’s theme is ‘It’s Our World,’ so the focus is on the environment and sustainability, and there are events at venues across the capital throughout October. Art galleries, such as The National Gallery and the Royal Academy are involved, as well as some schools and theatres, and some more unusual places like the Bank of England.

2. The Imperial War Museum Poppy Field

Using paper and wire kids can create their own poppy which will be put in the vast ‘Poppy Field’ at the museum. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and also remembers all those who have given their lives in war in any conflict.

3. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Now open to the public with free entry, the Olympic Park in London’s Stratford can be a fantastic destination for a day out. Some activities need to be paid for, but prices are reasonable – a family of four can swim in the Olympic pool for under £15, and for a small fee a family can use their own bikes on the velodrome cycling track. However, there are lots of free trails to follow, including a children’s trail with secret missions, and the specially designed ‘Tumbling Bay’ playground with a café and picnic areas nearby.

4. Free City Farms

London has several city farms with free entry – Hackney, Spitalfields and Vauxhall are all great options, but Kentish Town City Farm is always focused on younger visitors. It provides weekend workshops, dedicated volunteers and an under-fives activity room.

half-term activites 2

5. Free Museums and Galleries

London has plenty of museums and galleries with no charge for entry – some are particularly good for children. The Science Museum has plenty of interactive exhibits for children of all ages, and the Natural History Museum and V & A Museum of Childhood are focused on kids too. For arty children, the Tate Modern is a fantastic option – not only is there the famous Turbine Hall for the kids to run around in, several cafes and a stunning riverside setting – the gallery also provides free kids activities daily, and the building is so huge they are unlikely to get bored.

About Author

Olivia Spencer is a writer and researcher living in London with her husband and two children. Previously a Philosophy graduate and chartered accountant, Olivia now blogs for the Huffington Post and writes for other sites and magazines with a special interest in parenting and mental health. She has written a book about postnatal depression in dads - Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers (Free Association Books, Sept 2014).

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