Keep the kids entertained (and on your side) during October half-term 2021 (16-31 October 2021) in London with our pick of the capital’s best family activities and events over the school holidays.
Whether it's with teenagers or toddlers, pack your London October half-term holiday or staycation with fun activities, Halloween events and unique experiences. There are so many things to do over half-term in London, that you can easily fill the whole break: these family-friendly hotels and top restaurants for kids will help you plan your visit.
The week-long half-term holiday differs across the UK, with some regions choosing one week and other regions opting for the following week.
Reach #familygoals at top London attractions
- Pick up a Merlin five-in-one London attractions pass to enjoy top attractions, including Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.
- See London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Tower of London with a hop-on hop-off bus ticket.
- Find free museums and activities for kids in London for a budget-friendly half-term.
- Go on a sightseeing cruise with City Cruises – pick up a 24-hour sightseeing pass and hop on and off to your heart's content.
- Spend some time at London’s top attractions for kids, from entering the land of the lovable ogre at Shrek’s Adventure! London to the historic Tower of London, which is home to the Crown Jewels.
- Spot Nemo’s relatives and many more tropical species in the UK’s largest coral reef at SEA LIFE London.
- Stand 243m (800ft) above London while snapping family selfies at The View from The Shard.
- Spend the day exploring some of the capital's best museums and galleries, from the Natural History Museum and Museum of London to the National Gallery.
- Explore another universe during a spectacular show at the Peter Harrison Planetarium.
- Have a fun family day out and say hello to some of your favourite animals at ZSL London Zoo this half-term.
- Discover theatre, dance, music and more exciting performances across iconic locations in the city with Pop-Up London.
Find more London attractions for October half-term.
Cool stuff for teens this half-term in London
- Enjoy two evenings of rap battles, spoken word and poetry under the historic arches of Leadenhall Market with Breakin' Convention.
- Tuck into a tasty Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea with Insta-worthy views across London at Aqua Shard.
- Get the adrenaline pumping on a thrilling adventure, from The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, to fast and furious speedboat rides or a vertigo-busting Up at The O2 climb.
- Taste a rainbow at Flavour Rainbow, and immerse yourself in a colourful celebration of rainbows and flavours at the Royal Docks.
- Discover what space travel is really like with European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake.
- Master your skateboarding skills at the Southbank Skate Space.
- Watch a film at BFI Southbank – if you're 16 to 25 years of age, sign up for £3 tickets!
- Bounce around on trampolines, as you tackle high-rope adventures at Oxygen Freejumping at The O2.
- Create FOMO among your friends as you snap away at top Instagram spots in London, including Tower Bridge’s glass walkway, colourful Neal’s Yard and views from the Sky Garden.
- Grab an Insta-worthy cake and coffee at one of London's quirky cafes, including Peggy Porschen, Draughts or Biscuiteers.
- Go on a high-wire adventure at one of Go Ape’s testing courses.
- Master the controls as you emulate being a pilot at the Emirates Aviation Experience.
- Have a go at table tennis or challenge yourself to mountain biking and BMX trails at Lee Valley VeloPark.
- Watch an action-packed NFL game showcasing athletic prowess, sporting skills and lively entertainment.
- Immerse yourself in culture at London's best museum and gallery exhibitions.
Find more things to do with teenagers in London.
October half-term activities in London for younger kids
- See Little Amal in iconic locations across London as the 3.5m (11ft)-tall puppet arrives in the capital following her journey across Europe from the Turkey-Syria border.
- Head to the child-sized city of Kidzania in Westfield London, where little ones can enjoy more than 60 interactive activities and meet sporting heroes at the Middlesex County Cricket Club Experience.
- Join Simba on his adventures in The Lion King and transport yourself to a world full of dazzling costumes and stunning effects.
- Sing along with everyone's favourite nanny Mary Poppins, at Disney's delightful feel-good musical and discover more family favourites with the best London shows and musicals for kids.
- Experience magical moments as the extraordinary tale of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to life on stage.
- Or go behind the scenes and get a fascinating glimpse of the wizarding world at Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter.
- Enjoy a Butterbeer at The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition and view never-before-seen images of the making of the iconic film series.
- Pick up a paintbrush and get creative with art, drama and play at Family Art Day, part of The Bloomsbury Festival.
- Curious explorers bring your torchlight, as you spend a night in the museum discovering incredible creatures at Dino Snores for Kids, at the Natural History Museum.
- Learn about London's pioneering green transport technology and meet real engineers saving the environment at From Steam to Green at the London Transport Museum.
- Look out for school holiday activities at more of London’s children's museums and attractions during the half-term break.
Discover more family fun with our 101 things to do with kids in London.
Outdoor half-term activities
- Embark on a scenic journey along The Gruffalo's Child trail at Kew Gardens and encounter an enchanting array of wildlife and much-loved characters from the famous books.
- Get up close to some of your favourite big-screen stars with Scenes in the Square, including Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.
- Head over to Trafalgar Square and wave at the four bronze lion statues overlooking this iconic London landmark.
- Solve cryptic clues and discover London's hidden secrets as you explore the city in an immersive treasure hunt with Locked City.
- Let the kids run wild during a visit to London's leafy Royal Parks, including Greenwich Park, sprawling Hyde Park and pretty Regent's Park.
- Explore the enchanting Illuminature light trail and interact with giant wildlife sculptures and magical installations at London Wetland Centre.
- Fill a scrapbook with autumnal leaves from some of the City of London's parks and green spaces.
- Treat yourself to some delicious street food from the open-air Southbank Centre Food Market.
Get your spook on at Halloween in London
- Encounter unsavory characters from London's past at immersive The London Dungeon.
- Travel to some of the city's creepiest spots with The Ghost Bus Tours.
- Prepare for the ultimate scare as you navigate the Tombs at the London Bridge Experience.
Look out for other spooky children's Halloween activities across the city.
Hit the shops in London
- Discover the flagship LEGO store's huge collection of exciting LEGO sets and create your own LEGO portrait with the in-store mosaic maker.
- Explore a colourful chocolate-filled wonderland with a visit to M&M's World in Leicester Square.
- Step into the magical world of Hamleys and browse the shelves of London's largest toy shop this half-term.
- Source the latest fashions for your winter wardrobe: head to Zara, or Primark on Oxford Street for great value items, venture to Carnaby for iconic brands such as Dr Martens and Liberty London, or find the latest sportswear in Lillywhites and Niketown.
- Peruse the big-name stores at London's shopping centres and outlets, such as ICON Outlet at The O2, the London Designer Outlet, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
- Look for vintage threads in London’s markets, such as Portobello Road Market or Camden Market.
- Or stock up on more sustainable fashion finds at the Buck Street Market.
- Be pampered in Covent Garden and Seven Dials as you stock up on makeup and beauty products. Options include Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Toni&Guy.
- Pop over to hidden gem St Christopher's Place to discover a trendy array of shops and boutiques.
Seek out more shopping hotspots in London.