Part 2: October Half-term in London 2012

Oct 20, 2012 by

Having spent hours scouring the sites of all our favourite cultural stomping grounds, I have comprised a list of what’s on offer and then broken it out into a “Preschool” and “School Age” area in the hopes of making it a bit easier to navigate.  There is a substantial amount of quality drop-in events going on all week long, hopefully enough to keep you all occupied and send the kids back into the classroom topped-up with some high-calibre learning.

But firstly,

Have you gotten around to sorting through your children’s art work yet?  Let Super Southwest London Mum Ann sort this out for you, she will photograph all your kid’s art work and make a keepsake treasure for you and your family.  An excellent gift for any family member, check out my review and look at mykidsartbook  or email

Lastly, I had the very good fortune of being introduced to Scandanavian Fitness founder, Linda Hedenstrom.  Linda has brought her efficient and effective Mums Boot Camps, to Central London parks; get in touch with Linda for a free Boot Camp Trial or personal training session if you mention London-baby.

Super Nanny and Baker Jessica Meyrick, The Latest Craze in the London’s Kids Party Scene: Want a fun-filled birthday party oozing with baking, making, doing and learning but don’t really have the time and/or courage to tackle this on your own?  Book Busy Bakers, London’s hottest new purveyor of birthday entertainment, and make your kid’s day easy, educational and memorable.  Completely bespoke baking parties for girls and boys, pop her an email and let her create a party for you.

Now on for this week’s half-term fun:

Just for Babies

Big Scream Gate Cinema: Located just up the steps for the Notting Hill Gate Underground, the historic and charming Gate Cinema puts on a fabulous baby cinema each week.  Come on your own or with friends, there’s low lighting, changing tables and coffee … great way to brighten up the doldrums of sleepless nights and feedings.  For infants under 1 year old, tickets £8, Tuesday 11th September, 10:30am.  This week’s screening: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Bach to Baby: fabulous concerts for carers with babes and toddlers.  Back to Baby is perfect for babes in arms as these are concert-hall luminaries performing for adults; these are not concerts pitched for children in particular, although they do enjoy them thoroughly.  Come join the fabulous Miaomiao Yo and guest artist Claire Sterling on the violin, Thursday, 1st November, 10:30am, Pimlico.  £10 per adult


Monkey Music, Jiggety-Jig for pre-schoolers 2 and 3 years: St. Stephen’s Church Gloucester Road, SW7: Mondays 4:20, Tuesdays 9:10.  St. Michael’s Belgravia, SW1: Tuesdays 4:20, Wednesdays 3:45 & 4:20, Fridays 9:10 & 11:05. National Army Museum: Thursdays 4:25. Cineworld, Fullham Road, SW1: Mondays 11:00, Tuesdays 9:40 & 11:00, Wednesdays 9:10.  Ring Caroline, office administrator on 0208-767-9827 or email Read London-baby’s review here

Le Institute Francais, Film: Kerity, La Maison de Contes.  Ages 3+, in French with English subtitles.  Saturday 3rd November 11am.  Seven year old Nathaniel inherits his aunt’s book collection, they turn out to house the heroes of children’s literature.  When his parents begin to caste away the magic books, Nathaniel bravely saves his new friends. £5

Tate Britain, BP Saturdays Tiny Tate.  Saturday 3rd November, 10am-3pm.  A free day of activities for children under the age of 5 and their older siblings.  Children will explore the space around the galleries using light and sound. Free, drop-in

V and A, Imagination Station: Head down to the education centre and collect a materials packet which includes a clipboard for sketching, glue, scissors, card, etc. and head off into the museum to copy a gorgeous Bodhisattva or an enchanting Ganesh.  For slightly older children, but a nice way to help occupy a toddler on a visit.  Monday 29th  – Friday 2nd. 10:30-5pm, ages 3+, free, drop-in

London Transport Museum: Storytelling 11am-1:30pm, Mon 29th – Fri 2nd.  Ages 3-7 years, free drop-in.  After the story, look for Bellboy Bob in the museum posters.

V and A Mini Movies: Fabulous sounding theatre workshop running daily for the under 5s.  Come and make monsters or fairies with your face and body. Sat 27th, Sun 28th and Sat 3rd, Sun 4th at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Free, drop-in.

National Gallery: Talk and Play Mon 29th Oct., 11:30 – 1pm and Draw and Play Tue 30th Oct 11:30-12:30.  Bring the under 5s in for this interactive session of learning, moving and perhaps making. Tickets allocated on arrival up to one half hour before the session starts.  Free.

Royal Albert Hall: Mosi Condi, Guinean “Groit” (storyteller) will be entertaining families with his own compositions drawing on African tradition.  Bring the little ones to the Elgar Free, all ages, tickets allocated on arrival.  Door 12, Consort Café (not in the Hall itself), noon – 1:30pm, Fri 2nd November.

National Portrait Gallery: Monday 29th Oct – Friday 2nd Nov, check the extensive calendar for specific dates and times, but children 3+ can make a family tree, make crazy family portraits, design their own story bag about their family, or go back in time and explore family life.  These workshops are relaxed and you make a quality artefact to take home with you.  Free, drop-in


School Aged Children

British Museum: in the Great Court of the British Museum, 11am – 4pm from Mon 29th – Fri 2nd Nov there will be a variety of activities focused on Shakespeare’s London.  Storytelling, craft-making and perhaps an appearance by the Bard himself.  Free, drop-in, all ages.

Somerset House: Spooky Cut and Paste, Saturday 27th Oct, 2-4pm ages 5+.  Come and join artist Yasmeen Ismail for a mini-workshop exploring cut out art.  Free, drop-in

National Portrait Gallery: Fabulous activities on offer for slightly older children (younger sibs warmly welcome), join photographer Bettina Von Zuehl and create your own family photograph; partake in a theatre workshop, or just learn about family portraits and create your own.  Check dates and times in the museum calendar.

V and A Screen Magic: Come and watch a screening of Wizard of Oz, held daily at 2pm.  This is in conjunction with the Hollywood costumes exhibit and might attract a lively crowd of Dorothy enthusiasts … free, drop-in

Royal Albert Hall: Mosi Condi, Guinean “Groit” (storyteller) will be entertaining families with his own compositions drawing on African tradition.  Bring the little ones to the Elgar Free, all ages, tickets allocated on arrival.  Door 12, Consort Café (not in the Hall itself), noon – 1:30pm, Fri 2nd November

Geffrye Museum: Monday – Friday there are loads of amazing activities running daily from 10:30-12:30 and 2-4pm.  You can make your own clay cutlery, design and create your own umbrella, create party napkins, crowns, hats, bake fairy cakes and more.  Free, spaces allocated on arrival

National Gallery: Half-term art workshops.  Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th, come join the artist led workshop and sketch a favourite National Gallery work and then work on a collaborative project using glowing light.  Free, spaces allocated on arrival, ages 5+.  11am-1pm and repeated 2-4pm.

Wallace Collection: Wednesday 31st October, drop-in art workshop.  Look in hidden nooks and crannies around the museum for hidden animal faces and then create your own mask.  Ages 5+, free, drop-in

Eenymeeny children’s boutique in Tufnell Park is having free face painting on Halloween, 3-6pm  for ages 3-10 years old.

The Gate Picturehouse Notting Hill, Kids Club.  Saturdays 10:30, £1 per ticket for members (membership costs £4), £2 for popcorn and juice.  This is my husband’s favourite gig in town on a rainy day when he’s been out late the night before (ahem).  The Gate is located at the top of the stairs to the Notting Hill Gate underground, is a fantastic old cinema, the Pirate Ship Playground is near-by or you can easily run into the West End or to the Museum Campus to enjoy some indoor culture.  This week’s classic: Jim Hanson’s Labyrinth with David Bowie

Be Sociable, Share!
468 ad


  1. That theatre workshop at the V&A sounds like fun. Might give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for compiling such an informative and helpful list. I live near Canary Wharf and am always looking out for things to do with my baby. It’s great to know what’s on in the wider city of London too! x

  3. Stefania

    just a comment regarding the story telling event at the London Transport Museums – this is not a really ‘free’ drop-in as you have to pay a full entrance ticket. The staff at the door (and at the shop !) are not really very helpful so personally I was given the wrong info, wasted a bit of time and missed the event. I decided not to go to the museum because the queue was ridiculously long at 11 am (it extended to the other side of the CGarden Square, outdoors) – I was there with my 3 yr old (no push chair), had already travelled in the tube and wasn’t really sure whether it would really be worth it – tickets are not really ‘cheap’. Luckily, the weather was nice this am and the Covent Garden area was busy with the poppy appeal event, music, the food market opening etc., so it was ‘ok’. I hope this feedback helps, and thanks for making all this info available.

  4. Huge apologies for that, but the site does states that there is a fee to enter. I am so sorry for your terribly frustrating day. For what it is worth, you pay £13.50 and its good for a year. I found it to be good value even if we would go once every other month.


  1. London Family Halloween Events | London-Baby - [...] There are loads of drop-in, free half-term events and activities going on click here to read more [...]

Leave a Comment