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How to Keep the Kids Happy this Half Term

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How to Keep the Kids Happy this Half Term

Pack your diaries with a week full of fun with our guide to activities at home and away…


If you’re on the look out for child-friendly activities to keep the kids happy this October half term school holiday, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best special events and nationwide diary dates to keep the little ones in good spirits for the week-long break. With kids’ Halloween activities and outdoors autumn pursuits, there’s something for everyone… 


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What to Do This October Half Term

Half Term Events in London

Kids’ Sci-Fi Tea at the Ampersand

Kids’ Sci-Fi Tea at the Ampersand

Winner of the best themed afternoon tea at the Afternoon Tea Awards, The Drawing Rooms has expanded its offering to include a new kids’ Sci-Fi Tea in line with its science tea offering. This makes for the perfect pit stop after a morning exploring the neighbouring Natural History and Science Museums. Served on brightly coloured rocket stands, the kids’ Sci-Fi Tea offers a special selection of children’s favourites, including mini hot dogs, rocket cheese straws and brioche and jam sandwiches. There are even experimental build-your-own science puddings to top everything off. The menu is available 12:30-9pm, Monday – Saturday and 12:30-6pm on Sundays for £29.50 per person.

Big Draw at Tower Bridge

On 20 October, Tower Bridge will be taking part in the Big Draw, with help from Artist in Residence Imogen Piper. All activities are included in the admission price, so head to the Victorian Engine Rooms and let young artists have a go at drawing the engines themselves, or create patterns inspired by Imogen’s work. All ages, recommended ages 6-10. 

The Tiger Who Came To Afternoon Tea at The Savoy

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at The Savoy

One not to miss – The Savoy’s very first children’s afternoon tea is sure to be spectacular. As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Judith Kerr’s treasured classic, the iconic picture book will be the inspiration for a feast of teatime treats such as those that Sophie and her mummy shared with the visiting Tiger. The Tiger Who Came to Tea at The Savoy will be priced from £40 per child aged from five to 12 years old and will comprise sandwiches, tiger striped scones and pastries and more.

Autumnal games at HarvestFest, Skylight

Autumnal games at HarvestFest, Skylight

Head to London’s rooftop destination Skylight this autumn with the whole family to enjoy an array of new seasonal lawn games. Get competitive over a game of ‘Horseshoes’, Urban Pallet Skittles or ‘Apple Draughts’, where traditional counters are replaced by apples and played across a giant black and orange checkerboard. Food comes in the form of enormous amounts of melted cheese from alpine street food vendors Raclette Brothers (yes please) and the view is courtesy of London’s skyline.

Sleeping Beauty Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

From 22 October to 26 October this half term, The Dorchester will be putting on a special children’s afternoon tea with entertainment from English National Ballet School’s young dancers. With a Sleeping Beauty theme, guests can enjoy narration, face painting, mini tutus and crowns. The King, Queen, three good fairies, Maleficent, Prince and Princess Aurora and more will be found pirouetting among the tables while young diners enjoy their afternoon tea. The Dorchester’s Sleeping Beauty Afternoon Tea is priced at £75 per adult including a glass of champagne, and £42 for children aged 5-12.

Halloween at Greenwich Market and Pier

Head to Greenwich for a Pumpkin Hunt and a Spooktacular Halloween Day on 25-26 October. Children can collect a Pumpkin Passport to get stamped and receive treats on the route, which will include costume workshops, zombie dancing and a scary fashion show.

Half Term Events in the Country

Pumpkin Flotilla at Lower Mill Estate

Pumpkin Flotilla at Lower Mill Estate

For a Halloween break to remember for all the family, check into Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds for a full day of spooky fun. On Halloween morning guests and holiday home residents will choose their pumpkin and carve it, before handing it over to be mounted onto a float. After an afternoon of activities, families can return to the lakeside to toast marshmallows at firepits, sip hot chocolate and spot their pumpkin as it floats eerily across the misty lake. There will also be an Into the Wild nature walk at dusk where guests can try to spot Lower Mill Estate’s beavers, owls and other things that go bump in the night…

Book it: Lower Mill Estate offers three nights at Damselfly over 27 October from £531. The pumpkin flotilla experience is free to all guests of Lower Mill Estate on Halloween with an optional donation to Dreamflight. The Into the Wild walk is £15 per person. 01285 869 489

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Hunting for Bugs with National Trust

© National Trust Images Chris Lacey

Let nature lead the way for spooky goings-on this Halloween at Sheringham Park. Join the fascinating fungi trail, hunt for creepy crawlies on a spider safari, or go foraging for food to enjoy a wild afternoon tea. If you’re really lucky you might even spot an owl. What a hoot. 18-28 October |

Croome, Worcestershire

One for apple lovers this half term – the orchards at Croome are stuffed full of apples at this time of year, so get down there and explore them for yourself. Follow the autumnal apple trail to find a variety of tasty treats hidden around the parkland. 20 Oct – 4 Nov, 10am – 4pm |

The Eden Project Weather Maker

Eden Project

How do you prepare for the weather in Britain? Make your own, of course! The Weather Maker is part of the Rainforest Canopy Walkway at the Eden Project in Cornwall, enabling everyone to explore the world’s largest indoor rainforest from the treetops. Tropical rainstorms and a wobbly rope bridge in the cloudy treetops; sounds like a welcome break from the UK autumn climate…

Wallington, Northumberland

Red Squirrel

© National Trust Images John Millar

Something for the early birds this half term, while everyone else is still tucked up in bed, there’s a hive of activity to discover at Wallington. Join Wallington’s Red Squirrel Ranger Glen Graham to take a wander around the estate as the sun rises on a special dawn patrol on the 2 November. You can help him feed the red squirrels, give the birds their breakfast and look out for the tracks of deer, hares and foxes. Price: £30. Booking essential via 01670 773606. Suitable for ages 12+ |

What’s on in the country? The Culture Diary will tell you… | Looking for more to do in London? The London Diary is your ticket.




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