If you’re taking a break in the capital with your family, there’s an almost infinite list of things to do and see, so it’s a good idea to plan your break in advance.
We have two hotels in London; the Hallmark Hotel London Chigwell Prince Regent and the Hallmark Hotel London Croydon Aerodrome – each one perfectly situated at opposite ends of London so whichever one you’re staying in, you will be within easy reach of everything that the big city has to offer.
The ultimate winner with kids (big and small) will be stepping into the wizarding world that is the award-winning Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour. Walk along the cobbles of Diagon Alley, see the iconic props used in the films and the original costumes!
The studio tour is also running a ‘Dark Arts’ event throughout October and into November, so this half term you can step into the Great Hall and be surrounded by hundreds of floating pumpkins as well as learning how to command your wand and taking part in a live duel with Death Eaters. The perfect half term Halloween treat, and under an hour away from our Chigwell Prince Regent hotel!
For an extra serving of wizard magic, check out the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibition at the British Library.
KidZania in Westfield is a hugely popular family day out and we must agree that it’s one of the finest children’s attractions in the country. Designed for children aged four to 14, KidZania is a miniature ‘indoor city run by children’. During a four-hour stay, your little ones will have the opportunity to take part in up to 60 real-life activities through role play. They can be a doctor, police officer, actor, pilot, chef – anything they want.
They’ll learn about the world and budgeting by acting out their roles and earning ‘kidzos’ (KidZania’s own currency for kids) that they can spend or put in the bank. This is an incredible blend of learning and play – where they get to explore life in a world their own size and learn all about the grown-up world in a fun and safe environment.
Museums are excellent places to take the family during half term and there are some wonderful exhibitions and events on in October. For example, Memories of Teddy Bears at the V&A Museum of Childhood is a series of workshops, activities and displays dedicated to cuddly toys.
A fun way of seeing London is aboard the Thames Rockets. A pricey but spectacular way to see some of the capital’s best landmarks and all from a red speedboat thrashing down the Thames at speeds of up to 35ph! The guides are fantastic, performing quick-witted routines whilst giving passengers tons of fascinating tales of London life. Kids will love this thrilling experience (as will parents) and they will have fun getting to wear proper life jackets!
As part of the London Literature Festival, the Southbank Centre is putting on a fantastical puppet show which will bring to life Icelandic myths, tales and legends through the eyes of a young girl and her strange mountain friends. The show is called Troll and runs from the 25-27th of October. It looks like an enchanting mix of ghost stories and folk tales, making it the perfect half term treat for kids aged between four and nine.
If you’re in London with the kids on the 22nd of October, then again, the Southbank Centre is where you need to be; for the FUNharmonics Family Concert. They’ll be showing The Gruffalo’s Child on the big screen, accompanied by live music played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. An absolute treat for the senses and a delight for Gruffalo fans everywhere.
There is no shortage of places to go and explore during half term with your family, there’s almost too many to mention, but we hope this guide will give you a few ideas. Keeping your little ones active, busy and learning during their school holidays will really recharge their batteries ready for the new term.
When staying with us, do remember to ask any of our staff if you have any questions or need more information on excursions you’d like to try.