Yes, it may well feel like we’ve only just had the Christmas holidays but the February half term is fast approaching. If you plan to be in London for the school holidays then the good news is that there are lots of fun things taking place for the whole family, including plenty of free events.
February half term 2023 runs from Monday 13 February to Friday 17 February. And, if the weather doesn’t play ball then don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do if you find yourself in London on a rainy day.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy for more details.
What to do in London during February half-term
Family Workshops at the Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum, founded by Philanthropist Thomas Coram in 1739, are hosting a choice of half-term workshops for kids including building spaces for an imagined future using a range of recycled materials, creating unique self-portraits in a hands-on sculpture and animation workshop and designing a unique outfit that truly represents you.
Where: The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ
When: The Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm; workshops take place 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm and are open to families with children aged 5-12.
Imagine Children’s Festival
One of the best children’s festivals in town is the annual Imagine held at the Southbank Centre. Showcasing the best in children’s literature, theatre and music, this year’s festival promises to be as good as ever. There are over 100 events jam-packed into 11 days and over 50% of the festival is completely free.
Highlights include a band jam with CBeebies saxophonist YolanDa, a modern retelling of Rapunzel by BalletLORENT, talks by children’s authors Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, a daytime rave with the world’s youngest DJ, and much more.
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
When: The festival is held from February 8 – 18; check the website for details
February Half Term at the London Transport Museum
There are lots of fun family-friendly activities taking place at the London Transport Museum this February half term celebrating the 160th anniversary of the London Underground.
Get stuck into a giant game of Connect 4, answer quiz questions about the London Underground on a puzzle solving trail through the galleries, add a message to the #LoveTheTube wall…and more!
Where: The London Transport Museum,
When: Activities take place from Saturday 11 February to Sunday 19 and are included in the admission price.
Festival of Hieroglyphs at The British Museum
Head to The British Museum this half term and explore ancient Egypt as part of the museum’s exhibition Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt. Activities include crafts and storytelling and take place in various locations across the Museum.
Where: The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
When: 16th and 17th of February from 11am – 4pm (8pm on the 17th). Check website for details.
Vets in Action at ZSL London Zoo
Become a zoo vet this February half-term at the ZSL London Zoo. The Vets in Action is an award-winning role-playing experience for budding veterinarians.
After arriving for work at the Zoo’s specially-recreated zoo vet centre, junior vets will be prepped before helping experts examine, diagnose and carry out treatments on soft toys, experiencing first-hand the huge variety of work carried out by the Zoo’s vets, vet nurses and zookeepers – from microchipping meerkats to ultrasounding pregnant sloths.
Vets in Action is included in the entry price; tickets must be booked in advance.
Where: ZSL London Zoo, Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
When: Activities run from 11 – 19 February, from 10.30am – 12.30pm, and 1.30pm – 4pm.
Family Time at The Museum of Home
The Museum of the Home are running an assortment of activities during the half term holidays around the theme of making memories. Enjoy performances, hands-on workshops and fun in the gardens. More details will be released soon.
Where: The Museum of Home
When: Dates TBC but will be over the half term holidays.
Spectacular stunts, slapstick humour and plenty of circus thrills and skills take place in this jaw-dropping family-friendly show this February half term in London.
Over thirty fearless acrobats, aerialists and stuntmen take to the stage for a show that is guaranteed to keep all family members happy. Don’t miss the motorcycle Globe of Death – speeding motorbikes inside a steel globe that travel at up to 60 miles per hour!
Where: Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9BN
When: February 9 – March 11, 2023
Curling at King’s Cross Coal Drops Yard
Forget bowling and try curling! This ancient Scottish sport is the perfect way to entertain the family. Six lanes are on offer at Coal Drops Yard for teams of up to six players.
Where: King’s Cross Coal Drops Yard
When: Open daily from 12pm – 8pm
Half Term at Hampton Court Palace
Join the team of historic cooks in the Tudor kitchens and discover what life working in King Henry VIII’s court was like in the 16th century. Discover the roles required for the smooth operation of the palace, from yeoman guards and porters to daily waiters, junior courtiers and kitchen staff and see if you have what it takes to keep the King happy!
Don’t forget to enjoy the Magic Garden while there and the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze in the palace gardens.
Where: Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
When: 11 February – 19 February; included in palace admission
Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil
The latest show by Quebec-based circus colossus Cirque du Soleil is a steampunk-inspired show full of incredible costumes and stupendous stunts and acrobatics.
Like all Cirque shows, Kurios is filled with the kind of acts and tricks that have you scratching your head wondering how on earth it’s physically possible to, for example, pedal a bicycle while spinning upside down.
Where: The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP
When: 13 January – 5 March
Ice rink at Canary Wharf
The ice rink at Canary Wharf is welcoming skaters until Saturday February 25 so you get your skates on and head on down for a half term spin on the ice. The park is located in Canada Square Park.
Where: Canary Wharf Ice Rink. Nearest tube: Canary Wharf Station
When: Until 25 February
Isaac Newton and the Mystery at the Mint at the Tower of London
The year is 1696 and Isaac Newton arrives to his new post at the Tower to find a mismanaged tangle of deceit and fraud. He sets about bringing order to the Royal Mint but he needs your help!
Newton needs you to keep watch on the Mint workers going about their day at the Tower and see if you can spot suspicious gang members.
Where: The Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB
When: 11 – 19 February. On dry weather days, find Isaac Newton on the South Lawn at 11.00, 13.00 and 14.30.
At other times, or in wet weather, head to the Lower Bowyer Tower where you will find him adding the final touches to his new office.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year continues at the Natural History Museum with 100 photographs showcasing some of the world’s best wildlife photographers.
Where: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
When: Until 2 July, 2023
Hallyu! The Korean Wave
Hallyu! The Korean wave at the V&A has been running since last September but if you haven’t seen it yet then it’s a great option for older kids this half term. The exhibition showcases the colourful and dynamic popular culture of South Korea from Gangnam Style and Squid Game to the incredible popularity of K-Pop bands.
Where: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
When: Until 25 June, 2023
Family events at the V&A
There are a series of fun workshops taking place at the V&A Museum over half term including a Digital Drop-in where you can make a piece of video art, a Korean calligraphy workshop and the chance to build a rubbish puppet. See the website for details and booking information.
Where: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
When: Various dates, see website for details
Frozen the Musical
Although not new for February half term 2023, it’s still worth mentioning the magic that is Frozen the Musical. Watching the story of Anna and Elsa on stage is the perfect way to spend a day over half term. Don’t forget to enjoy the rest of Covent Garden with the kids while there.
Where: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
When: Booking through to October 2023
Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination
Blast off into space on a unique story-led exhibition at the Science Museum that examines visions of the future through science and science fiction, encountering authentic items from science fiction films, TV series and literature as well as scientific objects that have shaped modern life.
Where: The Science Museum
When: Until 4 May 2023
Dive In to SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Dive into SEA LIFE London Aquarium this February Half Term and discover a magical underwater world home to giant Sand Tiger Sharks, tiny clownfish, Gentoo penguins and more.
You can combine a visit to the aquarium with Shrek’s Adventure next door.
Where: SEA LIFE London Aquarium, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB
When: Open daily 10am – 4pm and to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday
Explore, build and play at The National Gallery
Celebrate architecture and materials with Play Build Play as the Gallery approaches its building transformation.
Work with artists artists James and Eva to seek out decorative details throughout the Gallery from floor mosaics to colourful motifs.
Where: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
When: Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February from 11am – 4pm. This is a free drop-in event available on a first come, first served basis.
Brick Dinos at the Horniman Museum
The Horniman Museum is always a great place to go with kids and this half term is no exception. Don’t miss this family-friendly event where some of the largest beasts to ever walk the earth have been created in miniature form by artist Warren Elsmore and his team.
The exhibition also features rarely seen specimens from the Horniman’s stores, and a range of hands-on activities for children to enjoy including build your own dinosaur and digging for fossils.
Where: Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ
When: Opens 10 February, 10am – 5.30pm. Advanced booking recommended.
Out at Sea at the National Maritime Museum
Celebrate LGBTQ+ maritime history through the ages at National Maritime Museum this half term. See live performances, storytelling, film screenings and talks, and take part in creative workshops that are fun for the whole family.
Where: National Maritime Museum, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF
When: Saturday 18 February 2023 | 10am – 5pm
Uniqlo Tate Play: Holiday Make Studio at the Tate Modern
Bring your dreams to life by making a magical montage inspired by a special moment you’ve experienced in this half-term craft event at the Tate Modern. Rip, snip, stick, cut and create your heart out in this lively, free drop-in workshop.
Where; Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
When: Daily 10am – 6pm
Water Power at the London Museum of Water & Steam
Discover the wonder of water power this half term with fun activities and events at the London Museum of Water & Steam. Watch the Water Movers Science Show, get involved with a community art project and get hands-on with STEAM activities.
Where: The London Museum of Water & Steam, Green Dragon Ln, Brentford TW8 0EN
When: 12 February – 19 February
The Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens
Discover the wonderful plant world of Cameroon with Kew Gardens’ annual Orchid festival. Inspired by the beauty and biodiversity of Cameroon, Orchids 2023 is a vibrant celebration of colour and warmth to brighten up the winter months.
Walk through the glasshouse and discover larger-than-life sculptures including towering giraffes, wallowing hippos and a troop of gorillas.
Where: Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, Richmond
When: 4 February to 5 March 2023
Comedy Club 4 Kids at the ArtsDepot
A comedy show that the whole family can enjoy takes place this February half term at the ArtsDepot. For ages 6 to 400!
Where: ArtsDepot, 5 Nether St, London N12 0GA
When: Sunday 12 February 12pm and 2.30pm
The Light Festival at Battersea Power Station
The Light Festival at Battersea Power Station bring some much needed cheer to the dark nights between 19 January to and 5 March. Guaranteed to entertain kids of all ages plus, it’s completely free!
Curated in partnership with Amsterdam’s Light Art Collection, highlights include a giant rainbow slinky and Eternal Sundown. Food huts and trucks are on hand if anyone in the group gets peckish.
Where: Battersea Power Station (indoors and outdoors)
When: Until 5 March, 8am – 11pm
The 100 Story Hotel at the Discover Story Centre
Don’t miss the final week of the 100 Story Hotel immersive world of play at the Discover Story Centre. Can you help the team discover the one story that has gone missing? Follow the clues and track them down as you meet the animal guests and staff that call the 100 Story Hotel home.
Best for ages 0-8
Where: Discover Story Centre, 383-387 High St, London E15 4QZ
When: Until 19 February, times vary so please check website for details
Valentine’s Workshops at the Chelsea Physic Garden
Make your own paint with plants and paint your own Valentine’s cards, take part in a chocolate workshop and make your own floral arrangement at the Chelsea Physic Garden this February half term.
Where: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HS
When: Various dates, see website for details and make sure to book in advance.
February Fun at the London Wetland Centre
There are a number of fun activities at the London Wetland centre this February half term including a family birdwatching and discovery day, nest making and bird hide building workshops, and the return of the ever-popular mud kitchen.
Where: London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth Walk, London SW13 9WT
When: Various dates through February half term, see website for details
Holiday to Space at the Royal Observatory
Join Ted and Plant as they explore the Solar System in search of the best place to take a holiday in a morning of fun including a planetarium show and interactive workshop. This journey into outer space is perfect for younger children aged 3 – 6.
Where: The Royal Observatory, Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ
When: 16 & 17 February, 10.30am – 12pm, Advanced booking recommended
Find Your Sea Legs on board HMS Belfast
Take charge of HMS Belfast this half term in this interactive family activity. It’s 1942 and HMS Belfast is ready to set sail….but the ship doesn’t know where it’s supposed to go! Help plot the course for the upcoming mission and make sure everything is shipshape and ready to go.
Where: HMS Belfast, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2JH
When: 11 – 19 February, this is a drop-in event from 10am – 4pm
I Want My Hat Back at the Royal Albert Hall
Perfect for younger children age 3 – 6 and their families is this charming tale by Jon Klassen about a bear who has lost his hat. See this delightful tale come to life on stage in the Elgar Room this half term.
Where: The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP
When: Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February; 11am and 1.30pm. Book tickets in advance
Family Activities at the Postal Museum
Head to the Postal Museum this half term for family fun with a handful of exciting workshops. Learn all about cypher stones and design your own; design and print your own stamp, sign or image; or write a message to your future self.
Where: The Postal Museum, 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA
When: Various dates through the February half term, see website for details