February might be one of the most boring months of the year but there is a lot going on in London for kids! I’m still constantly amazed at how many cool and creative activities there are for children of all ages. This month you can climb trees, dance at the Southbank Centre, brush up on your Shakespeare, watch dragons dance through central London and much more. Take a look below for what’s on in London for kids this February.
Dive into Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Globe have a number of great activities planned for the February half-term. Activities include story-telling events that sound brilliant (such as the story of the Three Swords that involves three smelly Sea Trolls and three very chatty princesses). There’s also a Tempest-inspired puppet-making workshop and a workshop based on The Winter’s Tale. Take a look at the full programme here.
Make Some Noise
The wonderfully-named School of Noise is running a series of workshops for kids and adults in Hackney’s Cafe Oto Project Space to explore noise, sound and music. During these workshops, kids get to try their hand at a variety of music-making and sculpting instruments. They can learn about the hidden world of Foley sounds used in film, recording and sampling noise to create music, as well as experiments demonstrating the science of sound. No musical experience is necessary to take part. Personally, I like the sound of conducting an orchestra of fruit and vegetables! For more information, take a look at their website.
Climb a Big Tree
I absolutely love the sound of this; the Great Big Tree Climbing Company runs hour-long sessions where kids and their parents can climb trees. By climbing trees, I don’t mean scrambling up a few branches, I mean climbing up into the tree’s canopy using ropes, knots and karabiners. Sessions last for one hour and are selling out for half-term, so get booking. The company also run birthday parties, which sounds a lot better than pass-the-parcel to us. For more information, take a look at the Great Big Tree Climbing Company’s website.
Shoot a Bow & Arrow like Katniss
For older kids, there’s the opportunity to channel your inner Katniss when you learn to shoot a bow and arrow. The experienced 2020 Archery team are running 1.5-hour archery taster sessions for teens (from age 14) and adults. You’re taught the basic skills and terminology and, by the end of the session, will be able to hit the target (almost) accurately when you take part in a mini competition. Sessions are held in venues in the London Bridge area. See the website for more details.
Imagine Children’s Festival
The Southbank Centre is holding its annual festival run by kids for kids from February 7 to 18 (perfectly timed for half-term!). The Imagine Children’s Festival is perfect for children from babies to teens and includes a colourful mix of shows, workshops, play experiences, exhibitions, music, art and more. This year, radio personalities and debut authors, Greg James and Chris Smith, will on stage for an action-packed Kid Normal event. There’s child-friendly hip-hop and disco with Fun DMC (fancy dress encouraged). And, lots of art workshops to get creative in. For full details, take a look at the Southbank Centre’s website.
One, Two, Three, Swing!
Head to the Tate Modern and the latest installation in the Turbine Hall, the Hyundai Commission Superflex swings. Each swing has room for three people and you’ll quickly realise that you will go higher and faster if the swing is full. Guaranteed fun for all the family. For more information, see the Tate Modern’s website.
Go to the Theatre
The Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s leading professional theatre for audiences aged 2- to 21-years-old, has two excellent performances this February. For younger kids (ages 3-6) there’s ‘Seesaw’, a delightful tale of the push and pull of friendships. For older children, the Unicorn’s fast-paced and funny performance of Othello is a great way to introduce kids to Shakespeare (it’s on until the beginning of March). For more information, see the Unicorn Theatre’s website.
Brilliant Birds at Hyde Park
Every Wednesday and Thursday during the school holidays, the Royal Parks run free Discovery Days at The LookOut, in the heart of Hyde Park. During half-term (Wednesday 14th and February 15th) it’s Brilliant Birds, where you can help birds as they prepare for spring and nest-building by making bird feeders. Other activities include following a bird discovery trail, bird watching, crafting an entirely new bird species and more. It’s free and you don’t need to book, just drop by between 11am and 3pm (donations are appreciated!). For more information, take a look at the Royal Parks website.
The World’s Tallest Slide
Ride down the world’s longest, fastest, tallest tunnel slide, the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Created by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the impressive looping structure is an iconic symbol of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London 2012 Games. Before you whizz down, make sure to soak up the amazing cityscape view. And if that’s not enough, as of April 2018, you’ll be able to abseil down the 262-ft building! For more information, take a look at the website.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year celebrations start on Friday February 16th and there are plenty of celebrations happening in London to mark the Year of the Dog. Watch dragons dance through the streets of central London during the Grand Parade (held on Sunday February 18th) followed by a fireworks display in Trafalgar Square from 6pm. Leicester Square will host a number of family activities, including calligraphy, Chinese music, dressing up in traditional outfits and more. And of course there will be plenty of good food. Xin Nian Kuai Le! For more information, take a look at Visit London’s website.
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