Family fun in and around London

What’s on at half term? – 13 February to 21 February 2016

Posted by on Friday, 12 February, 2016 in What's on at the weekend?

What’s on at half term? – 13 February to 21 February 2016

There’s lots on this weekend and into next week’s half term holiday. From Chinese New Year to a festival or two, here are our highlights:

Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year this week around London by heralding the Year of the Monkey at one of the following events:

National Maritime Museum, 11am to 4pm, Saturday 13 February 2016

There’s a day of family fun at the Maritime Museum on Saturday. Embrace your inner Monkey and be clever, curious and playful. There are free performances, lion dancing, music, fortune-telling and more to celebrate the Museum’s long shared history with China. Free. More details here

Museum of London Docklands, 11am to 4pm, Saturday 13 February 2016

Chinese New Year celebrations are also centre stage at the Museum of London Docklands. Watch and learn traditional Chinese ribbon and peacock dancing, hear enchanting folktales and create your decorations using Chinese calligraphy and paper lanterns. Free. More details here

Trafalgar Square, 10am to 6pm, Sunday 14 February 2016

Official Chinese New Year celebrations kick off in Central London this weekend at 10am with a parade along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. Afterwards there’ll be lion teams in Chinatown, plus free entertainment in Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square. Highlights in the Square include visiting dance and music groups from China and the gravity-defying Chen Brothers flying lion dance team. Free. More details here

Theatre

Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore, Unicorn Theatre, until 15 March 2016

Join three clowns on a seaside adventure this half term at the Unicorn Theatre. Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore is aimed at audiences aged 3 to 7 years. Tickets cost £16 (adults), £10 (children). More details here

Tales from the Shed, Chickenshed Theatre, until 19 March 2016

Every week Tales from the Shed presents different stories featuring the same cast of characters. The shows are interactive and children are encouraged to make a lot of noise. Expect silliness, fun and plenty of colourful puppets. Tickets cost £6. Suitable for ages 0 to 6 years. More details here

Exhibition

Dinosaurs: Monster Families, Horniman Museum, Saturday 13 February to 30 October 2016

The Horniman’s new temporary exhibition opens this weekend. Following last year’s Plantastic! exhibition, Dinosaurs: Monster Families will provide a family-focused and interactive insight into how dinosaurs looked after their eggs, nests and babies. Meet a dino hatchling, dig for dino discoveries and meet a life-size dino skeleton. Tickets cost £7 (adults), £4 (children over 3 years), £17 (family). More details here

Festivals

Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, 10.30am to 4pm, until Sunday 21 February 2016

The Imagine Festival is back at the Southbank Centre for another week of February half term fun. The festival is “run by kids, for kids” and features children’s theatre, literature, music, workshops and free activities for children up to 12 years old. Meet authors and illustrators, play gamelan gongs, enjoy some baby jazz and more. Tickets available online, some workshops and activities are free. Check out the full programme here

Vault Festival, Waterloo Vaults, until 6 March 2016

Vault Festival continues this weekend with a host of events taking place underneath Waterloo. Family friendly events this weekend include a free magic show, free beatbox workshop and free children’s theatre on Saturday. Sunday brings poetry from Roger McGough (£12), a performed sculpture Assembly of Animals (£5), Tap Dancing Mermaid (£8) and a choreographed visual Puzzle (£5) for the under 3s. More details here

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House & Gardens, until 6 March 2016

The Magical Lantern Festival continues this week at Chiswick House & Gardens. The outdoor event features over 50 giant artistic lantern installations in celebration of the Chinese New Year 2016 and the Year of the Monkey. Explore a picturesque garden trail and then visit the market area for hot drinks, international food and gifts. Advance tickets cost £16 (adults), £10 (children aged 4 to 16). More details here

Orchids, Kew Gardens, until 6 March 2016

February is Brazilian carnival time and this month you can head to Kew Gardens to experience a bit of carnival atmosphere. Kew’s Princess of Wales Conservatory has been transformed into a celebration of Brazil’s colourful plant life. Admission to the Orchids festival is included with day entry to the Gardens. Advance adult tickets cost £14, child tickets (aged 4 to 16) cost £2.50. Under 4s free. More details here

London Bike Show, ExCel, until Sunday 14 February 2016

The London Bike Show is the UK’s largest cycling exhibition and it’s on this weekend at ExCel. Hear from your cycling heroes, watch some live racing and try out some bikes on the test track. Your ticket also gives you entry to The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, Triathlon Show: London and the London International Dive Show so there’s plenty to do for adventurers of all ages. Tickets cost £18 (adult), £4 (child aged 9 to 16), children 8 and under free. More details here

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