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Family friendly events and activities in London for October half-term 2023

Dive into a realm of spooky delights and family-friendly frights with our curated list of October half term activities in London for October 2023. From eerie woodland walks to pumpkin carving extravaganzas, London comes alive with ghoulishly delightful experiences for the whole family. Beyond Halloween we have family friendly Black history Month events, art exhibitions and loads more. Check it out – and for more family friendly fun follow us on Instagram.

Explorers Family Festival: Black Natural History

Listen to Black scientists as they strive for environmental and climate justice. Join guided tours showcasing Museum initiatives and engage in creative workshops exploring nature and the Black diaspora. Limited capacity; priority for racially marginalized individuals, especially from Black backgrounds. Explorers Desk located in Central Hall. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
When: 8 October 2023
Where: Natural history Museum, South Kensington
How much: free more info here.

Howl-o-ween at Chessington

Get ready for a hauntingly delightful Halloween event at Chessington this October! During select weekends this October 2023 half term there will be loads of spooky fun suitable for the entire family. Enjoy entertainment for all ages, rides at dusk, Halloween costume contests, and an exciting new trick-or-treat adventure, Enchanted Hollow. Don’t miss out on the FaBOOlous festivities!
When: 7 -8 October and 14 – 30 October
Where: Chessington World of Adventures
How much: from £35 more info and bookings here.


Embark on a quest through the brilliant Hobbledown Heath in Hounslow where as well as the usual family friendly fun you can enjoy their Pumpkin Trail, decode the secret word, and claim a sweet treat. Join the Fancy Dress Monster Ball, showcasing your eerie ensembles for a chance to win the best-dressed award. Immerse yourself in the Halloween spirit with captivating shows, storytelling sessions, and Einstein’s Spooky Science Shows (including slime making). Plus, don’t miss out on the super-special Halloween extras – from crafting your own bat friend to ghost-busting laser tag – it’s bound to be a blast.
When: 7, 8, 14 & 15 and from 21 – 29 october 2023
Where: Hobbledown Heath, Hounslow
How much: From £18 per person more info and booking here.

Family Day: look, hear, touch

Get involved in the Royal Academy family day, engage your senses to immerse in RA’s architecture with artists Lucy Eccles and Gabriele Brambilla. Drawing inspiration from the current Herzog & de Meuron exhibition, collaborate, sketch, collage, experiment with textures, and craft models together. Additionally, join Jake Garfield for a guided walking drawing tour of the Collection Gallery.
When: 8 October 2023
Where: Royal Academy
How much: free more info here.

Delight: Media Art Exhibition

This Fever experience promises to be mesmerizing journey into a mesmerising world that showcases ancient mythology alongside modern day metropolis. Featuring 25 immersive cutting-edge media installations which will encourage visitors to experience the pulse of urban life.
When: from 13th of October
Where: Borough Yards
How much: £21 per adult and £14 for children aged 4 and above. More info and bookings here.

Spirit of Invention Exhibition

Check out some of the incredible inventions that have revolutionised our world (or that are due to change the way we dress, communicate and live. The Spirit of Invention is a hand-on, playful and dynamic design exhibition at The National Archives. This event is a celebration of human ingenuity from bygone eras to the cutting-edge designs of today. Although it is a small one there is plenty to get involved in (from creating your own lego designs to drawing, exploring communication devices and more. Don’t miss your last chance to immerse yourself in the realm of inventors and explorers, as the exhibition closes on Sunday, 29th October 2023. Check out our reel from our visit.
When: until 29 October 2023
Where: The National Archives, Kew
How much: Free. More info here.

Japan: Myths to Manga

Woodblock print The Rescue of Minamoto no Tametomo by Goblins; Woodblock print The Rescue of Minamoto no Tametomo by Goblins, Japan, about 1851. Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) Japan Ca. 1851 Woodblock print on paper

Embark on a thrilling and immersive journey through Japanese history, uncovering the profound influence of landscape and folklore on Japan’s culture, technology, and design.
When: Opens on the 14th of October 2023
Where: Young V&A, Cambridge Heath
How much: £10 more info and bookings here.

Turn it up

Embark on a journey to discover how music profoundly influences our lives in this groundbreaking interactive exhibition. What is it about music that inspires us to compose, perform, experience emotions, and forge connections with fellow human beings?
When: 19 October – 6 May 2023
Where: Science Museum
How much: £10 for adults and £8 for kids. More info and bookings here.

Family Film Week

Family Film Week is back at the Barbs, featuring an array of thrilling films and engaging activities for the whole family! Explore new blockbusters, international animations, and much more. Plus there’s two FREE workshops scheduled before the Wednesday and Saturday screenings alongside Aardman animators. These will include an exclusive model building workshop for a select number of ticket holders attending the Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Screenings. The free workshops can be booked here.
When: 21 – 29 October 2023
Where: Barbican
How much: Depends on the show, more info and bookings here.

Halloween at Hampton Court Palace

Explore Henry VIII’s notoriously haunted palace with atmospheric projections and creepy sound effects. Feel the chilling presence of infamous ghosts, spot intricately carved pumpkins, and hear spooky stories. See eerie portraits come to life or take part in a spine-tingling séance. Whose voice will echo from beyond the grave? Designed to put you on edge, rather than push you over it.
When: 21-29 October 2023
Where: Hampton Court Palace
Cost: From £26 for adults and £13 for kids for entry, activities included. More info and bookings here.

We’re going on a bear hunt

Take a sensory adventure through Kew Garden’s Lake and into the Arboretum, inspired by the much-loved picture book and animation We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. ‘Swishy swashy’ through grass, ‘squelch squelch’ through mud and ‘splash splosh’ through rivers as you set off on an expedition in search of bears.
When: 21-29 October 2023
Where: Kew Gardens
How much: £19 for adults and £5.50 for children up to £15 more info and booking here.

Eek!Week at WWT London

Get outdoors this October in West London’s wild wetlands. Make your way around the wetlands for a truly eek!citing interactive trail. Will you dare to put your hand in a snake box, grab a photo op with a bat, or get up close and personal with a toad? Activities include a sensory trail, pond dipping, potion making, colouring, and a rainbow nature art workshop.
When: 21-29 October 2023
Where: WWT London, Barnes
How much: £17 for adults and £11 for kids. More info and bookings here.

Boo at the Zoo at London Zoo

Trick-or-treat yourselves to a trip to London Zoo for traditional Halloween crafts, hair-raising animal facts, or a session in sorcery. Navigate through the extinct species graveyard, head to Ghoul School to learn some spells, party away in their bubble boogie, or craft a menacing mask to take home with you.
When: 21-31 October 2023
Where: London Zoo
How much: From £27 per adult and £18 for kids from 3 to 15 years old. All activities included with paid entry. More info and booking here.

Mini monsters at London Museum of Water and Steam

Discover the monster bacteria that lurked in the River Thames. The old River Thames was a scary place, full of monster bacteria! Find out where our water comes from and see the science that cleans the mini monsters from London’s water. Plus, with a monster tour, scavenger hunt, and a community art project there’s lots for the whole family to enjoy.
When: 21-29 October 2023 from 10am until 4pm
Where: London Museum of Water and Steam
How much: £11.50 for adults and kids go free. More info here.

October half term at Museum of London Docklands

Strut your stuff down to Docklands for free family activities in celebration of fashion and Jewish culture. Make a hand-sewn fabric pouch to keep your trinkets safe, learn how to cross-stitch, and decorate your own ‘fashionista’ paper figure. Create paper fruit and vegetables to celebrate Succot, the Jewish harvest festival. Join in with a Yiddish family sing-along, and make your own clay charity pot, enjoy interactive storytelling, art installations, and creative showcases by Jewish schools. The excitement carries on throughout the half-term week with sewing workshops, pottery making, craft sessions, toddler parties, and more – all celebrating the fusion of fashion and Jewish culture.
When: 22-27 October 2023
Where: Museum of London Docklands
How much: Free. Full hetails here.

Big Bad Me at Little Angel Theatre

There are two sides to every story – let’s hear from the wolf himself in this alternative spin on Little Red Riding Hood. Think you’re familiar with the classic Red Riding Hood story? Prepare for a delightful twist. Enter a realm where the narrative unfolds from an unexpected perspective – that of a gentle wolf nursing a broken heart. This untold tale sheds light on the misunderstood wolf, a creature kind and hungry, straying from the path and losing its companions. Contrary to the stereotypes, this wolf is neither big nor bad; rather, a timid and gentle being – an all-around nice guy, striving to share his side of the story.
When: 23 September-19 November 2023
Where: Little Angel Theatre, Islington
How much: £14 adults and £12 kids. More info and bookings here.

Army Animal Crafts

Take to the skies and make your own messenger pigeon or charge into battle with your own horse and accompanying soldier.
When: 24-26 October 2023 at 10:30-12:30 and 13:45-15:30
Where: National Army Museum
How much: FREE, drop in on a first-come, first-served basis. More info here.

Discovery day: Hair-Raising Halloween

Explore an eerie nature trail, discovering fascinating facts along the way. Guess the gruesome contents of feely boxes. Listen to a spooky interactive story or learn about the brilliant bats in the Royal Parks. Dressing-up encouraged!
When: 24-26 October 2023, 11:00-15:30
Where: LookOut Centre in Hyde Park
How much: free, drop in, more info here.

Shared Storytelling

Immerse yourself in a captivating interactive storytelling session led by Gallery Educator and storyteller Fiona Alderton, delving into the narratives inspired by ‘Paula Rego: Crivelli’s Garden’. Within the Gallery, explore tales of resilient women from both historical realms and everyday life who served as the muses for Rego’s reimagined garden scene.
When: 24 & 25 October 2023
Where: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
How much: free more info here.

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

Prepare to be enchanted by Norwich Puppet Theatre’s innovative twist on Shakespeare’s classic play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” brought to life at Polka Wimbledon. Step into a timeless world of love, fairies, and ridiculousness. World-famous Shakespearean Professor, Nick Bottom, attempts to present his talk on the play, but magical forces take over, urging the sprites within the software to narrate the tale in their own words. Immerse yourself in the magic of beautiful shadow imagery inspired by Ancient Greek art and natural landscapes, enhanced by a specially curated musical soundscape for this unique production.
When: 25th to the 29th of October 2023
Where: Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
How much: from £14 more info and bookings here.

Merchant Scare Halloween

Witness the annual Halloween display, featuring a mesmerizing array of over 350 pumpkins illuminating the night sky. Don’t miss your chance to showcase your carving prowess in the pumpkin carving competition, with fantastic prizes up for grabs. Plus, in honour of the 20th anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can enjoy a free outdoor cinema screening of this beloved classic on the Big Screen.
When: 26 October – 31st October 2023
Where: Merchant Square, Paddington
How much: free more info here.

The Cult of Beauty

Discover a compelling exploration of beauty throughout history and diverse cultures. Beauty, a timeless and universal ideal, motivates us to strive for it relentlessly. But what fuels our belief in a constantly shifting concept of universal beauty? With a collection of 200+ items, spanning historical artifacts, artworks, films, and contemporary commissions, we delve into the impact of morality, status, health, age, race, and gender on the ever-evolving perception of beauty. Join us in challenging traditional standards and embracing more inclusive definitions of beauty.
When: Opening 26 October 2023
Where: Wellcome Collection
How much: free more info here

Family Day

Head over to Two Temple Place, the house of stories, for an exciting and FREE Family Open Day! Embark on interactive trails with the Green Man or Little Red Hood to uncover the hidden tales within their historic walls. Don’t forget your smartphone or tablet to enjoy the interactive journey, or opt for the paper trail with coloring and drawing games. Explore, play, and enjoy a picnic in the designated area.
When: 27 October 10am until 4:30pm
Where: Two Temple Place
How much: free more info here.

Halloween Family Funday

An unmissable Halloween extravaganza at the Annual Halloween Family Funday, hosted by Young & Gifted in-conjunction with Premier Promotions. Get ready for a day of spooktacular fun with top DJ’s, live performances, kids and adults disco, toddler zone, bouncy castle, adventure activities, face painting, costume competitions, games, prizes, raffles, various stalls for shopping delights, and refreshing snacks to satisfy your cravings at the Halloween Family Funday
When: Sunday, 29 October 2023 from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: The Weavers Adventure Playground, Viaduct Street, Off Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0BH
How much: from £5.99 more info and bookings here.