Hurrah! It’s half term. This week’s round up has a special kids and kidults theme.
Celebrate the holiday at Wimbledon’s very own Polka Theatre by going to The Party, an acrobatic circus show with clowning, juggling, cycling and tumbling, suitable for ages 3-7 but with some performances designated suitable for babies and toddlers, on Tuesday to Saturday, February 14-18. Times vary.
If your kid would rather act than watch, sign them up for this acting masterclass on Friday 17 February.
Tweens and teens should love A Hunting Lodge at Unicorn Theatre, London Bridge. The prince fell in love with a cleaner, but now she has ditched him. He’s back on the dating game and going to a ball. Tickets £10-£16.
Or try nostalgic Adventures in Moominland, part of the Southbank Centre’s amazing Imagine Children’s Festival which is on all week.
Kubo and the Two Strings – if you enjoyed Coraline, Paranorman and Boxtrolls, you’ll love this Japanese anime-inspired adventure from the brilliant LAIKA animation studios. Stunning images, thrilling story, enjoyable for adults as well as kids, shortlisted for two Oscars. Catch it at 10.30am all week at Odeon cinemas in Wimbledon, Kingston, Streatham. Read my review here.
Also Oscar nominated are Moana [showing mornings at Vue Cinemas – Croydon Purley Way from Saturday – times vary] The brilliant A Monster Calls [showing at the luxury Pinewood Cinema at Shepperton Studios this weekend] Read my review here.
Marvel at the spectacular colours of the giant lanterns on a 75 minute walking trail around the Magical Lantern Festival in Chiswick, open every day during February half term week. There’s also a synthetic ice rink, funfair rides, virtual reality games and an ice bar for weary parents. Tickets from £10.50.
Jaw-dropping, death-defying Cirque Berserk! is coming to the New Wimbledon Theatre Thursday to Sunday, February 16-19, Tickets £12-29.
When Crossrail’s 7 metre high drills bored a gigantic tunnel from one side of London to the other, they dug up some amazing stuff. From Tudor bowling balls to the skeletons of London plague victims, check out what they found at a new exhibition, The Archaeology of Crossrail, which on opens Friday 10 February at the Museum of London in Docklands. Free entry.
For younger kids, National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has a new Ahoy! interactive gallery for babies and toddlers, featuring a beach, a cannon firing game and a fish market.
Head down to the V&A Museum of Childhood on Saturday 11 February, for a children’s book swap, plus dance and music to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster.
Enjoy half price entry at Hampton Court Palace and Gardens until Sunday 12 February.
For kids who can’t sit still, check out the Pop Stars and Rock Stars Family Rave with Camp Bestival DJs, in Farnham on Saturday 11 February. More events on BigfishLittlefishevents.co.uk.
Closer to home, why not visit Flip Out, London’s biggest trampoline park, in Earlsfield.
Own a pony for a day at Deen City Farm: kids aged 8-15 get to muck out, groom and ride 10am-4pm Tuesday to Friday, February 14-17, £35 a day.
Saturday 11 February, is London Children’s Book Swap day. Check out this map for venues all over the capital that are hosting the book swap, which allows kids to swap books that they’ve read for fresh reading material: from Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre to the V&A Museum of Childhood.
Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize announced its shortlist this week. Hurry down to Wimbledon Books or Waterstones in The Broadway to browse the ones you like.
Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 opens at the Royal Academy on Saturday 11 February. Find out more here: royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/revolution-russian-art.
South and Single holds a speed-dating night for 25-40 year olds in Tooting on Wednesday 15 February. Venue: Ekcovision, Mitcham Road, Tooting Broadway, tickets £14 (£15.46 via eventbrite) including a cocktail.
Pull an all-nighter at Dino Snores For Grown Ups, a sleepover with three-course dinner, crunchy insect banquet, all night monster movies and a lot more at the Natural History Museum on March 24. Book tickets here: nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/dino-snores-for-grown-ups.html.
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By ‘Culture Vulture’ Jenny Booth
About The Author
Jenny was a news journalist for The Times. An ex-teacher, mum, gardener and art lover, there’s nothing she doesn’t know about the local culture scene…