Matilda at The Cambridge Theatre
In London? If you haven’t seen this musical yet, now is the time to do so. A fantastic adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, the original story is transformed into a vibrant and electric production bursting with energy. The cast is impressive, the script packed with humour and nostalgia, and you won’t be able to get the songs out of your head for weeks.
Tackle The Ultimate Survival Challenge At The Grove
Families with active youngsters will love the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, taking place over two nights at The Grove in Hertfordshire. Designed to be fun but also teach useful survival skills, the package will immerse kids in nature while the adults take to the golf course or wind down in The Grove’s relaxing spa.
HOW? 24–26 October. thegrove.co.uk
Get Creative At SAMPLE
Returning to Greenwich Peninsula for another year this half term (22 October), SAMPLE promises a day of shopping, culture, art, wellbeing, community and connection for the whole family. There will also be a range of free-to-book workshops – from crochet to Kintsugi – hosted by YOMODO, a social venture aiming to increase wellbeing through arts, crafts and making.
HOW? From 11am until 7pm at Greenwich Peninsula. Book workshops via Eventbrite. greenwichpeninsula.co.uk
Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at aqua shard
Transport yourself to Neverland this half term via aqua shard’s child-friendly afternoon tea, inspired by J.M Barrie’s legendary novel. Think Tinker Bell-shaped cookies and crocodile jellies served on a pirate ship-inspired tea stand, alongside Fairy Dust cocktails – all enjoyed alongside panoramic city views. And, for each tea sold, £2 will be donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
Children will easily be entertained for a whole day at this family-friendly attraction site in Wandsworth. Set over three floors, the venue uses the latest technology to create numerous exciting game zones – from electric go-karting to a 14-lane bowling alley with augmented reality.
Sportfish Game Fishing Centre
Fancy some fishing? Sportfish are offering courses throughout half term for parents and children alike who are interested in angling. Visitors can expect a delightful day filled with fishing and education around it, while surrounded by 45 acres of Berkshire countryside.
This National Trust estate is perfect for all ages. From pram friendly (just avoid the grotto) to satisfying under 10s to teens, a walk around the utterly stunning landscape is the perfect afternoon pursuit to see the shoots of spring come through.
Bring a picnic, or have lunch at The Spread Eagle (a really gorgeous historic pub within the estate). There’s the obvious benefit of walking around within nature, but there’s plenty of art history to soak up too. Marvel at the Temple of Apollo, the house itself, and learn all about the intriguing Hoare family who lived here.
Another architectural marvel is the historic Holkham Hall estate. This October half term, Holkham is celebrating the autumn season, with deer and wildlife safaris, pumpkin carving, story time, and a ropes course.
Storytelling is back at Shakespeare’s Globe for October half term, with The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet all on the cards.
Visit The Story Museum
The Story Museum in Oxford makes a lovely trip for the family, with plenty of activities for a range of ages. The Story Explorers invites children aged eight to twelve to explore supernatural tales through manga drawing, poetry and drama on day-long courses from Monday 24–Wednesday 26 October.
Check out Port Lympne, Kent
A must-visit for animal-lovers, this Kent-based conservation charity is not your average UK wildlife experience. Whether you opt for a day visit or a short stay, you’ll come face to face with big cats, gorillas, giraffes and many more. If you really want to push the boat out, (and blow their minds in the process) book in for a stay at Tiger Lodge, where tigers play right outside your (very sturdy) windows.
Forest Nets at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport
If you want to drag the kids away from their screens and get them playing outside this half term, take a day trip to the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and check out the Forest Nets, where kids can clamber through the trees bouncing on suspended nets. It is absolutely as fun as it sounds, for the young and young-at-heart alike.
See Baby Animals At Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Norfolk
Great Yarmouth’s Thrigby Hall Wildlife Centre is the place to be if you want to enjoy some cuteness this half term.
Image: Tom Jones Photography
Go for a Family-Friendly Walk in Cornwall
Exploring the rugged Cornish coastline is best done away from the crowds, so autumn is the perfect time to travel south west. Make St Mawes your base and try a family-friendly walk on the Roseland Peninsula, suitable for all abilities. See our guide here.