Whether you’ve got toddlers to contend with, or you’re navigating the holidays with a new baby, we round up all the best baby-friendly activities and family days out.
No matter how old your children are, school holidays, half terms and weekends with the kids can be stressful. Running after toddlers and tending to a baby can be a juggling act at the best of times. Throw in the pressure of providing 24/7 entertainment and securing play dates in the half term, and it can all seem a little too much. We get it.
Planning ahead could be the secret to a stress-free school break. However, finding activities to please the whole family isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve compiled a list of all the best family days out and activities for the everyone to enjoy this October and during the half term.
Things to do in October: Best Family Days Out
Rebuild the World with LEGO
As part of the ongoing Rebuild the World campaign, LEGO is inviting families to take part in fun and creative London Rebuilder Workshops at the Southbank Centre. In a two-day event you and your little ones will be putting your imaginations and LEGO skills to the test as you come up with solutions to three real-life challenges during your family day out.
Focussing on three main areas, kids will have the opportunity to see what rebuilding a world with endless possibilities looks like across workshops on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 October.
ReWild your City with the National Park City Foundation
• As part of the UK Rebuilder Workshop, children will be asked to reimagine London as more green, wild and welcoming for wildlife
ReWheel your City with UK Designer Dominic Wilcox
• Dominic will be asking children, how could we make travelling in the city easier, happier and healthier
ReImagine your City with Architect Dara Huang
• Founder of Architect firm DH Liberty, Dara will be working with children to bring to life how they’d make London a healthier, happier city for everyone living in it
Price: Free, but spaces must be reserved. Click here to book.
Bambini Sundays at Fucina, Marylebone with Sharky & George
Italian restaurant Fucina has teamed with Children’s entertainment experts Sharky & George for a series of family-focussed creative events.
With a special children’s menu and the exclusive Sharky & George workshops, children’s imaginations can run wild with Under the Sea biscuit decorating on the 20th October and a special Monster and Halloween crafts on the 27th October, as parents sit back and enjoy the ‘La Dolce Vita’ with a specially curated menu of antipasti boards and sharing options of gourmet pasta bowls as well as veal and grilled sea bass all paired with seasonal vegetables.
Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave at Samsung KX
You don’t need to stay up all night to have a good, old fashioned rave. London party-starters Big Fish Little Fish know this, and that’s why they’ve built up a huge following for their baby-friendly dance parties over the last few years. So if you’ve got a little one (but still love a bit of a boogie) then head to Samsung KX, where DJ Savage Animal Sounds will be unleashing great tunes from acid house to drum and bass. There’ll also be foam, balloons and crafts.
Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave in King’s Cross, Sunday 20 October.
Celebrate National Chocolate Week
Celebrate National Chocolate Week as Canopy Market in King’s Cross welcome a special collaboration with Cocoa Runners, purveyors of the world’s finest craft chocolate. Canopy Market will host a dedicated chocolate market packed with the best craft chocolatiers, tastings, talks and demonstrations. Perhaps more of a treat for mums and dads in need of some half term sustenance, visitors will also be able to sample rare and unusual award-winning single origin chocolate bars.
Halloween With the Skeleton Squad
On All Hallows’ Eve, the King’s Cross Skeleton Squad will rise from their graves to take over Granary Square and perform an illuminated dance of the dead (6.30 & 7.30pm). Skeleton dancers and LED skeleton drummers, by Light Beats, will roam and interact with the audience as they perform a unique choreographed routine, all building to a spectacular finale.
Disney’s Vampirina Fang-tastic Party
For a limited time only this October, fans of Disney Junior’s Vampirina are in for a spook-tastic treat with a special immersive theatre experience at cinemas across the UK. Fun-packed 68-minute screening will include never-before-seen episodes and spooky interactive elements. Vampirina Fang-tastic Party is voiced by Vampirina’s Vee and features five never-before-seen episodes ahead of them being shown on Disney Junior UK later this year.
Plus there will be a range of interactive elements, fun and games and sing-alongs that will have kids and parents screeching at the screen and up on their feet singing and dancing in the aisles.
Vampirina Fang-Tastic Party shows at cinemas 5th & 6th October 2019. Tickets are available to pre-order now as part of the cinema chain’s Kids’ Club at vampirinafangtasticparty.co.uk.
Party at More Baby-Friendly Raves
There’s a new party trend in town and this one is fun for all the family. Baby Raves are sweeping the nation. But if you’re picturing a panic-inducing day of nursery rhymes and soft-play, worry not, as these baby raves are pretty darn cool. From chart-topping DJs to interactive light shows these tot-friendly discos are giving Ushuaia in Ibiza a run for its money. So dust off your dancing shoes, grab your kids and get down to one of these baby-friendly parties for a fun family day out this half term.
Check out Some Baby-friendly Cinemas
A sure-fire way to keep your bigger kids entertained during th May half term is packing them off to the cinema. However, we all know that sometimes little ones don’t want to sit quietly and still for the duration of a film – which can prove to be a stressful experience for parents and the cinema. Take the worries away by paying a visit to specific baby-friendly cinemas or screenings.
Dip Into a Family-friendly Swimming Pool
Swimming is not only a fun-filled activity for children, but it is also great for baby development. Pools that offer babies and young children a separate swimming area or shallow paddling pool are worth investigating for family days out over half term. Why not tie it in with separate swimming sessions for young families. It’s likely to be easier to build up water confidence in younger children, while the older kids can splash about while fully supervised in a separate pool.
Visit KidZania London
If you haven’t heard of KidZania already, we’re not entirely sure where you’ve been hiding (or, more accurately, how you’ve been hiding it from your kids). KidZania is essentially an indoor city, where kids call the shots. Children aged 4 to 14 can independently choose from a number of real-life entertaining activities in a secure space.
In addition to over 60 real-life activities to choose from, KidZania is also offering unique events just for half term.
Middlesex County Cricket Club Experience: 19th to 16th October
After the excitement of this summer’s Cricket World Cup, the kids who were obsessed with Jofra Archer’s fast bowling or Ben Stokes batting can put their own cricket skills to the test at the mini Lord’s ground in Kidzania.
Guinness World Records Adjudicator Workshop: 26th & 27th October
Kids can enrol in the Guinness World Records ‘Adjudicator Bootcamp’ this October half term. Under the watchful eye of the world’s most prestigious record keeping watchdogs, your little ones will learn how to review official Guinness World Record attempts.
Best Days Out During the Summer Holidays
Try out These Top 10 High-flying Adventures
To mark the release of the brand new Aladdin film in cinemas on 24 May, go-to family ticket destination Picniq has compiled a list of top ten high-flying activities for kids.
From indoor skydiving, scaling trees, rock climbing and zipping through the hills, there’s something to your bigger kids entertained during the half term holidays.
- Airkix Indoor Skydiving – Milton Keynes
- Go Ape – Battersea Park, London
- Treetop Adventure Golf – Cardiff
- Cheddar Gorge – Somerset
- Zipworld – Bangor, Wales
- The Big Swing Adventure Playground – Yorkshire
- Air Space Stevenage – Stevenage
- Keswick Climbing Wall & Outdoor Activity Centre – Cumbria
- Good Leaf Tree Climbing – Isle of Wight
- Up! – The O2 London
A Day at the Polo
A quintessentially British affair, Chesterton’s Polo in the Park returns to Hurlingham Park in London this June. Three days of world-class polo, pitch-side activities and plenty of PIMM’s (for the grown-ups). You can also enjoy a selection of restaurants and street food in the Grazing Paddock, sip Champagne in the Lanson Garden and browse the Luxury Shopping Village. Meanwhile, cart the little ones off to the Little Hooves Kids Club.
While children are welcome across the weekend, by far the most family-friendly day is Finals Day on Sunday. Supported by children’s entertainers Sharky and George, and Chelsea FC, the whole polo field will be dedicated to the Kids Club’s pitch invasion on Sunday morning.
A family ticket (two adults, two children) costs £70. Children under 10 go free.
Join the Big Play Date with Great Ormond Street Hospital
Keep the kids entertained while doing your bit for a worthy cause this summer. From 6 to 13 July, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is encouraging the nation to raise money by hosting a play date in your area. GOSH will be on hand with tips on how to plan your local play date and ways to get your little ones involved in the action. There’s also an activity pack bursting with ideas and materials including games used by the hospital’s own very important Play Team.
Here’s how the Big Play Date works:
- Sign up for free and you’ll be sent a Big Play Date activity pack to help your children put their stamp on their play date.
- Choose your preferred date between 6-13 July and send out the invites. Whether it’s one friend or forty, at home or in the park, it’s up to you how to host your play date.
- Fundraise in any way you like. You could consider asking guests to make a small donation to the event, use the collection box in your activity pack or set up donations for each activity.
For more information and to sign up to the Big Play Date, visit the GOSH website.
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