London’s a great place for a family trip, whatever the weather and whatever the time of year. There are lots of things happening in the capital in October, which is good news if you’re planning a Halloween trip or a half term day out. I publish a monthly round up of some of the best things to do in London with kids – here’s my selection for this month.
There’s a new adventure activity on offer in Croydon – Si5 SpyMission is described as ‘James Bond meets Crystal Maze’ and it sounds very exciting. Housed in a 10,000-foot square warehouse, Si5 SpyMission offers children and adults the chance to become ‘spies’ for the day by undertaking a mixture of timed physical and mental challenges. There are specially tailored activities for different ages, starting from six years-old.
Cost: From £8.50 per person.
The historic Arts and Crafts home of writer and artist William Morris is hosting a series of Apple Month events. On various dates from October 1st – 30th, Red House in Bexleyheath is offering activities such as apple tasting, children’s crafts and garden tours.
Cost: From £2 for adults, £1 for children for entry to the garden only. Apple Month events are free.
London Restaurant Festival
From October 1st – 31st you can celebrate the capital’s fantastic food scene with the London Restaurant Festival. There are some great value festival menus on offer (costing from £10) as well as restaurant tours and special events.
Cost: Varies according to menu and event
The Rave-A-Roo family rave festival is at the Ministry of Sound on Saturday 1st October and Saturday 15th October. The event is broken into three zones and is designed for families with children up to the age of 12. There’s live music and entertainment in the Main Room, while the Glow Chill Room is a more relaxing environment and the Funky Softplay Room is for under-threes. Sessions are from 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm.
Cost From £10.50 if booked in advance
Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered
If you and your kids enjoy board games, head to the V&A Museum of Childhood’s latest exhibition. Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered celebrates the excitement, joy and frustration of playing board games, from Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble to historical games such as The Game of the Goose. The exhibition runs from 8 October 2016 – 23 April 2017, at the Bethnal Green museum.
Cost: Entry to the museum is free.
Hurrah, there’s an actual week which is all about chocolate. Chocolate Week is from 10th – 16th October and aims to promote fine chocolate. There are Chocolate Week events happening across the country, and The Chocolate Show is at Olympia from 14th – 16th October. The show has tastings, demonstrations, workshops and more. Where do I sign?
Cost: Varies according to event.
Harry Potter 15th anniversary film celebrations
Fans have voted on social media for their favourite Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone film props and costumes. The favourites are featured on the Warner Bros Studio Tour from October 15th – November 4th, to celebrate 15 years since the film’s release. In addition, the Great Hall set is dressed for a Halloween feast. You can read my review of the Warner Bros Studio Tour here.
Cost: Adults £35, 5-15 year ££27, under-5s free.
Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights, and is celebrated by Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities around the world. Trafalgar Square hosts an annual Diwali celebration which attracts thousands of people. This year’s busy programme includes Asian music and dance as well as food stalls and a range of family-friendly activities. Diwali is timed to coincide with the new moon (the darkest night of the month) in October or November, so the actual date varies from year to year. This year, the Diwali Trafalgar Square celebration takes place on October 16th, from 1pm – 7pm.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
This Halloween the Wicked witches are taking over Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. From 22nd – 30th October Ripley’s Wicked Halloween Week features costumes and props from the stage show, and there’s a themed trail to follow and activities to take part in. You can read about our trip to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not here.
Cost: Adults from £13.98, children from £10.48, if booked online in advance.
Boo at the Zoo
From 22nd – 30th October there’s a range of free Halloween-themed activities on offer for Boo at the Zoo, at London zoo, including animal demonstrations and craft activities.
London Zoo is run by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) charity, which works for the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. The zoo is home to more than 16,000 animals, from lions, penguins and giraffes to seahorses, butterflies and komodo dragons. You can read about our day out at London Zoo here.
Cost: Adults from £24.25, 3-15s from £17.60, if booked online in advance.
Over to you
Do let me know if there’s anything in London which you’d recommend for families, or if there’s something which you’d like me to include next time.
@ChristineBlogs tweeted following a trip to London with her four-year old son:
@grettaschifano we loved the London eye and sea life. It was the highlight of my sons trip… and the dinosaurs lol
Request for advice
I asked Nell Heshram to help with this one. Nell blogs at the Pigeon Pair and Me and her children are six and four years old. She says:
‘London’s museums can be good places for allowing your toddler to roam. Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall, for instance, is a large, echoey cavern whose concrete floor looks as though it was specially made for tiny scampering feet. The Science Museum has a large interactive space for under-6s, the Garden, with cool light tunnels, water play and jumbo building blocks. For dinosaur lovers there’s the Natural History Museum, with the first T-rex fossil ever found, as well as an Iguanadon skeleton and a Triceratops skull. To make sure toddlers don’t get fed up of waiting in a queue outside the doors, make sure you arrive early to beat the crowds. And if you want your pre-schooler to have a real flavour of the sights and sounds of London in bygone eras, you can’t beat the Museum of London, featuring Fire! Fire!, a new interactive exhibition to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. You can also take your toddler down a Victorian Street, or help them make dinner in a medieval hut – both of which are pretty indestructible, even for rampant youngsters.’
Nell says: ‘I’m launching #CulturedKids, a linky bringing together posts about museums, as well as family trips to the theatre, art galleries and historical places. Do pop over to my blog the Pigeon Pair and Me on the first Friday of every month to read what the Cultured Kids around the UK, and overseas, have been up to.’
Where to stay
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the capital, check out my post on recommended family-friendly places to stay in London.
Find out more
Check back each month for my latest London roundup!