Arts & culture

5 things to do with pre-teens this half term in the capital

Keep the kids amused with a variety of fun activities

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What child or parent isn’t a fan of children’s literature goddess, Julia Donaldson? Head to the Southbank Centre for an afternoon of Zog, The Highway Rat and friends in a musical format – just one of the events that form the Imagine Children’s Festival running from 9th – 20th February. Prices vary depending on event, some are free. Booking essential.


If you’re looking to sneak in a little bit of education amongst the half term fun then check out the Operation Earth exhibition at the National History Museum. Take part in games and interactive shows, perfect for budding scientists or just those taking an interest in the biodiversity of the world around us. 14th – 20th February. Free entry, booking essential for entry into the museum.

If the heavens open in typical half term style and you have pre-schoolers, there is no denying you’ll be wanting soft play. To incorporate some London culture here are two soft play centres with a difference:


At The Postal Museum near Euston children can play at being a postie with mail chutes, sorting offices, trolleys and slides. Take a look at their underground mail train too. Tickets from £4, some walk-ins available.

In Chelsea at the National Army Museum, they’ve created Play Base, a military-themed play centre for the under 8s. Check out the assault course or organise the quartermaster store. Booking essential. Tickets £5.75 plus £1 booking fee.

Heading back to King’s Cross for the journey home? Take a small detour to Coram’s Fields playground to wear out the little darlings before confining them to the train home. Home to the longest slide in the city, music zones and even a zip wire for the older kids, this little-known gem is sure to please. Free entry.