Things may be far from normal right now, but October half term is still a fantastic chance to get out and about in London with the children and enjoy a break from routine before we all head back into the frantic run-down to Christmas.
Our advice is to keep it simple this year and remember to always book in advance if visiting public places or museums.
London Zoo (https://www.zsl.org/london) offers lions, tigers, giraffes, bugs, beetles, penguins and so much more. Book in advance. There are also pop-up Halloween talks from the zookeepers and a special half-term trail pack all about creatures and their ‘costumes’ (find out why penguins wear tuxedos and why okapis have stripy bums). Why not encourage the kids to wear their own costumes to join in the fun?
Why not take an Autumnal walk through one of London’s many parks – spectacular colours this year – and see how many different leaves you can pick up?
Best London Parks for Autumn walks: https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/best-london-parks-for-autumn-walks
The London Wetland Centre, Barnes: Enjoy 100 acres of wetland paradise and observe wildlife on the move as winter migration begins. Don’t forget to book online before visiting.
Why not discover the world of science behind the famous Kew Gardens botanical collections. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, home to over 50,000 living plants where you’ll find everything from Victorian glasshouses to an Alpine rock garden, there’s something to see in every corner. Book your time slot in advance.
See the world from a whole new perspective at the British Museum’s new ‘Arctic: Culture and Climate’ exhibition. (https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/arctic-culture-and-climate)
The Science Museum’s fantastic interactive Wonderlab is pretty much booked up but at time of writing there are a few slots still available on Thursday October 29th. Free timed tickets are available to the main space for most days.
This year may have been spooky enough already, but Halloween is not cancelled, it might just look a little bit different.
Depending on your local area you will have to adapt and be creative with your Halloween celebrations . Here are some fun tips and ideas:
Organise with your neighbours to decorate your windows with spooky displays. Think spiders, pumpkins, bats and cats, get the kids involved and make hanging decorations with cardboard, string and paint to hang in your window on the 31st.
Carve a pumpkin! Add to your spook-tacular display by carving a pumpkin with your chosen design, putting a candle or LED tealight inside and proudly displaying it in your window or driveway.
On the 31st take the kids out for a spooky trail once it gets dark, look out for window displays and keep a tally of how many bats, pumpkins, ghosts, cats and spiders you see.
When you get home from your ghostly trail, warm up with some hot chocolate and Halloween treats. Finish up by watching an age-appropriate “scary” film to round off your Halloween with a scare!