Put the highlighters down and step away from the revision books – it’s the May half-term. If you have finished your exams or just need a little break from all that cramming, have a look at our recommendations for half-term activites in and around London.
Life and death: Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum, 27 to 31 May
£15 for adults and children go free
In AD 79 two cities in the Bay of Naples were buried by a catastrophic eruption of Mount Versuvius. Preserved under ash, their rediscovery nearly 1,700 years later provided an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire. From the bustling streets to the intimate spaces of a Roman home, this major exhibition will take you to the heart of people’s lives in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
This half-term, children can find out about the animals that lived in these Roman cities and try their hand at making their own Roman mosaics.
The Big Picnic at Hampton Court Palace, 25 to 27 May
£16.50 for adults and children go free
Join Hampton Court Palace for a Bank Holiday weekend of food, family fun and live entertainment in the East Front Gardens.
Kids can become Tudor surgeons, watch a performance of the Canterbury Tales and take part in a good (very) old-fashioned sports day.
Chelsea Fringe Festival, 18 May to 9 June
This festival runs alongside the Chelsea Flower Show and will be holding horticultural events all over London. Kids can join Nature Art 4 Kids, an outdoors art event for children and their parents in Holland Park, and explore Hyde Park’s very own secret garden.
The Geffrye Museum, 28 to 31 May
Admission to the museum is free.
One of London’s finest hidden gems, the Geffrye Museum will be holding a variety of half-term events. ‘High rise living’ will be the theme of choice, which will include the chance to create cityscapes, animal homes, dream spaces and gardens in the sky.
IncrEdibles Festival, Kew Gardens, 25 May to 1 September
£4.50 for adults and £2.50 for children (along with the ticket price for entrance into Kew Gardens)
Arty foodie company, Bompas & Parr, transform the historic Palm House Pond into a fruit salad boating lake! Hop aboard their fruity boats and row your way around the pond and through the mysterious grotto hidden beneath the Pineapple Island.
London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre, 20 May to 8 September
Audrey Niffenegger, Lionel Shriver and William Dalrymple will all be reading from their work and offering tips for budding writers. There are plenty of activities to keep little ones amused, including an interactive performance from rappers, poets and storytellers who will create word games, and a chance to meet beekeepers and learn about how humans depend on bees and even create artwork with beeswax.
Spy Kids at the Museum of Childhood, 27 May to 2 June
Admission to the museum is free
Inspired by artefacts in the museum’s collections, the spy kids themed events for Half Term at Museum of Childhood give children the chance to enjoy an enchanting week of crafts and storytelling. Enjoy a dramatic storytelling session of the popular children’s book, A Child’s Garden, make your own secret ID card and complete the I Spy trail around the museum for the chance to win a prize.
Picture: Chelsea Fringe Festival