October begins the countdown to half-term and is always filled with lots of fun activities. The circus is back in town and the Natural History Museum’s ice rink will be unveiled in time for half-term. Here are the best places to get out and about this season.

LONDON

The Disco Loco party for ravers big and small

The family disco rave returns to the Hackney Showroom this month with three hours of music and dancing for adults and children (pre-walkers go free!). This October (Sunday 14th), the theme will be the story of reggae. Earl Gateshead & Natty Bo return to take us on a journey from rocksteady and ska through to roots and dancehall.

Book your place on HackneyShowroom.com 

Theatre for families in Kew Gardens Temperate House

Explore the recently reopened Temperate House with award-winning theatre company Theatre-Rites. Learn about the plants and how they need to be protected through live music, puppetry and performance. Shows of Siyanda start from 20th-28th Oct and is brilliant for visitors of all ages.

Find out more at Kew.org

Credit Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

The Moscow State Circus is back in town

The world famous GOSTINITSA production is back in London for half-term with a fantastic edge-of-your-seat show for all the family. Experience award-winning clowns, the Chervotkins Duo, and Europe’s only double Russian swings in this incredible spectacle.

To book, visit MoscowStateCircus.com

Life in the lab with the Institute of Imagination

There are lots of interesting activities taking place down in the lab. Join Making Mechanisms (6 Oct) to to explore the crossover between engineering, art and science — this is best for 5 to 12 year olds. Lab Liftoff will host a two-day monster robotics workshop (22 Oct to get your little ones in the Halloween spirit — best for 8-12 years. While a coding workshop (25 Oct) will help your child progress in code basics — also suited to 8-12 years.

Book your place on IoI.London

Try something new at VegFest

VegFest has been touring around the country and has finally landed in London (27-28th Oct). Taking on two levels of Kensington Olympia, VegfestUK will host 275 food stalls, a wellness area, a yoga space, fitness talks, the Vegan Comedy Festival, and a kids’ area. Go with an empty stomach and expect highlights of hoisin jackfruit burgers, Kentucky-fried cauliflower wings and loaded chip butties. 

Book your tickets now on London.Vegfest.co.uk 

Storytelling with Happy Hatchday author Rob Biddulph

Stop off at Trotters’ High Street Kensington store on 25th Oct to catch the Rob Biddulph storytelling session where he’ll be reading his bestselling Happy Hatchday rhyming book. Purple Dragons play buddies will also be on hand to entertain and there will be food and drink, face painting and goody bags.

Shop online at Trotters.co.uk

From extracting your own DNA to cosmetic chemistry 

Add a cool chemistry class to October half-term with the Royal Institution. Cosmetic Chemistry explores the difference between acidic and alkaline solutions and how to make bath bombs (22 Oct), while Extract Your Own DNA (23 Oct) looks at transferring DNA your own cheek cells into a necklace. Finally the Family Fun Day (27 Oct) is a day of looking at how the world is constantly in a state of flux — best for those six years and above.

Find out more at RIGB.org

Catch Pirate Pearl and the Big Blue Monster theatre show

Pirate Pearl lives on a pirate ship with her old shipmate Grandpa Bert. One day, she discovers a little blue monster on a the ship, but the little monster grows into a big, hungry monster. What lies ahead for Pirate Pearl? Find out at the Lyric Theatre between 23rd-27th Oct, suitable for 3-11 year olds. How To Hide A Lion plays 20 Oct, a brilliant tale of a Lion who is chased out of town and his new friend who tries to help him out.

Book your tickets at Lyric.co.uk

Parent and baby fitness with Buggy Moves

Join a one-hour buggy and baby class to help you get into shape post pregnancy. It’s a brilliant excuse to get out of the house, take a stroll through the park, meet some new mums and fit in some exercise. The Hyde Park-based class meet each Wednesday for fun cardio and strength session.

Find out more at NewBodyAndSoul.com  

Read next: The best mother and baby postnatal fitness classes in London

Mad Hatters’ afternoon tea at The Sanderson

Tumble down the rabbit hole this half term with the Sanderson’s Alice In Wonderland-themed afternoon tea. The mad hatters’ tea party will include White Rabbit cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, tasty treats such as the Mad March Hare vanilla pocket watch macaroon and Alice’s exotic fruits ‘Drink Me’ potion to satisfy your sweet tooth. Brilliant for the whole family!

To book visit SandersonLondon.com 

The Natural History Museum’s ice rink returns

The most enchanting ice rink in town is back towards the end of the October (25th), just as winter will be starting to set in. The glistening rink is a brilliant winter treat, especially if combined with a museum visit and some warming treats in the Benugo Café Bar afterwards. The ice rink will be open daily and tickets are available to book now.

Book now on NHM.ac.uk 

New opening: Daylesford, Brompton Cross

Organic farm shop and café Daylesford are opening a fourth site in London this October. Brompton Cross will be the home of the new venue which will receive daily deliveries from the Daylesford Organic farm. Expect all-day dining, with the Daylesford brunch always being one of our favourites. The Sloane Avenue shop will also feature a juice bar serving organic plant-based drinks throughout the day. Look out for shopping events, wellness workshops and masterclasses too.

Find out more at Daylesford.com 

Tour London and support Breast Cancer Awareness month

Briget’s Bakery Bus Tour will provide you with a unique experience and view of the city. Enjoy an hour and a half-long bus tour with afternoon tea while you check out the sights. Briget’s Bakery have teamed up with the Pink Ribbon foundation for October and will be donating £1 for every afternoon tea place booked on the bus.

Book your Pink Ribbon tour on London.B-Bakery.com

Harrods haunted Halloween happenings

For the Halloween weekend (27th-28th Oct), there’ll be some spooky sightings on Harrods’ fourth floor. From mask making to tricks and treats, join the wicked fun in Harrods Toys.

Shop Halloween online at Harrods.com

One for the adults: London Shuffle Brunch

Fancy trying something a little different? Visit London’s Shuffle Club for bottomless beers, pizzas and shuffleboard. The Shoreditch venue makes an exciting evening or day out for everyone. Under 18s are very welcome before 7pm, but we’d recommend only for children over five years. What is shuffleboard? It’s a game where you push discs down a scoring board and compete against your friends or family to win points. Warning: things can get competitive!

To book, visit LondonShuffle.com

& BEYOND

Dinosaur World Live

Dinosaur World Live is touring until the 3rd November. It’s an interactive stage show narrated by palaeontologist Miranda Huxley. Based on the BBC show Walking with Dinosaurs, it features life-like versions including the Microraptor, Segnosaurus, Giraffatitan, Triceratops, and the infamous Tyrannosaurus-rex. The dinosaurs venture on stage giving you the chance to appreciate them in detail and take in some facts on them too. Some young audience members are even asked to join them on stage. Dinosaur World Live is  an unmissable show that will astound and enthral. Don’t miss out!

To book, visit Dinosaur Live

Cheltenham Literature Festival for families

Book lovers will be descending on Cheltenham literature festival next week (5-14 Oct) for ten days of literary celebration. The action-packed festival, which sees Montpellier Gardens transformed into a Festival Village for thousands of literature lovers, aims to inspire and entertain toddlers to teens. There will be special storytelling session of old and new classics, as well as appearances from Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo.

Find out more at CheltenhamFestivals.com 

Boo at the zoo! Halloween at Marwell Zoo

Experience some frightful fun at Marwell Zoo this October half term (20-28th). The Marwell Hall will become the haunted Hall with Esme, the spooky witch, hosting storytelling sessions in her Halloween grotto. There’ll be spooky crafts, freaky fancy dress costumes, and a ‘flying area’ where trainee witches and wizards can earn their broomstick licence.   

Find out more at Marwell.org.uk  

Face painting and spooky stories

Across the country, Snazaroo will be hosting a series of Halloween events on 27 Oct. They’ll be spooky story telling, superbly skilled face painting at your local Waterstones. Visitors will enjoy classic tales, including Funnybones and Meg and Mog, as well as newer hits such as Ten Little Monsters. Participating stores are in Brighton, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

Find out more at Eventbrite.co.uk

Read next: 

The Best Family Brunch Spots In London

Ho, Ho, Ho! 10 of The Best Christmas Grottos In and Around London 2018

10 Fantastic Family-Friendly Restaurants In London

About The Author

Lauren Hyland
Assistant Editor

Lauren keeps our readers up-to-date with the latest London events: from family outings to workshops for children to date nights in the city, she knows exactly what’s on and where. Contact lauren@mybaba.com

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