Things to do during May half-term in London
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Get ready for a week of family fun in London during the May half-term holiday 2023, also known as summer half-term (27 May-4 Jun).
Plan your May school holiday break with this guide to the top things to do during half-term in London. Discover family-friendly museums, half-term activities and kids' shows, and take the children outdoors to London's parks and playgrounds on a sunny day.
Unmissable half-term events
- Venture to Discovering Magic at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter and go back to where it all began for the young wizard.
- Head to the Chelsea Physic Garden for a fun family workshop, learning how to make chocolate treats and discovering the importance of being kind to bees.
- Spend an evening being thrilled by the science and tricks of The Amazing Bubble Man at London's Leicester Square Theatre.
- Take the kids to London's Foodies Festival in Syon Park where incredible street food, master chefs and music acts await.
Check back closer to the time to discover more events.
May half-term activities in London
- Pick up The London Pass to save on more than 80 of London's best attractions, including Windsor Castle and Tower Bridge – and skip the queues with fast-track entry.
- Have discounted access to five family-friendly London attractions as part of the Merlin five-in-one London attractions pass, including the London Eye, wax figure museum Madame Tussauds London, fun-filled SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Dungeon.
- Or check out the Go City London Explorer Pass to see various attractions within a 60-day period.
- Take the kids on an open-top bus guided tour around the city. How many London landmarks can they name?
- Travel high about the Thames on the IFS Cloud Cable Car.
- Ride on the flying magic bus at Shrek's Adventure! London.
- Say hello to the ravens at the Tower of London and learn why they are the guardians of the Tower.
- Set sail along the river Thames and soak up all famous sights on a City Cruises river tour.
- Dream big at KidZania this May half-term, with exciting activities and careers for kids to try, from doctors and pilots to firefighters.
- Look out for kids' half-term activities at London’s attractions and children's museums during the school holidays.
- Have fun for less with free things to do with kids in London this summer half-term.
Find more London attractions for May half-term.
Half-term children's shows in London
- Take your seat at one of the capital's top musicals, with family favourites including The Lion King and Wicked.
- Marvel at magic and spectacular effects in the wizarding world adventure Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Enjoy mayhem and mischief as the much-loved children's novel Matilda comes to life on stage.
- Meet the world's best, most hilarious housekeeper at Mrs Doubtfire the musical.
- Sing along with Elsa, Ana and the rest of the gang at the smash-hit west end musical Frozen
- Be mesmerised by the electric Back To The Future: The Musical that promises laughs and killer special effects.
- Or have a look at what’s on over half-term in one of London’s theatres for children.
Find more shows in London for kids and top West End musicals.
Kids' outdoor activities during summer half-term
- Feel on top of the world Up at The O2, as you climb to the summit of the famous tented roof.
- Wander through gorgeous Kew Gardens and head up to the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway for stunning views of the grounds.
- Climb into royal towers and hunt for mythical creatures in Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden.
- Experience the exhilarating twists and turns of the ArcelorMittal Orbit and slide.
- Pack a picnic and head to ZSL London Zoo, where you can see a variety of animals from alpacas to zebras and enjoy up-close experiences.
- It's all hands on deck at Cutty Sark as you learn all about its history and meet the ship's colourful characters.
- Spot life-size dinosaurs hiding between the trees of Crystal Palace Park.
- Embark on a tree-top adventure at Go Ape Battersea or Go Ape Alexandra Palace this half-term in London.
- Hire a pedalo or rowing boat in Hyde Park or Regent’s Park.
- Buzz around the Horniman Museum's nature trails exploring bees and pond life this half-term week.
- Connect with nature by walking or cycling to one of London’s stunning parks.
- Explore the city on foot with a local guide, discover hidden corners of the city on a Secret London Walking Tour, or retrace the steps of the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Make the most of sunny days with more things to do outdoors in London.
Where to stay and where to eat with kids in London
- Dine on cakes and finger sandwiches during a traditional afternoon tea or enjoy a themed afternoon tea.
- Enjoy special children’s menus and activities in a top London family restaurant.
- Grab a cheap bite in an inexpensive eatery this May half-term.
- Treat the family to a memorable meal at a top quirky restaurant.
- Try some of London’s best cuisine on a food tour. Head to the bustling Borough Market, or discover the local Indian food on Brick Lane.
- Complete your half-term break with a stay in a family-friendly hotel in London.
- Book a self-catering apartment for more flexibility during the school holidays.
- Locate the best areas to stay with children in London.
For more family day out ideas this half-term, take a look at a guide to London for kids, including the roundups of 101 things to do with children and teenagers.
In need of last-minute ideas? Check out this guide to the best things to do this weekend.