Keep the kids entertained during October half-term 2022 (15 to 30 October 2022) in London with our pick of the capital’s best family activities and events over the school holidays.
Whether it's with teenagers or toddlers, pack your London October half-term holiday with fun activities, Halloween events and unique experiences. There are so many things to do over half-term in London, that you can easily fill the whole break: these family-friendly hotels and top restaurants for kids will help you plan your visit.
Only got the one day to explore the city? Make the most of your visit to the capital and tick off London’s top sites on the Total London Experience.
The week-long half-term holiday differs across the UK, with some regions choosing one week and other regions opting for the following week.
Reach family goals at top London attractions
- Pick up a Merlin London attractions pass to enjoy top attractions, including Madame Tussauds London and the London Eye.
- Spend some time at London’s top attractions for kids, from entering the land of the lovable ogre at Shrek’s Adventure! London to the historic Tower of London, which is home to the Crown Jewels.
- Go on a sightseeing cruise with City Cruises – pick up a 24-hour sightseeing pass and hop on and off to your heart's content.
- Have a fun family day out and say hello to some of your favourite animals at ZSL London Zoo this half-term.
- Stand 243m (800ft) above London while snapping family selfies at The View from The Shard.
- Or ride high above the river Thames on the IFS Cloud Cable Car, the perfect way to watch the sunset over the London skyline.
- Spend the day exploring some of the capital's best museums and galleries, from the Natural History Museum and Museum of London to the National Gallery.
Find more London attractions for October half-term.
Cool stuff for teens this half-term in London
- Get the adrenaline pumping on a thrilling adventure, from The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, to fast and furious speedboat rides or a vertigo-busting Up at The O2 climb.
- Master your skateboarding skills at London's best skate parks.
- Step into the city’s unique immersive experiences, from giant ball pits to VR games rooms.
- Create FOMO among your friends as you snap away at top Instagram spots in London, including Tower Bridge’s glass walkway, colourful Neal’s Yard and views from the Sky Garden.
- Grab an Insta-worthy cake and coffee at one of London's quirky cafes, including Peggy Porschen, Farm Girl or Biscuiteers.
- Go on a high-wire adventure at one of Go Ape’s testing courses.
- Have a go at table tennis or challenge yourself to mountain biking and BMX trails at Lee Valley VeloPark.
- Immerse yourself in culture at London's best museum and gallery exhibitions.
Find more things to do with teenagers in London.
October half-term activities in London for younger kids
- Head to the child-sized city of Kidzania in Westfield London, where little ones can enjoy more than 60 interactive activities.
- See the best London shows and musicals for kids including the award-winning Lion King, mesmerising Wicked, and family-favourite, Mary Poppins.
- Experience magical moments as the extraordinary tale of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to life on stage.
- Or watch mini-musical Magical Merlin with its mix of magic, songs and dancing that promises a memorable family day out. 24-30 Oct
- Find out how people get around the city through rhythm, dance and storytelling at a Singing and Story session at the London Transport Museum.
- Attend the UNIQLO Tate Play: Painterly experience at Tate Modern where kids can get messy whilst unleashing their love of painting. Until 19 Oct
- Look out for school holiday activities at more of London’s children's museums and attractions during the half-term break.
Discover more family fun with our 101 things to do with kids in London.
Get your spook on at Halloween in London
- Transport yourself to the wizarding world at Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter for The Dark Arts Halloween takeover. Be sure to watch out for those who follow He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named roaming the studio...
- Encounter unsavoury characters from London's past at immersive The London Dungeon.
- Prepare for the ultimate scare as you navigate the Tombs at the London Bridge Experience.
- Travel to some of the city's creepiest spots with The Ghost Bus Tours.
- Or take to the streets on a Ghost Walking Tour of Royal Maritime Greenwich* to discover sorrowful tales of drunken sailors and lingering spirits of the Royal Family.
- Take on Halloween at the Tower of London, following in the footsteps of the most infamous prisoners coming face to face with ghosts that roam the grounds (included in entry). 22-31 Oct
- Or head to Halloween at Hampton Court Palace where you can take part in a spooky séance and see old portraits come to life (included in entry). 22-30 Oct
- See if you have what it takes to be a sailor aboard the Cutty Sark on its journey across the Atlantic at Cutty Sark Ice Survival (included in entry). 23-27 Oct
- Have a go at carving spooky characters into some prize pumpkins at a Pumpkin Carving Workshop at Eltham Palace this Halloween. 22-30 Oct
- Discover more than 400 years of magic and history at Charlton House's Explorers: Witches of Greenwich where you can create potions, craft hats and master a wand. 25-26 Oct
- Join the Murder Mystery Family Tour of the World Rugby Museum where you'll step back in time and work as detectives to solve the clues to uncover the killer! 26 Oct
- Hamley's toy shop invites you to the Monster Mash, a fancy dress party where spooks and surprises are around every corner. Until 31 Oct
- Try the world's first fully immersive open-world adventure, Phantom Peak, a steampunk mining town where nothing is as it seems - where you can try a paranormal spectacular this Halloween. Until 6 Nov
- Enjoy Halloween fun in Belgravia with a free pumpkin trail, ghost tours, and spooky food and drink.
Look out for other spooky children's Halloween activities across the city.
October half-term events in London
- Join Guy Fawkes (Tom Felton of Harry Potter) has he attempts to take down Parliament at The Gunpowder Plot immersive experience.
- Celebrate Day of the Dead at a Mexico Family Fiesta with activities, dance workshops, carnival parades and more in Temperance House at Kew Gardens. 22-31 Oct
- Learn how to plan, shoot and edit a horror film at the BFI Southbank Masters of Suspense film making workshop (ages 12 to 16). 24-27 Oct
- Attend talks, workshops and readings at the Southbank Centre London Literature Festival. 20-30 Oct
- Hear the musical score from the iconic Halloween Disney film Hocus Pocus in Concert at the Eventim Apollo. 26 Oct
- Join a workshop at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on iconic plays such as King Lear (27 Oct), The Merchant of Venice (27 Oct) and Family Workshop: The Winters Tale (24-25 Oct).
- Get the family together to take on The Crystal Maze Live Experience where you'll work to solve puzzles and problems in themed zones.
- Enjoy an interactive concert where audiences are invited to singalong at Alice Through the Looking Glass by the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Head to Covent Garden for an Autumn of entertainment with its famous Pumpkin Market, international street food pop-ups, and much more.
- Discover the tale of Old Tom, the famous goose of Leadenhall Market, through a mini trail of beautifully crafted stained glass windows. 17 Oct-14 Nov
- Take a family tour or get messy with some arts and crafts at Westminster Abbey this half-term.
Check back closer to the time to discover more October half-term events.
Outdoor half-term activities
- Get up close to some of your favourite big-screen stars with Scenes in the Square, including Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.
- Head over to Trafalgar Square and wave at the four bronze lion statues overlooking this iconic London landmark.
- Let the kids run wild during a visit to London's leafy Royal Parks, including Greenwich Park, sprawling Hyde Park and pretty Regent's Park.
- Treat yourself to some delicious street food from the open-air Southbank Centre Food Market.
Hit the shops in London
- Take a day trip to Bicester Village, a haven for those who love to bag a great deal on designer items.
- Discover the flagship LEGO Store's huge collection of exciting LEGO sets and create your own LEGO portrait with the in-store mosaic maker.
- Explore a colourful chocolate-filled wonderland with a visit to M&M's World in Leicester Square.
- Step into the magical world of Hamleys and browse the shelves of London's largest toy shop this half-term.
- Source the latest fashions for your winter wardrobe: head to Zara, or Primark on Oxford Street for great value items, venture to Carnaby for iconic brands such as Dr Martens and Liberty London or find the latest sportswear in Lillywhites and Niketown.
- Peruse the big-name stores at London's shopping centres and outlets, such as ICON Outlet at The O2, the London Designer Outlet, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
- Look for vintage threads in London’s markets, such as Portobello Road Market or Camden Market.
- Or stock up on sustainable fashion finds at the Buck Street Market.
- Be pampered in Covent Garden and Seven Dials as you stock up on makeup and beauty products. Options include Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Toni&Guy.
- Pop over to hidden gem St Christopher's Place to discover a trendy array of shops and boutiques.
Seek out more shopping hotspots in London.