October Half Term in London with Kids 2023

October Half Term in London with Kids

Looking for things to do in London during the October half term break? In this guide, you’ll find a list of 2023 October half term events and activities for kids that are coming up in London.

When are the October half term school holidays?

The October half term school break for most schools in England is the last full week of October, from Monday, 23 October to Friday, 27 October 2023. Some schools start the October half term holidays earlier, from Monday, 16 October and also ending on Friday, 27 October.

What’s On October Half Term in London with Kids

Plan your days out with this list of things to do with kids in London during October half term break 2023. There is some overlap with my post of things to do on Halloween in London with kids, since there are several Halloween themed activities and events running during the half term break.

This list is currently being updated for October half term 2023. I will continue to add to the list as more family events and activities are announced in the coming weeks.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter – Dark Arts

15 September – 5 November 2023

The Making of Harry Potter studio tour is an amazing experience going behind the scenes of the work that went into filming the Harry Potter movies. In celebration for Halloween, there will be 100 floating pumpkins in the magnificent Great Hall, as seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry Potter Studio Tour London Halloween Dark Arts

The WB Studio Tours London are also featuring the Dark Arts this autumn. Keep an eye out for the Dark Mark projected in various parts of the tour and learn the moves behind a wand combat scene, just like the Battle of Hogwarts, in a live duel with Death Eaters.

Read more: Dark Arts at Harry Potter Studio Tour London

Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour

Book tickets for Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

Family Halloween Trail at Osterley Park

14 – 29 October 2023

Explore nature this autumn along the Halloween trail at National Trust Osterley Park and House while you discover the Tale of the Monster Hunter. There are eight activities and two game stations along the self-led family trail through the woodland.

The Halloween trail costs £2, with a small prize and card payment only at the Osterley House kiosk. Normal admission applies.

Read more about the Halloween Trail at Osterley Park and House

Halloween Half Term at Eltham Palace & Gardens

21 – 29 October 2023

Enjoy a ghoulishly good day out at Eltham Palace and Gardens this half term. Follow the trail to solve creepy clues and gather round to listen to spooky stories.

Free for English Heritage members. For non-members, tickets cost £20 for adults and £12.50 for children ages 5 – 17.

Book tickets for Eltham Palace & Gardens

October Half Term at WWT London Wetland Centre

21 – 29 October 2023

The London Wetland Centre in Barnes are running an exciting programme of interactive family activities over October half term. Discover a mysterious world of wetland nature on the interactive trail and put your spookometer to the test.

Wild Walk London Wetland Centre

Will you dare to put your hand in a snake box, grab a photo op with a bat or get up close and personal with a toad? Free family activities over October half term also include pond dipping sessions, Make a Rainbow nature art workshops, potion making sessions and a mud kitchen.

Book tickets to visit the WWT London Wetland Centre

Jet and Space Week at the Royal Air Force Museum

21 – 29 October 2023

The Royal Air Force Museum London will have a dynamic range of activities and attractions to challenge your science skills and put your knowledge to the test throughout Jet and Space Week. Learn about the different type of jets that have been flown by the Royal Air Force in Hangar 6, including the Tornado and Typhoon.

Read more: Royal Air Force Museum London with Kids

Hendon British Royal Air Force Museum

In Hangar 3, discover what lies beyond planet Earth with a range of space-themed activities and even a mobile planetarium (additional cost: £5 per person). Activities include learning coding and robot racing (£5 per person) and a build a LEGO rocket workshop (£3 per person). Due to limited numbers, participants are required to book a place for some workshops and activities.

Book workshop tickets for Jet and Space Week at the Royal Air Force Museum

Mini Monsters at London Museum of Water & Steam

21 – 29 October 2023

Find out where our water comes from and see the science that cleans the mini monsters from London’s water in the Soggy Science Show.

There will also be storytelling, crafts and a community art project running at the London Museum of Water and Steam during the October half term for families to enjoy.

Book tickets for London Museum of Water & Steam

Halloween Trail at Hampton Court Palace

21 – 29 October 2023

Explore Henry VIII’s notoriously haunted palace along a spooky, family-friendly Halloween trail with atmospheric projections and creepy sound effects.

What's On Summer Holidays London Hampton Court Palace

Head to the Gallery of the Damned and see eerie portraits come to life, or stop by the Council Chamber to take part in a spine-tingling séance.

Book tickets to visit Hampton Court Palace

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at Kew Gardens

21 – 29 October 2023

Explore Kew Gardens this autumn with a sensory adventure based on the bestselling picture book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The journey will take you across the Lake and into the Arboretum.

Autumn Foliage at Kew Gardens

Combine with the Kew Gardens Children’s Garden playground, which no longer requires pre-booking, for a fun family day out. Read our post on Autumn in Kew Gardens for tips on best spots to see the beautiful fall foliage.

Book tickets to visit Kew Gardens

Halloween Trail at Tower of London

21 – 29 October 2023

Follow in the footsteps of infamous prisoners as you wander the Tower grounds at the spookiest time of the year. This is a family-friendly adventure designed to spook, but not to terrify.

Pick up a trail when you arrive and keep track of the ghosts that you spot on your visit.

Book tickets to visit the Tower of London

Halloween Broomstick Workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden

23 October 2023

Craft your own broomstick using plant materials foraged at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Learn about the craft of broomstick-making from around the world.

Join the Chelsea Physic Garden team for a broomstick ride around the garden at the end of the workshop to learn about some of the plants in the garden. Each participant will leave with a unique broomstick which will complement your costumes, home, or garden for the upcoming holiday season.

Tickets are £15 Adult and £10 Child and includes your entry to the Garden that day. Note that every person attending the workshop must have a ticket and children must be accompanied by an event ticket-holding adult. Recommended for ages 4+

Book tickets at the Chelsea Physic Garden

Decoding Pictures at the National Gallery

24 and 26 October 2023

Explore the National Gallery with a friendly Educator team and learn fun tips and tricks to unlock secrets hidden in plain sight. Discover how to decode pictures by looking, questioning, and discussing together in this interactive session.

Two daily 45-minute sessions will be running on 24 October, at 11am and 1pm, and on 26 October, at 12am and 2pm. Recommended for ages 5 – 13. Free, with limited capacity. Meet in the Central Hall to sign up for a place in the session.

Read more about this family activity at The National Gallery

Halloween Pumpkin Carving at Chelsea Physic Garden

24 and 26 October 2023

Prepare for the Halloween season with a visit to Chelsea Physic Garden for a pumpkin carving session. Participants will learn about pumpkin plants and explore the Garden through autumn.

All materials and tools will be provided (note that pumpkin carving involves using sharp tools), and each participant will get one pumpkin to take home. Each child must be accompanied by an adult who will work together with the child to create their jack-o-lantern masterpiece.

Tickets are £20 Adult and £15 Child and includes your entry to the Garden that day. Every person attending the workshop must have a ticket and children must be accompanied by an event ticket-holding adult. Sessions are from 1pm to 3pm. Recommended for ages 6+

Book workshop tickets at the Chelsea Physic Garden

Family Craft Morning at the William Morris Society

25 October 2023

Investigate the textiles and wallpapers of William Morris and John Henry Dearle to develop your own Autumn collage with a selection of tissue papers, fabrics, ribbons, sequins and buttons. Swirling leaves, glowing fruit and enchanting flowers will be the inspiration to produce your own design which you will take home.

The workshop runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Tickets cost £5 per child. Suitable for ages 6 to 12 years old. Please note that children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults do not need to book a ticket and go free.

Book tickets for the family craft workshop at the William Morris Society

Horrible Halloween at Syon House

25 – 27, 28 – 29 October 2023

Tickets available online soon

Visit Syon House in West London during October half term for “Creepy Critters” animal handling sessions and a spooky Halloween family trail.

Meet costumed characters in the rotten underbelly of Syon House and hear tales of gory guts, disgusting gravy and (to go out with a bang), a sinister tale of gunpower and plot.

There will also be storytelling with a Halloween twist, archery with zombie targets, a Halloween-themed dog walk and a Sunday Funday with face painting and creepy crafts.

See the full Halloween programme at Syon House

Beastly Board Games Workshop at Sir John Soane’s Museum

26 October 2023

Design and make your own beastly board game in an imaginative workshop at Sir John Soane’s Museum, taking inspiration from the magical monsters and curious creatures in the museum’s collection.

This is a free, drop-in workshop as part of your visit to the museum (entry is free). Recommended for ages 4+; children must be accompanied by an adult.

Read more about the workshop at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Halloween Fair at Horniman Museum and Gardens

28 October 2023

Join the Halloween Fair at Horniman Museum and Gardens for circus skills and hooping, spooky tunes, traditional party games and more. Family activities with extra charge include face painting, car rides and bouncy castles.

Tickets to visit the Horniman Butterfly House will be discounted during the Halloween Fair at £2.50 per person (last entry 3:30pm).

Book tickets for the Halloween Fair at Horniman Museum

Halloween Pumpkin Market at Covent Garden

29 – 31 October 2023

The Halloween Pumpkin Market will return to the iconic Covent Garden Market Building throughout October. The display will feature over two hundred pumpkins, squashes and gourds available to purchase in various shapes and sizes.

Read latest updates about Halloween in Covent Garden

Family Theatre October Half Term in London

A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Polka Wimbledon

25 – 29 October 2023

World-famous Shakespearean Professor, Nick Bottom, is about to present his talk on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but his laptop cannot contain the magical forces at play and the sprites in the software want to tell the story in their own words.

In Norwich Puppet Theatre’s sideways take on Shakespeare’s classic play, we are drawn into a timeless world of love, fairies, and ridiculousness. Beautiful shadow imagery inspired by Ancient Greek art and natural images are woven together with a musical sound tapestry created especially for this production.

Recommended for ages 6+. Ticket prices from £14.

Book tickets at Polka Wimbledon

Pumpkin Picking near London

One of the top things to do in London with kids during October is picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch for carving, decorating and baking. There are several pumpkin patches near London in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hertfordshire which I have listed and will keep updating for Halloween 2023 in the Pumpkin Patches Near London post.

Pumpkin Patch Surrey

In previous years, we have been to Tulleys Pumpkin Farm, Cammas Hall Farm, Crockford Bridge Farm and Garsons Farm for pumpkin picking and family fall activities.

Halloween in London pumpkin patch

Halloween for Kids in London 2023 Map

I am also pinning the top places around London for Halloween family events, activities and workshops as well as pumpkin picking near London in my “Halloween in London with Kids 2023” Google Map Guide. For a direct link to the map to bookmark, click here. To explore the map, click on the door sign with an arrow just before the map title.

Museums in London for Kids

Top Museums in London for Kids – plan a visit to one of London’s top family-friendly museums

Horniman Museum and Gardens with kids

Read on for more family days out inspiration with our reviews on top museums in London for kids;

Family Day Out at the British Museum

Visiting the Horniman Museum and Gardens with Kids

Wonderlab at the Science Museum London

London Transport Museum with Kids

Day Out at the National Maritime Museum

Dino Snores for Kids at the Natural History Museum

Royal Air Force Museum London with Kids

Cutty Sark Activities for Kids

London Museum of Water and Steam with Kids

National Portrait Gallery London with Kids

Here is a list of family-friendly exhibitions that are on at the top London museums for kids during October half term;

Brick Dinos at the Horniman Museum

10 February – 29 October 2023

Step back in time with Brick Dinos and see dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants – including the raptor-like Masiakasaurus and a life-sized flying pterosaur – recreated in miniature form by artist Warren Elsmore and his team.

The Brick Dinos exhibition will also feature rarely seen specimens from the Horniman’s stores, and a range of hands-on activities for children to enjoy including build your own dinosaur and digging for fossils.

Tickets cost £9 for adults, £4.50 for children. Free for under 3s.

Book Brick Dino exhibition tickets at the Horniman Museum

Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur at the Natural History Museum

31 March 2023 – 7 January 2024

Step into the world of the colossal titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum, one of the  the largest known creatures to have ever walked our planet, at an exciting new, interactive exhibition at the NHM. This is the first time the Patagotitan mayorum has been on display in Europe; don’t miss your chance to see this extraordinary dinosaur up close!

Follow the life of a titanosaur around a gallery, where you can handle specimens, explore interactives and learn how a creature of this colossal size could have survived on Earth. After discovering what life was like as the biggest dinosaur, get to know the giants we share our planet with today, learn about their lives, the challenges they face and how we can protect them.

Tickets cost £16 for adults and £9 for children. Advance bookings are recommended especially for visits during the school holidays and weekends. Recommended for ages 5+.

Book tickets for the Titanosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum

Autumn in London with Kids

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to explore London with kids. Discover the best spots to see the London fall foliage in my post: Best Places to See Autumn Colours in London.

London Autumn

Read on for more inspiration for family days out in London’s beautiful parks, gardens and outdoor attractions;

Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens

Autumn in Kew Gardens London

Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace

Visiting Osterley Park National Trust with Kids

Gruffalo Adventure Trail at Horsenden Hill

Dinosaur Adventure Golf West London

Things to Do in St James’s Park London with Kids

Family Day Out at London Zoo

Autumn Foliage at Kew Gardens

If you are looking for places to visit outside of London to see the fall foliage, I can also recommend these National Trust sites which are beautiful to visit in autumn;

Autumn Colours at Winkworth Arboretum Surrey

Day Trip to Scotney Castle Kent

Winkworth Arboretum Autumn Colours

This post was updated on 6 October 2023 with more family events, activities and theatre shows coming up over October half term.

Pin for Later – October Half Term in London with Kids 2023

October Half Term London with Kids