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Half Term Highlights 15- 21 February 2014

Half- term comes and goes really quickly! So we've selected our highlights to plan into the week. We'll be updating this listing over the next week so do check back in!


This February half term, families can get into the Shakespeare’s 450th birthday celebrations with Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe. Booking for all events is available online at shakespearesglobe.com/spring. Perfect for the half-term weekends, Globe Education’s popular Storydays return presenting dynamic and unforgettable retellings of Shakespeare’s stories. Blending the traditional with a uniquely modern approach Globe Education storytellers deliver a captivating experience that brings Shakespeare's timeless words to life for the whole family. (Recommended for ages 6+): The stories are The Tempest on Saturday 15 February and The merchant of Venice on Saturday 22 February. 

The Half Term show at the Arts Depot, Finchley, is Dogs Don't Do Ballet.  The sublime and the ridiculous combine in this hilarious story of a small dog with a big personality and even bigger dreams, based on the book by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie. The tale is brought to life on stage using beautiful puppets, well-loved ballet music and dazzling comedy. For children aged 2-6 years.

Jacksons Lane Theatre is showing The Tin Soldier between 18 and 22 February. A newly-minted tin soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon. Nearby, he spies a paper ballerina, also standing on one leg, and the soldier falls in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth and the soldier falls into an adventure to test and melt the bravest of hearts. Performances at 12pm and 2.30pm. For children aged 3+.

If your kids love performing themselves,  the check out the Feb Shed workshops at the Chickenshed from 17-21 February for children aged 5-12 years. Participants at this week-long event will explore and develop a wide range of performance skills through workshops that involve drama, dance, singing and story-making. Parents and friends will be invited in on the final afternoon to see a performance.


The RAF Museum is holding WW1 Make and Take workshops. From 17th - 23rd February the Museum will be giving visitors the opportunity to make their very own WW1 Airfix model or to get creative with colourful pencils and paper. Session Times: 11:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:00. For children 5+.

The Science Museum has a huge range of events on daily. We ove the sound of the Hidden Universe 3D screening (for children 8+), and the Fair Play workshops which allow children of all ages to take part in a science experiment.

The Natural History Museum has the fabulous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition on across the half term which is well worth a visit. From 13 February the Museum also has the exhibition: Britain: One Million years of the Human Story. Experience the dramatic story of ancient Britain, its changing landscapes and the people that lived here. This major exhibition showcases more than 200 specimens, objects and life-size models.

Maybe one for the parents, but the National Portrait Gallery is featuring the David Bailey Exhibition, Bailey's Stardust.  As well as new work, this landmark exhibition includes a wide variety of Bailey’s photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century. Featuring over 250 images, personally selected and printed by Bailey, the exhibition offers an unmissable opportunity to experience the work of one of the world’s greatest image-makers.


FineArts4Kids is holding a number of half term workshops on 18, 19 and 20 February in Hampstead, Crouch End and St Albans. The classes each run for 2 hours and children will learn about the artist, how to use the materials, how to produce an image or object.

Green Peas has a number of half term messy art workshops in Couch End (Wednesday 19 February) and Muswell Hill (Thursday 20 February) for children 15 months to 5 years. The sessions offer painting, playdough modelling, printmaking, and crafts for pre-schoolers and toddlers! As well as tactile play; grains scooping and Oats Play! It is advisable to book the place - these workshops are popular! E-mail Anna at: info@greenpeasevents.co.uk or call 079 4939 2708

Other activities

Discover Children’s Story Centre will be launching their new spring events programme with a new interactive family exhibition, Secret Agents. The exhibition will open 15 February with a free day including a visit from Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola author Lauren Child. Discover commissioned Andy Briggs, Hollywood screenwriter and author of the rebooted Tarzan book series for children, to create the fabulous adventure for Secret Agents and it promises to be great fun for all those budding secret agents out there. For children aged 6+.

The Imagine Children’s Festival runs at the Southbank from 10 to 23 February. This year’s Imagine Children's Festival is all about the kids taking over! Southbank Centre is being transformed BY children FOR children, as well as hosting the top names in children’s literature, dance, theatre and art. Enjoy free activities throughout the festival or just take in the atmosphere as children run the show! Highlights of the show include Dressing Up Days on Saturday 15 February (Topsy Turvy Day); Wednesday 19 February (Call of the Wild day) and Saturday 22 february (Great Enormo Theme park day). From Monday 10 February to Monday 17 February there is A special Imagine Festival event for under fives and their carers to explore poems and rhyming stories. Join the Poetry Library puppets on their poem rug for this short session of nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories. (Please note, this free event requires a ticket. Please book your free ticket online, by phone or in person (no fees apply).

There’s also a “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” event on 5 February, and Move and Shake sessions on 18- 20 February. We also love the sound of Ladybird Live for children 2-5 on Monday 17 February. Ladybird Live is a unique storytelling event and features a whole host of pre-school delights including storytelling sessions, face painting, colouring-in, book selling and raffle prizes. Check out the packed line up of events here!

Zippo's Circus will be at Bent Cross from 19 February until 2 March. The new production includes world-renowned musical clowns THE RASTELLI, Guinness World Record-holding strongman HERCULES and The TROPICANA TROUPE of Cuban springboard and pole acrobats. Don't forget to enter our competition for tickets here. 

Brent Cross shopping centre has events for the kids on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, run by Noah's Ark Hospice. Activities include being a Spy! and Animal Crafts. Find out more details of the daily events here. 
Daily events:

The Phoenix Cinema, Finchley, has a range of kids screenings daily at 11am, including Timmy Time (Tuesday 18 February) and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Wednesday 19 february).

Saturday 15 February 2014

Head to Whitechapel Gallery for a Winter Family Day at the gallery. The day is inspired by the current exhibition of Hannah Höch, the pioneering Dada artist who was a driving force in the development of 20th century collage. Families are invited to join a day of experimentation with collage and performance in true Dada style with poetry, puppet making and large-scale collage making. Drop into the auditorium to enjoy free film screenings perfect for kids. 

Take part in a giant bookswap.  This Saturday is London Children’s Bookswap taking  place at the Southbank Centre and other arts centres across London including the  Arts Depot, Finchley.. The Southbank Centre teams up with Discover Children's Story Centre and other arts and literature organisations across London for this drop-in literary event. Bring along your old books to swap and discover lots of great new stories. For children aged 2-12.  The Arts Depot is holding free drop-in workshops run throughout the day: craft a colourful bookmark or create your very own tiny matchbox book. The V&A Museum of Childhood also has a book swap event from 11 to 4pm.

The wonderful Kings Place in Kings Cross is holding an Aurora Early Years Family Concert at 10.15. This promises to be a 30 minute immersive performance for children 0-5. “Wear boots or bare feet or red wellies or clogs, bring daydreams or fireworks or buckets of frogs, only uncurl your ears, loose those toes for a day and Aurora will carry you far, far away...”

Waterstones Finchley Road has a Dinosaur Bonanza event on at 3pm. Enjoy colouring some ferocious Dinosaurs while learning some cool facts about these awesome beasts.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Keats House, Hampstead, is holding a family day themed Curious Creatures from 1 to 4pm.

Monday 17 February 2014

Canary Wharf Arts & Events are hosting their first ever Comedy 4 Kids  workshop and Comedy Night.  It’s suitable for age 7+ and promises to be a great night. Places must be reserved in advance by emailing arts&events@canarywharf.com and payment in advance is required.

Tuesday 18 February

Head to the Wallace Collection for Tulipmania! between 2 and 3pm.  Discover the legend of the most expensive flower in the garden;- a flower so beautiful that sailors crossed oceans to find and merchants swapped their fortunes for just a single bulb. A flower of magic, miracles and mysteries - the tulip. In this storytelling session with Olivia Armstrong you will discover a magical way to grow a striped tulip, hear how one gardener found a strange way to protect his blooms and meet the lonely dragon who breathed fiery life into the very first tulip.
Thursday 20 February 2014

Those lovely folks at Tea Party are holding Princess School for children 3-6 years between 10.30 and 12.30. The class includes storytelling, face painting, princess etiquette and a royal tea party.

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