May half term week activities

There are tons of great activities to do and things to see during the half term holiday.  Here are just a few:

HMS Belfast

Korean War Commemoration Week
To Sunday 6 June, 2010

  • Hop aboard this Half Term for demonstrations of life at sea on HMS Belfast in the Korean War.
  • Witness live firings of the ship’s 4-inch guns; see a dramatic recreation of the crew racing to repair damage to the ship in a Damage Control exercise; and discover what would happen to sailors caught breaking the ship’s rules at Captain’s defaulters
  • Visitors will also have the chance to watch archive film about the Korean War, dress up in naval uniforms from the time and read firsthand accounts from the ship’s veterans who were involved in the Korean War, in this sixtieth anniversary year.

RHS Garden Wisley

Budding Gardeners Competition

  • Wisley is playing host to mini show gardens designed by some of the gardeners of the future as part of the RHS Budding Gardeners Competition.
  • See more than 35 mini gardens designed by local school children. Get ideas, find inspiration and see for yourself just how much gardening creativity can be squeezed into a plot of 1m x 1m.
  • Budding gardeners of all ages will get ideas on what to do with small plots and how to brighten up garden corners or containers.
  • Vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award and find out the winners of our various categories including the Most Decorative, the Most Original, the Green Award and of course the Best in Show.
  • There are lots of other activities going on over the half term for you to get stuck in and have a go at gardening as a family.

Pumpkin seed sowing
To 2 June, 10am – 4.30pm

  • Come and sow a pumpkin seed to grow in time for Halloween. Our staff will be on hand to help families sow seeds which you can take home and watch grow over the summer. Hopefully you’ll have some great pumpkins ready to carve in late October.
  • This activity is free with normal garden entry and is suitable for children aged 3 to11. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Seed sowing runs throughout the day from 10am to 4.30pm.

Be a Young Garden Designer
3 – 4 June

  • Use the Wisley garden and the designs in the Budding Gardeners competition for inspiration and join one of our special children’s workshops to create your very own miniature garden to take home.
  • Plant seeds and plug plants from a variety of favourites including thyme, forget-me-nots, daisies and many more.
  • £3 per child plus normal garden entry.
  • To book call 0845 612 1253
  • This activity is suitable for children aged 5 to 11 and children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Workshops last approximately 45 minutes and start at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  • There are 20 places per session.

Normal garden entry

  • RHS members plus family guest free, children under 6 free, adults £9.50, children (6-16) £3

Where do we go?
RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey
Find out more at

Spring Bank family fun @ London Transport Museum

To 6 June 2010

Pedal into Spring with London Transport Museum. Cycling events include craft workshops, bicycle maintenance, transport tales and sing-alongs.

Bike Bitz – Cycle dressing sessions
Get creative with our craft workshops. Brighten and customise your bikes with handle bar streamer accessories, funky fluro badges and number plates making your bike the talk of the town.

  • Tuesday 1 June – Friday 4 June
  • 12:00 – 13:00 – Handle bar streamers
  • 13:30 – 14:30 – Number plates
  • 15:00 – 15:30 – Funky Fluro badges
  • Craft workshop suitable for ages 5+

Bicycle maintenance workshops

  • Roll up your sleeves for hands-on demonstrations on how you can keep your bike tip top and ready to ride. Workshops are aimed at families and young people and will teach participants the basics of cycle maintenance, checking your tyres, gears and breaks keeping you safe on the roads.
  • Book free timed tickets on arrival
  • Workshops at 11:30, 13:15 and 15:00 on Saturday 29 and Monday 31 May, and on Saturday 5 June
  • Maintenance workshop suitable for ages 7+ (limited spaces)

Sing along: Sounds of cycling
Listen to transport tales and find out all about bikes and the joy of cycling down hill fast in our sing along sessions. These pedal powered story telling sessions will keep your little ones entertained.

  • Storytelling, suitable for under 5s
  • Tuesday 1 June – Friday 4 June
  • 11.00 & 16.30 (sessions last 20 minutes)

Where do we go?
London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB

Meet Astro Boy at London MCM Expo

  • On 29 and 30 May, the London MCM Expo takes over the Excel Centre for an extravaganza that sees fans of Manga, Anime, Sci-Fi, Comics, Video games etc., flocking to London’s Docklands to meet the stars and meet friends and most importantly dress up as their favourite characters. This is known as ‘Cosplay’ and it gives this event a unique flavour. This year the ‘Cosplay championship’ for the best costume is hosted by Astro Boy himself.
  • ASTRO BOY is one of the most seminal, iconic and coolest anime creations of all time and is brought to vivid life in a new CGI animated feature film jam-packed with action, adventure, comedy and heart.
  • Remember, kids under 10 go free.

Where do we go?
London MCM Expo
Excel London, E16 1XL

Half Term @ National Gallery

Magic Carpet storytelling

  • For children aged 2 to 5
  • 11.30am
  • Fly away on the magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting each day. Storytelling sessions last half an hour.

We’re going on a boar hunt (we’re not scared)!

  • For families with children aged 5 to 11
  • Free practical two-hour art workshops. 11am, repeated 2pm
  • The hunter in Diego Velázquez’s painting ‘La Tela Real’ is actually King Philip IV of Spain. With the help of artist Thomas Gosebruch we will make a picture book about the big event.

Family Walk and Talk

  • For all ages
  • 12.30–1.30pm
  • Join us on a journey through the Gallery where we will walk, talk and bring paintings alive!

Join us on a journey through the collection where we will walk, talk and bring paintings alive!

Where do we go?
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

The Secret Lives of Toys @ V&A Museum of Childhood

  • Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June
  • A week of intriguing Eye Spy trails and arts and crafts activities taking a peep at the mysterious lives of some of the Museum’s best-loved toys.

Hidden Stories Trail

  • 10.30, 11.15, 12.00
  • Listen to tales of hidden toy stories told by the Museum’s Activity Assistants then embark on a trail to unveil some of our toys deepest secrets! Prizewinners are announced at 16.00 every day.
  • Drop-in
  • Age 3 – 8

Art Smarts

  • 14.00-16.00
  • Hugo was the Man of a Thousand Faces. Come and create a dastardly disguise of your own at our arts and crafts table.
  • Drop-in
  • All ages

WORDBURST: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

  • Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June
  • 11.00-15.00
  • Make reading come alive with this action-packed family workshop led by the award-winning team from Artburst. Experience Judith Kerr’s well-loved picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea through drama, movement and art then have a go at retelling the story through your own performance!
  • Booking required, call 020 8983 5205 or email [email protected] (booking opens 14 days in advance)
  • Age 5-10 (accompanied by adult).

Where do we go?
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA
Open daily – 10.00-17.45 (Last admission 17.30)

Paint Like Churchill @ Churchill War Rooms

  • Sir Winston was a prodigious painter, producing more than 500 oils and exhibiting at London’s prestigious Royal Academy. This Half-term come and discover the man behind the iconic images with drop-in explorations and discussions of Winston Churchill’s important paintings.  Try out your own art skills, from a basic level of ‘painting in’ Churchill’s favourite painting of Chartwell, to copying one of his pieces, using one of his varied styles on display and painting your own subject.
  • 29 & 31 May – 4 June @ 10.30 – 16.30 in the Clore Learning Centre

Where do we go?

Churchill War Rooms is a branch of the Imperial War Museum.
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ

Pirates Ahoy! @ Eureka!

  • Ahoy mateys, be ye brave enough to earn your sea legs?
  • Eureka! The National Children’s Museum invites you to join our motley crew and set out for adventure during Pirates Ahoy, a week of swashbuckling adventure.
  • Lads and lasses can learn to look, act and even sing shanties like a real sea dog at our Pirate Training School. Once they’ve scrubbed the decks and hoisted the mizzen it’s off to follow a treasure map through the museum galleries and explore the beached Eureka! galleon!
    • Everyday from Saturday 29 May – Sunday 6 June
    • Free with standard admission, additional charge for Pirate Training School.

Where do we go?
Eureka, Discovery Road, Halifax HX1 2NE United Kingdom

Museum of London

  • Come and meet London characters from the past at the Museum of London this May half-term. Everyday there will be someone new to meet, from cabbies to performers.
  • Every day during May half-term you will meet different characters from London’s past in our new Galleries of Modern London.
  • Meet Jonathan Tyres, the founder of Vauxhall Pleasure Garden, or one of his performers.
  • Talk to a seller working on the streets of Victorian London or listen to the taxi driver and his tales about his favourite spots around London.
  • Minimum age: 5
  • Free
    • Sessions 11.30 – 14.00 and 14.30 – 17.00
    • Saturday 29 May
    • Tuesday 1 June to Sunday 6 June

Where do we go?
Museum of London, London Wall EC2Y 5HN
Open Daily 10am-6pm (Last Admission 5.30pm)

Find out more, visit our Museum page on the Museum of London