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Autumn London Days Out with Kids

Dark Arts
■ Harry Potter Studios, Leavesden WD25  ■  Sun Oct 1-Sun Nov 12

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden,


Brick or Treat

■ Chertsey ■ Legoland, Windsor, ■ Sat Oct 14 – Mon 30 Oct

I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on Oct 21,22, 27 & 28.


Whales: Beneath the Surface

■ Natural History Museum, London SW7  ■ until Feb 29 2018

Walk underneath the largest creature to have lived on earth in Hintze Hall – a gigantic 25.2m blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling called Hope, replacing Dippy the dinosaur. More than 100 enormous skeletons of whales, dolphins and porpoises from the Museum’s impressive research collection will be brought out from behind-the-scenes for the first time to show the secret underwater life of these animals in the museum’s summer family exhibition.


Ocean Invaders
Sea Life London Aquarium, London SE1  ■ ongoing

The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!
■ London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB.



Robot Zoo
Horniman Museum, London SE23  ■ until Sun Oct 29

It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time. Tickets: Adults £7; Kids, £4.
■ The Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ.


■ Westfield, London W12 ■ ongoing

Those who’ve been rave about this place at Westfield. A friend from overseas bought her sons for a rammed fortnight in London during which they saw pretty much every museum and attraction and this was their favourite. It’s a child-size ‘city’ where the kids are in charge (scary, no?). It provides real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. They can try more than 60 role-play activities (actor, doctor, police officer etc) with each  experience crafted to teach kids essential life skills like team work and independence. Younger kids can hang out in the dedicated Early Years area. And you can, you know, go shopping.
■ KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GA.


Science Museum
■ Kensington, London ■ ongoing

Masses on at this ever brilliant museum – spend the whole day here – including the new exhibit of  Tim Peake’s Spacecraft – Soyuz TMA-19M.  Also on is a brand new exhibition Robots, which reveals our 500-year quest to make machines human, from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids. Finally, your kids will love Wonderlab, the newest and most spectacular interactive gallery in the world.
■ Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD.



Thorpe Park
■ Chertsey ■ ongoing

The latest attraction at Thorpe Park is super-scary sounding Derren Brown’s ‘Ghost train: Rise of the Demon’  – seriously not for the faint-hearted, with live action and physical effects, it’s probably not one for your toddlers! There’s plenty for little ones to do though and the website has a brilliant ‘which rides are for you’ search by height function so you can check out the gentler options in advance. Great idea!
■ Thorpe Park, Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN. Tel: 0871 663 1673.


London Zoo
■ Regent’s Park London ■ ongoing

Visit the amazing London Zoo and see  Land of the Lions, a new immersive exhibit with walkways from where you can explore Indian-themed areas  – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut.  No extra charge – it’s all included in entry to the Zoo.
■ London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY. London Zoo


■ NEW Postal Museum, London

The Postal Museum and Mail Rail, a new heritage attraction, opened this summer. There is a play zone for under-nines called Sorted, designed as a miniature town, and an underground train ride into the old engineering depot (may not be suitable for under-5’s). Family activities include arts and crafts, storytelling and science shows.

Find more ideas here

ActivitiesArt/MuseumsDay TripsKids

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