Best Events this February Half Term

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London Puddle Jumping Championships

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London Puddle Jumping Championships
Vets in Action
Imagine Children's Festival
February Half Term: London Transport Museum
The Winter's Tale
Brick Wonders
Mole & Gecko: The Show
The Monstrous Child
The Wider Earth
One Duck Down


Looking for ways to fill the February half term? Between 16th and 24th February 2019 the Southbank Centre hosts the Imagine Children's Festival, 50 LEGO creations are constructed at the Horniman Museum and the Puddle Jumping Championships creates a splash.

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The Monstrous Child

An opera based on Francesca Simon's book is the first to be staged in the new Linbury Theatre.

Linbury Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 21st February - 03rd March 2019


Gavin Higgins's first opera, adapted by Francesca Simon from her darkly humorous young adult novel, The Monstrous Child, is the first opera to be staged in the new Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House. With Timothy Sheader, artistic director of Regent's ParkOpen Air Theatre, making his Royal Opera debut the cast, led by British-Spanish soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, is in good hands. She plays the title role of Hel, an adolescent girl who would be an ordinary teenager if it wasn't for the fact that she's half girl and half corpse. Inspired by Norse myths, the drama unfurls as the gods kidnap all three of Loki's monstrous children and Hel is banished to Niflheim to rule over the dead.


The Winter's Tale

A perfect introduction for 8 to 12 year olds to Shakespeare.

National Theatre: Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 06th - 21st February 2019


After a successful run in 2017, Justin Audibert's child-friendly version of The Winter's Tale returns to the National Theatre this February, just in time for half term. Created to introduce young audiences to Shakespeare, the production condenses the tale of forgiveness and redemption into a one-hour show, with a storyteller-in-chief offering a brief synopsis as the story unfolds to ensure everyone is following. Audiences will be able to join Perdita on a journey through magic and mayhem in a light-hearted production that's perfect for those aged 8 to 12.


Imagine Children's Festival

12 days of half term family fun for children up to 12.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 13th - 24th February 2019


Keeping kids entertained over the February half-term, the Imagine Children's Festival delivers 12 days of family fun for 0-12 year olds. Head to the Southbank Centre for a fun sing-along screening of We're Going on a Bear Hunt with a live soundtrack from the City of London Sinfonia, theatrical pirate adventure with Captain Flinn: The Magic Cutlass and a magical musical based on The Singing Mermaid by acclaimed puppeteers from the Little Angel Theatre. The Kids Takeover returns for another year, giving children the chance to get involved, and - best of all - over fifty per cent of the programme is free.


The Animals and Children took to the Streets

Theatre in the style of early Buster Keaton films, for children aged 11 and over.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 19th February - 16th March 2019


Avant-garde theatre quartet 1927 bring their show, The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, to the Lyric Hammersmith this winter following sell-out runs at the National Theatre back in 2011 and 2014. Created by the company's co-founders, poet Suzanne Andrade and film-maker Paul Barritt, the show is set in a stinking tenement block and uses live music, performance and storytelling, film and animation to create a wonderfully original piece of theatre reminiscent of the early black and white Buster Keaton films. Riddled with animated cockroaches who crawl over the actors, it's as if the actors are trapped in the animations. "The show feels like a heady mix of Berlin cabaret, silent movie and social commentary," said Michael Billington in The Guardian, reviewing The Animals and Children... when it appeared at the National's Cottesloe in 2011. Age guidance: 11 years and above.


Brick Wonders

Tour the world in LEGO from a pyramid to Old London Bridge.

Horniman Museum, 100 Road, London, SE23 3PQ

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: 16th February - 27th October 2019


More than 50 LEGO models are brought together at the Horniman Museum for the new Brick Wonders exhibition. Visitors will be able to tour the world via LEGO with depictions of an ancient Egyptian pyramid, a tropical coral reef, an international space station and Old London Bridge. As well as the large-scale models, there are interactive play areas where visitors can get hands-on with a graffiti wall, a tower-building challenge and a magnetic mosaic puzzle. Plus, during half term, between Monday and Wednesday, they're running special LEGO workshops, booking in advance recommended.


Mole & Gecko: The Show

Interactive rap musical following a mole and a gecko for children aged 5 and over.

Half Moon Young People's Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, London, E1 0ND

Tube: Stepney Green Station


Dates: 16th February 2019


Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko create their own original songs for rap musical Mole & Gecko: THE SHOW for children aged five and above which tells the story of a mole and a gecko, with the help of the audience. There are live songs, rap stories and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem in the 45 minute show which sees our heroes discover that what they thought they were searching for might be less important than what they find along the way. In the words of The Friend Ship song: "Everywhere we go we are amigos".

The spring 2019 tour comes to the Half Moon Theatre in time for the February half term before travelling to Canada Water Theatre, The Albany and artsdepot in March as well as Watermans Arts Centre for one show only in April.


The Wider Earth

Award-winning drama about the story of young Charles Darwin.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 02nd October - 24th February 2019


Unveiling the Natural History Museum's brand new theatre, located in the Jerwood Gallery, The Wider Earth is an award-winning drama about the story of young Charles Darwin. In the European premiere of David Morton's award-winning biographical drama, audiences will join 22-year-old Darwin on HMS Beagle's daring voyage to the far side of the world. The production features a cast of seven, remarkable puppetry, an original score and cinematic animations. Our young reviewer especially liked the animals, the armadillo - and the way it could roll up into a ball when it got scared - was a particular favourite. Discover the gripping story behind one of the most important discoveries in history and celebrate the complexity of our planet and Darwin's adventurous spirit.


One Duck Down

FacePlant Theatre tells the true tale of 7000 rubber ducks cast adrift in a mighty storm.

The Vaults, 10 Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station


Dates: 17th February - 10th March 2019


Winner of Best Family Show at Vault Festival 2018, One Duck Down returns to the subterranean tunnels to tell the true tale (featured on Blue Planet II) that saw 7000 Rubber Ducks cast adrift in a mighty storm. FacePlant Theatre presents an eco-friendly family show with physical theatre and clowning production based on the true story. With a set and props made from recycled rubbish, this award winning show for audiences aged three and above reminds us of the importance of looking after our oceans.


London Puddle Jumping Championships

Make a stylish, huge or muddy splash to compete for the prestigious puddle title.

WWT London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT

Tube: Ravenscourt Park Station


Dates: 16th - 24th February 2019


Don full body wet weather gear and make a splash at the London Puddle Jumping Championships when you take on the specially designed obstacle course. Points will be given for style, creativity, size of splash and - an important one - enthusiasm. Perfectly timed to add some wild time to half term, the competition will be held at WWT London Wetland Centre from 16th to 24th February. Daily winners will be announced and there are other watery fun activities and Puddle Jumping is free with admission to the centre (free to WWT members). There's no avoiding the rain in the winter so why not jump to it?


February Half Term: London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum, 39 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BB

Tube: Covent Garden Station


Dates: 16th - 24th February 2019


This February half term families visiting the London Transport Museum can learn about the amazing women who keep London moving. There's a week of fun activities inspired by the hidden heroines of London's transport network, past and present. From 16th to 24th February children can join in daily 'storytime' sessions and get creative in a drop in 'make and take' craft activity, designing a poster that celebrates the women who have helped shaped the capital's transport system. While you're here leave time to visit the Future Engineers gallery where you can try out a palm scanner, 'drive' a modern Elizabeth line train and see your face on the cover of The Engineer magazine. Digging Deeper reveals the history of tunnelling and the All Aboard family play zone is perfect for younger children who can be a conductor, repair a mini Tube train and man the lost property office.



The classic myth about the boy who flew too close to the sun is given a modern setting.

Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, More , London, SE1 2HZ

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 26th January - 10th March 2019


The Unicorn stages a new take on the classic myth of the boy who dared to fly too near the sun, given a bold, contemporary interpretation aimed at eight to twelve year-olds. Icarus, oldest son of the builder Daedalus, doesn't play with the rest of the children, laughing and shouting in the village square. He sits looking out over the sea and thinks about his father. Cressida Brown directs a translation by Purni Morell, giving the myth a modern setting. We see King Minos building his kingdom while across the sea the country the Mother and the Brothers and Sisters live in has fallen off the edge of the world.


Vets in Action

Discover how vets ensure the 18,000 animals housed at the zoo stay healthy.

ZSL London Zoo, Regent's Park Outer Circle, London, NW1 4RY

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 16th - 24th February 2019


This February half term see the Vets in Action at the London Zoo and find out how vets ensure the 18,000 animals housed at the zoo stay healthy. Budding young vets will be prepped with gloves and masks before joining the team in the specially recreated 'surgery'. Becoming part of the action, children will help experts examine, x-ray and carry out toy treatments - experiencing first-hand the huge variety of work carried out by the zoo's vets, vet nurses and zookeepers.

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