May Half Term

There's lots to do in South Kensington this May half term, including amazing exhibitions,  drop-in workshops, pop-up performances, space themed fun, storytelling, discovery days, music, great films and activities out in the sun too!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On until 1st July 2018
Natural History Museum
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The exhibition of 100 images records the beauty and drama of the natural world, from tiny insects to massive mammals. This year's competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 92 countries.

Wildlife Garden

1st April - early Nov
10am - 5pm
Natural History Museum
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Explore nature in the flourishing Wildlife Garden, a tranquil haven for plants and animals in the heart of the city. The garden is home to thousands of British flora and fauna.

Sensational Butterflies

29th March - 16th Sep
All Day
Natural History Museum
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See hundreds of live butterflies and moths up-close in the tropical butterfly house. This technicolour exhibition features a huge variety of these beautiful insects, ethically sourced from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Ocean Liners

3rd Feb - 10th June 2018
V&A
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Experience a unique journey through the design stories of the world's greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, and discover how these impressive vessels still loom large in our cultural imagination.

Fashioned from Nature

On til 27th Jan 2019
V&A
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This exhibition will present fashionable dress alongside natural history specimens, innovative new fabrics and dyeing processes, inviting visitors to think about the materials of fashion and the sources of their clothes.

Engineer your future

Extended to continue in 2018
Science Museum
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Find out if you’ve got the problem-solving, big-thinking, team-working skills to be a globe-trotting engineer of tomorrow.

Free

Trails

Daily
10am - 5.45pm
V&A
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Uncover the hidden views and go on a visual treasure hunt with a range of exciting trails to guide your family through this amazing museum. Suitable for ages 3+

Hope to Nope Graphics and Politics

28th Mar - 12th Aug
Design Museum Kensington
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Hope to Nope will explore the diverse methods that have been used to construct and communicate political messages over the past ten years. As traditional media rubs shoulders with the hash-tag and the meme, never has graphic design been more critical in giving everyone a political voice.

Pop-up Performance Spring 2018

Saturdays
11-3.30pm
V&A
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Hear the heart warming Japanese tale of the Monkey and the Crab, give a cheer for the delights of the marvellous music hall and delight in stories of theatrical wonder. Download the Spring 2018 Pop-up Performance Programme for further details. Performance duration approx 30 mins.

Festival of Science: Space

2nd May - 28th June 2018
Royal Albert Hall
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As part of the Royal Albert Hall’s inaugural Festival of Science, explore Space through a series of concerts, talks. screenings and comedy events for space and sci-fi fans young and old.

Free

Drop-in Design - Spring 2018

Sundays
V&A
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Create your own design using a wide range of materials inspired by the Museum’s collection. Join us for special making activities and curate a cabinet of curiosities, celebrate St. George's day with shadow puppets and design your own Japanese family crest.

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

10th May - 7th Oct
Design Museum Kensington
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Celebrate the timeless beauty of the female form with thirty-five years of haute couture from Azzedine Alaïa, and discover the mastery of cut, tailoring, fit, innovative form and materials behind the designer's unique creations.

Free

Games Lab: Video Games & Apps

Various Saturdays
2.30pm
Institut français
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Discover a series of playful, recreational & instructional digital sessions, where we explore the potential that video games and apps may hold. In French, ages 6-12

The Future Starts Here

12th May - 4th Nov 2018
V&A
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Exploring the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow. From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, this exhibition will bring together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future.

Storytelling and Music Sessions

9th Jan - 27th June
10am, 11am, 12pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Seasoned storytellers deliver a series of sessions for babies and toddlers, aiming to engage and encourage interaction between parents/carers and their little ones using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories.

Family Create! My Great Orchestral Adventure

26th May
10.30am
Royal College of Music
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Join RCM musicians and members of the Royal Albert Hall’s resident ensemble Albert’s Band for an intergalactic introduction to the orchestra then experience a symphony orchestra live on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in an interactive space-themed family concert My Great Orchestral Adventure.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

26th May
2pm
Institut français
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The line between reality and fantasy gets blurred as gumshoe detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) tries to prove the innocence of a cartoon rabbit suspected of murder in this much-loved animation-meets-live action classic.

Free

Door to Design: Family Festival 2018

26th May
12 - 5pm
V&A
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Join the V&A for free family drop-in workshops inspired by the museum’s architecture and design. Take part in workshops designed and led by artists and families from the Door to Design project, and view their work in the Door to Design display.

My Great Orchestral Adventure

26th May
1pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Aliens have arrived on planet Earth and they are not happy! The record player on their spaceship is broken - help the Orchestra of Adventurers bring musical harmony back to the galaxy with music from Grieg, Holst and Star Wars!

A Monster in Paris

27th May
11am
Institut français
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Paris, 1910. Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colourful inventor, find themselves embarked on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens. They join forces with Lucille, the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret.

Storytastic Sundays

Last Sunday of every month
Event times vary
Kensington Palace
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There is something for everyone on a Storytastic Sunday. Explore the palace with activity bags, listen to Story Time or get creative in Make History workshops. Head along to Kensington Palace on the last Sunday every month to join in!

May Half Term

27th May - 1st June
During opening hours
Kensington Palace
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Come and discover what growing up in a palace is really like and enter Princess Victoria's magical world of stories. Princess Victoria’s childhood experiences will be brought to life during May half term with drop-in sessions including illustration workshops and storytelling.

Free

Imagination Station: May Half-Term

28th May - 1st June
10.30am - 5pm
V&A
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Can you solve the problems of the future? Design solutions for the challenges we will face in years to come. On selected days, you can work alongside Arup engineers and find out more about their jobs. Part of the The Year of Engineering 2018.

Free

Pop-Up Performance May Half-Term

28th May - 1st June
11am - 3.45pm
V&A
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Time travel to the future by taking part in energetic sound and dance performances directed by Scanners Inc. and performed by House of Absolute. 'Stardust' is a promenade performance with level access, that will last approximately 40 minutes.

A Strange New Space

29th May
10.30am, 1.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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A Strange New Space is Tessa Bide’s non-verbal, one-woman show aimed at children aged 4-10 years old, and follows the journey of space-obsessed Amira, who dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Nature Explorers: Gardening Gang

29th May
10am - 3pm
Hyde Park
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Have an adventure this school holiday and take a wild walk to the Kensington Gardens Allotment for some digging and planting. The experienced teaching team provide a full day of guided outdoor games and activities for children aged 8 – 11. Book online to avoid missing out!

Ensonglopedia of Science

30th May
1.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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John Hinton presents his new science-based family show as part of the Hall’s inaugural Festival of Science: Space. Expect atoms, big bangs, cells, DNA and plenty more. Expect the unexpected, and expect it to rhyme!

Free

Space for Nature by Rudolf Williams

30th May - 6th June
Mon-Fri 10-5pm, Sat 10-4pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Accomplishing space travel has permitted us to explore the Earth in ways otherwise impossible. On display for the first time, this exhibition celebrates scientists and the satellites used to unlock the mysteries of the natural world.

Discovery Days

Check site for dates
11am - 3pm drop in
Hyde Park
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Hyde Park's expert education team run a range of free and exciting nature-inspired activities for families. You could be pond dipping, helping your children discover an underwater world, sweep netting in the meadow or bug hunting at the minibeast hotel.

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

30th May
10am
Royal Albert Hall
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Tangram Theatre returns to the Hall’s Elgar Room to present their family theatre show celebrating the 20th century’s most brilliant thinker as part of the Festival of Science: Space. Join Albert, the genius behind the übercoolest moustache in science, for a lecture like none you’ve ever seen.

Albert's Band presents: To Infinity and Beyond

1st June
11.15am, 1.45pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Join the Royal Albert Hall’s resident Education & Outreach orchestra, Albert’s Band, as they take you on a musical journey to a galaxy far far away. This promises to be the perfect family-friendly introduction to some of the most famous and recognised pieces of classical music in the universe!

Free

Sketchmob at the Design Museum

1st June
6 - 8pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Participants are invited to tour the museum and sketch what excites them about contemporary design and architecture. There will be free sketchbooks for the first 50 people to arrive and the Sketchmob team will also be on hand to give quick drawing tips to help you get started.

Mia et le Migou

2nd & 3rd June
2pm/11am
Institut français
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In this adventure movie, Mia takes the audience on a trip across the South American landscape and helps discover magical creatures and the great power of Mother Nature. In French with English subtitles, suitable for ages 6+.

Moomins and the Comet

3rd June
5pm, 7.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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This is a rare chance for Moomins fans old and new to experience Anne Wood’s TV adaptations of Film Polski’s breathtakingly charming animations, all accompanied by a live score which mixes Casios with ocarinas and the voices of vintage synthesisers with instruments from around the world.

Dino Snores for Kids

3rd Aug, 7th Sept, 13th Oct, 10th Nov
Natural History Museum
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Ever wondered what goes on at the Museum when everyone has gone home? Find out on a sleepover for kids.

Free

Ian Cheng

On til 28th May
10am - 6pm, except Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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Following BOB, an artificial lifeform with a nervous system, Ian Cheng presents Emissaries, a computer-generated simulation featuring a cast of flora and fauna that interact, intervene and recombine in open-ended narratives

Fly 360°

Open Daily
10am - 5pm
Science Museum
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Have you ever wanted to fly your own jet? Come and take the controls on Fly 360°, the hands-on flight simulator. Get your adrenaline flowing by performing your very own aerobatic displays, barrel rolls and loop-the-loops, all as if you were really flying!

Serpentine Galleries Exhibitions

Serpentine Galleries
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Take a look at the regularly-changing exhibitions, displays and residences in the two Serpentine Galleries, on either side of the river in the centre of Hyde Park.

A Beautiful Planet

Science Museum
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Experience Earth like never before in a breath-taking portrait of the planet captured from the International Space Station on the biggest screen in Europe.

Family Trails

Available every day
Kensington Palace
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Pick up a family trail activity from the trail stand in White Court for a fun way to spend the day at Kensington Palace with children aged 5-11 years.

Investigate for Families

Daily
Natural History Museum
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Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Come and explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence Museum scientists use in their daily work.

Digital Missions

Daily
Kensington Palace
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Download the free Time Explorers app and try the new Digital Mission at Kensington Palace for children and their families.

Behind the Scenes spirit tour

Daily
Natural History Museum
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Join expert science educators for a behind the scenes look at the Museum's fascinating zoology spirit collection.

Victoria Revealed

Daily
Kensington Palace
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Explore Queen Victoria’s long and fascinating life in her childhood home, Kensington Palace

Free

Destination Space Family Show

Dates and times vary
Science Museum
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Help to explode some rocket-fuelled bubbles, melt some marshmallows, and learn all about the challenges of space in this free interactive family show. This show is suitable for children aged 5 and above.

Boating in Hyde Park

April-31st Oct
10am til sundown
Hyde Park
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Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats on the Serpentine and the UK's first Solarshuttle, a magnificent vessel which glides across the lake powered only by the sun. The Solarshuttle carries up to 40 passengers and the pedal and row boats hold up to 6 persons each.

Dinosaurs

Natural History Museum
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Explore the different time periods dinosaurs lived, sort the facts from the myths about why they died out, and find out what our scientific research has taught us about these prehistoric giants.

3D Red Arrows

Daily
Science Museum
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With stunning high definition 3D vision and flight simulator motion technology, you can see and feel for yourself what it’s like in the cockpit of a Red Arrow.

V&A Secret Seekers

V&A Secret Seekers is a new mobile game for families, launched to coincide with the opening of the V&A's Exhibition Road Quarter. Let eight characters from the V&A's history guide you on an exciting treasure hunt to uncover some of the secrets of the Museum.

V&A Free tours & talks

Daily
V&A
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Get closer to the Museum and its incredible collections with our wide range of free or paid-for bespoke tours.

V&A Backpacks

Daily
V&A
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Borrow a V&A backpack and embark on an adventure across the Museum. Backpacks are free to borrow and do not need to be booked.

Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery

Daily
Science Museum
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Revealing the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives, this unmissable experience will ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination and inspire you to see the world around you in new and exciting ways.

Pattern Pod

Daily
Science Museum
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Pattern Pod is an amazing multi-sensory area for children under 8 years old. Fun, interactive exhibits encourage them to recognise and copy patterns.

The Garden

Open from 11.15 am
Science Museum
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The Garden is an exciting interactive space, created especially for children aged 3–6 and their parents and carers in the basement of the Museum.

Space Descent with Tim Peake

From 24th March 2017
Science Museum
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As the European Space Agency's first British astronaut, Tim Peake spent six incredible months aboard the International Space Station. Using VR technology, get a 360° look inside a Soyuz capsule and retrace Tim's 400km journey back to Earth from the ISS.

Diana: Her Fashion Story

On until 2018
Kensington Palace
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Trace the evolution of Diana, Princess of Wales' style, from the demure, romantic dresses and other outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Recently re-opened with a selection of new outfits.

Free

Making Faces

29th & 30th May
Drop-in
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Get ready to pull a funny face and learn how to sculpt your own clay portrait! Work with a real artist to create your own sculpture inspired by Anne Purkiss’ portrait photographs in her Faces of Sculpture exhibition at the society.

May Half Term Workshops

28th & 29th May
11-1pm & 2-4pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Work with a real artist and learn how to sculpt in clay! Find out how to use clay tools and techniques to create your very own self portrait inspired by Anne Purkiss’ artist portrait photographs. The workshop is free, families can drop in and stay as long as you like!

Fashion Runway: Crafting a Collection

27th May
1-4pm
Design Museum Kensington
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This fun, fast-paced session will give budding fashion designers a whistle-stop tour of drawing and hands-on making to create a mini-fashion runway of your very own collection.

Family Festival: Operation Earth

29th - 31st May
Natural History Museum
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Join the Museum for a festival of environmental science-themed, family-friendly fun. Make your way around the Orange Zone and drop-in on games, shows and events that inspire and entertain. Kids can dress up as pollinators, get hands-on with real ocean specimens or become wildlife detectives.

Family Explorer Trails: Creative Quarter

Get out and about this summer with the Mayor’s new London Curriculum Family Explorer Trails which includes the 'Creative Quarter' in South Kensington. Taking you on a circular trail starting at the V&A, up Exhibition Road and through the Royal Parks.