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!

Family
Drop-in

Pop-up Performance: Victoria and Albert Season 2019

25th May - 31st Aug
11.00, 13.00 & 15.00
V&A
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Explore some of the secrets and surprises of the museum’s story with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Jim the Dog. Meet Queen Victoria, Prince Albert or Jim the Dog. Journey around to dig up some secrets and surprises of the museum and life in Victorian times.

Kids
Family
Drop-in

Family activities: Young Victoria

25th May - 2nd Jun
11am-5pm
Kensington Palace
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Experience Queen Victoria's life as a teenager at Kensington Palace. Wander the rooms where she grew up as a princess and discover what life was like for her. Catch the puppet theatre performance, then create your own stories and perform them with your very own puppet theatre.

Kids
Free

Discovery Day - Victoria and Albert's Birthday Bash

29 May
11am-3pm
Hyde Park
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Victoria and Albert are turning 200! Help celebrate the bicentenary of their birth at The LookOut, Hyde Park. Come dressed up in your Victorian best and learn how they influenced both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

Victoria: A Royal Childhood

Opens 24th May
Kensington Palace
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Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace. This new permanent exhibition will explore how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.

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.

Victoria: Woman and Crown

Opens 24th May
Kensington Palace
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Explore Queen Victoria’s private life behind her carefully-managed public image in Victoria: Woman and Crown. The new display, created to mark the 200th anniversary of Victoria's birth, will re-examine how she balanced her role as a wife and mother with that of Queen of an expanding empire.

Kids
Family
Movies

Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun

11th, 12th & 25th May
Various
Institut français
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Join the party with Peppa and George in their new adventures as they dance in the mud at a children’s festival, celebrate Grandpa Pig’s birthday at a restaurant for the first time, and take a trip to the cinema to see Super Potato’s big movie feature!

Free

Cornflakes to Cola

From 4 May 2019
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Marking Sainsbury's 150-year anniversary, this playful display celebrates the work of the relatively unknown but highly successful Sainsbury’s Design Studio.

Family
Drop-in

Experiment with drawing

28th-29th May
11-1pm & 2-4pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Take inspiration from our current exhibition and join us for an experimental drawing session. Try out different techniques and think about drawing in a new way. Family-friendly drop-in workshop. No booking required.

Kids

My Great Orchestral Adventure

28th May
2pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Using a special time machine, you will visit Jurassic periods and Classical eras as you travel through the ages. Along the way you will see the sights and hear the seminal sounds of the past. You will be singing, dancing and best of all, a full symphony orchestra will bring our adventure to life.

Free

Designer Maker User

Open daily
10am - 6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Designer Maker User, the Design Museum's only permanent exhibition, features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.

Kids
Family
Drop-in

May Half Term: Paper Den’s

28th-31st May
1-4pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Take part in a fun afternoon of den building. Colour, collage and construct your own 3D paper shapes to build the den brick by brick. Suitable for families with children aged 5-11 years. Free.

Kids
Free
Drop-in

Over the Moon Workshop

Weekends & Everyday in Half Term
Science Museum
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Create curious craters as you build your own tactile map of The Moon, then see if your lander can make it to the surface as you make your own moon mission.

Companion: Moon

17th May - 29th Aug
Various Thur, Fri & Sat
Natural History Museum
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Join interactive theatre-makers Coney in an experience where you can join in or observe as multiple art forms combine. The performances are inspired by artist Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon artwork and conversations with Museum scientists. Performance lasts 15 mins.

Kids
Free
Drop-in

Moon Mice Workshop

Weekends & Everyday in Half Term
11-11:20am
Science Museum
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Meet a mouse on a mission—a mission to the Moon! Find out all about rockets in this wonderful workshop. Make your very own rocket mouse and see how high you can blast them into space.

Kids

Nature Explorers: Big Bioblitz

28 May
10am-3pm
Hyde Park
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Drop your young explorer off at The LookOut to become an ecologist for the day and learn how to survey all of the park’s habitats. Can they find 100 different creatures in the park? Their investigation provides valuable data for the park’s Ecology Team and helps London monitor its biodiversity

Family
Movies

Deep Sea 3D (PG)

Dates & Times Vary
Natural History Museum
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Swim alongside some of the most exotic creatures on the planet, from the bizarre Rainbow Nudibranch to the Giant Pacific Octopus. Narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, Deep Sea 3D transports you below the ocean surface on a unique underwater adventure.

Kids
Family
Talk

The Social Side of the Killer Whale

12th & 26th May
12.30-1pm & 2:30-3pm
Natural History Museum
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Orcas are notoriously formidable predators, which is probably what earned them the rather fierce name of 'killer whale'. But becoming such adept ocean hunters requires a certain level of complex behaviour. Join Museum scientist Ellen Coombs and find out more about the social side of orcas.

Family
Drop-in

The Imagination Station: May Half-Term 2019

27th - 31st May
10.30 – 17.00
V&A
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Make a collaborative magazine with art collective Fallen Fruit using collage making and storytelling. Everyone is welcome.

Design
Family
Drop-in

Drop in Design: Spring 2019

Every Sunday, 12th May - 30th Jun
10.30 – 17.00
V&A
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In May, make Mon - Japanese family crest to mark Japanese Children's Day or be inspired by the 'Food: Bigger than the Plate' exhibition and come up with a new sustainable invention. In June, take part in Refugee Week and Open House Families Festival.

Kids
Family
Drop-in

Pop-up Performance: May Half-Term

27th - 31st May
11.00, 13.00 & 15.00
V&A
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Enjoy performances this May half-term, inspired by FOOD: Bigger than the Plate. Come to the annual fruit and veg Olympics with Wonky Table Theatre Company. Enjoy a playful exploration of food through music and storytelling. Performance times 11.00, 13.00, 15.00, approximately 30 minutes.

Kids
Family
Movies

Dumbo

2nd, 8th & 15th Jun
Times vary
Institut français
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Dumbo isn’t your average circus performer. Born with oversized ears that allow him to fly, the young elephant has overcome the taunts of his peers and the loss of his mother to become the star attraction of the struggling circus he calls home.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On til 30th June
Natural History Museum
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See the world through a new lens. Now in its fifty-fourth year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases extraordinary animal behaviour and the breathtaking diversity of life on Earth. Explore the world's best nature photography, exhibited on 100 exquisite light panels.

A Beautiful Planet 3D (U)

Dates & Times vary
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. See fantastic images of the Earth from the Space Station and gain a new understanding of how wonderful and unique our planet is.

Kids
Family
Design

Printed Patterns

26th May
1-4pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Create a hand printed design that represents you and your family inspired by the David Adjaye: Making Memory exhibition. You’ll try out different types of printing, learn surface pattern design techniques and produce a hand printed piece of fabric. Suitable for ages 8-11.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition

On til 15th Sept 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Step inside the world of Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. It will offer a unique insight into the director's vast archive through original props and costumes, set models and rare photographs, while tracing the design story behind Kubrick’s body of work.

Kids
Family
Talk

Evolving Story

25th May
12.30-1pm & 2.30-3pm
Natural History Museum
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Modern humans (Homo sapiens) might be the last humans standing, but we are only a small part of a family tree stretching back millions of years. At this talk, discover some of our ancient relatives. Learn who they were, how they lived, and how we're able to piece together this complicated evolutionary jigsaw.

Free
Family

Mission to Mercury: Bepi Colombo

Daily
10.00–18.00
Science Museum
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Come face-to-face with a full-size engineering model of BepiColombo, the European Space Agency’s first ever spacecraft to explore Mercury. Standing over six metres tall, this Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the spacecraft was used to test BepiColombo’s resilience during its seven-year journey to Mercury.

Family
Movies

Apollo 11: First Steps Edition 2D (U)

Daily
Various
Science Museum
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Experience the lift-off, landing and return of the historic Apollo 11 mission on one of the biggest cinema screens in Europe. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of this extraordinary moment, Apollo 11: First Steps offers a thrilling cinematic experience.

IMAX: Hubble 3D

Dates & Times Vary
Science Museum
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Join a team of space-walking astronauts as they perform one of the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history. Narrated by Oscar™-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Hubble 3D explores the mysteries and grandeur of our celestial surroundings and offers a unique and inspiring look into the Hubble Space Telescope’s impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves.

Martin Rees in Conversation with Brian May

24th May
7-9.30pm
Science Museum
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Astronomer Royal Martin Rees joins astrophysicist and legendary Queen guitarist and songwriter Dr Brian May to discuss the past, present and future of space travel.

The Common Thread

25th May
11am
Royal Albert Hall
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In a programme of words and music, Tim Lihoreau, Mary Archer and students of the Royal College of Music explore the link between Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev and celebrated composers Alexander Borodin and Edward Elgar. This event is part of ChemFest 2019, a festival of chemistry celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

Family

Abbaphonic

29th May
7:30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Back by popular demand! Celebrating ABBA’s greatest hits in all their sparkling, show-stopping glory, West End stars Abbie Osmon and Emma Kershaw will perform an amazing line-up of the Swedish pop group’s timeless classics in ABBAphonic.

This is Manga - the Art of Urasawa Naoki

5th June - 28th July
10am - 8pm
Japan House London
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The exhibition immerses visitors in the iconic Japanese art form and introduces Urasawa’s ideas from inception through development, with more than 400 original drawings and storyboards on display. Selected stories from seven of his major works are presented with full English translations.

Responsible Travel

30th May
7-9pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Are you determined to reduce the impact of your holidays on the planet? If so, join our panel of experts as they discuss the various approaches you can take and answer the question: what does it mean to travel well?

Engineer your future

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.

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!

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.

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.

Free
Movies

The Accession of His Majesty The Emperor Naruhito

1 May – 31 May
Various
Japan House London
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In commemoration of the accession of His Majesty The Emperor Naruhito, and the beginning of the new era ‘Reiwa’, Japan House is screening performances of Gagaku, Imperial Court Music and Dance performed by musicians and dancers from the Imperial Household Agency.

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.

Family

Investigate for Families

Til 1 September 2019
Times vary
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.

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.

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.

Wonderlab: The Equinor 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.

Free
Kids

Games Lab: Video Games & Apps 6-12

Tuesdays 4pm & Saturdays 2pm
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. Expect new games and a new console!

Kids

Art Club

Various Thursdays
4pm
Institut français
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Explore art history and get your paint brushes ready with these hands-on workshops. We recommend booking the whole semester in advance to ensure participants can learn, enjoy and create in the best conditions.

T(h)inker Club 9-12

Saturdays
2.30pm
Institut français
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Create your own design and devise your own machine by using soft circuits (electronics and paper), e-textile and recycled materials. This is the perfect workshop for little inventors to experiment with sciences, technology, design, arts & crafts.

Naturenauts

Natural History Museum
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A new app from the Museum which encourages kids and their favourite grown-ups to head outdoors and learn fun facts about UK wildlife. Grab your phone or tablet to explore the nature on your doorstep.