Stuck for something to do with the kids this half term? Trying to save some money along the way, but keep trips as exciting as ever for the family? Here are some ideas to get you started…
The Science Museum and IMAX 3D – All the best bits of science under one roof!
Have you ever felt the breath of a dinosaur on your neck or been to an atomic disco? For all things weird, wonderful and downright amazing, The Science Museum is a brilliant mish-mash of brain-bending displays and interactive science fun. There?s nothing better than breaking up the day than by sitting back to a mind-blowing IMAX film in the museum?s own 3D cinema. From magnificent sea monsters and dinosaurs, to Egyptian wonders and breathtaking space voyages, imaginations will run wild. And the best bit? Entry to the museum is totally free, although there are charges for the IMAX 3D Cinema, simulators and some special exhibitions.
Top Tip: Plan ahead and decide which collections you want to see. It would take weeks to explore the whole museum!
Prices: FREE ENTRY, but charges apply for the IMAX 3D Cinema, simulators and some special exhibitions. FAMILY TICKET (only available for the IMAX 3D Cinema)?18 for 1 adult & 2 children, ?24 for 2 adults & 2 children. For more price information, see The Science Museum Price list here. You can buy tickets by calling 0870 870 4868 (booking fee applies) or at any sales desk inside the Museum either before your visit or on the day. During busy periods attractions may sell out very early in the day.
Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD.
Opening Times: Open 10am ? 6pm every day, except 24 to 26 December.
Travel: Take the London underground to South Kensington Station or bus routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1, which stop outside South Kensington Underground Station, from where it is a five minute walk north to the Museum’s Main Entrance.
Food: Eating and drinking is permitted in any uncarpeted area and a picnic area with seating is provided. Alternatively, try the museum?s caf? or family restaurant. There are plenty of options outside the museum too.
Top outdoor day out
Hampton Court Palace ? Hobnobbing with the Tudors!
A lovely day outside, this beautiful historic site on the fringes of London was once home to Henry VIII and his court. However old your children, they are sure to be entertained here. There are family trails packed with activities, costumed tours, a skill-testing maze and even the opportunity to try your luck at singing, dancing and Tudor games. The Tudor kitchens come complete with sights and smells from the past and the Haunted Gallery lets you explore the palace?s many ghost stories. Set within enchanting riverside gardens, there is plenty of room for kids to run around while you soak up some sun and admire the view.
Top Tip: Book online to save time and money.
Prices: FAMILY TICKET (up to 2 adults & 3 children*) ?34 online offer, ?37 gate price. Under 5?s enter FREE of charge. See more ticket prices here. Buy discount tickets online here.**
(**Prices until 28 Feb ’09 incl.)
Special offer Saturday 25 October – Sunday 2 November 2008 inclusive:
FREE ENTRY for up to four under 16?s per full paying adult.
Location: East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Opening Times: 10am ? 6pm every day, except 24th to 26th December.
Travel: Travel to Hampton Court train station.
Food: Restaurants and cafes are on site, or you can use the picnic tables and benches in the gardens and seats in the courtyard.
Top teens day out
The London Bridge Experience and London Tombs ? Scare yourself silly
Recently quoted the scariest attraction in London, this spine-chilling experience uses Hollywood effects and actors to re-create what London Bridge was really like in the past. Basically, not very nice. You?ll learn about its gruesome punishments for criminals, whilst dodging pick-pockets and surprises along the way. If you haven?t jumped out of your skin by then, you can descend deeper into the London Tombs, located directly below the London Bridge. Once the plague pits of the 14th century, these dark cavities have been filled with even more gruesomeness to truly shake those senses. Cool.
Top Tip: Save up to 50% if you buy online!
Prices: FAMILY TICKET (2 adults & 2 children*) ?24.99 online offer (after 5pm), ?45 online offer (before 5pm), ?59.95 gate price. Under 5?s go FREE. See more ticket prices here. Buy discount tickets online here. *Under 14?s.
Location: 2-4 Tooley Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 2PF
Opening Times: 10am until 6pm Seven days per week, except 24th Dec, 26th Dec, 31st Dec, 1st Jan 11:00am-4:00pm and Christmas Day when The London Bridge
Travel: 50 metres from London Bridge train station, or buses 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 78, 133, 149, 381.
Food: Food or drink may not be consumed during The London Bridge Experience or The London Tombs tours. There is a cafeteria on site.
Top kids day out
The London Zoo ? Find your inner monkey!
Zoos are always a hit with the kids, and this one really tops the bill. Over 750 species of animals are on display, including the popular Blackfooted penguins and Moon jellyfish, amongst the more classic lions and giraffes. Kids can get up really close to creepy crawlies with the Megabugs presentation, or watch the penguins gulp down whole fish during feeding time, with many more daily events taking place. The brilliant ?Meet the Monkeys? enclosure allows visitors to walk through a recreation of a Bolivian rainforest, with no barriers between them and the animals! A specially designed play area encourages visitors to imitate the movement of monkeys and teaches them about some of the tools they use to get around. These are just some of the highlights of a truly magical day for all the family.
Top Tip: Last admission is one hour before the advertised closing time of 17.30, so don?t get caught out.
Prices: FAMILY TICKET (2 adults & 2 children* or 1 adult & 3 children*) ?49.10. See more ticket prices here. Buy tickets online here.
Location: ZSL London Zoo, Regent?s Park, London NW1 4RY
Opening Times: 1st September ? 26th October 10.00 ? 17.30, 27th October ? 2nd November 10.00 – 16.30, 3rd November ? February 2009 10.00 ? 16.00
Travel: Take the tube to Camden Town (15 mins walk) or Regents Park (20 mins walk) station or take the number 274 bus to Ormonde Terrace. Alternatively take the C2 bus from Oxford Circus to Gloucester Gate.
Food: A restaurant, picnic shop and fish and chip shop are available on site.
London Ducktours ? A tour with a twist!
Once you?ve climbed aboard this quirky yellow amphibious vehicle, you?re in for a real treat. This guided tour of the capital starts on land, taking you through the city of Westminster past London?s marvelous landmarks. An engaging commentary provides interesting facts on the city and the history of the ?Ducks?, which were once used in the D-Day landings. Watch the amazement on your kids? faces as your tour vehicle glides straight from land into the Thames to continue its informative river-cruise. Great for all ages!
Top Tip: London Ducktours trips depart behind the London Eye, so why not catch a quick ride for a thrillingly high view of the City? www.londoneye.com
Prices: FAMILY TICKET (2 adults & 2 children*) ?57.50, See more ticket prices and buy tickets online here.
Location: Tour starts behind the London Eye
Opening Times: First tour starts at 10am, last tour at 16.30pm
Travel: Go to Waterloo station and follow signs for the London Eye