Half-Term Ideas for 2024
Half term is just around the corner, and if you have some energetic young ones, you’ll be thinking about how to fill their free time, have fun and burn off some of that never-ending energy.
In this guide, we bring you half-term ideas for 2024, with options for those based in the southeast and elsewhere in the country. We offer more suggestions for the southeast simply because of the amount and quality of events offered there, but for folks based outside of the southeast, National Rail offers many discounts for children and families, making a trip to the capital accessible to all.
HALF-TERM IDEAS ACROSS THE UK
Embrace the celestial wonders at the 2024 Dark Skies Festivals in National Parks. UK’s National Parks are some of the UK’s darkest spots, free of light pollution, making them the ideal place to observe and learn about the stars.
Join the stellar celebration with events catering to families, beginners, and those eager to learn more about astrology. The North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales Dark Skies Festival awaits during the February half-term (9 – 25 February), featuring family-friendly activities, lectures, astrophotography workshops, and adventurous night runs, cycling, and canoeing.
From February 2nd – 20th Tewkesbury Abbey hosts the spectacular Gaia installation. Gaia is an extraordinary touring artwork by renowned UK artist Luke Jerram. With a diameter of seven metres, Gaia showcases detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface at 120 dpi, allowing viewers to experience our planet on a grand scale, suspended in three dimensions.
Accompanied by a specially crafted surround sound composition from BAFTA award-winning Composer Dan Jones, Gaia is named after the Earth in Greek mythology. The installation is internally illuminated, creating a captivating spectacle after dark, offering a profound sense of what it might be like to observe Earth from space.
Tewkesbury Abbey is open to all daily from 9 am to 4 pm, excluding February 12-14 when the Abbey is closed.
Step into the year 975 AD at the JORVIK Viking Centre in York. Built on the site of remarkable archaeological discoveries between 1976 and 1981, the Centre offers a totally unique experience for lovers of Viking history.
Explore reconstructed Viking age streets, gaining a glimpse into 10th-century York. The immersive journey extends to a state-of-the-art gallery featuring significant Viking-age artefacts, making JORVIK a captivating day out.
Embark on a new ride experience introduced in 2023, immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Viking Age. Uncover the daily lives of 10th-century York’s inhabitants as you journey through the meticulously reconstructed city. Based on actual archaeological findings from the Coppergate excavation, every detail, from flora and fauna to animal breeds and natural dyes, faithfully recreates the Viking experience.
In 2012, the National Trust launched its “50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3⁄4” campaign, aimed at inspiring children to connect with nature through activities like stone skimming, tree climbing, den building, and mud pie making. Launched in response to research revealing a decline in children’s outdoor play, the campaign encourages wholesome outdoor experiences, addressing the concerns raised by the research results.
The charity’s initiative provides a diverse list of enjoyable outdoor activities for children under 12 (and the young at heart), fostering a love for nature and outdoor play. Almost all of the suggested ideas are free, and with such a wide variety of ideas, you’re bound to find something to suit all ages and interests.
HALF-TERM IDEAS FOR THE SOUTHEAST
Embark on a journey through Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Immerse yourself in genuine sets, unravel the enchanting secrets of special effects, and delve into the behind-the-scenes wonders of the Harry Potter film series.
Experience the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, venture into the Forbidden Forest, and board the original Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 ¾. Stroll along Diagon Alley, all set within the Studios where all eight films came to life. This tour celebrates the British talent, creativity, and artistry that turned the fantastical into reality on the big screen. Step into the magic as you witness the filmmaking process through the eyes of those who brought Harry Potter’s world to cinematic life.
This interactive fairytale experience is a blast for younger children and great value for money. Embark on the extraordinary adventure of Shrek’s Adventure London! Developed by Merlin Entertainments in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation.
This immersive one and a half hour experience brings the hilarious world of Shrek and his friends to life. The fantastical tour features 10 live shows, iconic sets from the Shrek films, mesmerising storytelling, a thrilling 4D ride, breathtaking special effects, and captivating DreamWorks animation.
As you explore Shrek’s Adventure! London, encounter all your beloved Shrek characters, navigate a magic mirror maze, traverse a smelly swamp, face powerful spells, and partake in a lively DreamWorks Game Show. Can you rescue Pinocchio, outsmart Lord Farquaad’s mischievous Magic Mirror, and safely find your way home?
The Southbank’s annual children’s festival returns on Wednesday, 7th – Saturday, 17th February, perfectly timed for a half-term day out, or several days out, with its mix of theatre, comedy, music, literature, poetry, dance, and immersive family fun, all crafted for children aged 0 to 11.
Highlights of the event include inspiring talks by Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and Michael Rosen, Motionhouse’s Starchitects: A Cosmic Adventure, a mesmerising performance by YolanDa Brown, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra deliver the CBeebies Ocean Adventure. Not forgetting captivating workshops in the Art Makes People Powerful creative zone, plus hip-hop, comedy, singing, poetry, dance parties, and more.
The festival is very relaxed, allowing freedom of entry and exit during performances, with chill-out spaces and noise-cancelling headphones available for adults and children. It offers events featuring BSL interpretation, sensory-adapted and audio-described shows, and non-verbal performances, creating a welcoming environment for all.
40% of the events are free, with non-paying events available every day except for the final day.
Chelsea Physics Garden presents its Family Valentine’s Day Chocolate Workshop on Monday, February 12, 2024, from 11 am to 1 pm and Wednesday, February 14, 2024, from 11 am to 1 pm. Dive into the world of chocolate, from learning how it’s grown to discovering how chocolate bars are made. Participants can get hands-on, creating personalised chocolate treats and experimenting with various botanical ingredients.
Tailored for children aged 5 and above. Children must be accompanied by at least one ticket-holding adult.
HALF-TERM TUITION AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT
Half term is also a great time to consolidate learning, especially if your child is heading towards exams, whether that be 11+, entrance exams, GCSEs or others.
No matter where you are in the country, JK Educate’s bespoke tutoring and educational support services are available for you and your child. We offer online tuition and interview preparation for children aged 5 all the way up to university level.
During the February 2024 half-term, we will run a series of workshops in our North London office designed for 11+ and 13 + exam students. These workshops, together with the online interview practice, give Year 5 and Year 6 children the skills they need to excel in these assessments.
No matter what age, stage, or educational needs your child has, we are here to support you every step of the way.
GET IN TOUCH
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can boost your child’s confidence and educational performance with our tried and tested bespoke services.
Call us on 020 3488 0754 or complete our online enquiry form.