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Half-Term in South Bank

June is just around the corner, bringing warm days and long balmy evenings: time to don your shades, slip into some sandals and step out into the sunshine. Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend or wondering how to keep the kids entertained during the half term break, our new guide to Half-term in London’s South Bank is guaranteed to put a spring in your step!

Days out with the kids

If they’ve been really, really good, whisk the kids off to the Land of Far, Far Away! Shrek’s Adventure presents a brand new attraction this half term, so you can join the travelling circus and learn to ‘move it move it’ in Madagascar Madness.

The penguins have returned to SEA LIFE's London Aquarium to slide, waddle, bounce and dive in their very own specially-designed amusement park. Younger visitors have a chance to create underwater creatures in an interactive craft zone with Mister Maker Creature Makes.

The OXO Tower Restaurant is not an obvious choice for sticky-fingered nippers so their new Children’s Afternoon Tea is something of a game-changer. Little ones can now enjoy fudgy brownies, homemade scones and a selection of sandwiches crafted to titivate young palates while mummy sips a crafty prosecco and admires the panoramic views. Half term has never been such fun!

It’s been 450 years since Thomas Farriner set the city alight in Pudding Lane, perfect inspiration for a new interactive experience at the London Dungeon! As the fire rages and the city burns around you, will you manage to Escape the Great Fire?

©Alan Newman

The free-admission Imperial War Museum explores twentieth-century conflict through a range of fascinating displays which include the new First World War Galleries; an exhibition of WW2 aircraft suspended in a giant atrium; and a sobering commemoration of The Holocaust.

Messing about on the river

Take a tour through the streets of London in a WW2 amphibious vehicle then hit the water – literally! – as you splash down for a river cruise. Don’t just take our word for it: celebs including pop star Rylan and Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing are both huge fans of London Duck Tours!

Escape the crowds and enjoy a two-course lunchtime cruise with City Cruises washed down with a glass of bubbly from the well-stocked bar. Cruises last one hour and forty minutes, giving you plenty of time to savour the views and the cuisine.

See the city from two different perspectives on one day with a combination ticket for the Coca-Cola London Eye and River Cruise. Ticket price also includes a screening of the amazing 4D Cinema Experience.

Arts & culture

Alchemy – a fun-filled festival of music and culture – returns to the Southbank Centre for the 7th year to celebrate the rich relationship between the UK and the Indian subcontinent. Expect a dazzling array of performances, workshops, exhibitions and food stalls, guaranteed to tantalise your senses!

Film buffs of all ages will enjoy this season’s Spielberg retrospective at BFI Southbank which includes screenings of classics such as Jaws and Schindler’s List, plus a rare chance to catch Close Encounters of the Third Kind – The Director’s Cut.

The popular BFI Families programme offers up classic kids’ movies throughout half term including James & The Giant PeachWilly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Hook.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is this season’s family blockbuster. Prepare to be truly dazzled by Alice’s return to Wonderland on the UK’s biggest cinema screen at BFI IMAX.

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s landmark of twentieth-century musical theatre, The Threepenny Opera, is brought to life in a darkly comic new production at the National Theatre, starring Rory Kinnear as Macheath.

The Old Vic’s ground-breaking production of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde uses contemporary dance to portray the physical metamorphosis and split personality of one of literature’s most infamous characters.

Special Offers

Fine dining needn’t break the bank this weekend, not if you take advantage of the fabulous offers available at our local restaurants.

Traditional Italian eatery L’Italiano is offering 25% off the bill while kids can enjoy a free Sunday Lunch the Royal Festival Hall’s award-winning restaurant Skylon.

Or why not start the weekend with a ‘bottomless brunch’ at Sea Containers while younger diners take their pick from a special children’s menu – available free of charge from 12noon – 5pm.

Something different

Gabriel’s Wharf is a bustling riverside enclave, surrounded on all sides by thriving independent restaurants and boutiques. Take advantage of the good weather to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy some window shopping or stop for refreshments al fresco.

The young (or young at heart) can learn some new moves at House of Van’s free Saturday Skate School in London’s only indoor skate park, pausing to recharge their batteries at The Wall - the ultra-cool diner-style cafe bar.

Runners and spectators are guaranteed a great day out at Cancer Research UK’s annual fundraiser Race for Life. Bring the whole family to Clapham Common to support this fantastic event and enjoy the carnival atmosphere!

J M Barrie’s child-hero is celebrated at the Florence Nightingale Museum this month in Take Me to Neverland: Peter Pan from Play to Book and Beyond, an enchanting new exhibition which tells the real story behind this much-loved tale.