What’s On For Families in February

Eva de Valk

Even though it might seem the Christmas holidays are just behind us, February half term is already looming on the horizon. Fortunately, London Calling has lined up five fabulous ways to keep the kids entertained throughout the month.

Always a good bet for a family outing, the Unicorn Theatre is the place to be this month, as they host Reckless Sleepers’ surreal exploration of the weather It’s Hot, It’s Not. Children aged two to five can enjoy this humorous show that combines dance, physical theatre and visual art to answer all those pressing meteorological questions such as: why are there sometimes puddles? And how can it be sunny and raining at the same time? The show is on from 2 February until 10 March but tickets (£10-£16 for adults, £10 for kids) are selling quickly, so get in there ASAP.

An entirely different kind of educational experience, the Tower of London is offering five to eleven-year-olds the chance the become defenders of the realm with their annual Knight School. Candidates will first learn courtly manners before progressing to basic sword fighting skills, followed by a real knighting ceremony in which the new recruits must swear to defend the Tower from enemies. Medieval fashion design and armour object handling sessions complete the young knights’ training. Knight School is in session every day from 16 until 24 February. The activities are included in the regular admission price which starts at £22.70 for adults; family concessions are available.

friendship before Facebook british library exhibition
Friendship Before Facebook © British Library

Another London institution with a strong half term game is the Cutty Sark, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Celebratory activities include a range of interactive workshops and drop-in events, such as a winch-building workshop (18 – 20 February, ages four and over) and the opportunity to build and code a mini sea cleaner out of LEGO (21 – 23 February, ages five and over, book in advance). Family activities are free with your regular ticket; prices start at £12.15 for adults and £6.30 for children.

Speaking of LEGO: more brick-based family entertainment can be had at Brick Wonders, the Horniman Museum’s new exhibition dedicated to Denmark’s most popular export product. With more than fifty models made up of half a million bricks on display – from an ancient Egyptian to the international space station – there will be plenty to marvel at. With the imagination fired up, it’s time to get stuck in at one of the interactive play areas, or perhaps enjoy some of the short LEGO animations instead. Brick Wonders is on from 26 February until 27 October; adult tickets are £8 and family tickets are available.

Finish the month on nostalgic high by introducing the kids to the world before social media. The British Library’s free exhibition Friendship Before Facebook shows how miniature paintings and friendship albums once filled the place of Twitter and Instagram. And for a glimpse of life before cat videos on YouTube, pop over to the equally free Cats on the Page display, which celebrates feline friends through the ages. Friends Before Facebook runs from 26 February until 12 May; Cats on the Page is open until 17 March.

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