Give Netflix a day off and rediscover this most local of neighbourhoods this February.
With parents just recovering from the not small task of packing the Christmas holidays full of family activities, the February half term appears in the calendar to test the imagination of even the most creative Mums, Dads and carers.
Fortunately for the residents of these parts, the London Bridge area is blessed with an abundance of things to do, all conveniently close and with plenty of nearby ice-cream opportunities.
If there ever was such a thing, HMS Belfast is a family friendly warship! Dominating our stretch of the river for over 50 years, the ship has 9 decks to explore; they’ve even bothered to recreate the smells of the wartime galley. They are hosting the interactive Sea Legs all half term, were all those aged 7+ can solve nautical puzzles and discover for themselves what life was like for the ship’s company during the Second World War. There is also the Family Mission: D-Day Edition to complete.
To the stern of HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge beckons. You might already know about the £1 entry tickets on offer for Southwark residents, but did you know about the free family trails app and booklets, and free creative activities including a scavenger hunt? Visit the Engine Rooms 15-19 Feb, 10am-4pm, to help make a flotilla of origami boats and celebrate the dozens of vessels that pass under the bridge every day. Even those who have been before can find a new way to appreciate this world-famous landmark.
But there’s more to the area than old father Thames. The Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street is running two Kids’ Collage sessions on 18 Feb, while the Old Operating Theatre will be open Thursday through Sunday, showing off the fascinating yet often gruesome things that Victorian surgeons used to get up to. If that gives them a taste for all things bloody and gory then they need to be taken swiftly over to the London Bridge Experience where the scares come thick and fast, as do the delicious milkshakes in Creams next-door.
And no day in the area is complete without a visit to The View from The Shard to see if you can spot where you live as the city unfolds itself beneath you. It’s the ultimate London game for eagle-eyed little ones. And don’t worry, even those stuck at home can join the fun – Unicorn Theatre has 5 shows free to watch online from their website.
If you’re travelling from Kent or Essex you can take a special day-trip service with Uber Boats by Thames Clippers. Sail into central London from Gravesend and Tilbury on 17 and 19 February.
To find out more about more about the London Bridge area, including family friendly places to eat and drink, call into our Visitor Information Kiosk at London Bridge Station, lower concourse, Tues-Sun, 11.30-19.30.