It’s no secret that we’re living in uncertain times, and with local and nationwide restrictions changing day-by-day, planning ahead for some much needed family time is harder than ever before. With October half term almost upon us, parents will be on the lookout for ways to entertain their little ones - but with restrictions likely to get tighter, we may all be spending the week at home. That's why we’ve put together our guide to the UK’s best virtual activities to keep the kids entertained from the comfort of home. From Aberdeen to Yorkshire, London and Wales - there’s something for everyone to get stuck into this month. Here’s what you can get up to...
Become an art expert! Aberdeen Art Gallery has a whole host of activities to do at home, including Sketchbook Making and Ceramic Making Workshop tutorial videos available on their YouTube channel. Plus as an interactive way to learn about their collections, you can now bring them into your home as artwork comes to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and as fun Zoom backgrounds for your family catch-ups!
Chocolate fans rejoice! Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory is well-known for its chocolate workshops, but did you know you can do them from home? With their handy ‘do it at home’ kit, you can become a candy pro without leaving the house. These kits include everything you need to create tantalising treats, and are accompanied by a step-by-step instruction video to get you on your way to becoming a chocolatier extraordinaire!
Do try these at home! We the Curious have fully embraced the fun of staying home with their extensive range of online activities, tasks and games. From building a bug hotel and crafting spaghetti bridges, to creating your very own pop-up puppet theatre. All the activities are completely free and come with a list of equipment and materials required. There are even handy step-by-step picture-led instructions so the whole family can get involved. Let the crafting commence!
Learn about the environment! The Eden Project has a whole host of interactive and exciting activities available for you to get stuck into at home, with most of them being things to do in your garden or on your doorstep. You can discover more about the trees, insects and plants that are all around us, and even do some fridge-door-worthy crafting!
Discover the spellbinding story of Harry Potter! Perfect for the Halloween season, Potter Trail is running virtual tours to take you through the cobbles of Edinburgh and let you explore the sights, sounds and streets that inspired this iconic series. Wands not included, so make sure you bring your own along for this magic adventure.
Learn from the best! Eureka! is making sure you don’t miss out on the fun, facts and fantasy of all things science with their ‘At Home’ series. So whether you’re a budding biologist, have an aptitude for astrology or are a curious chemist - you can experience stories, songs, illusions and experiments from the comfort (and safety!) of your own home.
Get up close and personal with nature! Chester Zoo has been praised for its ‘at home’ activities during lockdown, and it’s still bringing the magic of the animal world right into your living room. Learn about the animals you might find at home, play exciting games or lead your very own fact-finding missions with your family - there’s so much to get stuck into!
Explore the capital! If you’re missing out on all your favourite London attractions, museums and experiences then here’s some good news - there’s so much to explore online! Take a virtual tour of the National Gallery, visit the Tower of London at home or ride the Mail Rail at the Postal Museum from your sofa.
Land a home goal! For the sports star in your family, the National Football Museum has plenty of activities you can do at home. Discover more about the nation’s favourite sport, get involved in creative design challenges or learn from the pros on how to talk just like a commentator! With so many activities available, even the most knowledgeable football fan might find something new to learn.
Put Picasso to shame! The Lain Art Gallery is encouraging the nation to embrace their inner artist and create their own legendary pieces of artwork. They have activities for all ages available on their website. From the youngest member of your family, right up to the valiant Van Gogh of your household, everyone can get into the spirit of creating this half term.
An under the sea adventure in your living room! The National Marine Aquarium hosted Facebook Live events of their various creatures all through lockdown and these sub-aquatic insights into life underwater are all still available on YouTube. Listen to some of their most-knowledgeable aquarists (that’s a fish zookeeper) talk through the incredible array of marine life on offer, and get an up-close look at some of the animals.
Write a tale of fantasy! Whilst its apothecary doors aren’t open, Grimm & Co has launched a whole host of magical online activities to keep your aspiring writers occupied this half term. Perfect for cooler autumn days, these wordsmith challenges range from Adventure Writing, Fiction Fridays and Excellent Endings, guaranteed to keep even the most accomplished of word-buffs busy.
Welcome to the jungle! Plantasia Swansea is offering virtual tours around its tropical paradise, getting you closer than ever before to the sights and sounds of the jungle. You’re likely to run into plenty of animals along the way and get a unique view on the gigantic greenery instore, with the added bonus of your own personal Q&A with an expert. So there you have it! Across the country, lots of places are coming together to make sure that whatever happens this half term, there’s plenty to keep you and your family busy and safe. Remember, it’s Halloween on Saturday, October 31st, so take a look at our cracking range of creepy costumes and accessories, perfect for the spooky season.