Top tips on what to do in London this half term

London
London

If you’re wondering what to do in the big smoke this February half term, here’s WhatsOn’s guide to the best things to do and see in the city. From immersive experiences to unmissable restaurants, this is your ultimate London half-term checklist!
Although these are what we recommend for February 2020 half term, these great finds will work whatever the year, season or day of the week. When you’re spoilt for choice, with thousands of things to do, it can be tricky to know what to choose. But don’t worry because we’ve narrowed it down for you!
Whether you’ve lived here all your life or you’re new to town, WhatsOn’s Carly Hacon has compiled a checklist to help you plan the ultimate trip to the capital.
What to do
Up at the O2 – North Greenwich

Climbing the O2
Climbing the O2

Go on an unforgettable climb on top of one of London’s biggest landmarks, with the Up at The O2 Experience. This momentous part of London’s skyline is definitely a staple of the city’s great entertainment culture, with superstar artists often performing underneath in the arena. It’s a fierce test of bravery as the 365m walkway reaches up to 52m above the arena and a steep 30° incline at points. Once up at the top, we made the most of our selfie slot and took loads of pictures to capture the moment. Shimmering up, over and down the arena and back onto solid ground, our whole group felt proud of what they’d achieved. I’m incredibly glad that I can now tick that off my list and I would recommend you do the same!
Find more info and tickets at https://www.klook.com/
Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience – Aldgate
The War of The World’s: The Immersive Experience
The War of The World’s: The Immersive Experience

If you’re up for a trip which is more than a little out of the ordinary then this theatrical experience may just be for you! Combining immersive theatre, virtual reality, holograms and pyrotechnics the show is set to HG Wells’ dark Victorian tale and Jeff Wayne’s iconic musical Work. Expect brilliant live actors and virtual characters to help you walk, crawl and travel through an 1898 Martian Invasion. Guests will be thrust into the heart of the story from the moment they step inside the 22,000-square-foot multi-level site in The City of London. It was honestly one of the strangest experiences I have ever had (but good strange). It is clear how much thought and money has gone behind its production as it was consistently exhilarating, and you never knew what was going to happen next!
If you fancy travelling through time and running away from an alien invasion, then head to
https://www.dotdot.london for more info.
Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre – Soho
Mamma Mia
Mamma Mia

Fancy catching a show in London’s West End? If you’re looking for something with humour, fun, and great music, you’ve got to see Mamma Mia! As a massive ABBA fan, I was so excited to see the story in action. Just like the film, the story follows the character Sophie Sheridan as she plans the perfect wedding, complete with a father by her side to walk her down the aisle. But there’s a problem – Sophie has no idea who her father is! After fierce detective work and hilarious flashbacks from her mother Donna (whose vocals are AMAZING!), she invites all three potential dads to their home on a Greek Island which ended in both sad and happy tears. The performers was all fantstic, the vocals were phenomenal, and the spirit and smiles of those watching were a sight in itself too. I couldn’t get enough of the ABBA feels and to add a cherry on top of a wonderful evening, they surprised the audience with an additional singalong session at the end!
To watch the family’s crazy story unfold and book discounted tickets head across to https://www.klook.com/
ICE BAR – Mayfair
Chilling at the Ice Bar
Chilling at the Ice Bar

ICE BAR is the perfect venue for a totally unique experience at -5 degrees. ICE BAR, London, is the fifteenth installation which was created by sculpting, chipping and carving ice to create the mystical Norse theme. Dressed in a fur-lined cape and gloves, I was ready to take on the sub-zero! I headed through to the ice cave to find several sculptures and fellow revellers sipping on their choice of chilly cocktail. The bar staff were super friendly and, despite the cold, brought warmth to the cold location (they didn’t even mind taking their gloves off to take some snaps for us). The venue also houses Fire Bar, which is a great spot to warm up afterwards. Fire Bar has also recently launched a new menu offering guests unusual and delicious cocktails to enjoy!
Head to https://www.icebarlondon.com/ to book yourself a spot!
Where to eat
Yuu Kitchen @ ICE BAR London – Mayfair
Tasty treats at Yuu Kitchen
Tasty treats at Yuu Kitchen

After working up an appetite at the ICE BAR, I was ready to warm my cockles and fill my tummy with a selection of Yuu Kitchen’s mouth-watering small plates. This is the third site for Head Chef Jon de Villa, previously of Nobu London, who has created a menu inspired by his Filipino heritage and travels across Asia. I highly recommend the 7UP Braised pork belly bao buns and Chicken Inasal (ancho grilled chicken thigh) with green papaya and acharra sweet pickle. Other signature dishes also include their Selfie Bao Buns and purple ice cream dessert baos – which are insanely Insta-worthy!
Yuu Kitchen also have a restaurant in Spitalfields which offers a newly launched vegan menu, a sake menu and a bottomless brunch menu.
Book a table at https://www.yuukitchen.com
Burger and Lobster – Soho
Feast at Burger and Lobster
Feast at Burger and Lobster

Situated in central Soho, it’s the perfect spot for a pre-show meal (which is what I did before heading to see Mamma Mia). Despite being a busy Saturday night stint, I was eating within a matter of minutes and our server, Pedro, was super friendly (and even showed me how to crack open my lobster). Having sampled the 1.5 lb original whole lobster grilled, truffle chips, sautéed mushrooms and tender stem broccoli – I then understood why the queues were near enough out the door. Not forgetting to mention, the refreshing cocktails, my firm favourite being the No.5 – which was a tantalising Rhubarb Spritz! If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, then I’d also suggest going for the delicious white chocolate cheesecake for dessert. One word -Yum!
This spot is a sought-after spot especially on a Saturday night, so book a table in advance to avoid queues at https://www.burgerandlobster.com
Where to stay
Hotel Indigo – Leicester Square
Views from Hotel Indigo
Views from Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo at 1 Leicester Square is a fabulous place to stay if you want to be amongst the city’s buzz. Ideal for the theatre-loving traveller, exuding the 1920s glamour of its theatrical surroundings with art deco and glass-and-marble touches throughout the hotel. The bespoke rooms have walls adorned by framed scripts, gently spot lit with stage lights hanging from rigging and plush velvet, stage-inspired curtains. The hotel has an old-fashioned Hollywood feel, with a modern twist and boasted a fantastic view of London’s iconic skyline from its ninth-floor rooftop restaurant. Looking out onto Leicester Square from my eight-floor window, I found myself people watching and admiring talented street artists performing to the crowds. In the morning, I headed back up to the rooftop and sat in the same scenic seats as the night before, to feast on light and fluffy American pancakes (with maple syrup, of course). I absolutely loved my stay at Hotel Indigo and didn’t want to go home, especially after being so close to a bunch of big cinemas, top restaurants and Oxford Street.
If you fancy a stay like mine, then take a look at the Hotel Indigo website at https://www.ihg.com/
Novotel – London Bridge
Novotel in London
Novotel in London

Situated a stone’s throw from the bustling Borough Market, Novotel London Bridge is the perfect location for any foodies looking for a city stay. Guests can also find great tourist attractions such as the Shard, the Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral all within walking distance. Up to our room on the top floor within moments, we were soon admiring views of the Shard from our window. With a large widescreen TV, tea, coffee and even a gin waiting for me, I felt at home right away. Getting ready was no problem with a multitude of mirrors at the ready for me to glam up in before I went to paint the town. In the morning, I headed down for breakfast, which had everything you could wish for during the early-bird hours. With fry ups, fruit and cereals available, I made the most of it and had a little bit of everything. I would most definitely stay here again, and with a gifted postcard of Borough Market to keep I won’t be forgetting about it anytime soon!
To book yourself or a loved one a room at Novotel London Bridge, visit https://all.accor.com/united-kingdom/index.en.shtml