17 Best Things to do in London with Kids
If you’re planning a trip to the capital and are looking for child-centred ways to absorb the culture, history, heritage, and simply have some fun, then this is the article for you. Here are our 17 Best Things To Do in London with the Kids.
1. Rocket into Space at the Royal Observatory
Marvel at standing on the Greenwich Meridian, or get transported to outer space: the Royal Observatory is a great day out in London. Be inspired by world-class exhibitions and events at the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Cutty Sark and the Queen's House. There's plenty to choose from for all the family.
2. Find Their Future Career at KidZania
If your kids haven’t tried out KidZania yet, then they are missing out! They can try their hand at a range of careers from flying a plane to being a vet, and working in a hotel to delivering the post – all in a safe kid-sized ‘city’. What’s more, if you’ve got a cricket enthusiast, Middlesex Cricket have just opened an activity here. If your kids are older and you’re in need of a break, you can safely leave them in KidZania as you head off into the Westfield Shopping Centre. KidZania is ideal for 4-14 year olds and if you’re their 1 millionth visitor then you might just be jetting off for real to Kuala Lumpur on a British Airways Holiday.
3. Sleepover at a Museum
Gone are the days of museums being boring and stale … now you can even camp out in one overnight. There are various museum sleepovers available in London at the Natural History Museum which are very popular, so keep an eye out for availability. Science Night at the Science Museum is a fantastic experience for 7-11 year olds with hands-on workshops, science shows and even a film in the IMAX theatre, as well as the sleepover itself. Have fun discovering exactly what happens at the museums after dark.
4. Take a Ride to the London Transport Museum
Ideal for preschool and primary-aged children, let their enthusiasm run wild and their dreams come true as they drive an underground train, dress up as a bus conductor, or organise the traffic at the London Transport Museum. It's located in the heart of Covent Garden, so if you’ve still got time and energy then your kids will love watching the street performers nearby.
5. Fly with Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys in the Diana Memorial Garden
Let the kids loose in the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. Let them climb aboard the pirate ship to defeat Captain Hook, balance over the back of the crocodile, or plot their schemes in one of the wigwams. Their imaginations will do the hard work while you warm up with a cuppa from the adjacent café.
6. Let Them be Wizards at the Harry Potter Studio Tour
Kids love the magic adventures available during the Harry Potter Studio Tour, as well as an opportunity to delve into the artistry that goes into the fine details of film sets through the ‘Introducing the Art Department’ exhibition. Original members of the Art Department will be around, including live wand-making demos sure to inspire those young’uns still waiting for their letter from Hogwarts. Have fun taking photos as they push their trolley through Platform 9 ¾, or get impressive shots using broomsticks and the green screen, and climb aboard the Hogwarts Express.
7. Feed the Animals, and Their Curiosity, at the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is, as they say, the “perfect zoo for little explorers.” You can see a range of animals close-up, have fun digging in the large sandpit, and even pretend to be a farmer on the life-sized tractor.
8. Become an Inventor, Engineer or Scientist at the Ragged Museum
The Ragged Museum is wonderful when children can pretend to attend a Victorian lesson, with lots of different activities available during school holidays.
9. Let imaginations run wild at V&A Museum of Childhood
The V&A Museum of Childhood is an exceptional day out for kids in London. There’s the sensory area for the smallest children, while older ones can marvel at train sets, have a go on a rocking horse and play with magnetic shavings. Even mum and dad can have fun reminiscing over toys from their own childhood. There are always lots of events and exhibitions running so keep an eye out for something to capture your children's imaginations.
10. Dive Into the Oceans at Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a favourite for British children, particularly during holiday times. Kids can find answers to their big nature questions. Delve into stories about the Museum's collections, scientists and research. And uncover the history of life on Earth, from the smallest insects to the largest mammals.
11. Wonder at the Wonderlab at the Science Museum
The Science Museum is inspiring and hands-on at the best of times. At the moment kids can experience even more by channelling their inner scientist in the Wonderlab Statoil Gallery. There are a whopping 50+ exhibits, shows and demos to get stuck into covering seven different themed zones. You can even watch lightning strike or order your own experiment at the Chemistry Bar. What’s more, the usual hands-on areas such as Launch Pad and The Basement will be providing the entertainment as always, and don’t forget the awesome science shows.
12. Be a Champion at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
There’s so much for a day out at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Climb to the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and if your kids are old enough let them ride The Slide to the bottom. Check how far you can jump compared to a gold medal-winning athlete. Pose for a photo on a podium. Enjoy a swimming session at the Aquatics Centre. Get on your bike for BMX Thrills and MTB Skills at the Lee Valley VeloPark and PedalUp for the younger ones. Watch glitzy gymnastics at the Legacy Cheer and Dance in the Copper Box Arena.
13. Ahoy Sailors at the National Maritime Museum
Let them get hands-on with some sea-faring fun at the National Maritime Museum. The AHOY! gallery for under-7s lets them stoke a boiler, land some fish, and dress as a pirate. For 6-12 year olds head to the All Hands area where they can try their sea legs on a ship simulator. Don’t forget to refuel in the Neptune café.
14. Get Up Close With Nature at Kew Gardens
In Richmond you’ll find Kew Gardens which is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a perfect spot for energetic kids to let off steam. They can explore a human-sized badger’s burrow, balance along a myriad of different tree trunks, and warm up in a glasshouse. Get closer to nature and uncover the science behind their plants and glasshouses. Visit on the weekends and you’ll find street food offerings, live music performances, and a chance for some shopping.
15. Go Star Wars and Marvel Mad at Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is a favourite for visitors to London, but did you know that you can entertain your Star Wars and Marvel fans here? The Star Wars section is mightily impressive with an immersive experience with enables you to explore the Galaxy Far Far Away. Plunge into the swamps of Dagobah or stand on the flight deck of the Millennium Falcon. In the Marvel Secret Command centre you get to test out your own superpowers as well as experience the Incredible Hulk’s immense squeeze. You can also enjoy the 4D cinema experience featuring Hulk, Wolverine, Iron Man and Spiderman set in London itself.
16. Go wild at ZSL London Zoo
Whether you’re desperate to see a lion, giggle at the pygmy hippos, or gaze up at the ultra-tall giraffes, ZSL London Zoo is great for animal enthusiasts. There's always lots of events on where you can get up close to the animals and see how things work behind the scenes.
17. Follow in the Footsteps of Goldilocks on the Teddy Bear Trail at the Museum of Brands
It might be one of the lesser-known museums in London, but the Museum of Brands is likely to become a huge hit with the kids with their Teddy Bear Adventure Trail. Kids will travel round the Time Tunnel attempting to track down the teddies. While having fun they’ll learn some history too.
So what are you waiting for? London is bursting with opportunities for kids to learn, have fun, and let off steam. There are always lots of exciting events, so get stuck in!
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