Last time we lived in London we were just a couple. Now we have returned as a family we are determined to explore all that this great city has to offer, especially for our little one. And there is a lot! Here we have rounded up our bucket list of best things to do in London with kids with over a whopping 50 ideas !
Best Things to Do in London with kids
Best Free London museums for kids
No visit to London, no matter how long you have, isn’t complete without a visit to one of the capitals brilliant museums! Here are some of the best for kids!
I think the Science Museum is perhaps the best museum in London for kids of any age. There aren’t many museums that I think are wholly kid friendly but the Science museum is one of them. With its interactive space the Garden offering water play, sound and building, this exhibit is perfect for toddler. For older children Wonderlab offers interactivity that teaches them about Science concepts! This is a must for any family visiting London. These are a great thing to do on a rainy day in London!
Please note: Most of the museum is free to enter but fees apply to enter Wonderlab!
A museum dedicated to growing up in Britain. This fabulous museum is a great place for a multigenerational museum visit.
A fascinating museum that has collections of anthropology and musical instruments. This museum has great family friendly events throughout the year.
Newly restored after fire, the Cutty Sark will have children in awe. Being able to climb aboard and see under this ship is a visit not to be missed. The National Maritime Museum is a nearby and great accompaniment.
Please note: while the Maritime Museum has free entrance the Cutty Sark charges admission! It is best to book your tickets in advance!
The Cutty Sark opens daily from 10am until 5pm, with tickets admission for adult at £12.15, while child over 4 (Age 4 -15 years) costs £6.30 and free for anyone under 4.
5. Explore Roman Londonium at the Museum of London
If you are living in London you really should know its history and the Museum of London brings the city alive for any child. Its’ exhibits on roman London are particularly worth visiting.
The newly refurbished British Postal Museum is a great place to take your little. With a mail train ride and plenty of interactives the British Postal Museum is a great place to take the kids! There is even a soft play area for the under 8s!
Let’s face it – what child doesn’t like dinosaurs. The exhibits lend themselves really well to a family audience. There is really nothing more to say other than your littles are going to love this place.
The best London Museums for Kids (admission required)
The London Transport Museum isn’t free but it is a great day out for the family. Offering children a chance to get up and close to transport of yesteryear.
As you enter you take an elevator ride back in time to the beginnings of public transport in London! From there you can learn about the hackney carriages, the makings of the tube and bus systems! Kids will love all the buses and trains you can sit on and there is even a great hands on area for little explorers to get Hands on learning experience! This museum is definitely best suited to kids from toddler age up but it really is a museum that the whole family will love. While adults will love learning more about design classics and wider effects that London transport has had in the world! My personal favourite thing is watching the development of London through the tube map which is a fascinating insight into the growth of a city.
An added bonus is that twice a year the London Transport Museum holds an open day at their storage facility in Acton where you can see some of the gems of the collection that aren’t on display.
It is best to book your tickets in advance here to beat the queue!
Bonus: The collection storage area of the London Transport Museum in Acton opens twice a year and offers behind the scenes access to the museum collection.
Best London Parks for Kids
London is a city full of amazing green spaces that are all really suitable for children. Here are some of our favorite things to do.
9. Visit the pelicans in Green Park
Green Park is an oasis in the centre of London. One of our favorite things to do there is to go and see the Pelicans especially at feeding time.
10. Visit the zoo in Regent’s Park
Regents Park is home to London Zoo. A sure fire hit with any child.
To save your children waiting in line be sure to grab your Skip the Line tickets in advance HERE
11. See deer in Richmond Park
Being West Londoners, Richmond Park is perhaps our favorite spot. It is worth coming out to the end of the District line to visit and see the deers in the park and also see one of London’s protected views direct to St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound.
12. Diana Memorial Garden
The Diana Memorial Garden, located next to Kensington Palace is a fab place for children. Complete with Wigwams, Pirate Ship and a sensory trail this is the perfect place for children! Be warned this place can get busy!
Please note: The park opens at 10am each day (closed on Christmas Day). The park is supervised however children must be accompanied by an adult.
Green Spaces in London for Kids
13. Kew Gardens
Not a park, but the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew are well worth the admission. In my opinion it is one of the best botanical gardens in the world! It is a great place for children to run around at any time of year but there are plenty of family friendly activities throughout the year such as Peter Rabbit Trail at Easter and the Christmas at Kew events.
14. Kings Cross St Pancras Fountains
Ok not so much green but in the middle of the concrete jungle of London but a great outdoor space. Children will love running through the fountains in the summer
15. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The Olympic Park offers an array of attractions for children. From exploring the green spaces and playground to climbing the Anish Kapoor sculpture. This is a great place for kids.
16. Camley Street Natural Park
An urban nature reserve close to Kings Cross. Kids will love to escape the city in this beautiful nature park.
17. Coram’s Field
A seven acre playground and park for children near Bloomsbury. The rule at Coram’s Field is ‘no adult can enter without a child’ meaning that you know children are at the forefront of everything here!
18. London Wetland Centre
Located in Barnes, the London Wetland Centre is a great place for kids to get up close to British wildlife in London.
19. Visit the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
A historic collection of dinosaur statues. Children will love getting up and close to the dinosaurs! With 30 life-size 3D model dinosaurs, sculpted in 1854 and restored in 2003 this is. sure fire win with kids!
On top of that crystal Palace has lots of other activities to keep kids amused!
20. Alexandra Palace Boating Lake
A beautiful green space where the kids can enjoy spending time on the water.
Things to do on the Thames
21. Thames Rib Boat Experience
The Thames Rib Boat experience is a definite must for older children and thrill seekers! A great chance to see London from a different perspective! A fast paced ride through all the sites along the Thames with amusing commentary to boot! A sure fire James Bond experience.
22. London Duck tour with kids
More suitable for younger children than the rib boat, the amphibious vehicle offers a great way to see London from land and water. The duck boat is a distinctive yellow amphibious WWII vehicle (made by GM Motors for D-day landing). On this your you get to see all of the classic London sites but in a really fun way! Kids always marvel at the amphibious nature of the vehicle and you will squeals of joy as the boat enters the water for the first time!
How to see London from Above
23. Emirates Cable Car
The only cable car in London and a great fun way for children to see London from up high!
24. Sky Garden
The Sky Garden offers a beautiful perspective on London and even better its free to enter. We recommend getting public timed tickets.
25. Walk the O2
One for the brave. Walk over the top of the iconic O2 Centre. Please check for age and height restrictions.
24. London Eye
A London icon on the beautiful south bank of the Thames! Pre booking tickets is a must to try and avoid the queue! The queue has been know to last two or three hours if the tickets aren’t prebooked during the summer holidays!
Your ticket also includes admission to the amazing 4d screening!
Top Tip: If you are planning to visit several London attractions from Merlin Entertainments group these include: Shrek’s Adventure! London, Madame Tussaud’s London, Sea life London Aquarium, The Coca-Cola London Eye and The London Dungeon it will save you a TON of money to buy the group ticket – you can buy the Merlin Magical London ticket here!
25. The Shard
One of London’s newest icons. Children will love seeing the view from London’s tallest building!
Top Tip: This experience often sells out – especially on weekends so be sure to book your tickets in ADVANCE Here!
26. Tower Bridge
Many people know the iconic tower bridge but did you know that you can walk across and learn about the engineering feat that made it? Children will love walking across this icon!
You can buy your tickets online HERE
Best London Attractions for Kids
These are largely paid for attractions that are perfect for rainy days in London!
27. London Aquarium
A brilliant family friendly attraction! Could be coupled with a visit to the London eye!
You can book your tickets in advance here! And if you are going to several of the London Merlin attractions consider buying the combo ticket!
28. London Dungeons
Definitely one for older children and teenagers. Get a fright at London dungeons at any time of year!
29. Tower of London
From learning the towers gruesome history or simply admiring the crown jewels! There is something for every interest at the Tower of London!
You can buy your tickets in advance, including Crown Jewel exhibition here!
30. Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace is a must for any visitor to London but try and time your visit to see the spectacular changing of the guard!
31. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
While Big Ben may not be sounding at the moment, a visit to see the Houses of Parliament are a must!
Please note Big Ben is currently under scaffolding
32. Westminster Abbey
Go and relive the royal wedding or just marvel at its beautiful architecture.
33. St. Paul’s cathedral
This place definitely has a wow factor that will even impress the kids. There are multimedia and family trails to make the visit fun for kids too!
For the more adventurous family traveller why not climb the 528 steps to the top of the dome!
34. Hampton Court Palace
Literally my favorite palace in the world. Hampton Court has something for everyone. From learning about the gruesome history of Henry VIII to the fun maze or admiring the lawn tennis court. Hampton Court Palace is a fabulous day out and can be coupled with a trip down the Thames too!
Hampton Court can get busy so we recommend buying your tickets in advance!
You can get your entrance tickets via Viator online HERE
35. Kensington Palace
William and Kate’s current abode. Kensington Palace is a fab place to visit especially for lovers of royal dress!
Can be coupled with a visit to the Diana Memorial Garden
Kensington Palace can get busy so we recommend getting the Skip the Line Ticket in advance!
Things to do in London for Harry Potter Obsessed Kids
36. Warner Bros Studio Tour
A short journey out to Watford and your Harry Potter obsessed kid (or self) will be in Hogwarts heaven reliving their favorite scenes from the movie.
It is imperative to book these tickets in advance with plenty of notice!
37. Harry Potter Walking Tour
And if a studio tour isn’t enough, why. not relive some of the real life places by going on a Harry Potter Walking Tour!
38. Platform 9 3/4
The photo opportunity for any Harry Potter fan. Kings Cross station platform 9 3/4 with the trolley going through the platform. Get there early otherwise you will have to queue to get your photo!
39. Cursed Child Theatre Show
For teenagers who love the books, the theatre show The Cursed Child is a must. Remember that in true J K Rowling style she needed to theatre shows to tell her story. Either take a weekend day or consecutive nights to see this show
Random things to do in London with kids
40. London Lidos
London is a great place for those that love outdoor swimming with lidos all around the city. One of the most central is the Serpentine. Probably best to wait for a nice day to do this one!
41. West End show
For me London is the home of theatre. From musicals to Shakespeare, the London stage has something for everyone even the littlest theatre fans. Make sure you check what family friendly shows are on during your visit. At the minute I fancy Matilda and Aladdin.
42. Puppet Theatre Barge
The Puppet Theatre Barge is a London institution. a 50 seater theatre on a barge has great shows for all the family. Located in little Venice!
43. Street Performers at Covent Garden
When I used to work in Covent Garden the street performers in Covent Garden irritated the hell out of me. Now I am a mum I know how much my little will enjoy the street performers and we will become one of those families that used to irritate me. From magicians to comedians, there are street performances for everyone!
44. BFI IMAX
The largest IMAX in the UK. On a rainy day this is literally the best place in the UK to watch a film!
Afternoon tea is a British institution and there are some great family friendly options out there including a Charlie and chocolate factory themed one! I can’t wait to go on my first mummy daughter afternoon tea date!
46. Madame Tussaud’s
The place for all celebrity loving teens. But there are even things for littles here with Shrek and ET tableaus! There is also a Marvel 4D movie for your superhero loving kids!
47. Crystal maze live
As a child of the 80s I was all about the crystal maze! The chance to live my favourite show is just too tempting! Older children will love this interactive challenge and is something I can’t wait to try
48. Do a Free Walking Tour
We love a Free Walking Tour and London has its own. I love these as you pay what you think it is worth and you can break away if you have littles needing attention.
49. Visit Hamley’s
Hamleys, is one of the most famous toy stores in the world and has been captivating children since 1760 and it is easy to see why. Shop staff are constantly playing and demonstrating the toys which kids will love and you are bound to get lured into buying a few new toys – whether you want to not! Bt let’s face it there is nothing like a bit of bribery to keep your kids energy levels up when traveling!
50. Crazy Golf
Who knew that London was a centre of crazy gold. We’ve heard that this one is the largest and best!
What’s your favourite thing to do in London with kids?