Whether you live in London or you are planning a trip to the big smoke, there are plenty of things to do and places to see in the capital with kids.
If you're looking for fun days out there are interactive experiences, museums, Royal parks and playgrounds to keep them busy. Choose from activities to get your kids outside and moving or educational experiences where they can learn valuable lessons outside of the classroom. If you have an animal lover, there are zoos and parks packed full of cute and cuddly critters and kings of the jungle.
if you're on a tight budget, you can always find something to do for free and of course, there are always extra special options if you want to splash out.
Check out our list of the best things to do in London as a family...
Fun things to do in London with kids:
Open all year round (except Mondays), Hackney City Farm offers children and grown-ups the opportunity to get up close to a range of farmyard animals. See, smell and plant vegetables and other food plants. Learn new skills to live a healthier, happier life with a lower environmental impact.
Take to the skies with the Emirates Airline cable car. It crosses the River Thames and links Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Docks. You will have amazing views of London, especially the East of city and the O2. It takes 10 minutes each way and will be a real treat for kids.
Price: Adults £6.80, kids £3.40 return with an Oyster Card.
A huge wooden pirate ship is the amazing centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground. This children's wonderland opened on the 30th June 2000, in memory of the late Princess. Located next to her Kensington Palace home, the playground is a fitting tribute for a Princess who loved the innocence of childhood. Kids love to play, explore, dash about, and let their imaginations soar in this magical space. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There's plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too.
Crystal Palace Park, in South London, is home to an extraordinary collection of statues depicting dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. These were built in the 1850s by the Victorian sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. They were the world’s first attempts to create life-size, scientifically accurate models of beasts known only from fossils. Children will love feeling like they have been transported back to Pre-historic times and are walking amongst dinosaurs.
The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green in the East End of London is a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It holds the nation’s childhood collections engages audiences with the experiences of childhood. They have children's clothing, LEGO, dolls houses, games and much more! They have ever-changing exhibitions and interactive experiences so there is something to suit every child no matter their taste.
The Sky Garden is London's highest public garden with amazing views across the city. Kids will love travelling up 35 floors to reach this beautiful garden. If your little one is a mini Botanist, obsessed with plants and nature then this is the perfect place to go when the weather is letting you down. Explore landscaped gardens, observation decks and terraces.
Price: Free but tickets must be booked in advance.
This is the world's oldest scientific zoo that is smack bang in the city of London. In the 1830's an animal collection was held in the Tower of London which was eventually moved to the zoo! It has all the fantastic animals youd expect - lions, tigers gorillas, reptiles and an aquarium. They run special late-night events, stay-overs at the zoo and 'meet the animals' experiences.
Price: Adults £25, Children (3-15 years) £19.50, Children under 3 years FREE. Book online for 10% off.
The Horniman could be five museums if it wanted. There’s an aquarium (great for rainy days), butterfly house (great for babies), small farm (great for everybody), natural history hall (great if you want to see its famous walrus) and indoor and outdoor musical instruments area (great for creating a melody). If that doesn’t tempt your little ones, take them to the temporary exhibition space, which currently explores the nature of ‘colour’ through soft play and interactive games.
Price: Free. Family ticket for extra exhibitions: from £10.
Kew Gardens has loads going on for kids. See-through the eyes of a bird, live like a badger and make friends with giants. From the tropics to the desert, travel the natural world in a day and discover the enormous wonders of nature. There is an indoor play area called Climbers and Creepers, a log trail, woodland walk, badger set, arboretums and the hive where the lights and sounds inside respond to the activity of real bees.
Price: Adult without donation: £12.00, Child (4-15 years) £4.50, Child under 4, Free.
In Westfield London lies the magical world of KidZania. Let your little one become a firefighter, a surgeon, or the next acting sensation at KidZania London on this half-day experience. It is the UK’s first educational entertainment experience where children can learn real-life skills in a child-sized city. Watch the excitement on their faces as kids explore over 60 unique and exciting professions through real-life role-play adventures in a fun and safe environment while you supervise (kids 4-7 years) or browse the shops (8-14 years old).
Price: Adults from £18, Child (4-14) from £38, Early years (1-3) £10, Under 1 FREE.
The Original Tour offers a recorded commentary specifically designed to entertain and educate children. Designed for children aged 5 to 11 years old; it makes learning fun! In the meantime, adults can sit back, relax and enjoy themselves. Every child receives a fantastic free activity & quiz book.
Price: Adult £32, Child (5-15) £15. Book online for cheaper fares.
Step into the spotlight at Madame Tussauds London - the home of famous fun in the capital, established on Baker Street in 1836. Star in immersive experiences like The Voice and Star Wars and get up close and personal with more than 300 lifelike wax figures of your favourite celebs.
Price: Adult £35, Children (3-15 years) £30, Under 3 FREE. Book online in advance for cheaper tickets.
The Science Museum’s world-class collections record scientific, technological and medical advancement from across the globe. For kids, visit the Wonderlab. Inspired by power of wondering it enriches learning across the curriculum themes of Forces, Electricity, Light, Sound, Matter, Space and Maths. See high-energy shows, live experiments at the Chemistry Bar, live lightning demos at the giant Tesla coil with brilliant Explainers to facilitate engagement.
Price: Free but tickets are required for some events, activities, galleries and special exhibitions.
Brockwell park is a fantastic place for kids. There is a walled garden, sports courts, a skatepark, a playground, a water park and loads of green spaces to run around in. With beautiful views of the city is a great place to sit and have a picnic. The park is also home to Brockwell Lido. The Lido with its outdoor pool is a fantastic place to take the kids on a summers day, although it does have an indoor pool and is open all year round.
Price: The park is free but prices for the pool/Lido vary.
The Ragged School Museum is a museum which was opened in 1990 in the premises of the former Dr Barnardo's Copperfield Road Ragged School. Children can experience a slice of history as at the heart of the museum is a unique classroom, where each year some 16,000 children come to experience a glimpse of Victorian life. The room has been recreated in one of Dr Barnardo’s original classrooms, restored as it was in the 1870s.
Take an awe-inspiring journey through space and discover the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Little ones will love standing on the world's Prime Meridian line which has divided the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth since the late 19th century.
Price: Adult £15, Child £6.50
Tip: You can also explore the beautiful and expansive park land of Greenwich as well as the nearby National Maritime Museum where kids can learn about our seafaring history.
Set right in the heart of London, Hyde Park offers both world-class events and concerts together with plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind. For kids, there are wide open spaces, a playground, football pitches, horseriding and best of all, you can hire a rowing boat or pedalo to take across the famous Serpentine.
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