Things to do in London with a family
Looking for fun and exciting activities to do with your kids in the vibrant city of London? Look no further! There are lots of things to do with children in London, many of which are totally free.
London is packed with incredible attractions and experiences that will keep your little ones entertained and engaged. From world-class museums to interactive exhibitions, outdoor adventures, and enchanting parks, there is no shortage of things to do with kids in the UK’s capital. Explore the wonders of the Natural History Museum, where your children can come face to face with a towering T-Rex or get hands-on with interactive displays. Take a stroll through Hyde Park and enjoy a picnic by the Serpentine Lake, or let your little adventurers run wild in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. With its rich history, diverse culture, and endless opportunities for family-friendly fun, London is the perfect destination for creating lasting memories with your kids. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with laughter, learning, and endless excitement!
Top Attractions and Landmarks for things to do with Kids in London
London is home to some of the most iconic attractions and landmarks in the world, and many of them are perfect for a day out with the family. One of the must-visit places is the Tower of London, where your little ones can immerse themselves in the city’s history and even see the Crown Jewels. Another popular destination is the London Eye, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline from the top. Don’t forget to explore the magical world of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where your kids can step into the famous sets and learn about the behind-the-scenes magic of the films.
If your children are animal lovers, a visit to the ZSL London Zoo is a must. They can marvel at the diverse range of animals, from lions and tigers to penguins and giraffes. For a more interactive experience, head to SEA LIFE London Aquarium, where your kids can walk through the glass tunnel and be surrounded by sharks and colourful marine life. And of course, no trip to London would be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace, where you can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony and soak in the grandeur of the royal residence.
London offers endless opportunities for fun and educational experiences for kids. Whether it’s exploring the wonders of science at the Science Museum or stepping back in time at the Museum of London, there is something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure in the heart of London.
Outdoor Activities and Parks for Kids in London
While London is known for its bustling cityscape, it also offers plenty of green spaces and outdoor activities for kids to enjoy. One of the most famous parks in the city is Hyde Park, a sprawling oasis in the heart of London. Here, your kids can enjoy bike rides, boat trips on the Serpentine Lake, or simply run around and have a picnic on the lush green grass. Another popular park is Regents Park, home to London Zoo and beautiful rose gardens. Your little ones can enjoy playgrounds, open spaces, and even hire a pedalo on the boating lake.
For a unique outdoor experience, head to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, this playground is a magical world where children can climb aboard a pirate ship, explore the sensory trail, and let their imaginations run wild. Another exciting adventure awaits at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where your kids can try their hand at cycling, skateboarding, or even go on a slide down the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
If your children love animals, a visit to the city farms in London is a must. Places like Mudchute Park and Farm or Hackney City Farm offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with farm animals, learn about sustainable farming, and even participate in feeding sessions. These farms provide a unique and educational experience for kids, allowing them to connect with nature and understand where their food comes from.
Indoor Activities and Museums for Kids in London
London is a treasure trove of museums and indoor activities that cater specifically to children. The Natural History Museum is a must-visit, where your kids can come face to face with a towering T-Rex, explore the wonders of the universe in the planetarium, or get hands-on with interactive displays. The Science Museum is another fantastic option, offering a range of exhibits and workshops that will spark your children’s curiosity and ignite their passion for science.
For little art enthusiasts, a visit to the Tate Modern is a must. This contemporary art museum offers a range of interactive exhibits and workshops specifically designed for kids. They can get creative in the art-making spaces, explore immersive installations, and even take part in family-friendly tours. Another museum worth visiting is the Museum of London Docklands, where your kids can learn about the city’s maritime history through interactive displays and engaging activities.
If your children are fans of literature, a visit to the British Library is a must. Here, they can explore the world’s largest collection of books, manuscripts, and historical documents, including the original manuscripts of classic novels such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Harry Potter. The library also offers interactive exhibits and workshops that will bring literature to life for your little ones.
Best Family Experiences in London
London Natural History Museum
A visit to the Natural History Museum is a must when in London with kids. Step into the magical corridors where dinosaurs come to life and marvel at the vast collection of fossils and specimens. The museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, making it an engaging experience for children of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to see the iconic blue whale skeleton and the earthquake simulator. The museum also hosts regular special exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to discover.
Explore the Magical World of Harry Potter
For me, this is one of the best things to do with kids in London. I have never met a child that does not like Harry Potter. If your kids are fans of the Harry Potter series, a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a must. Step into the enchanting world of Hogwarts as you explore the sets, props, and costumes used in the films. From the Great Hall to Diagon Alley, your little ones will be captivated by the attention to detail and the chance to see their favourite characters come to life. Don’t forget to snap a picture on a broomstick or try some butterbeer at the iconic Platform 9¾.
For a truly magical experience, consider taking a guided tour that offers behind-the-scenes insights and interactive activities. Your kids can learn how to cast spells, make potions, and even ride a broomstick. This immersive experience will leave them with memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re visiting during the holiday season, make sure to check out the Hogwarts in the Snow event, where the sets are transformed into a winter wonderland. From the Yule Ball to the festive decorations, it’s a truly enchanting experience that your kids will adore.
Tower of London
Transport your family back in time with a visit to the Tower of London. This historic castle has witnessed centuries of history and is home to the Crown Jewels. Take a guided tour and learn about the intriguing stories of the tower, including tales of prisoners and royal executions. Kids will love exploring the medieval architecture and walking along the ancient walls. Be sure to catch the famous Ceremony of the Keys, a tradition that has been taking place for over 700 years. The Tower of London is a fascinating experience that will captivate both children and adults alike.
Get Up Close and Personal with Exotic Animals at the London Zoo
For animal lovers, a visit to the London Zoo is an absolute must. Located in the heart of Regent’s Park, this world-renowned zoo is home to over 20,000 animals from around the globe. From majestic lions to playful penguins, your kids will have the opportunity to see a wide range of species up close and personal.
Start your visit at the Land of the Lions, where they can explore an immersive Indian-themed enclosure and watch as the majestic big cats roam around. Next, head to Gorilla Kingdom, where you can observe these incredible primates in their natural habitat. Don’t miss the Penguin Beach, where your kids can watch the adorable penguins dive, swim, and play.
To enhance your visit, consider booking a VIP Experience, where your family can go behind the scenes and get a glimpse into the daily lives of the zookeepers. From feeding the giraffes to meeting the meerkats, it’s an unforgettable experience that your kids will cherish.
Read: London Iconic Landmarks
London Science Museum
Unleash Their Inner Scientists at the Science Museum
The Science Museum is a paradise for curious minds and budding scientists. With interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, and live shows, it’s a place where learning becomes fun and exciting. Your kids can explore the wonders of space in the interactive Space Gallery, where they can touch a moon rock or experience a rocket launch. They can also delve into the world of robotics, discover the secrets of the human body, or even become a weather forecaster for the day.
One of the highlights of the Science Museum is the Wonderlab, an immersive gallery that encourages exploration and curiosity. Your kids can experiment with light, sound, and forces, and even witness live science demonstrations that will leave them awestruck. Don’t forget to catch a show at the IMAX cinema, where they can experience the wonders of science on the big screen.
To make the most of your visit, check out the museum’s website for upcoming events and workshops. From coding workshops to science-themed sleepovers, there’s always something new and exciting happening at the Science Museum.
Read: Free Days Out In London
London V&A Museum of Childhood
Step into a world of nostalgia at the V&A Museum of Childhood. This unique museum showcases the history of childhood through a collection of toys, games, and artifacts. Kids can explore the interactive exhibits, play with vintage toys, and even try on historical costumes. The museum also offers regular workshops and storytelling sessions, providing an immersive experience for children. With its charming displays and interactive activities, the V&A Museum of Childhood is a delight for kids and adults alike.
The London Eye
For a bird’s-eye view of London, take a ride on the iconic London Eye. This giant Ferris wheel offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline. Kids will love the thrilling experience of being lifted high above the ground and spotting famous landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. The London Eye also offers special experiences, such as the 4D cinema experience, where you can see London come to life through a multisensory film. A ride on the London Eye is a must-do for families visiting London.
Read: London Best Zoos
The British Museum in London
Experience the wonders of the world at the British Museum. This world-renowned museum houses a vast collection of art and artifacts from ancient civilizations. Kids can explore the Egyptian mummies, discover the Rosetta Stone, and marvel at the Elgin Marbles. The museum also offers family-friendly trails and workshops, allowing children to engage with the exhibits in a fun and interactive way. With its impressive collection and engaging activities, the British Museum is a cultural treasure that should not be missed.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature at Kew Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a stunning collection of plants from around the world. Kids can explore the treetop walkway, discover the tropical rainforest in the Palm House, and even get involved in gardening activities. The gardens also offer family-friendly events and workshops, providing a fun and educational experience for children. A visit to Kew Gardens is a breath of fresh air for the whole family.
The Shard in London
Take your family to new heights at The Shard. This iconic skyscraper offers breathtaking views of London from its observation deck on the 72nd floor. Kids will be amazed by the panoramic views and the opportunity to see the city from above. The Shard also offers interactive telescopes and informative displays, allowing children to learn more about the landmarks they see. For an extra thrill, visit during sunset to witness the city’s transformation as the lights come on. A visit to The Shard is a memorable experience for the whole family.
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
No visit to London is complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. Witness the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony, where the Queen’s Guard hand over responsibility to the New Guard amidst pomp and pageantry. This centuries-old tradition is sure to captivate your little ones as they watch the soldiers in their red tunics and bearskin hats perform their ceremonial duties. Be sure to check the schedule in advance to catch this spectacular display.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. These expansive green spaces offer a perfect retreat for families. Let your kids run wild on the playgrounds, hire a rowboat on the Serpentine Lake, or enjoy a leisurely picnic on the lush lawns. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, where your little ones can play in a pirate ship and explore a sensory trail. The park is also home to various statues and monuments, providing an opportunity for educational and historical exploration.
Embark on a thrilling journey through London’s dark and gruesome history at the London Dungeon. This immersive attraction combines live actors, special effects, and thrilling rides to bring the city’s past to life. Your kids will be entertained and educated as they witness the horrors of the plague, come face-to-face with infamous criminals, and experience the Great Fire of London. The London Dungeon is not for the faint-hearted, but it promises an unforgettable experience for older children and teenagers.
Let your kids unleash their imagination and explore the world of work at KidZania London. This interactive indoor city allows children to take on various roles and experience different professions. From being a doctor or firefighter to a pilot or chef, there’s a wide range of activities for your little ones to engage in. They can earn “kidZos” (KidZania currency) by completing tasks and use them to shop or try out other activities. KidZania London provides a fun and educational experience that will leave your kids with a sense of empowerment and curiosity about the world around them.
Climb aboard the historic sailing ship, Cutty Sark, and embark on a nautical adventure. This 19th-century tea clipper offers a unique glimpse into the world of maritime history. Your kids can explore the ship’s decks, visit the crew’s quarters, and learn about life at sea through interactive exhibits and displays. Don’t miss the chance to stand beneath the ship’s gleaming copper hull and imagine what life was like for the sailors who once sailed the high seas. Cutty Sark is a fascinating attraction that will captivate both young and old alike.
Shrek’s Adventure! London
Embark on a magical journey to the kingdom of Far Far Away at Shrek’s Adventure! London. This interactive attraction allows your kids to become part of the Shrek story as they meet their favourite characters and embark on a quest to save the day. From riding in a magical 4D bus to exploring the Muffin Man’s house and navigating the Mirror Maze, there’s plenty of fun and laughter to be had. Shrek’s Adventure! London combines storytelling, live actors, and special effects to create an immersive experience that will leave your kids feeling like true adventurers.
Sealife London Aquarium
Dive into an underwater world at the Sealife London Aquarium. This mesmerizing attraction houses a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, turtles, and colourful tropical fish. Your kids will be in awe as they walk through the glass tunnels, surrounded by a dazzling array of sea creatures. Don’t miss the chance to catch the daily feedings and talks, where you can learn more about these fascinating creatures and their habitats. The Sealife London Aquarium offers a captivating and educational experience for the whole family.
The London Postal Museum
Uncover the fascinating world of mail and communication at the Postal Museum. This interactive museum offers a unique insight into the history of the British postal service. Your kids can explore the underground Mail Rail ride, which takes you on a journey through the hidden tunnels that once transported mail beneath the streets of London. Don’t miss the chance to dress up as a postal worker, sort mail, and learn about the evolution of communication through various exhibits and displays. The Postal Museum provides a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Kid-Friendly Events and Festivals in London
London is a city that knows how to celebrate, and there are plenty of events and festivals throughout the year that cater specifically to kids. One of the most popular events is the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Your little ones can witness the spectacle of the Queen’s Guard changing shifts, complete with their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats. Another event worth attending is the Notting Hill Carnival, a vibrant celebration of Caribbean culture featuring colourful costumes, music, and street food.
If your children enjoy the performing arts, a visit to the Unicorn Theatre is a must. This children’s theatre offers a range of productions specifically designed for young audiences, from classic tales to contemporary plays. The theatre also hosts workshops and interactive sessions, allowing your kids to get involved in the creative process. Another festival worth checking out is the Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre. This annual event offers a range of workshops, performances, and interactive exhibits that celebrate the arts and inspire creativity in children of all ages.
London also hosts numerous Christmas markets and events during the festive season. From ice skating at Somerset House to exploring the magical Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, there is no shortage of festive fun for the whole family. So, make sure to check the events calendar when planning your trip to London and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
Tips for Traveling with Kids in London
Traveling with kids can be a wonderful experience, but it also requires some planning and preparation. Here are a few tips to make your trip to London with kids as smooth as possible:
- Plan your itinerary in advance: London is a big city with so much to see and do, so it’s important to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time. Make a list of the attractions and activities you want to visit and check their opening hours and any special events or exhibitions.
- Use public transportation: London has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trains, and the iconic Underground. Using public transportation is not only convenient but also a fun way for kids to see the city. Consider getting an Oyster card, which allows you to travel on all public transport and offers discounted fares.
- Pack essentials: Make sure to pack essentials such as snacks, water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes for your kids. London weather can be unpredictable, so it’s also a good idea to pack an umbrella or raincoat. Don’t forget to bring any necessary medications and a first aid kit.
- Take advantage of family-friendly facilities: Many attractions and museums in London offer family-friendly facilities, such as baby changing rooms, stroller parking, and kid-friendly cafes. Take advantage of these amenities to make your visit more comfortable.
- Be flexible: Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be flexible and adapt your plans as needed. Allow for breaks and downtime, especially for younger children who may need naps or rest during the day.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Things to Do with Kids in London, UK
London is a city that offers endless possibilities for family-friendly fun and adventure. From exploring world-class museums and landmarks to enjoying outdoor activities in beautiful parks, there is something for everyone in the UK’s capital. Whether you’re interested in history, science, the arts, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the city, London has it all. Plan your trip in advance, pack your bags, and get ready to create lasting memories with your kids. London awaits with open arms, ready to awe and inspire both young and old. So, start your journey and discover the wonders of London with your little ones by your side. Happy travels!
If you have ideas on things to do with kids in London that you would like to share, then please do get in touch.