The Problem with London Is That There Are Too Many Things to Do. We Have Narrowed It Down for You and Here’s A Handy Guide to The Top 50 Things to Do in London With Kids.
Article Updated September 2018
Thinking of doing London with kids? The UK capital is jam packed with exciting, quirky and fun activities for kids of all ages. It can be difficult to choose which London attraction or activity to do, particularly if you have limited time. There are some stalwart favourites – be warned, they get busy, so go early – but some other off-the-radar gems that only the locals usually know about. Here are top 50 things to do in London with kids, although plenty of favourites for the adults too.
USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS
- #01 – #09 – RAINY DAY THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
- #10 – #18 – SUNNY DAY THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
- #19 – #23 – FREE AND BUDGET THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
- #24 – #30 – OFF THE BEATEN PATH THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
- #31 – #38 – 1 HOUR OUT THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
- #39 – #44 – PLAYGROUND & PARKS IN LONDON FOR KIDS
- #45 – #50 – MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES IN LONDON FOR KIDS
- BONUS TIP #1 – WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
#01 – #09 – RAINY DAY THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
#1 – Ice Skating at Alexandra Palace
Go ice-skating in north London at the iconic Alexandra Palace.
#2 – The Southbank Centre For Kid’s Activities
See what’s on at The Southbank Centre, UK’s largest arts centre dynamic year-round festivals programme or the modern art gallery at Tate Modern on the Southbank. Both have regular activities for children.
#3 – Puppet Show at Little Angel Theatre
Watch a show especially produced for children at the Little Angel Theatre in smart Islington to catch a puppet show or The Unicorn Theatre who produce an excellent holiday programme for your tween and/or teenagers in London Bridge.
#4 – Children’s Storytelling at the Discover Centre
Make up some stories together at the imaginative Discover Centre, a children’s storytelling centre in Stratford, East London.
#5 – Art and Crafts at Tate Britain
Get messy at an art and craft class at the Tate Britain on Millbank or Dulwich Picture Gallery, South London.
#6 – Cruise the Thames
Jump aboard a modern passenger boat and cruise down the Thames before hopping off at Greenwich to explore old boat Cutty Sark, now carefully restored.
#7 – SEA LIFE Aquarium
Swim with sharks at the SEA LIFE Aquarium, near Waterloo. For something a little tamer, check out the feeding times on any given day, head to the Rockpool zone to stroke a starfish or go to the ray lagoon to watch the stingrays gracefully glide past.
#8 – Famous Hamley’s Toy Store
Go shopping crazy in London’s most famous toyshop, Hamleys. Opened in 1760 by William Hamley, it is one of the finest ty store in the world. Warning: you will not leave this store empty handed!
#9 – London Dungeon
Learn about London’s dark side at the London Dungeon.
#10 – #18 – SUNNY DAY THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
#10 – London Zoo
Wonder at gorillas and lions up close at London Zoo, and then hire a pedalo at beautiful Regent’s Park. The boating lake is open daily from 10:30am – 6:00pm from late March through to the end of October. There is a dedicated children’s lake of which you can also hire special children’s pedalos.
#11 – Swim in a Lido
Splash in one of London’s many lidos. The Tooting Bec lido, UK largest open air fresh water swimming pool, is one of the best, with colourful changing room doors to Instagram.
#12 – Hamstead Heath & Parliament Hill
Get lost on a ramble on Hampstead Heath, but try not to leave before making it to the top of Parliament Hill for one of the best views of London you can get. Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces, situated just six kilometres from Trafalgar Square.
#13 – Hackney City Farm
Feed the goats and pigs at Hackney City Farm. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a great opportunity to get up close and personal with farmyard animals.
#14 – Epping Forest
Pretend you are in the country in London’s largest open space at Epping Forest, making dens, jumping across streams and tramping through mud.
#15 – Ride a Pont at Richmond Park
Ride a pony and spot some wild deer in stunning Richmond Park.
#16 – Hampton Court’s Maze
Find your way through Hampton Court’s maze. This is UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze and it is filled with twists, turns and dead ends. It takes approximately 20 minutes to get to the centre. That’s a pretty big maze!
#17 – Hyde Park
Go rollerblading in Hyde Park by the Serpentine Lake.
#18 – Birdwatching in Barnes
Become a birdwatcher at the wetlands centre in Barnes, southwest London.
#19 – #23 – FREE AND BUDGET THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
#19 – Jump On a Sightseeing Bus
Pay a fraction of the price of a sightseeing bus and take the no.24, 15 or 11 buses which pass through some of London’s best sights.
#20 – Self-Walking Tour
For some of the best family things to do in London, wander from London Bridge along the Southbank to Waterloo taking in the river, Tower Bridge, the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Big Ben and the London Eye, plus the many cafes and shops along the way.
#21 – Changing of the Guards
Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace at 11:30am. As you can imagine, this is a very popular tourist attraction so do try and get here a little earlier. Most people stand next to the railing but with the kids, it may be hard to see anything. Some good places to stand for a better vantage point include the steps of the Victoria monument or on Spur Road.
#22 – Docklands Light Railway
Take a ride on the Docklands Light Railway and sit at the front. There is no driver, so you can pretend you are driving and the kids will have a hoot!
#23 – Buskers at Convent Garden
Be entertained by the street entertainers in Covent Garden.
#24 – #30 – OFF THE BEATEN PATH THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
#24 – Take the Kids Dancing
For dance fans, Big Fish Little Fish family raves happen all over the capital. Proper DJs play good music while kids are kept happy with glow sticks and crafts. Check out their website to find out where they are.
#25 – The Horniman Museum
The Horniman Museum in southeast London has everything you need for a day out. A natural history museum, aquarium, small farm, butterfly park and grounds to have a picnic in.
#26 – Postal Museum
Go underground on a mail rail train at the Postal Museum and is definitely one of the more unusual things to do in London.
#27 – National Centre for Circus Arts
Learn how to fly through the air on a trapeze at the National Centre for Circus Arts.
#28 – World’s Tallest and Longest Slide
Slide down the tallest and longest slide in the world at ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford.
#29 – Paintball in an Underground Shelter
Play paintball in a make-believe nuclear underground shelter at Bunker 51, Docklands.
#30 – Kayaking in White Water Rapids
Pretend you are an Olympian at Lee Valley White Water Centre, and paddle a kayak down a thrilling white water rapid.
#31 – #38 – 1 HOUR OUT THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH KIDS
#31 – Best Beach in London
Build a sandcastle at Camber Sands, near Rye, one of the best beaches near London.
#32 – Godstone Farm
Ride a tractor at large Godstone Farm in Surrey.
#33 – Ride a Steam Train
Go back in time on a steam train through the picturesque Kent countryside with the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
#34 – Go Sailing
Go sailing on the Isle of Wight. If you want to really make a weekend of it with the kids, you can also go horse riding, fishing, bird watching, hitch a ride on the steam train or even go karting.
#35 – Pick Lavender
Pick lavender in summer at Hichin Lavender Farm, Hertfordshire.
#36 – Warner Bros. Studio
See where Harry Potter was made on a Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hertforshire.
#37 – Hever Castle
Visit dreamy Hever Castle in rural Kent, where Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn lived.
#38 – Chessington World of Adventures
Scream on a scary ride at Chessington World of Adventures.
#39 – #44 – PLAYGROUND & PARKS IN LONDON FOR KIDS
#39 – The Diana Memorial Playground
The Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens is one of the best playgrounds in London. It’s big, but zoned into different areas, including a giant pirate ship to 41. clamber over. There’s sand and water too so take a change of clothes.
#40 – Coram’s Fields
For more fun free things to do in London, head to Coram’s Fields in central London. It is seven acres of secret London only accessible to families. Lots of play equipment to enjoy.
#41 – The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, home to waterways, parkland, playgrounds and cafes, is a newer park built for the Olympics 2012. It’s also a fascinating visit for adults too to see where all the sports action happened.
#42 – Brockwell Park
Brockwell Park in southeast London has huge amounts for kids to do including a zip wire, paddling pool, duck pond, BMX track and mini train to ride on.
#43 – Battersea Park
Battersea Park is right by the river and contains acres of safe scooter paths, a zoo, playground and Go Ape climbing experience.
#44 – Kew Garden
Kew Garden is well work the steep entry fee. It’s gorgeous and also has tons of child-friendly attractions such as a treetop walk and indoor plant-themed playground.
#45 – #50 – MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES IN LONDON FOR KIDS
#45 – The Museum of London
The Museum of London is fascinating for all ages. It covers London history from pre-Romans to post Olympics. Check out the Mudlarks children gallery which is an interactive space for children up to 8 years old. This is a great London attraction for toddlers.
#46 – The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a favourite for dinosaur lovers. Don’t miss the earthquake experience either.
#47 – The National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum has two hands-on areas to investigate plus a huge world map for kids to run around. Greenwich Park is just outside if it’s a sunny day. 48.
#48 – Science Museum
One of the best museums for toddlers in London is the Science Museum. You might want to visit it more than once as it has so much on offer. Particularly worthy is the younger children’s area in the basement.
#49 – V&A Museum of Childhood
Small but perfectly formed V&A Museum of Childhood is a lovely place to wander round for an hour or two. See what historic doll’s houses and books looked like.
#50 – The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is a fun wander round. It has a room full of art and craft that is open every weekend too.
As you can see, there are so many things to do with kids in London and it is one of the best family holiday destinations in the world. Most of all, there is a plethora of activities and attractions to satisfy the needs of your children from toddlers to teens.
BONUS TIP #1 – WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
Yup, this luxurious hotel is simply named 41, located at 41 Buckingham Palace Road. Nestled behind Buckingham Palace, this luxurious hotel is opposite the Royal Mews. It has striking rooms, a generous supply of free snacks and canapés, attentive 5-star service, and a wood-panelled Executive Lounge. Guests are offered complimentary snacks all day during their stay, which is perfect for the kids, and traditional London club feel, this is your best bet.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Boutique: The Montague On The Gardens
Overlooking private, secluded gardens, this 4-star boutique hotel boasts luxurious, individually decorated rooms. The Blue Door Bistro offers a modern, yet classic British menu. The hotel is close to Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the West End.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Affordable: Motel One London-Tower Hill
This is a cool funky hotel, is small but comfortable, practical with stylish rooms. Staff are very friendly, great location, greta value and has fantastic view from the bedroom. Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are just 0.8 km from Motel One London.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Apartment: Soho Stables
Soho Stables offers self-catering accommodation in Soho, London and is 200 m from Piccadilly Circus. This 200-year-old converted stable is split on 2 floors and comes with a fully fitted kitchen. The host is really friendly and easy to communicate with. If you have younger kids, having a kitchen is so convenient.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
The Top 50 Things to Do in London With Kids is written Kate Lewis. Edited by Family Globetrotters.
The Smaller Explorer is a blog for adventurous families. We search out the best of what’s out there that’s fun for kids AND adults, plus provide lots of achievable ideas for exploring and having adventures in the UK and overseas.
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.