The city of London has much more to offer than just historical places and traditional architecture. The English city is famous for some exceptionally fun things, especially when it comes to impressing your little ones.
The city is not only galactic but also includes endless wonders that you and your kids will not get tired of seeing. From a plethora of child-friendly restaurants, wonderful indoor spots, and history museums to enormous themed playgrounds and princess palaces, this city is a real child pleaser.
If the Greenwich city is the next spot on your family vacation list, do check out these 35 best things to do and places to visit with kids in London, so they never get bored.
Outdoor Activities in London
1. Up at the O2
To begin with, give your kids a grand view across the beautiful city by visiting Up at the O2. Once you’re there, you can spot famous and fun sites such as Thames Barrier, Canary Wharf, Olympic Park, and The Shard, all in one glance.
The trip will be genuinely entertaining and require your kids to clamber over the mighty venue of Up at the O2. The palace, with its steep climbing, can be pretty adventurous for their little legs if they love hiking. Once you’re all on top, you can gaze at the tranquil Thames flowing towards the estuary.
2. Diana Memorial Playground
The memorial playground is a fantastic masterpiece, built in the memory of Princess Diana. It is located right next to Kensington Palace. The free playground offers an excellent outdoor fun visit in which kids can explore, play, and let their wild imaginations soar in an exciting space.
3. London Duck Tour
Do your kids love sightseeing? If yes, then take them for London Duck tour – a true adventure through the streets of London in a fantastic yellow WWII vehicle. It will take you through famous landmarks of the city while giving live commentary. If this doesn’t excite your kids, the loud quack that this vehicle makes upon seeing another yellow bus will surely do.
4. The London Eye
The London Eye is one of the most popular spots in the city with its amazing views and plenty of fun-filled activities. Whether you plan on riding the tallest Ferris wheel or watching 4D movies, paying a visit to this attraction will let you experience some simply “wow” moments.
TripDuck Tip: London Eye is quite a busy spot, so it is better if you buy or book the tickets in advance to save you a whole lot of time.
5. Regent’s Park
There’s nothing like a trip to Regent’s Park to raise the little ones’ spirits. Once you arrive, they can run on meadows, hide in hollow wild trees, build forts, get muddy, climb branches, and yell their hearts out. It is the part of London Zoo, which is home to species like penguins, lions, deer, and many other animals.
6. Platform 9¾
If your little one has a taste for witchcraft and wizardry, you should not miss out on a trip to Platform 9 ¾, located at King’s cross. Taken straight out of a scene from the first Harry Potter book, the place features a unique trolley that disappears comically into the wall, making your kids feel like they’re really on their way to Hogwarts.
7. The Scoop
What about soaking up a splendid view of the giant Tower Bridge at the Scoop? The place makes a perfect spot to enjoy a long paddle in the London Riverside fountain.
8. Kew Garden
Weave into the classic woodland of Kew Garden in London with your kids. If you have teens who love exploring nature and learning about the plant world, Kew garden is no less than a classroom that teaches them a plethora of new things. While learning about different plants is a big part of a regular visit to this garden, you should not miss out on the badger caves and treetop walk.
Kids-friendly Museums and Galleries in London
1. The Natural History Museum
The National History Museum is a must-see spot on Exhibition Road. It is the coolest place for children who have a deep interest in giants like dinosaurs. The museum is popular for its outstanding collection of skeleton galore, terrifying lifelike t-rex, and animatronic velociraptor. Additionally, the museum has 70 million mineral specimens and insects for children to look at with amazement.
2. The Science Museum
There is no way your kids won’t love watching the oldest steam train called “Puffin Billy” at the Science museum. Moreover, the museum is an ideal place for kids to learn about interactive stuff, digital technology, and AI-driven cars.
3. The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is a wonderful place for both kids and grownups. The ceramic department, fashion exhibition, and stacking plates to practice firing are just some highlights of this museum.
4. Museum of London Docklands
The Dockland museum is a 200-year-old warehouse that depicts a fascinating history of the city as a famous port. It does so through interesting stories of migration, trade, and commerce via excellent objects and world-class galleries.
5. Parasol Unit
Parasol Unit is an art gallery dedicated to engaging family workshops. It gives both adults and children a chance to test their creative abilities and play with different materials to craft something from their imagination.
6. Tate Modern
Tate Modern is an excellent option for all art-loving parents who are looking for a place that allows something more than just sightseeing. Because the gallery is on the South Bank, parents can plan a lovely day-out for boating, as well as introduce their kids to modern art in an inspiring environment. Little ones can explore spectacular installation work from well-renowned artists and iconic masterpieces of Rothko, Salvador Dali, and Picasso.
On a Rainy Day: Indoor Fun
1. Sea Life Aquarium
Sealife aquarium is located right next to the County Hall building, offering visitors a tremendous kid-friendly experience. The place is an excellent choice to explore interactive games and exciting exhibits.
2. Big Fish Little Fish
With lurid clothes and repetitive beats, your children will surely feel excited and energetic when they go raving at this one-of-its-kind place. Big Fish Little Fish is a fantastic place with club events for juniors. It has play areas, craft sessions, and several other creative facilities.
3. London Aquatic Center
If you have a young swimmer in the family, the London Aquatic center is a must-try. This breathtaking spot is in the Olympic Park and a cathedral of fun-filled water sports with great diving facilities. Don’t forget to check out its extreme Aqua Splash, which has a 40-meter assault course to clamber over and leap. It is, undoubtedly, something your kids do not experience in a regular swimming pool.
4. Lyceum Theatre
Your London tour is incomplete without watching a musical at the renowned Lyceum Theatre. Go for family-friendly musicals such as Matilda, Aladdin, and The Lion King so your kids can enjoy some indoor family time.
Are you planning to go toy shopping with young ones? Visit the largest toy shop Hamleys to add a bunch of unique and creative toys to your collection.
6. Bunker 51
Bunker 51 is an old soul war shelter in London which has been turned into a unique paintball arena and LaserTag. The place is full of unnerving military vibes, but kids as young as ten or eleven love paintballing here. If you want a dangerously fun day out for your kids, take them paintballing at Bunker 51.
Snack Time: Kids-friendly Restaurants & Food Stops
Giraffe is a wondrous place with a special menu full of gluten-free, vegetarian, flavorful items for your kids. The restaurant is super kid-friendly and serves fantastic healthy food.
Your kids will surely love eating at the unpretentious and ubiquitous noodle bar, Wagamama. The restaurant serves a variety of chicken and noodle dishes to keep your little one’s tummy happy and full.
Wahaca masterfully prepares Mexican style small bites for your kids. The modern, friendly restaurant offers healthy and nutritious meals with delectable taste and presentation.
Photo: Wahaca Facebook Page
4. Rainforest Café
The unique café will give you an exclusive dining experience with its scrumptious food and rainforest-themed decor. If you visit Rainforest Café, you won’t be able to get enough of their mouth-watering burgers, quesadillas, and fish and chips.
5. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Tea at One Aldwych
Does your child want to relive their favorite moments from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’? No kid would miss out on having indulgent treats on the table. In that case, a visit to One Aldwych can help you create that magical experience for your kids in their afternoon tea setup.
Photo: One Aldwych Facebook Page
6. Bodean’s BBQ
This Soho institution, Bodean’s BBQ, offers a kid’s menu that has a fantastic mac ‘n’ cheeseburger to ensure your children delves into something they love.
7. Le Gelatiara
Kids and ice-cream are inseparable, no matter what part of the world you’re visiting. Try Le Gelatiara for some tongue-tingling and creative ice cream flavors.
What Locals Recommend: Special Tips from London-based Families
Local #1: Dina from Kensington Mums
In London, we love our local parks and museums including Holland park, Natural History Museum, The Science Museum just to name a few. We do miss our family days out and hope that things will go back to semi normal…until then, we are enjoying quality family time at home and lots of family movie night. Good luck to all the Mums homeschooling…we hope you are keeping sane through it all.
Local #2: Katrin from Sugar Free Londoner
I think the best playground in London is the Princess Diana Playground in Hyde Park. It is huge, beautifully landscaped and has a giant pirate ship in the middle which my kids loved to climb on when they were little.
For a rainy day, nothing beats the Science Museum. In the basement you’ll find a discovery area for small children. There’s water play, gigantic soft building blocks and all kinds of fun experiments. On the top floor of the museum is a space for older children. It’s interactive and super interesting – for adults, too! Of course, there is also the Natural History Museum with its dinosaurs and endless rooms to get lost in, which is just next door. Both museums are free entry, which I think is incredible.
Older children would enjoy the craziness of Camden Market with all its food stalls and unusual little shops. In the evening, definitely go and see a musical. We loved the Lion King and Mathilda, both are just incredible.
Local #3: Thomas from Localgrapher
In short, the whole city is worth visiting if you want to add to your traveling experience. But make sure that you choose the best time to visit London if you don’t want to get lost with your kids in its heaving mass. Our favorite time in London is summer. When the sky opens up and sun showers warm and cozy light, your kids will adore summers in London. The season is perfect to see the main attractions in the city, such as Buckingham Palace and London Eye. However, make sure you book your tickets in advance in case you want to go for any family-friendly pastime.
In a nutshell, visiting London with your kids is like a dream vacation. The English city has so much to offer from free museums, playgrounds, parks, and galleries to child-friendly eateries. The place is the center of sterling adventures and incredible indoor and outdoor activities that can make your kids fall in love with a city full of old buildings. Thus, take a look at the things mentioned above, your kids can do in London.