5 Activities To Do In London When You Have Kids

what to do in london with kids

Whether you are moving to London or are simply visiting with family, it is important that your kids experience all that the city has to offer. From world-class museums and iconic landmarks to exciting activities and breathtaking views, London has something for everyone. You’d also be surprised at the number of sites that are specifically geared towards children and families. 

To help you familiarise yourself with the best of these activities, we have compiled a list of 5 things to do in London with kids:

Activity #1: Explore London’s Many Museums

One of the most kid-friendly aspects of London is its vast array of museums. Science, history, and culture are only some of the topics covered by the city’s world-renowned museums. And best of all, many of these museums offer free admission! Below are some of London’s most kid-friendly museums and what you can expect to do there:

Natural History Museum

As its name states, the National History Museum houses various life and earth science specimens from the various segments of natural history. These artefacts are divided into five major collections including botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. 

Kids will especially enjoy the Dinosaurs Gallery where they can learn all about these prehistoric creatures. There is also a Fossil Gallery where they can see some of the world’s best-preserved fossils. Do note, however, that queues for this exhibit can be quite long, especially because it attracts a lot of attention from both kids and adults alike. 

The entrance to the National History Museum in London is free, which means that you can explore the exhibits to your heart’s content without having to worry about an entry fee.

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in London is a large maritime museum that is dedicated to the maritime history of the UK. The museum is home to over two million items, making it one of the largest maritime collections in the world. Some of the things that you can see at the National Maritime Museum include scale models of ships, instruments used by sailors, paintings, and maps.

The AHOY! Children’s Gallery is a great place to take your kids as it is specifically designed for them. They can dress up as pirates, learn about maritime navigation, and even try their hand at steering a ship! The National Maritime Museum is also home to the world’s first planetarium, which is another activity that your kids will enjoy.

Like the Natural History Museum, the National Maritime Museum is also free, making it ideal for large families and those on a budget. 

Science Museum

Lastly, you will also want to visit the Science Museum in London which boasts of its many interactive exhibits and galleries. The museum also regularly hosts events for children and adults alike. 

The galleries featured in the Science Museum range from space exploration to the history of communication. But, if you are looking for an exhibit that is specifically geared towards children, then make sure to check out the Wonderlab. This exhibit is designed to introduce the basics of science to children in a fun and interactive way.

Activity #2: Visit London’s Many Green Parks

If your kids are more inclined to enjoy the outdoors, then you will want to consider visiting one of the many parks located around London. These parks feature open fields, playgrounds, mazes, fountains, waddling pools, and more. If this is something more of your speed, do consider visiting the following pars in the London area:

  • St. James Park
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Richmond Park 
  • Greenwich Park
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Battersea Park, 

Activity #3: Visit London’s Famous Zoos and Animal Sanctuaries

If your kids are animal lovers, then you will want to consider taking them to see the animals at one of London’s zoos or animal sanctuaries. London, after all, is home to some of the best zoos in the world. If your kids are animal lovers, then they will definitely enjoy spending a day at one of these zoos. Here are some of the most famous ones that you can find in London:

  • WWT London Wetland Centre.
  • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
  • Chessington World of Adventures Resort
  • SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium

Activity #4: Check Out London’s Most Famous Sites

If you want to show your kids some of London’s most famous landmarks, take them on a sightseeing tour. There are many different ways that you can do this, but one of the easiest ways is to simply hop on one of the city’s famous red buses.

These buses will take you past all of London’s most popular landmarks, such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and more. You can also get on and off the bus as you please, which means that you can explore these landmarks at your own pace.

Another option is to take a river cruise down the Thames. This is a great way to see all of London’s most famous landmarks from a different perspective. You can also hop off the boat at any point to explore these landmarks up close.

Don’t forget to check out (and ride) the London Eye for a breathtaking and unobstructed  view of the entire city. 

Activity #5: Explore Whatever Else London Has To Offer

From shopping at the World’s Largest Lego Store and visiting the World’s Largest M&M’s World to participating in every Harry Potter activity imaginable, London has so much to offer that it would be impossible to list it all here. So, if you can’t find anything on this list that interests you or your kids, don’t worry! There’s sure to be something else out there that will!

Additional Tips To Remember

Making the Most of Museum Visits

London is home to a plethora of attractions and museums that offer a variety of experiences. Before heading out, it’s wise to book tickets in advance, especially during school holidays. The British Museum, for instance, houses the world-famous Egyptian displays suitable for all ages. To make the trip educational and engaging, consider downloading interactive apps or joining guided tours tailored for kids. These tours often share fascinating stories behind the exhibits, making the experience memorable.

Packing for a Day Out in London’s Parks

London’s green areas like Kew Gardens and Trafalgar Square are perfect locations for picnics. When planning a picnic in one of these iconic places, remember to pack some traditional English treats for afternoon tea. Given London’s unpredictable weather, always have a raincoat at hand, and perhaps an umbrella. For sunny days, pack sunscreen and hats to protect against the sun.

Navigating London with Kids

The London Underground map and London tube map are essential tools when exploring the capital. The city’s transport system is efficient, but during peak times, especially on weekdays, it can get crowded. If you’re looking to explore multiple attractions, consider purchasing a hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket. It’s a convenient way to see attractions like the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and Westminster Abbey.

Dining with Kids in London

From Covent Garden to the bustling streets near London Bridge, there are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants. Many of these dining locations offer special menus for kids. If you’re near Shrek’s Adventure, there are themed restaurants that offer a unique dining experience. For a more English experience, book a table for an afternoon tea suitable for all ages.

Budgeting for a Family Day Out

London offers a mix of free and ticketed attractions. Museums like the British Museum offer free entry, while attractions like Madame Tussauds and KidZania require tickets. Always check online for discounts, especially during school holidays. Some attractions offer family packages, which can be more economical.

Cultural Etiquette and Manners

While London is a cosmopolitan city, it’s essential to be mindful of English etiquette, especially in historic locations like Westminster Abbey. Encourage kids to be respectful, especially in places of worship or silent zones in museums.

Understanding London’s Weather

London, the vibrant capital of England, is known for its ever-changing weather patterns. One moment, the sun might be shining brightly, casting a golden hue over the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge, and the next, a sudden downpour could have you seeking shelter in one of the city’s many historic buildings or shops.

The unpredictability of London’s weather is a topic of many conversations and stories among both locals and tourists. It’s not uncommon for the city to experience all four seasons in a single day. This ever-changing climate is part of London’s charm, but it also means that visitors should be well-prepared for whatever the skies might bring.

Before embarking on a day of exploration, it’s crucial to check the latest weather forecast. Numerous apps and websites provide up-to-date information, ensuring you’re not caught off guard. Even if the morning starts with clear blue skies, it’s wise to pack an umbrella or a lightweight raincoat in your bag. These can be lifesavers when unexpected showers make an appearance.

Rain in London doesn’t mean the fun stops. In fact, the city offers a plethora of indoor activities that can be just as enriching as outdoor ones. Madame Tussauds is a prime example, where visitors can come face-to-face with lifelike wax figures of celebrities, historical figures, and even royalty. The intricate details and interactive displays at this attraction make it a perfect rainy-day destination.

North London, in particular, boasts a variety of indoor places worth exploring. From art galleries showcasing contemporary pieces to historic sites like the British Museum with its vast collection of artifacts, there’s no shortage of indoor adventures awaiting. For families, consider heading to KidZania, an indoor city run by kids, or the Sea Life London Aquarium, where marine life from around the world is on display.

For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, London’s cafes and restaurants offer a cozy refuge. Sip on a traditional English tea while watching the raindrops slide down the window, or dive into a hearty English breakfast in one of the city’s many eateries.

In conclusion, while London’s weather might be unpredictable, it offers a chance to experience the city in a unique way. Whether you’re walking under the rain along the Thames or exploring indoor attractions, London promises a memorable experience, come rain or shine.

Engaging Kids Before the Trip

Before your trip, introduce your kids to London through books, movies, or apps. It will get them excited about the attractions they’ll visit. For instance, reading stories about the Tower of London or watching a series set in the city can pique their interest.

Capturing Memories

London offers countless photo opportunities. From the iconic London Eye to the historic Tower Bridge, there’s plenty to capture. Consider giving older kids a camera or smartphone to document their experiences.

Post-Visit Activities

After a day filled with exploration and discovery, it’s essential to provide children with an opportunity to express and process their experiences. Engaging kids in creative activities serves as a delightful bridge between their adventures and their innate creativity, allowing them to internalize and reflect upon their day.

Creating a scrapbook is a wonderful starting point. Children can gather tickets, brochures, and even small souvenirs they’ve collected throughout the day. By arranging these mementos alongside their own drawings or photographs, they craft a tangible narrative of their journey. This hands-on activity not only fosters their artistic side but also helps them revisit and appreciate the day’s highlights.

Encouraging them to write a story about their day can be equally enriching. They can weave tales about the interesting people they might have met or the unexpected moments that stood out. This exercise not only sharpens their writing skills but also allows them to contextualize and narrate their experiences in their own unique voice.

For those with a penchant for the arts, painting or drawing can be a therapeutic avenue. Translating their day’s memories onto paper, whether through vibrant colors or intricate sketches, allows them to interpret and express their feelings and perspectives. It’s a chance for them to capture the essence of their day, from the bustling streets to the serene parks.

Moreover, these activities can be further enriched when shared. Organizing group sessions where kids can exchange stories, showcase their artwork, or discuss their scrapbooks can be a delightful way to foster communication and camaraderie. It encourages discussions, comparisons, and even plans for future outings.

In conclusion, while the day’s adventures offer a plethora of experiences, the true enrichment lies in revisiting these memories through creative outlets. It not only reinforces their learnings but also nurtures their imaginative and cognitive abilities, making their day out all the more meaningful.

Final Thoughts

London, often referred to as the world’s melting pot, is a city that beckons millions with its promise of endless possibilities. For many, it’s the allure of lucrative job opportunities in the heart of England’s financial and technological hubs. For others, it’s the pulsating rhythms of the city’s nightlife, from the eclectic bars of Shoreditch to the sophisticated clubs of Mayfair. Yet, for a significant number, it’s the city’s storied past, its rich tapestry of history and culture, from the echoing halls of the British Museum to the historic cobblestone streets of Covent Garden, that draws them in.

But beyond these individual attractions and experiences, there lies a universal truth about this capital city: its inexhaustible capacity to engage, entertain, and inspire. Whether you’re wandering through the verdant expanse of Hyde Park, catching a West End show, or simply sipping tea overlooking the Thames, every corner of London offers a unique story, a different adventure.

So, whether you’re in London for its career opportunities, its vibrant social scene, its deep-rooted history, or any of the myriad reasons people are drawn to this metropolis, one thing remains certain: in London, boredom is simply not on the agenda. The city’s dynamic blend of the old and the new ensures that every day is a chance to discover something novel, making every moment in this iconic city a memory in the making.

Moving to London?

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