Travelling with kids is the perfect example of quality family time. But it can be challenging to keep children entertained through the long hours spent sightseeing. Luckily, London is dotted with places ideal for families travelling with children. So, based on my family’s experience, I have compiled a list of fun things you could do with your kids in London.
1. Check Out Museums
I decided to make every outing educational and fun by taking the kids to all the wonderful museums London has to offer! I found that most of them were free to enter and provided entertainment for hours.
Here’s a list of top London museums to get you started:
The British Museum
Learn about artefacts from different parts of the world, ranging from prehistoric to modern times, by visiting one of the world’s greatest museums.
Museum of London
This is the perfect way to learn about the history of the city. It also hosts special events for children that my kids really enjoyed!
Natural History Museum
Check out the unique exhibits, learn about the world’s natural history, and sign up for the special kids’ activities.
Bank of England Museum
Children can learn about currency, from gold bars to the modern pound. The commentary is simplified and filled with interesting anecdotes to make it appealing and educational to children.
It offers the most entertaining way for kids to learn by combining information with hands-on experiences. So, it will be an unforgettable day for your children.
Learn all about HMS Belfast, the largest WWII warship from Europe. Hear the chilling stories and take part in the activities it has to offer.
London Transport Museum
Learn about the development of the transport system in London with exhibits of nearly 80 vehicles, including the first Tube. Also, children can play in some of the exhibits.
National Maritime Museum
A museum that is sure to thrill children who love pirate stories. There are exciting events like All Hands, where kids can engage in a fun role-play of the sailor life.
Museum of London Docklands
Engage in the free family events while learning about the history of the river Thames. They also have a separate play area where children can enjoy their time.
Horniman Museum and Gardens
It’s a perfect place to take children, complete with picnic gardens, aquariums, and free programmes.
V&A Museum of Childhood
It has everything from dollhouses to storytelling to treasure hunts. Your tiny ones are sure to enjoy every minute of it.
The Cartoon Museum
Containing over 8000 books and about 6000 works of art, Cartoon Museum will take you on a fun trip through British cartoons and comics of all ages.
2. Explore Theme Parks
When it comes to children, you can’t go wrong with theme parks. I would highly recommend exploring the amusing theme parks around London for an action-packed day. My children particularly enjoyed the Harry Potter theme park. They also loved KidZania, which was basically a model town where children could take on any role they wanted. Hence, you could check out any of the following places based on your children’s interests:
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
London Bridge Experience
Chessington World of Adventures
Go Ape Trent Park
3. Sign Up For The Royal Tours
You can’t have a complete London tour without experiencing its royal history. Take a look at state apartments, admire the architecture, and watch your children getting thrilled by the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. My family enjoyed the stable visits at the Royal Mews too, so try to include that if your children love horses. Also, if it’s not possible to visit all the royal attractions, I would recommend going for the ones mentioned below:
Buckingham Palace Tour
Tower of London
4. Make The Most Of Merlin Entertainment
Merlin Entertainments offers some of the most spectacular sites in London. We bought the five-in-one pass, which is really convenient and saves you time and money. If you don’t want to get stuck in a long queue, I would suggest booking it online in advance. Believe me, it’s going to be worth it! So, take a look at what the five-in-one pass has to offer:
London Eye – One of the most mind-blowing landmarks of London. You can enjoy the view of the whole city from a glass capsule high up in the sky!
Madame Tussauds – Take pictures with life-sized, realistic wax figures of famous personalities. You could also sign up for the 4D movie experience or attend a session on the making of the sculptures.
Shrek’s Adventure! London – A fantastic activity for children where they join the Shrek team on a thrilling adventure spanning across locations depicted in the Shrek films.
The London Dungeon – This one is a must for horror lovers! Filled with depictions of gruesome events and notorious characters from London’s past, it will be a trip worth remembering.
SEA LIFE London – This is as close as you can get to marine life. Watch deadly sharks and colorful fish in their habitat. Also, don’t miss the feeding sessions and touch pools!
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5. Take The Fun Ride With Duck Tours
Does going around London in a WWII vehicle sound like a fun time? It most certainly is! A catchy yellow vehicle, manufactured by GM Motors specifically for D-Day landing, will pick you up. What follows is an exciting road tour covering all the landmarks of London, along with fun stories and commentary.
The most exciting feature for my kids was the ‘quack’ contest, where kids in the vehicle must quack loud every time they see another yellow vehicle nearby. I would say that Duck Tours is the most enjoyable and relaxed way to get a glimpse of London attractions if you are travelling with children.
6. Enjoy Afternoon Tea
High Tea is a delightful treat for people of all ages. But for sweet-toothed kids like mine, it is a gastronomical adventure! They had fun sipping on flavourful tea while tasting delicious scones, tea cakes, tarts, crumbles, and finger sandwiches.
A number of quality restaurants and five-star hotels offer a great spread for High Tea. Some of them even have special menus for children. You can search online and easily locate a good place near you that serves High Tea. I guarantee that you will have a great time together.
7. Learn About Wildlife From Up Close
The ZSL London Zoo boasts of over 750 species of animals, from lions to lemurs, and penguins to spiders. A trip to this zoo will not only be educational to your children, but it will also help in funding ZSL’s conservation efforts. We enjoyed the day meeting fascinating animals and learning surprising facts about each of them!
While you are at it, I would suggest visiting the London Wetland Centre as well. The 105-acre centre maintained by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is filled with lakes and pools inhabited by diverse species. Spend a serene day observing rare birds, amphibians, and insects in their natural environment.
8. Take The Hop On Hop Off Bus
We found that this was the most convenient way to get a fill of London’s attractions. You can easily get a ticket; the longer the duration, the better. There are various routes that cover all the highlights of the vibrant city. It will give your children the opportunity to learn a lot about famous tourist sites. You might also find a number of lesser-known places to check out.
You can get off at any place that you wish to explore more, and then get back on again when you are done. These trips offer audio guides and also fun ‘Kids Club’ commentaries. Some packages include a river cruise with spectacular views of the city. I think that every kid will savour the hop on hop off bus experience.
I hope I have set you up with a decent to-do list! That said, I do realize that all kids are different. Just because my children enjoyed visiting these places doesn’t mean everyone has to. While referring to this list, please keep the interests of your children in mind. If possible, discuss with them beforehand.
Your trip will become much more memorable when your children enjoy every bit of it. And while taking your kids on these fantastic adventures, don’t forget to set your inner child free!