Following on from my recent posts Top Things To Do With Your Kids In Croatia and Fun Things To Do With Your Kids In The Netherlands, I thought I would share with you a list of top things to do with kids in London. I have included things to suit younger and older kids and for different budgets: there are many cheap or free things to do in London, but there are also more expensive activities in London if you feel like treating yourselves.
No mistaking where we are! (image: Wikipedia Commons)
Sitting upstairs on a double decker bus!
- Riding A Double Decker Bus
It might not be a big deal for London locals, but for tourists young and old, riding a double decker bus in London is pretty cool. And even cooler than that, is sitting upstairs in the very front seat.
Pirate Ship at the Diana Memorial Playground
- Diana Memorial Playground
Dedicated to the memory of the late Princess Diana, this fantastic playground, located in London’s Kensington Gardens, has been created to suit kids of all physical abilities and has something available for everyone. The central attraction of the playground is the pirate ship.
Who doesn’t want to see where the Queen lives?
- Buckingham Palace
If your kids are old enough, take them to see where the Queen lives in London. Note that if you go during the changing of the guards ceremony it can get very crowded and you will find it difficult to see anything. Skip the crowds and go at another time during the day.
Picnic (and paddle boat ride?) at Hyde Park
- Picnic in Hyde Park
Pack a picnic lunch and take the kids to one of London’s famous parks: Hyde Park. Explore the different gardens and let the kids run around to burn some energy. Hire a pedal boat and go around the lake (but be warned, it is very expensive).
Natural History Museum (image: Wikipedia Commons)
- Natural History Museum
Dinosaurs, butterflies, insects- there’s something for everyone here! You could spend all day here exploring everything the London museum has to offer, and the best part is that admission is free. It is also next door to the Science Museum. Note that during high season it is very crowded and can get quite stuffy, and there are long queues.
A free activity: walking across the impressive Tower Bridge
- Walk Across Tower Bridge
Take the kids for a walk across London’s Tower Bridge- they will be impressed with the structure! You can choose to do a tour at the bridge but we skipped it as we didn’t think the kids would be interested. If you have older children, you may want to visit the nearby Tower Of London.
West End Show: Matilda
- West End Show
If your kids are old enough, take them to London’s West End for a show. If your whole family will be going to see a show together, I strongly recommend pre booking your tickets online as soon as possible. But before you book, visit Seat Plan to find out which are the best seats in the theatre- you can search for seats in every London theatre and for the show you will be seeing. People often leave reviews and may tell you, for example, “this seat has obstructed views and you cannot see the entire stage”. If only a couple of you will be seeing a show, you could try your luck with last minute tickets from any of the ticket boxes in Leceister Square, but I would not recommend this if the whole family will be going as it’s much harder to buy a group of tickets last minute than one or two only.
Seeing a West End show is great for older kids and teens- if you’re a parent of a teen, then here are some more things to do in London with teens.
Anyone for tea?
- High Tea
Going to a high tea in London would be more suitable for older kids or younger kids that are generally well behaved. There are many High Teas around London and a few that are child-friendly, including one at The Orangerie located next to Kensington Palace and an Alice In Wonderland themed “Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea” at the Sanderson Hotel.
Whatever your family budget and needs are, there is something to please everyone in London. The city has many lovely parks and gardens for the kids to burn off some energy, and museums targeted for children. London is a cultural mecca that is worth exploring and makes a great European base for families.
Have you travelled to London with your family? What did your family enjoy the most? I’d love to hear from you!