In this article we’ll give you an idea of what a family holiday in London can be like and also provide you with many kid-friendly activities in London.
London Museums the Kids will Love
There are over 200 museums in London, and, remarkably, many of these are completely free to visit! The following is a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly museums:
- If you’ve only got time for one museum, the London Natural History Museum is a great option. The museum’s Dinosaurs Gallery is always a great hit with kids: featuring life-size models, real skeletons and even a moving Tyrannosaurus Rex, you really can’t go wrong here. The museum’s other attractions include a gallery where you can find real treasure and an earth gallery where you can take an escalator up into a giant globe.
- The Science Museum London is another gem. Featuring interactive exhibits custom-made for different age groups, this museum of discovery is great for kids of all ages.
- If your kids aren’t really into traditional museums, the Sea Life London Aquarium is a great alternative. Located right next to the London Eye across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, the London Aquarium teaches kids all about sea life. The Aquarium houses thousands of sea creatures, such as penguins and sharks!
- To stick with the marine theme, consider paying a visit to the HMS Belfast. The HMS Belfast is a fantastic military museum sited in a former Royal Navy warship, which can also teach the kids a lot about life in the Navy.
Besides these four, some other museums in London that are great for kids include the Museum of London Docklands, the Horniman Museum, the Tower of London, the V&A Museum of Childhood, and the London Dungeons (not for the faint of hearts, so older kids only!)
Have a Picnic with the Kids in a London Park
- Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are two of the largest parks in London. Hyde Park is famous for its deckchairs that you can rent to enjoy a picnic or some sunbathing and Kensington Gardens is famous for its Peter Pan themed statues. You’ll find the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in the northwest corner of the Kensington Park, which is a large fenced-in playground complete with a huge pirate ship!
- The smaller St. James’s Park lies next to Buckingham Palace and is also well worth a visit. The colony of pelicans that inhabit the park are a sight to see!
- The Kew Gardens, or Royal Botanic Gardens, are a little out of the way from the city center of London, but are absolutely magnificent to see. The sheer size of the grounds and many greenhouses and gardens makes Kew more suited for older children, but the treetop walkway is sure to excite the small ones as well!
- The Somerford Grove Adventure Playground is a unique play project designed with consultation of children from London. The playground has everything from slides to swings as well as several indoor activities.
London Attractions for the Whole Family
There’s so much to see and do in London that it’s difficult to narrow the activities down to just one list. Nonetheless, these are our favorite attractions for the whole family:
- Most kids love Ferris wheels, and the London Eye is perhaps the ultimate Ferris wheel. Take the kids for a ride and get a panoramic view of the skyline of London.
- If the kids can’t get enough of London’s skyline, bring them to see the new skyscraper, The Shard. You can buy a ticket to the top of the tower, or “The View”, where the views are indeed even more spectacular than from the London Eye!
- A great free activity is to take the kids to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Do prepare to come early to beat the crowds, so bring some snacks and games to keep the kids entertained!
- A fantastic way to discover London without having to walk too much is to take a Thames River tour. Both the speedboat tours and London duck tours are great for kids, and include many London landmarks!
London’s West End is famous for its musicals, many of which are created especially for the whole family. Have a look at our Foursquare list of the best musicals and theaters in London to see what’s on right now.
If you’re looking for accommodation for the whole family in London, choosing a London vacation rental apartment can be a very affordable option. Since you’re paying for the whole apartment instead of the number of rooms this can be a real money saver.
Furthermore, you’ll have access to your own living room where the kids can play or watch TV, and most apartments have a great Wi-Fi connection. Lastly, you’ll have a real kitchen where you can easily prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner just as your kids like it.
For more ways to keep your holiday affordable see Money Saving Tips for a Family Trip to London.
London Events for the Whole Family
If you’re set on taking the family to London for a holiday, but have yet to decide on a date, have a look at these yearly events to see if there’s anything you like!
- Kids Week is a festival that is held in London every summer. During the event, kids get to experience many of London’s musicals and theater shows for free! There are also free workshops and other fun activities held during the festival.
- Every 5th of November, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is commemorated during Guy Fawkes Night. The holiday is often celebrated with fireworks held in the evening, as well as bonfires all over the city.
- From late November to January every year, Hyde Park is turned into one big Winter Wonderland. The whole family can enjoy the Christmas market, food and drink stalls, a fun fair and more!
- Spending New Year’s Eve in London will make for an unforgettable night. Every year phenomenal fireworks illuminate the skies above the London Eye at the stroke of midnight. Designated viewing areas along the Thames ensure everyone gets a great view!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our suggestions for things to see and do in London with the whole family. What’s your favorite kid-friendly attraction in London?