Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Louise
Are you coming to London with children and not sure what to do? In truth, there is so much to do in London with kids, it’s hard to know which attractions to pick.
Being a previous Londoner (I lived there for many years), I have lots of experience of cool things to do with kids in this amazing city.
I have recommended the most fun attractions as well as what to do if you’re on a budget!
Ride the London Eye
Take a ride on this gigantic Ferris wheel and experience amazing views of the city. This is a great activity for kids of all ages.
Located on the Southbank, the London Eye is opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament so why not combine seeing these iconic buildings with a trip on the wheel?
On the downside, it is rather pricey so if you want to experience London with a view with kids, you could hop on a cable car instead (see below).
See the Sights from A Cable Car
A trip on the IFS cloud cable car offers breath-taking views of the city and is a great way to see London from a different perspective. The ride lasts for around 10 minutes and is suitable for kids of all ages.
You can use your Oyster card and a one way trip costs £6 for adults and £3 for children.
Experience Wonderlab at the Science Museum
Kids love Wonderlab at the Science Museum. Wonderlab is designed to inspire kids to learn about science through play. Seven different zones provide hands-on activities, live demonstrations, and interactive displays. Kids will have a blast exploring the wonders of science.
Watch lightning strike, have fun with forces on large slides and journey through space under a blanket of stars.
Entry to the science museum is free but there is an extra cost for Wonderlab. However, it’s definitely worth the extra price.
Take a Trip on the Terrible Thames Tour
Photo credit: Terrible Thames Tour Facebook
If your child is familiar with the Horrible History books by Terry Deary, they’re going to love the Horrible History themed boat ride along the Thames. Discover the awful events that took place in and around the River over the past 1000 years. Book a Terrible Thames tour here.
Build Sandcastles at the Diana Memorial Playground
Photo by Mark Ahsmann
The imaginative Diana Memorial playground, located in Kensington Gardens, was created in memory of Princess Diana. With a pirate ship surrounded by a massive sandpit, it’s great for young kids. Children can also explore the sensory gardens, tepees, swing and slides too. The best thing is it’s free!
Touch Stingrays at London Aquarium
Photo by Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi
You’ll find the London Aquarium located on the Southbank right next to the London Eye.
It’s a great attraction for kids of all ages. The youngest of kids will love spotting colourful fish in Coral Kingdom. If you have older kids head for Rockpool where they can touch a stingray or a sea anemone. Other highlights include the rainforest adventure and the shark walk – walk over a glass windows with amazing views into a pacific display of fish.
Hop on the Top Deck of a London Bus
Kids loves going on the top deck of a double decker bus. There are two ways to do this. If you are on a budget, just use your Oyster card to go on one of London’s iconic red buses. Alternatively, you can book on a hop on / hop off bus tour which will take you around the capital with interesting commentary along the way.
Experience the Earthquake Simulator and Dinosaurs at the National History Museum
London has many free museums. One of the best for kids is the Natural History Museum. With its interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, the Natural History Museum is perfect for learning. From dinosaur skeletons to life-sized models of animals, your kids will have a blast exploring the wonders of nature.
If you have a dinosaur mad kid, the dinosaur gallery is a must see. Another highlight is the volcanoes and earthquake gallery where you can experience the Earthquake simulator.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Photo Credit: Battersea Park Children’s Zoo Facebook Page
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is the perfect size for young children to walk around and see some exciting animals. Meet meerkats, lemurs, squirrel monkeys, donkeys and lots more. Kids will also love the sand pit and diggers. Enjoy some refreshments at the Lemon Tree Cafe too.
Visit a City Farm
If you are on a budget, London has a ton of city farms, many of which are free. Find Coram’s fields in Central London. It’s not far from the British museum so you can combine a trip to both attractions which are both free. As well as farm animals, Coram’s Farm has a playground and a zip wire to wear the kids out too.
Other cool city farms include Mudchute Farm, Vauxhall City Farm and Deen City Farm.
Have Fun at Shrek’s Adventure
Photo credit : Dave Pearce
If you have a child that loves Shrek, they can visit Far Far Away land right in the centre of London. It’s an immersive walk through experience that’s based on Shrek the movie.
The experience takes about 2 hours and is aimed at the 6 to 12 age group. It is quite expensive but kids do love it with rides and plenty of audience participation.
Highlights include the magical bus 4D ride and the mirror maze which is amazing and lots of fun. Find out more aboutr Shrek’s Adventure.
Visit the Tower of London
This historic fortress is the most popular tourist attraction in London and a great place for kids to learn about the history of London.
Participate in a Beefeater-led tour and hear the tales of its famous prisoners. See the Crown Jewels, climb the battlements and go up the Bloody Tower. In addition, there are often family themed activities during weekends and school holiday as well as trail worksheets.
Book tickets for the Tower of London
Ride the Underground Rail Train at the Postal Museum
Photo Credit: The Postal Museum Facebook page
The Postal Museum is a small and fun museum dedicated to the history of communication and transportation. Hop on the underground rail train and have fun learning about the history of the mail system. The museum also runs extra activities for kids during school holidays. Make sure you book online before you go.
See The Animals the London Zoo
With its diverse animal inhabitants, the London Zoo is a great place for kids to learn about wildlife. See exotic animals, such as gorillas, lions, and flamingos, up close and personal.
Take Boat Ride on the Thames
Kids will love a boat ride along the river Thames, taking in the sights of London from a different perspective. There are plenty of city river cruises and sightseeing trips you can take on the Thames with interesting commentary. If you’re not fussed about commentary and don’t mind a quicker ride, you can also hop on a Thames Clipper. The clipper is essentially a commuter boat but tourists use it to get from a to b too. They do a family roamer ticket which you can use all day.
Go to Play Base at The Army Museum
The Army Museum is free to visit and has a play base for kids aged 8 and under (for a small charge). In addition, there’s lot of fun gallery experiences and activities for families.
Follow a Family Trail at the British Museum
The British Museum is another of London’s free museums. It has a vast collection of artefacts from around the world, including the Rosetta Stone and mummies from ancient Egypt. To entertain kids while you look around, get an activity backpack from the families desk. There are trails for kids according to their age. Kids can dress up, draw, play games and build.
Visit the London Transport Museum
Photo by Matt Brown
The London Transport Museum is a great attraction for kids, as it offers a fun and interactive way to learn about the history of London’s transport system.
There’s tons of interactive exhibits. Kids can climb aboard a range of historic vehicles, including a horse-drawn bus, a steam train, and a Routemaster bus, and experience what it was like to travel on London’s transport system in the past.
In addition, there’s plenty a family museum trail, under 7s play area, dress up and family friendly events.
Photo: Jorge Franganillo / Flickr
HMS Belfast is a museum that used to be a Royal Navy Warship. Kids will love exploring the ship. Climb ladders, crawl through narrow passages, dress up and experience what live used to be like for sailors aboard the ship.
Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace is one of the top places that tourist like to visit in London. If you’re going with kids, try and see The Changing of the Guard while you’re there. The ceremony takes place daily during the summer months, and every other day during the winter months, outside Buckingham Palace. It’s free to watch.
The ceremony is a formal process where the Old Guard, made up of soldiers who have been on duty at the palace, is replaced by the New Guard. The ceremony begins when the New Guard marches from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace, accompanied by a band or corps of drums. The soldiers then carry out an inspection of the Old Guard, before the Old Guard hands over their responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace to the New Guard.
It takes about 45 minutes so can be tiring for little kids but you can just watch some of it before you move on!
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