Are you visiting London with the kids for the school holidays? Then you will be happy to know that there are millions of things to do in London with kids and most are free! Unless you want to go shopping.
But just like all major cities that have so much to offer for the entire family, London too can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to begin with. Luckily the entertainment for your kids and yourself, of course, can be found on literally every corner of London.
Starting from the London Eye, London Bridge and Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the hundreds of playgrounds in the parks, visiting London with the kids can't get any better. Not to mention all the free museums the entire family can enjoy.
So if you are looking for fun things to do in London with kids, you have come to the right place. Store everyone's backpacks and bags at one of our London storage lockers and keep reading as we dig deep into each one.
Go for a Bus Tour
Going on a tour with kids can be a challenge sometimes, but doing a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour might just be a perfect way to see all major London attractions. It is great for a few reasons. A bus tour cuts down on the walking for everyone and you will sit and rest while still seeing great sights.
The fact that the kids are riding on a double decker is thrilling enough, even for older kids (like yourselves). Start from Tower Bridge, St.Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, or make several spots to hit some of the best museums for you and your kids.
Harry Potter Tour
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies then you know that it was filmed throughout London and the United Kingdom. But if you or your kids are die-hard Harry Potter fans, wouldn't be fun to visit all those Harry Potter filming locations? If that's the case, you can take one of the many bus or walking tours that cover all the main Harry Potter attractions within the London city limits.
To take the Harry Potter Warner Bros studio tour you will have to head up to Watford, just north of London. No matter your age, a tour of the studio is the best thing that could happen to every Harry Potter fan. And your kids will love you for it!
Sea Life London Aquarium
Just opposite the London Eye on London’s South Bank is where you will find this gem of an aquarium teeming with sea life. You can walk through the Ocean Tunnel, stroll across the Shark Walk, or saunter through the Rainforest Adventure. There are over four hundred species of sea life to check out and it won’t take too long.
You can take as little as an hour to get through or spend as much time as you like. It is easy to navigate and kids of all ages will enjoy it. The Aquarium is definitely one of the best things to do in London with kids!
Do your kids love museums? This is possibly the best museum ever for kids ages three and up, and yes, it includes all the kids at heart too. The Science Museum in South Kensington has created some age-specific spaces to encourage learning while having fun.
For ages three to six, "The Garden" is located in the basement of the Science Museum. While playing with water, light, and sound, they are being “tricked” into developing their powers of observation, deducing, and forming conclusions. The Wonderlab is the main area for the kids.
The Science Museum is divided into seven different areas that host an incredible amount of interactive displays and activities. Your future scientists will do some space traveling, see real lighting, and participate in really cool experiments. All of that with no fear they will break anything.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Have you ever wanted to pet a wallaby (small kangaroo)? Your kids will not only get a chance to pet some really cool animals, but they can also get a behind-the-scenes experience of how the animals are taken care of.
Situated on the River Thames near central London, this children’s zoo is easy to get to. And consisting of smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects this kid's zoo will make your kids squeal with delight.
Crystal Palace Park
This park, in the London Borough Bromley, is pretty amazing. It is home to a professional soccer (football in Europe) team if you want to take in a match, or you can get lost in one of the largest mazes in the UK.
For skateboarders, BMXers, and rollerbladers there is a new skate park. There are so many things the young kids will love, from a petting zoo with alpacas and rabbits, to ponies, meerkats and lizards. And they can search out the world’s oldest life-size dinosaur sculptures hiding in the greenery. This place is actually the birthplace of “Dinomania” and one of the coolest things to do in London with kids!
A sight that has become just as iconic on the London skyline as Big Ben or the London Bridge is the London Eye. A great experience if you are visiting London with kids, this ride will take around thirty minutes and give you one of the most spectacular views of London. Each capsule holds twenty-five people so your entire family will have no problem fitting in.
Situated on the South Bank in central London, the ride will take you over four hundred feet up in the air. The London Eye is the most popular attraction in the UK and with this view, it is easy to see why. But if you are afraid of heights this might not be the ride for you.
If your kids love animals, London Zoo is a must-see. You can do the usual walk around or really get involved with some of the zoos' amazing experience programs. There are gorilla feedings, overnight stays, personally meet some of the wild inhabitants, or go for a “tour and tea”.
You will find this world’s oldest scientific zoo at Regent’s Park in the Outer Circle. Once you are finished in the zoo, you can roam around one of the best parks in London.
London Dungeon is a must-do for many who visit London. But it is more for the older kids or anyone who likes a good fright. Take a scary fun walk through London’s darkest events in history, like Jack the Ripper, Sweeny Todd, and the great fire.
At the end of the sixty-minute tour, you will be sentenced (if you are up for it) to ride the Drop Dead Drop Ride. For a little more scare, the London Dungeon has a scary escape room, which is so much fun! This macabre fun palace is located in County Hall on the south bank of the River Thames by Westminster Bridge, so make sure you stop by, with or without the kids.
This theatre is dedicated to entertaining your kids to the fullest. With the many great live family-friendly performances you are sure to stay amused until the end. The theatre presents original and classic plays and musicals for a variety of age groups.
And if you have an aspiring performer in your family they can get involved with workshop-style auditions and training. Located in the Borough of Southwark, this inspiring custom-built theatre will have your kids laughing, cheering, and dancing in the aisles.
Going to the Wetlands for you and young kids is a great adventure and so easy to get to. Located in Richmond upon Thames in southwest London, you will meet the most colorful ducks and the cutest otters. Beautiful gardens, ponds, and small lakes to wander as you identify the wildlife, or maybe sit at one of the family-friendly restaurants.
Every weekend there are planned fun activities for kids to enjoy. There is also an adventure playground with a zipline, rock climbing wall, wobbly bridge, and balance beams to negotiate. Add in a little mud splashing and it is kid's heaven. Stop by the visitor center to get all the information.
When visiting London in the summer it can get quite hot, and what better way to cool down than whizzing down a water slide? Here are the best ones to choose from: Serpentine Waterfall in Hyde Park is a good one for all ages with shallow splashing pools, peaceful relaxing lagoons, an action river, and waterslides for all levels.
Kensington Memorial Park in Kensington has five thrilling slides and it is part of the Wheelgate Adventure Park. You get rollercoasters, a petting zoo, and family-friendly rides as well. A great selection of rides and activities for both the younger and older kids.
Splash Park in Barking Park provides over thirty-five challenges to conquer. Crawl, jump, slide, and splash your way through a ton of fun.
Parks & Playgrounds
The city of London is forty percent green space with three thousand parks. Within the parks, you will find petting zoos, mazes, sports fields, and a variety of other activities that are family friendly and completely free. The area has a plethora of great parks for your kids to play in, and a lot have playgrounds with different styles for specific age groups.
Start with Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. With the huge wooden pirate ship, beach and sculptures, the kids will be set for the day. Or take a short trip to Hampstead Heath, a huge green space in North London with some spectacular views of the city. Spend a day in the Tumbling Bay playground in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or go on a nature treasure hunt in Holland Park.
Climb to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park or you can watch the pelicans being fed at St James’s Park. Then wander around Richmond Park in South West London for some wild deer spotting.
Some of the best London attractions are the free museums. Yes, there are costs for certain exhibits and activities, but you can spend days just exploring the free areas. Besides the ones already mentioned there are others that are great London museums for the whole family like the Natural History Museum, London Transport Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Museums are not necessarily boring for kids. In fact, one of the best things to do in London with kids is museum hopping and most are free! Learn maritime history in the National Maritime Museum, check out the kid-friendly activities in Tate Modern, or hop on the Mail Rail Train at the Postal Museum.
The kids will have fun checking out Egyptian mummies in the British Museum or seeing a walrus at the Horniman Museum just outside central London. Finally, the Cartoon Museum will be fun for all, no matter the age.
What are the best family activities in London?
If you are looking for fun activities the whole family will enjoy during the school holidays, you don't have to look far. Spend a day in the Sea Life London Aquarium, marvel at the stunning view of the city from the London Eye, watch the Lion King musical, take the Harry Potter tour, try delicious London street food, or admire the buskers at Covent Garden Piazza.
Take a hike around a London neighborhood or park, or encourage the crew to explore Epping Forest with you. The most important thing that makes for the best family activities in London is doing them together.
From Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Natural History Museum
The best fun things to do in London with kids are normally the most active ones, like amusement parks, the Harry Potter studio tour, riding a double decker bus, a sensory garden in Kew Gardens, and interacting with the wildlife. Whatever you and your family are up for you can save money doing it. Get a group pass for the London Eye, a river cruise, and other family-friendly things you can do.
If you want to spoil your kids during the school holidays, a trip to London will do. From museum hopping to playground fun, royal palaces and so many free things to do, London is one of the best cities for family vacations.