Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying interactive exhibitions, children’s theatre shows and kid-friendly museums.
There are lots of brilliant things to do in London during the kids’ school summer holidays. Whether you’ve got little ones or teenagers to keep entertained, we’ve rounded up summer holiday activities for all ages to enjoy below.
Plus, check out some of the top family experiences this summer and share your adventures on social media using the #LetsDoLondon hashtag!
Some attractions might require booking in advance, even if entry is free.
Summer holiday events in London
- Step inside the magical world of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, featuring special events during school holidays. Book before the end of August to secure 15% off with this special promotion.
- Visit and even picnic in Buckingham Palace's garden, which opens to the public for the first time this summer.
- Or couple your Buckingham Palace garden visit with a hop-on-hop-off tour of the capital.
- Catch the end of EURO 2020 at dedicated fan zones across the city. 11 Jun-11 Jul
- Explore more than 60 acres of stunning horticulture at Hampton Court Palace, and don't miss the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (6-11 Jul).
- Get the kids to try new cuisines at London's sizzling foodie events this summer.
- Sharpen up your cricket skills at Sixes Cricket Club in Fulham or Fitzrovia, before seeing live action at The Hundred. 21 Jul-21 Aug
- Find storytelling, face painting, a pop-up theatre and more epic workshops between acts in Kaleidoscope festival's family zone. 24 Jul
- Get the whole family moving during ActiveFest at the Royal Air Force Museum London. 24 Jul-15 Aug
- Squeeze the most out of your summer in London with more unmissable events and experiences, which are perfect for lush summer days.
Things to do with teenagers in London
- Embrace your inner adrenaline-junkie as you climb The O2 while taking in scenic views, with Up at The O2.
- Sharpen up on your Roman history at London Mithraeum and Roman Amphitheatre this summer to impress your history teacher in autumn.
- Scare yourself silly on the Drop Dead: Drop Ride at The London Dungeon.
- Turn this summer into a season of self-care and pamper yourself at Covent Garden.
- …then head to the West End for more shopping treats to rock this summer.
- Explore Churchill’s office at wartime underground bunker Churchill War Rooms.
- Pick out some retro vintage threads at Camden’s independent shops.
- And don’t forget to peruse through the numerous stalls of eye-catching accessories and treasures at Camden Market.
For more school holiday ideas, take a look at 101 things to do in London with teens.
Summer school holiday activities for young children
- Explore the UK's largest living coral reef and discover hundreds of aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE London.
- Hang out with Shrek and friends as you watch a live show, then take on a 4D ride and the mirror maze at Shrek's Adventure! London.
- Watch the little ones become chefs, astronauts or firefighters at KidZania.
- Find out about London's past, present and future at the Museum of London.
- Lose yourself in the mesmerising and magical planetarium shows at Peter Harrison Planetarium.
- Meet meerkats and enjoy outdoor activities at Lee Valley Park Farms.
- Become a pirate for the day on a huge wooden pirate ship at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
- Don’t miss a chance to ride the miniature railway at Brockwell Park on Sundays, even if you’re not so little!
- Find budget-friendly family summer activities with our guide to free things to do in London with kids.
Unmissable summer pop-ups and exhibitions
- Ponder at the works of Van Gogh in one of the hottest exhibitions in London this summer, Van Gogh Alive, at Kensington Gardens. Until 26 Sep
- Don't miss a chance to see Princess Diana's wedding dress at Kensington Gardens, as the gown is displayed as part of the Royal Style in the Making exhibition. 3 Jun-2 Jan
- Feast on mouthwatering nosh at the stunning Somerset House courtyard, which is transformed into a Dodge playground, complete with art installations and a dodgem court. 15 Jul-22 Aug
- Dust off your flip-flops and get ready for a whole day of family fun, shows, rides and a city beach at London Wonderground. 15 Jul-26 Sep
- Curious kids will love the Classic Car Boot Sale at King's Cross. 17-18 Jul
- Watch skateboarders at Southbank Skate Space before exploring No Comply Skate Culture and Community exhibition at Somerset House. 19 Jul-19 Sep
- Charge into summer on a Chaos Kart in Shoreditch, which arrives in the trendy neighbourhood this summer. From 14 Aug
Family shows in London
- Take your pick from London's top 10 musicals, including family favourites the Lion King and Cinderella.
- Watch teenage Jamie follow his dreams in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, which is based on a true story.
- The little ones will love too see the stage adaption of The Tiger Who Came to Tea at Theatre Royal Haymarket. 12 Jul-5 Sep
- Will the plan of stealing the cow work for Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len? Find out in What the Ladybird Heard at the Palace Theatre. 15 Jul-29 Aug
- Join Joe Spud, as he discovers what money can't buy in Billionaire Boy, a story about the richest boy in the country struggling to find a true friend. 17 Jul-22 Aug
- See a family show as summer festival Underbelly Festival moves to Cavendish Square in 2021.
- Watch on as Tracey Turnblad becomes a singing sensation in Hairspray, at the London Coliseum.
- Be More Chill returns to Shaftesbury Theatre, with the tale of Jeremy who thinks his new-found powers can help to woo the girl of his dreams. 30 Jun-5 Sep
- Take a trip to the past, as Britain's history is hilariously retold in Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part 5 at the Apollo Theatre. 29 Jul-28 Aug
- Much-loved The Gruffalo and friends are taking on Ally Pally's stage this summer in the theatre adaption of the famous picture book. 30 Jul-29 Aug
- Make use of a half-price child ticket offered with every half-price adult ticket purchased, during Kids Week.
- Soak up the outdoor theatre atmosphere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which hosts family-friendly shows throughout the summer.
Keep the little ones entertained with more family theatre shows.
Outdoor adventures for the family
- You can easily spend a whole day at Kew Gardens – so mark your calendar and book in advance for a fantastic day out.
- London’s picnic spots and leafy parks await your visit! Prep a hamper and head to your local patch of green.
- Alfresco cinema? It’s a thing! Find out what’s on at your local drive-in or outdoor cinema in London, from cult classics to new releases.
- Get the kids asking “Is that a real dinosaur?!” around every corner at Crystal Palace Park.
- Wander through the vast gardens of the Horniman Museum. Try to spot the velociraptor in the Prehistoric Gardens, find wild landscapes in the Grasslands Garden and marvel at the flowers in the Sunken and Display Gardens.
- The 19-acre (8-hectare) gardens of medieval Eltham Palace are a great place to explore with a moat, pools and water features to discover.
- Soak up the sunshine at Battersea Park, spotting fountains and the Peace Pagoda on the way. You can also greet the animals at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.
- Bathe in tranquility with just the sounds of birds for company at wildlife-rich London Wetland Centre, an 105-acre (42-hectare) oasis for nature lovers.
- Spot wildlife on a day out at the Walthamstow Wetlands and Woodberry Wetlands.
- See how many skyscrapers you can name from Parliament Hill, the high point of Hampstead Heath.
- There's so much to explore at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park! Relax among the green spaces or pick up a racket and take in the 2012 Olympic spirit with a game on Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre’s outdoor tennis courts.
- Spot the Chinese pagoda and have a leisurely stroll around the lakes on a day out at Victoria Park.
Top summer experiences
- Whizz through the Thames on a picturesque river cruise, perfect for landmark-spotting and Insta-snapping.
- Feel windswept atop an open-top bus or find more epic London bus tours.
- Or enjoy an afternoon tea tour, including with Brigit's Bakery which has the option of a Peppa Pig afternoon tea.
- Take a hair-raising ride down the world's longest tunnel slide with The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
- Feel your legs shake as you walk the crystal clear Tower Bridge Walkway – all in aid of the perfect shot for the 'gram.
- Dare to admire views of London from more than 46m (150 ft) up at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, during the Dare Skywalk experience.
- Pick up a pair of skates and head to London's top skating parks, from South Bank to Victoria Park.
- Cool down by plunging into a lido; hang out by an urban beach; or boat about London at these swimming and boating spots.
Family hotels and restaurants in London
- Find children’s menus and fun activities at London's kid-friendly restaurants.
- Find great access to top London attractions with our pick of where to stay in London with kids.
- Enjoy the luxury and flexibility of your own private space in a self-catering apartment.
- Make use of fun facilities, special activities, cots and babysitting services at these top London family hotels.
- Grab a different plate of every day from the street food traders at Seven Dials Market, pretty Mercato Mayfair, Italian hotspot Eataly and the Southbank Centre Food Market.
If you're in London now, make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips.