Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying London's best 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.
Some attractions might require booking in advance, even if entry is free.
When are the next summer school holidays in London?
The next school summer holidays in London are from 22 July to 4 September 2022.
Summer holiday events in London
- Step inside the magical world of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Brand-new for 2022, visit the studio’s special summer exhibition, Mandrakes and Magical Creatures. See your favourite creatures brought to life on screen and explore Professor Sprout’s greenhouse. 1 Jul-12 Sep
- Visit the Imperial War Museum London and enjoy a summer program of family-friendly events, from creating optical illusions with camouflage at the Dazzle Design Studio to meeting veterans of war on the museum's We Were There Family Days.
- Take the whole family to the Disney on Stage Pop-Up Experience at Covent Garden. 8 Jul-4 Sep
- Enjoy the Carnaby summer festival full of music, fashion, food and art in one of London’s trendiest areas.
- Find a new favourite flavour at Covent Garden Ice Cream Festival, 'The Cool Down’. 20 Aug
- Celebrate the summer through theatre, art, dance and circus at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2022. 26 Aug-11-Sep
- Take to the stage at Shakespeare's Globe for a Midsummer Night's Dream Family Workshop, where the hilarious play comes to life through a range of activities and games. 4-20 Aug
- Head to Trafalgar Square and check out the National Gallery's free festival of art, creativity and community. 11-29 Aug
- Squeeze the most out of your summer in London with more unmissable events and experiences, which are perfect for lush summer days.
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.
- Climb aboard and meet Captain Woodget, ship cook James Robsen and other interesting characters of the Cutty Sark.
- Discover transport through the ages with all sorts of fun activities and exhibits at the London Transport Museum.
- Bring science to life and be inspired by incredible exhibitions at the Science Museum.
- Enjoy an action-packed adventure at AHOY! At the National Maritime Museum.
- 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.
Things to do with teenagers in London
- Meet your favourite superheroes at the Marvel Universe 4D experience at Madame Tussauds London.
- Embrace your inner adrenaline-junkie as you climb The O2 while taking in scenic views, with Up at The O2.
- Scare yourself silly on the Drop Dead: Drop Ride at The London Dungeon.
- Get competitive with a family game of Monopoly Lifesized.
- Sharpen up on your Roman history at London Mithraeum and Roman Amphitheatre this summer to impress your history teacher in autumn.
- 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.
- Sample some of London's tastiest cuisine on a Food Tour of Borough Market*.
- 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.
Family shows in London
- Take your pick from London's top 10 musicals, from family favourite The Lion King to the magical Frozen The Musical.
- Soak up the outdoor theatre atmosphere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which hosts family-friendly shows throughout the summer.
- Enjoy a family performance at Shakespeare's Globe where classic plays are re-imagined for kids. Enjoy mayhem and madness at Midsummer Mechanicals (28 Jul-21 Aug), dance along with a Cbeebies special of As You Like It (9-10 Aug) and see a live storytelling of the world's most famous love story, Romeo and Juliet (24-26 Aug).
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.
- Head to the ultimate playground for families. From virtual reality adventures to outdoor art trails, spend the summer holidays having endless fun at Wembley Park.
- 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 Thamesjet ride or enjoy 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.
Unmissable summer activities
Day trips from London
- Visit royal residence Windsor Castle, to explore many historical artefacts and enjoy the specially commissioned exhibit, Platinum Jubilee: The Queen's Coronation.
- Combine the mysterious Stonehenge and beautiful Bath including a stop at the Roman baths on a guided tour of these two iconic historical sights.
- See medieval England brought to life through impressive displays and immersive experiences at Warwick Castle.
- Tick off castles, cathedrals, the white cliffs of Dover and a boat ride along the Thames on a Leeds, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich tour.
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.
For more inspiration this summer holiday, see what's on in London or take a look at our guide to London for kids, including the top family attractions, top family experiences and the best museums for children.
If you're in London now, make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips.