Things to do during the school summer holidays 2023 in London
Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying London's best interactive exhibitions, children’s theatre shows and kid-friendly museums.
Save money by grouping different activities together and choosing a wide-ranging London Pass or a Go City London Explorer Pass, depending on your plans.
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 to
Summer holiday events in London
- Celebrate the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London's 11th year just like a Hogwarts Student at their special summer exhibition Discovering Hogwarts. Stepping back in time to Harry Potter's early years, from the sorting hat to learning his first spells. 2 May-4 Sep
- Head to Notting Hill Carnival for a day of fantastic food from around the world along with vibrant music and dancing. 27-28 Aug
- Celebrate the summer through theatre, art, dance and circus at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2023. TBC
- Take to the stage at Shakespeare's Globe for a Family Workshop, where the you will bring to life Shakespeare's most famous plays through a range of activities and games. TBC
- Head to Trafalgar Square and check out the National Gallery's free festival of art, creativity and community. TBC
- Visit the Imperial War Museum London and enjoy a summer program of family-friendly events.
- Squeeze the most out of your summer in London with more unmissable events and experiences, which are perfect for lush summer days.
Find more exciting events the kids will love from July, through August and into September.
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.
- 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.
Find even more things to do with kids this summer in London.
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.
- 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 mesmerising Matilda.
- Everyone's favourite nanny and housekeeper Mrs Doubtfire makes her stage debut at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
- Head back to Hogwarts at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
- Sing along to ABBA classics at the joyous Mamma Mia! The Musical at the Novello Theatre.
- A historical heartbreak that sees Six Tudor queens transform into on-stage divas at Six The Musical at the Vaudeville Theatre,
- 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.
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.
See more outdoor spaces to be explored this summer.
Top summer experiences
- Whizz through the Thames on a Thames Rockets or a Thamesjet speedboat 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.
Discover more unique experiences in London.
Unmissable summer activities
- Explore the city with an expert guide on one of London's best walking tours.
- Or take on a treasure hunt through London on The Secret City tour.
- Pair modern tech with fun games at crazy golf courses across the capital.
- Learn from an expert by taking on one of London's top masterclasses.
- From battling aliens to solving a murder mystery, take on one of London's immersive experiences.
Check out more things to do for the adventurous in London.
Day trips from London
- Visit royal residence Windsor Castle, to explore many historical artefacts .
- Combine the mysterious Stonehenge and beautiful Bath including a stop at the Roman baths on a guided tour of these two iconic historical sights.
- Discover the enchanting city of Oxford, including the beautiful 400-year-old Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum and a picnic lunch as you go punting down the Thames.
- 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.
Check out more amazing day trips from London to enjoy this summer.
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.