101 best things to do with kids in London

If you're visiting London with children in tow, don't miss these 101 family-friendly activities for kids when exploring the capital.

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From free museums and family-friendly restaurants to fun kids activities, there are plenty of things to do in London with kids

Many places in London have now reopened following the coronavirus lockdown. Before heading out and about, make sure to check direct with the venue for the latest information about special safety measures in place, from pre-booked tickets to revised opening hours. 

If you're not able to visit London yet, there are still lots of fun things to do with kids from home. Check out the Virtually London guide for family activities, exciting workshops, learning experiences and shows.

Best museums for kids

  1. Touch a four-and-a-half-billion-year-old meteorite in the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  2. Experience the ground-shaking sensation of an earthquake at the Natural History Museum.
  3. Visit the Science Museum to ogle the Command Module of Apollo 10, a spacecraft that went around the moon in 1969.
  4. Learn how people lived in olden times by peering into the miniature world of historic dolls’ houses at the V&A Museum of Childhood
  5. See Egyptian mummies during a visit to the British Museum
  6. Walk in the footsteps of ancient Londinium as you explore London's Roman Amphitheatre.
  7. Brush up on your knowledge of modern art at Tate Modern
  8. Let your imagination run wild at the Discover Children’s Story Centre.

Free things to do for children

  1. Be wowed by the street entertainers in Covent Garden.
  2. Play soldiers during a visit to the National Army Museum.
  3. Go on a journey through London’s past at the Museum of London.
  4. Learn about the history of the river Thames at the Museum of London Docklands.
  5. Take a fascinating voyage into maritime history at the National Maritime Museum.
  6. Step into a reconstructed Victorian classroom at the Ragged School Museum.
  7. See Tower Bridge open from the bank of the river Thames.

Travelling in London with kids

  1. Soar above the river Thames in the Emirates Air Line cable car and enjoy great views of London.
  2. Sit at the front of a driverless Docklands Light Railway train to pretend you’re driving it!
  3. Climb aboard a classic Concorde and enjoy a virtual "flight" at the Brooklands Museum
  4. Rest your feet while getting an eyeful of the city’s top attractions onboard a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
  5. Sail along the river Thames on a City Cruises boat.

Transport attractions for kids

  1. Take a ride through underground tunnels on the Mail Rail train at the Postal Museum.
  2. Discover what life was like onboard the legendary sailing ship, Cutty Sark.
  3. Hop on a miniature railway in Brockwell Park (every Sunday from March until October).
  4. Learn all about the capital's classic red bus at the London Transport Museum.
  5. Explore The Golden Hinde, a full-scale reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s famous sailing galleon.
  6. See cars from the James Bond films at the London Film Museum.

Blow your mind

  1. Stand astride two hemispheres on the Prime Meridian Line at Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  2. Feast on a delicious ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen at Chin Chin Labs.
  3. Step into a world like no other at the graffiti wonderland, Leake Street Tunnel.

Family friendly restaurants

  1. Tumble down the rabbit hole by tucking into the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at Sanderson.
  2. Discover London’s wildest family dining adventure at the Rainforest Cafe.
  3. Tuck into tasty dishes in movie memorabilia-filled surroundings at Planet Hollywood
  4. Stuff yourself with cupcakes, brownies and macaroons at one of these cake shops.
  5. Feast on ice cream, gelato or sorbet at top ice-cream parlours.
  6. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych.
  7. Head to the Hard Rock Cafe for a family friendly meal with a side of music treasures. 
  8. On a budget? Have a picnic in one of London’s Royal Parks or at these mouthwatering picnic spots.

Activities for teenagers

  1. Scare yourself silly by delving into the capital’s dark and bloody history at the London Dungeon.
  2. Head down into the underground headquarters that sheltered Churchill and his wartime government during the Blitz at Churchill War Rooms.
  3. Explore the history of surgery at the Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garret.
  4. Have a thrill-a-minute water adventure at Lee Valley White Water Centre.
  5. Enjoy an exhilarating ride down the river Thames on a speedboat tour.
  6. See Napoleon’s toothbrush and Darwin’s walking stick at the Wellcome Collection.
  7. Take a trip into the haunted tunnels of London’s famous bridge at the terrifying London Bridge Experience.
  8. Hear the stories of people whose lives have been impacted by war at the Imperial War Museum London.
  9. Learn all about the Bard on a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Outdoor kids activities

  1. Explore ancient woodland in Epping Forest.
  2. Go bug hunting and pond dipping at Camley Street Natural Park in King’s Cross.
  3. Get lost in Hampton Court Palace’s incredible gardens and parkland. 
  4. Hop on two wheels and discover a different side of the city with these fun cycling routes
  5. Catch a film under the stars at one of London's best outdoor cinemas
  6. Spot the capital's bridges shining bright after dark with Illuminated River.
  7. Let the little ones run wild in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Action-packed things to do

  1. Explore the gorgeous grounds of Kew Gardens.
  2. Hire a pedalo or a rowing boat at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.
  3. Race to the top of Primrose Hill, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of London.
  4. Climb and play at one of London’s fun-filled adventure playgrounds.
  5. Swim in the wake of champions at the Aquatics Centre, which hosted swimming and diving events during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  6. Over-10s can enjoy an exhilarating expedition over the roof of The O2 with Up at The O2, then go to town on football challenges at KickTown at The O2.
  7. Enjoy a refreshing dip in one of London’s gorgeous lidos.
  8. Over-14s can climb up a Vertical Chill Ice Wall in Covent Garden, while little ones can take on a skyscraper at Chelsea’s Clip n’ Climb (over fours).
  9. Jump for joy at the Oxygen Freejumping at The O2. 
  10. Have hours of fun at Coram’s Fields, a seven-acre park and playground in Holborn.

Film locations and movie experiences

  1. Visit the locations from the Harry Potter films and books while exploring Harry Potter’s London.
  2. Follow in the footsteps of movie stars with a visit to the capital’s top film locations.
  3. Shoot selfies with the kids' favourite movie characters at the Scenes in the Square statue trail.
  4. Check out Shrek’s Adventure London!, an indoor walk-and-ride attraction inspired by the hit film.
  5. Enjoy a film on the UK's biggest cinema screen at the BFI IMAX on the South Bank. 

Big-hitter family attractions

  1. Take in sky-high views across London at The View from The Shard
  2. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at wax figure museum Madame Tussauds.
  3. Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter film series at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
  4. Try out a fun lineup of professions through role-play adventures at KidZania.
  5. Get a taste for the high life on the London Eye.

London farms and zoos

  1. Get up close to lions, tigers and penguins at ZSL London Zoo.
  2. Spot birds, otters and other wildlife at the WWT London Wetland Centre.
  3. Pet and feed farmyard animals at one of London’s city farms.
  4. See sharks, green sea turtles, penguins and more in the SEA LIFE London aquarium.
  5. Meet monkeys, meerkats and more at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.
  6. Watch the pelicans being fed in St James’s Park.
  7. Go deer-spotting in Richmond Park.

Festive fun

  1. Discover a trail made up of more than one million twinkling lights during Christmas at Kew.
  2. Get your skates on at one of these pop-up Christmas ice skating rinks.
  3. See polar bears made of ice at the Magical Ice Kingdom at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
  4. Munch on gingerbread at Southbank Centre’s Winter Market.
  5. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you admire the dazzling Christmas lights across the city.

Shops for kids

  1. Find toys galore in London’s most famous toyshop, Hamleys.
  2. Visit the world's largest sweet shop at M&M’s World in Leicester Square.
  3. Shop at the world's largest LEGO Store.
  4. Little vampires and werewolves can stock up on quality goods at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Quirky things to do in London with kids

  1. See an over-stuffed walrus and a merman at the Horniman Museum.
  2. Marvel at a jar crammed full of moles at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
  3. Roam among the world's oldest life-size dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park.
  4. Step inside the London home of one of the world’s most famous detectives at the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
  5. Go mudlarking outside Gabriel’s Wharf, where you can dig around for ancient clay pipes and bits of pottery.
  6. Lose yourself among the quirky old toys at Stephen Wright's House of Dreams (or nightmares!) and the tiny Pollock's Toy Museum.
  7. Flex your mini golf skills at the tech-packed Puttshack or take it outside at the Crazy Putt Adventure Golf.
  8. Get ready for the ultimate team challenge at the The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London.

Thrilling London attractions

  1. Whizz down the UK’s tallest public artwork with a 40-second ride on the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world at ArcelorMittal Orbit.
  2. Enjoy a zip wire treetop adventure at Go Ape Battersea.
  3. Brave The Dare Skywalk and scale 46.8m (153ft) above Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's pitch. 
  4. Take a trip to one of London’s theme parks for an adrenaline-packed day out.

Discover more family activities in London and find family-friendly restaurants.

Visiting London with the kids during the school holidays? Find things to do during the Easter holidays, the half-term holiday and the school summer holidays. And if you're in London this weekend, check out the epic events awaiting you in the city.