14 Things to Do in London with Kids

Visiting London with your loved ones? There are such a lot of issues to do in London with children and it may be overwhelming making an attempt to determine what will probably be greatest for your loved ones. This publish breaks down 14 favorites that can assist you navigate the town in a enjoyable and significant method for each dad and mom and youngsters.

Visiting London with Kids: Images shows a family of 5 in front of Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower. A double decker bus is passing behind the family.

Is London enjoyable with children?

Completely, 100%: London is a unbelievable place to go to with children.

Like different vibrant cities on the planet, London has a lot to supply and so many nice facilities for touring households. This can be a metropolis that appeals to historical past loving adults, fascinated world vacationers, and youngsters of all ages – each these new to touring and seasoned veterans.

London is the proper place to take your children on trip.

There may be completely one thing for everybody. That is neither an grownup targeted trip nor a child-centered one. London works for the entire household, however it may be intimidating making an attempt to determine which elements of the town will work greatest for your loved ones.

This publish is designed to deliver you 14 family-friendly concepts/suggestions/locations of issues to do in London with children. This record is a mixture of free actions and ticketed ones, ones you could have heard of earlier than, and new choices to contemplate. I’ve additionally included notes on how we paired completely different sights collectively and mini itineraries.

1. Go to a wide range of playgrounds in London

You could not assume “London + Playgrounds” when first envisioning your loved ones trip there, however belief me on this. You might be about to embark on a metropolis brimming with unbelievable playgrounds.

What makes these playgrounds so useful, and why I listed them first on my “issues to do in London with children” record is as a result of they assist feed the youngsters “meter” on this massive strolling, museum, and historic sites-filled trip.

Having a strong record of locations to burn off power, use as a strolling purpose, and have as an finish sport helps children energy via different quieter, stiller, or extra “grownup” moments.

Right here’s an inventory of our favourite playgrounds in London. We frequently paired a playground with one thing like a museum so children would have a approach to regulate their our bodies earlier than or after being requested to be calm.

The famous ship play structure at the Diana Memorial Playground in london.

Diana Memorial Playground

The playground to finish all playgrounds (and the explanation we selected to remain in Notting Hill). This expansive, gated with an attendant, play construction is epic, and located on the northwest nook of Kensington Gardens. From the total dimension ship to swings, bridges, slides, caves, tunnels, and numerous different options: there’s nothing else like this playground. You’ll completely wish to plan a go to (or 3 like we did).

A child reaches for a pulley system at a playground in London. Buckingham palace is behind him.

St. James Park Playground

Throughout the road from Buckingham Palace is that this unbelievable, tucked away playground. It doesn’t present up effectively on Google Maps, so make sure that to not miss it. This playground has a number of buildings: a sand space, bridges, cat walks, a big picket spider, rocking boats, and superior locations to run and climbs. This pairs so effectively with dragging children to Buckingham Palace (which for them is principally simply a big constructing).

The Children's Play Area at Jubilee Garden with the London Eye and Big Ben in the background.

The Children’s Play Area at Jubilee Gardens

Guess what? One other epic playground. This one is located on the South Facet, on the base of the London Eye. There’s heaps to do right here for youths, it’s a brief stroll from Massive Ben, and supplies nice, iconic views again towards the well-known Westminster-area landmarks.

Different native parks that served us effectively:

The London Transport Museum is to not be missed. This can be a unbelievable mixture of a kids’s museum (a lot for youths to the touch, climb, discover) and a historic museum (a lot to learn, find out about, and digest).

Kids are free to this museum with their paying grownup, however (changing kilos to {dollars}) our two grownup tickets had been £48 collectively (about $60). To me, that’s an inexpensive worth for a household of 5 to go to a museum. The grownup tickets are literally a membership for the yr so you possibly can come again to this museum once more throughout your journey.

My oldest baby is 10 years previous and was one of many oldest within the museum, however cherished it. I cherished it as a 40 yr previous. That is not a “for little children solely” museum. It’s really a gem for the complete household.

4. Taking Public Transportation

You won’t instantly consider public transportation as a prime “factor to do with children in London,” however belief me: it’s.

The expertise of the world’s first underground practice and the attract of the intense purple double decker busses is large to children. We used public transportation religiously whereas in London and it made the journey so memorable (and doable with children in a big metropolis).

Right here’s a couple of recommendations on public transportation in London:

  • Kids (beneath age 11) experience free. They don’t want a ticket.
  • There’s a every day max you might be charged. When you hit £8.50 in fares in a set 24-hours, rides after which might be free.
  • The Underground and the Bus system use the identical cost system (and every day max). Learn up on the “Oyster” card on this web site earlier than your journey begins.

This was probably the most unbelievable meals expertise of our journey. I like markets like this as a result of everybody in our household can discover one thing they prefer to eat. It’s method much less tense to me than selecting a restaurant that 5 individuals can eat at.

Borough Market is loud, busy, overwhelming, unbelievable, wonderful, and noteworthy. There was a market on this website for 1,000 years and on this constructing since 1756 which is wild to contemplate.

Whenever you go to this market, you can find tons of individuals and lengthy strains. Traces so lengthy you assume you’ve made a grave mistake bringing kids and pondering you’ll ever discover a place to eat: don’t fret.

The meals distributors know what they’re doing. They will crank via a line of 25 clients in beneath 2 minutes. They transfer with a velocity and effectivity that’s price simply standing to look at.

Discovering a spot to eat is definitely simpler than it seems too as a result of meals, benches, and tables flip over rapidly. You’ll discover a spot, I promise.

After visiting this market, we walked by Shakespeare’s Globe and throughout the famed Millennium Bridge in the direction of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

6. St. Paul’s Cathedral

We selected St. Paul’s Cathedral as a catch-all landmark to go to to examine off a couple of London packing containers in a single swoop: expansive views of the town, seeing inside a famed church, and visiting the place Princess Diana acquired married (okay, perhaps that final field to examine was just for me).

As a substitute of paying for the London Eye and paying to go to Westminster Abbey (each nice locations!), we did the extra reasonably priced St. Paul’s Cathedral (£60 for a household of 5) which gave us slightly from each these different two (pricier) experiences.

Contained in the cathedral, you will have the choice to climb the five hundred+ steps to the highest of the dome for a powerful view of the town. It’s a climb, I made it as a child, my children (10, 9, 7) made it too.

Earlier than going to St. Paul’s, I did make my children watch a YouTube video on Diana’s wedding and I don’t remorse that selection for a second. We additionally watched a couple of different videos on YouTube about St. Paul’s to provide them context on why this is a vital landmark in London.

On the day we did St. Paul’s, we first began on the Tower of London, took the Tube to St. Paul’s, then a bus throughout London Bridge to Borough Marketplace for a mid-afternoon lunch. After our late lunch, we walked to Shakespeare’s Globe, throughout the Millennium Bridge, and took the Tube again “house” from St. Paul’s.

This huge museum is probably the most visited in London. It’s free for all to enter, however you do want a timed ticket from the web site.

We arrived on a Friday morning and the safety line was a few 20 minute wait, so issue that into your go to.

A child walking through the front room of the British Library.

On the museum, we noticed the Rosetta Stone first, then my oldest and husband took a free 40 minute guided tour of artifacts from historic Greece.

The museum is massive, expansive, and might be overwhelming for youths. Earlier than you go, know that few issues essential for your loved ones to see (ours was Greek historical past, the Rosetta Stone, and the mummies from Egypt). We additionally cherished seeing the famed Lewis Chessman and the exhibition of clocks was fascinating for youths.

We spent about 2 hours on the museum then walked in the direction of Covent Backyard for lunch and wandering.

For our go to to Buckingham Palace, we determined to go on a morning that additionally had a Altering of the Guard ceremony. This doesn’t happen day by day so it’s essential to check out this website for instances throughout your go to.

Truly seeing Buckingham Palace was thrilling for my husband and me, however our children have little context for the royal household so pairing it with the Altering of the Guard gave the youngsters some pleasure. Horses, a band, a mini parade, guards: it had every part they had been considering and was higher name for us than simply exhibiting up to take a look at the palace.

A parade of horses with guards during the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Between the guards leaving their barracks and the remainder of the festivities, we performed at St. James Park Playground which once more, held the youngsters’ consideration after we in any other case won’t have absolutely had it for this landmark.

This Changing-Guard website has quite a lot of suggestions for a way greatest to view the ceremony whereas avoiding the crowds and honoring your time.

10. Consuming at Pubs

Pubs are the spine of meals life in England so consuming at one is a should. To skip consuming at a pub could be like going to New York and never consuming at a diner. Or visiting Hawaii and by no means having pineapple or coconut. You need to do it.

There are unbelievable pubs throughout, you should have no bother discovering one. They’re a household pleasant place to eat and also you’ll really feel so welcome.

My favourite a part of a pub is that you simply seat your self, order and pay on the counter, and when the youngsters are drained/finished/the meal is over, you don’t have to seek out the waitstaff and pay. It’s all taken care of and you’ll simply bounce.

Just a few pub suggestions:

  • The Albert: Just some blocks from Buckingham Palace, The Albert stands out. All of the buildings surrounding The Albert had been destroyed throughout The Blitz in World Struggle 2. However The Albert (and the hand-etched home windows from the 1800s) remained untouched. It’s a particular place to eat.
  • The Elephant and Castle: That is close to Excessive Avenue Kensington and off the crushed path for many vacationers. It’s a stunning little gem and quiet.
  • Any Greene King Pub: This chain of pubs is straightforward to acknowledge and discover all through the town. You recognize you’ll get a great meal.

Honest warning: Excessive Tea is a costlier expertise in London with costs starting from £40 to £80+ per individual relying on the placement.

We in the end determined reserving a Excessive Tea was a worthwhile expertise for our household as a mix of my oldest baby’s love of tea (really, the kid loves a great tea) and absolute caving to see stress from buddies.

It was a peer stress I’m glad we gave into.

My buddy Preethi from Local Passport Family beneficial Afternoon High Tea at The Dilly and it was an ideal suggestion. It’s nice for youths, informal, and on the “cheaper” facet (£39 for youngsters, £49 for adults).

I’m actually glad we had this expertise. It was really beautiful and memorable.

There are, after all, many choices for top tea in London – themed ones, bus tour variations, and far fancier teas than this. If excessive tea is in your must-do record, positively analysis round.

12. Camden Market

For those who’ve acquired a Taylor Swift fan at house or are a Swiftie your self, are you able to even say the phrases “Camden Market” with out singing London Boy? We are able to’t.

Based mostly on Taylor’s suggestion (and my sister-in-law who lives and breathes London journey), we headed as much as Camden City to go to this famed avenue market.

Extremely advocate.

It was one other nice market (sure, we’ve already lined Covent Backyard and Borough Market), but it surely’s a very completely different feeling. The market is ready round Camden Locks so that you additionally get a take a look at the British canal system – which is cool on it’s personal – and one of many famed locks.

The market has wonderful meals, the distributors give free samples, and you’ll find seating simply for your loved ones.

We paired this expertise with the British Library, Platform 9 3/4, and Gloucester Gate Playground at The Regent’s Park. It made for an exquisite day.

You won’t have anticipated these two gadgets on this record or for me to hyperlink them collectively, however go together with me for a second:

If in case you have Harry Potter followers, seeing King’s Cross station and Platform 9 3/4 is a should. It’s simple to entry by way of the tube and pairs effectively with a go to to Camden Market (see above). The Platform is picture prepared. You possibly can select to purchase the picture or ask somebody in line to take it in your telephone.

Subsequent door to King’s Cross is the British Library. You should go to it!

The library isn’t on many “should do lists” however I acquired this scorching tip from Local Passport Family: the library is free for all and has a room of “treasures.” These treasures embody the Magna Carta, the handwritten manuscript for Jane Eyre, and music lyrics jotted down by the Beatles amongst so many different essential paperwork.

It’s a one room expertise, drag the youngsters via it for half-hour, and your cup will probably be brimming with historical past. This was NOT my children’ favourite second of the journey however we paired this with Harry Potter and a playground after – they survived and sometime they’ll be glad they noticed the Magna Carta.

Most individuals skip the British Library and don’t understand all that it has to supply. Be sure you go.

That is my solely “issues to do in London with children” record that I’m going to majorly asterisk.

The Tower of London is a unbelievable expertise, historic website, and essential landmark to go to in London. Nevertheless, it requires quite a lot of contextual background and historic understanding to understand that the majority younger kids (beneath 12) gained’t have but. There’s additionally some fairly darkish elements to it.

If in case you have younger kids and restricted time in London, this might not be a precedence to me. If in case you have many days and/or kids who’re older or very into historical past, that is an impactful expertise.

Since we had 7 days in London and it was essential to my husband to go to the Tower for the primary time, we went. It was an effective way to spend a wet day and the youngsters acquired quite a bit out of it, however not as a lot as they’d in center or highschool. Plus they skipped the torture/dungeon/beheading sections.

So my asterisk right here is: assume thoughtfully about your cut-off dates and youngsters’s ages earlier than leaping for tickets to the Tower of London. It’s completely a must-do grownup expertise, however I really feel it’s a greater “older child” expertise than “for all children.”

We visited the Tower of London on a wet day: nice for escaping from the morning drizzle. We waved and took photos of Tower Bridge, had tea and pastries, then headed for St. Paul’s and Borough Market.

Honorable Mentions to do with children in London

Listed here are a number of the different spots we visited which might be fantastic as effectively for youths visiting London:

  • Harrods: The famed division retailer is a surprise. It’s nice to pop into, take a look at all the flowery issues, and choose up some desserts for take away.
  • Hamley’s Toy Store: This can be a 7-story toy retailer on Regent Avenue. It was epic and enjoyable to run round in.
  • A Present on the West Finish: London’s famed West Finish (the UK Broadway) gives so many pleasant reveals for households. We lucked out and visited London throughout Theatre Week which meant half worth tickets on many reveals. We noticed Depraved.
  • Strolling Kensington Gardens: Take a leisurely stroll via Kensington Gardens. Discover the Peter Pan statue, attempt to establish a number of the completely different chicken species within the park, and finish on the Diana Memorial Playground.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Which a part of London is greatest for youths?

Actually, we didn’t discover a dangerous half for youths. This was a household pleasant metropolis and we felt welcomed and secure in all areas. Our youngsters significantly loved seeing the stroll from St. James Park (beginning on the playground), previous 10 Downing Avenue to see Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Massive Ben, and the London Eye multi function fast sweep.

How previous ought to children be to go to London?

This has extra to do with you because the mother or father and what’s essential to you household. Children of all ages will get pleasure from London. The playgrounds make is accessible for youths, the streets are simple to navigate with a stroller, and the wealth of public transportation makes the massive metropolis really feel sufficiently small to stroll with children.

When is the most effective time to go to London?

I’m a agency believer in off peak instances so when you can go to within the fall, early March, or early Might you’ll have locations rather more open and simpler to navigate than at peak season like summertime and Christmas.

Susie Allison, M. Ed

Proprietor, Creator

Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has greater than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former instructor and early childhood schooling advocate, Susie’s parenting e book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is accessible on Amazon.

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