With 19 million tourists visiting London in the first half of 2017 alone, there are plenty of sights to see and attractions to visit--including lots of family-friendly activities that your kids will love. Whether they’re huge Harry Potter fans, future scientists, or animal lovers, there’s something for everyone in London, and parents can have fun too! But with the long queues for the London Eye and so many companies offering Stonehenge Tours, so much choice can get a little overwhelming for the busy parent.
Which is why we’ve put together this list for you. Read on for the 12 things you MUST take your kids to do in London--and get ready for fun!
1. Visit the Natural History Museum
London’s full of kid-friendly museums, which means that no matter your kid’s interest, there’s always somewhere to go. At the Natural History Museum, your animal-loving kids can enjoy the life size model of a blue whale, gaze upon the ancient bones of dinosaurs, and dance around in the earthquake simulator. And they’ve got sleepovers, too!
2. ‘Drive’ a tube train
Getting to ride the tube--AKA the London underground--is already an exciting adventure for any kid. But what about getting to drive it? Not the real thing, of course, but any visit to the London Transport Museum isn’t complete without the tube driving simulator.
3. Visit the London Zoo
Any animal-loving kid will beg to go to the London Zoo--whether it’s to watch tigers up close in the Tiger Territory or to meet and greet gentler animals such as giraffes and meerkats (supervised by a zookeeper of course). These visits are educational and fun!
4. City tours
From free Harry Potter walking tours to street art tours to Pokemon adventure tours, there are plenty of ways to get to know London by foot that your kids will love. You can also hop onto a double-decker bus and feel like a real Londoner--just check out this list of London’s 10 best bus routes before you board. And don’t forget about the duck tours--you’ll get to see all of London from a bus that turns into a boat!
5. Connect with your inner artist
If your kid’s an art lover, you could spend an entire week in all of London’s art museums. From ArtPlay sessions to artist-led workshops all over the city, there’s plenty to choose from!
6. Enjoy afternoon tea and feel like a king or a queen
Of course, no visit to London would be complete without the British tradition of afternoon tea. With fine teas and coffee for adults, and endless treats for kids, this is a chance to dress up and get a little silly with that Mary Poppins English accent you practiced on the plane.
7. Visit Hackney City Farm
A farm? In one of the biggest metropolises in the world? Yes, indeed, London does have it all--including Hackney City Farm, where the whole family can have a little getaway from the city life. There’s plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy, from petting the animals to pottery and drawing classes.
8. Connect with your inner scientist
At the Science Museum, your kids can learn all about the history of the space rocket, visit the Apollo 10 command capsule--and there are also plenty of games, simulators, and interactive exhibits.
9. Go swimming
If you’re visiting London in the summer, then you can go swimming! The Serpentine Lido is the prettiest of them, but there are also plenty of other options too--just check out this list compiled by TimeOut.
10. Fly a kite
Sometimes, kids enjoy the simplest of life’s pleasures--and in a windy city like London, spending a day at the park picnicking and flying kites is the perfect activity for a Sunday afternoon.
11. Visit Coram’s Fields, the perfect park for kids
From an extensive walled garden to an enormous sandpit to an adventure playground with zip wires and climbing equipment for older kids, Coram’s Fields is the park that has it all.
12. Go crazy for crazy golf
Feel like a real Londoner by playing crazy golf--one of the most exciting fads of the year. From kid-designed adventure courses to the Jurassic Encounter-themed course, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You won’t even have to pack your own golf clubs--everything’s included, even glowing volcanoes.
As you can see, London’s full of exciting activities for the whole family! So pick a few that work for you and enjoy this great city!
Have you been to London with your kids before? What was the most fun you had? Tell us your story here!