20 great places to visit in London with children
Discover the top twenty things to do in London this summer with kids, with a list compiled by Kensington Mums.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Tube: Sloane Square
Cost: Buy tickets online for a discounted rate. Adult £9.50 Child £7.50 Under 3 free
A zoo designed specifically for children, so it’s not too big and there’s not too much walking. You won’t find any of the big five here as Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is home to smaller animals, reptiles, and birds. There are lots of different interactive play areas for different ages including a real tractor and fire engine.
The British Museum
Two million years of human history and culture in one building, so you might need to come back a few times as it is so vast! Plan ahead and decide on the top highlights you would like to see. There are plenty of interactive activities for children bringing the worlds history and culture to life and a family audio guide too.
Climbers and Creepers at Kew Gardens
Tube: Kew Gardens
Age: 3-9 years
Cost: Buy tickets online for a discounted rate. Adult £16 Child 4 -16 £4 Under 4 free.
Within Kew Gardens they have designed an indoor play area called Climbers and Creepers, the first interactive botanical play zone designed to make plant life fun and interesting for children. Built in an old greenhouse within the grounds, children can experience becoming insects sliding in tunnels and climbing through plants.
Diana Memorial Gardens – Kensington Gardens
Tube: High Street Kensington & Notting Hill Gate
Age: Up to 12
The Diana Memorial Gardens in Kensington Gardens have been designed for less able and able-bodied children to enjoy playing together. At the centre of the play area rests a huge pirate ship in a sand beach inspired by Peter Pan. There is a sensory trail, teepees, and sculptures amongst the trees and plants, but expect it to be busy on sunny days.
Emirates Air Line – Cable Car
Tube: North Greenwich DLR: Royal Victoria.
Cost: Adult £6.80 Child £3.40 return with an Oyster Card.
The Emirate Air Line is a cable car that links across the River Thames an easy way to get across from Greenwich to the Royal Docks. Up in the air you’ll see amazing views of the O2 and the whole of London and the City. It only takes up to 10 minutes each way but if you go on after 7pm then you can enjoy an extended night flight with music and video in the cabin.
Holland Park and the Kyoto Garden
Tube: Holland Park
Right in the centre of the 22 hectares of London’s Holland Park are the Kyoto Gardens. A tranquil peaceful Japanese garden for reflection and relaxation. Home to the famous peacocks, a tiered rock waterfall, and a pond full of koi carp, its perfect for a summer picnic.
London Transport Museum
Tube: Covent Garden
Age: 3 and up
Cost: £17.50 per adult. Child under 17 go free.
Buses, trains, trams, tube carriages, the London Transport Museum will transport you through from the 1800’s to present day. Discover the history of London’s world-famous transport network. There are bus and tube simulator rides and interactive games and activities for all ages.
Car/Train: Take the train to Windsor and Eton or drive and park onsite (£6)
Cost: Plan and book in advance to get discounts. From £32 per person.
Enter into the wonderful world of LEGO with over 55 LEGO themed rides and attractions for children set in 150 acres of parkland. LEGOLAND is ideal for children aged 3-12 years, with plenty of rides you can go on as a family even with younger children. If it’s a hot day take swimming costumes and towels for the splash park but beware of going in the school holidays when it gets very busy.
Cost: Adult £26 Child 3-15 years £21.00 Under 3’s free.
The London Eye, the tallest observation wheel in Europe, is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of London with 360 views from the top looking out across London up to 40km on a clear day. See all the famous London sights and enjoy the skyline especially at dusk. Book a timed slot in advance to be sure of a ride.
Mudchute Park & Farm
DLR: Mudchute Farm
Cost: Free, donations welcome
Mudchute Farm is a large urban park and farm set in 32 acres of countryside just south of Canary Wharf in Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs with over 100 animals and fowl. It is one of the largest urban farms in Europe with a working farm, stables, a children’s nursery and a range of educational activities and is run by a community charity. You can picnic and take in the fantastic views of City of London amongst many feather friends.
Museum of Childhood
Tube: Bethnal Green
A branch of the V&A group of museums, the Museum of Childhood will take you back through the years on a fascinating journey of toys. For adults, it’s great to see the toys of your childhood and for the children it’s fascinating for them to see the most popular toys from the 1600’s to present day. Make sure you see the ‘Must have toys’ from the 20th century.
National Gallery – Magic Carpet Story Telling
Tube: Charing Cross
Age: Under 5’s
Fly away on the magic carpet this Summer as it comes to land in front of a different painting each day at the National Gallery, this is story telling specifically designed for the Under 5’s. With free access to over 2,300 paintings from altarpieces to the Impressionists, there’s something for everyone at the National Gallery.
National Maritime Museum
DLR: Cutty Sark
Discover amazing stories of exploration and human endeavour that made our world today. There is lots for families and the under 5’s: climb aboard a ship simulator, dress as a pirate, and find out about the most notorious ship wrecks. Here there are lots of interactive games including firing a cannon and loading cargo onto a boat. Find out what life was like on the high seas for explorers and sea captains in days gone by, and look out for the giant ship in a bottle outside the museum!
Natural History Museum
Tube: South Kensington
If you are interested in natural history this is the best place in London and if you have children interested in dinosaurs and giants of the deep like the Blue Whale, then it’s a must visit. There are plenty of different exhibitions on throughout the year and interactive displays, so its advisable to plan ahead. It’s right next door to the science museum, so this can make for a long, fun day out.
Royal Observatory & Planetarium
DLR: Cutty Sark
Cost: Free in parts. Adult £9 Child £5.85 (additional entry for the Planetarium)
Greenwich Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in South-East London and home to the Royal Observatory the home of Greenwich Mean Time, The Planetarium and the National Maritime Museum. Many of the things to do here are free including visiting the Royal Observatory gardens. Set your watch by the Shepherd Gate clock, and journey through space and time and explore the universe and space in the Planetarium and their 360 degree cinema – but book in advance. Brilliant for any budding astronomers with special shows for the under 7’s.
Tube: South Kensington
The Science Museum has various exhibitions and displays on throughout the year so it is worth checking in advance to find out what is on. There are lots of multi-sensory activities for younger and older children to take part in and explore the universe and science through play. There is also an IMAX cinema which can be booked in advance. A great place for inspiring future engineers, pilots and scientists!
Sea Life London Aquarium
Cost: Buy online for discounted rate. Adult from £20.40 child £17.00 Under 3 free
Sea Life London has over 500 species of marine life in 14 themed zones and houses a magnificent 2 million litres of water! Here there are seven species of shark in the shark walk and thousands of sea creatures are waiting to be discovered. A great place to visit on a wet day as you are immersed in Europe’s largest collection of marine life.
The Sky Garden at the top of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building at 20 Fenchurch Street is London’s highest public garden, with an incredible viewing platform with 360 degree views across London. On arrival, you go through airport security scanners before being whisked in the lift up to Level 35 where you can wander around observation decks of landscaped gardens and terraces. There are restaurants and bars, and outside there is an open-air terrace. Sunsets are amazing from the tower, and as dusk settles you get the most incredible view of London’s landmarks. Tickets are free but the majority have to be booked in advance so check in advance.
V&A Museum – Workshops
Tube: South Kensington
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of Art and Design and throughout the year they host a variety of workshops for families, from games and activities to art and design to performance and digital. The V&A have an ever changing programme of activities and events which encourages learning and play through the vast collections at the museum and many varied exhibitions. They also offer trails around the museum and backpacks for children to borrow to make their visit to the V&A more interactive.
ZSL London Zoo
Tube: Camden Town and Regent’s Park
Cost: Buy online for discounted rate. Adult £24.30 Child £18.00 Under 3 free
One of London’s oldest and best loved Zoos it houses over 650 species of animals with trails and quizzes. Take a spider selfie in Europe’s only walk-through spider experience. Visit penguin beach, Gorilla Kingdom, Rainforest Life, Madagascan shrub forest, Tiger Territory and Land of the Lions where you can find yourself face to face with an Asiatic Lion.
All prices correct at time of writing June 2018.