What’s there to do in London for families? As our Expert Traveller, Janette Lodermeier, found out on her recent kid-friendly vacation, tons!
Plan your next getaway with our top ten list of things to do in London with kids – vouched for by the real experts: the mini travellers themselves.
1. See the Making of Harry Potter
Think you’re just a muggle? Think again. This walking tour of the Warner Brothers Studio brings the whole family into the world of the Harry Potter™ films. Discover the behind-the-scenes magic that brought the world the most successful film series of all time. The astounding costumes, props, sets, and film-making secrets are a huge hit for fans of all ages.
2. Climb Aboard the Cutty Sark
Catch a clipper down the Thames to Greenwich Pier to commandeer the Cutty Sark, a restored British Clipper ship that once shipped tea and wool. You can Meet the Crew and climb aboard to explore the ship, the crew quarters and kitchen. There’s always a family workshop or fun kids’ activity happening on board. Plus, you can go for a bite to eat or explore Long John Silver’s weird and wonderful collection of ship figureheads.
3. Explore Leicester Square
If your kids don’t mind crowds, stopping in Leicester Square will certainly be worth your while! Pop into the massive M&M’s World for special edition treats and plenty of fun photoshoot opportunities. Then channel all of that newfound energy into a visit to the two-storey LEGO store, where imaginations can run wild at the interactive displays and building stations.
4. Tour Windsor Castle & Buckingham Palace
Introduce your family to the Royal Family (almost)! You can book a private tour of both official residences of the Queen of England: Windsor Castle & Buckingham Palace, with plenty of time to enjoy some fresh air in the royal gardens and watch the changing of the guards. Afterwards, watch the pelicans get their lunch at St. James’s Park, nearby.
5. Go to the Market
Camden Market is an eclectic mix of vintage finds and souvenirs. Once you’ve tired everyone out with shopping, stop at the Cereal Killer café for a fun breakfast-for-lunch, complete with all the 90’s toys and cereal flavours you almost forgot about. When the sugar rush kicks in, challenge your kiddos to a duel on the vintage Wrestlemania arcade machine.
6. Cross Tower Bridge
London Bridge might have its own nursery rhyme, but it’s Tower Bridge that’s worth the trip. Put on your walking shoes and stroll across this iconic landmark, stopping in the middle to peer down the gap that opens when large boats pass by.
Expert Traveller Tip: “Grab a map and be sure to check out the armoury and the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London!” Janette Lodermeier
7. Get a Hole in One
For a high-tech night of good old-fashioned fun, head out to Westfield at Shepherds Bush station to visit Puttshack. It’s a flashy indoor super tech mini golf experience, with trackers in your golf ball that keep score for you as you putt your way through 9 interactive holes. You might even win a bonus prize along the way! Food, drinks, and alcoholic beverages are flowing, so if you’re travelling with a younger child, it’s best to plan your visit before 6pm.
8. Unwind at the Local Parks & Playgrounds
Nickname aside, the Big Smoke has many beautiful open spaces for lollygagging. Check out the Diana Memorial Playground in the north entrance of Kensington gardens, which has a huge pirate ship to crawl around. Visit Hyde Park Playground near Knightsbridge station for pretty views of the lake. Feed the cows at MudChute Farm & Park, or check out other local favourites, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Crystal Palace Park, and St. James’s Park.
You might be surprised at how many of London’s pubs have kid-friendly and picky-eater-friendly menus. So pop into one of London’s many, many, many pubs for a casual family dinner or a full-on Sunday roast. A particular favourite of Janette’s family is the Blackfriars Pub, a skinny little establishment built in 1875 on the site of the Dominican friary. While the grown folks enjoy an adult beverage, the kids can count the many jolly friars hidden throughout the pub. Don’t forget to grab a pie with your pint!
10. Visit Galleries & Museums
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but with literally hundreds of museums and art galleries in the city to choose from, you’re probably going to miss a few An Expert Traveller can help you narrow down your search for family-friendly attractions, many of which offer free admission for kids (such as the Science Museum, The National Gallery, British Museum, and Natural History Museum, for starters).
Make your family London trip a memorable one with one of a kind experiences hand-curated by an Expert Traveller! Stop into your neighbourhood Flight Centre or give us a ring at 1 877 967 5302, any time.