When it comes to travel bucket lists, the city of London in the United Kingdom tops many people’s lists. And for families, a great option for family vacations is to visit London with kids.
We’ve traveled to many amazing cities around the world, such as New York City, Paris, Mexico City, Delhi, Hanoi, and Jakarta. But London holds a very special place in our hearts. It’s not just that it’s a fascinating place to visit (which it is), but as a family, we also have a personal connection to this city.
Being part of a multi-racial family, my husband has some family roots in the United Kingdom. And on my side of the family, London was where my adoptive father and brothers lived many years ago, and where my sister interned after college. So visiting this part of the world is our way to honor our family’s legacy.
But beyond the family connection, we’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit London with kids. And fortunately, our trip did not disappoint. The city teems with history, beauty, and culture! There are just so many things to do in London with kids.
I’m excited to share with you all the kids London activities we did, but I know that my perspective isn’t enough to fully show all the best family experiences London has to offer. That’s why I’ve invited folks who have a family travel blog, as well as other bloggers, to share their favorite London things to do.
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What to know when you visit London with kids
The city of London is the largest city in England and the UK, and also serves as its capital. Originally established as a Roman city in the year 47, it has since grown to a city of over 8 million people.
Tourism plays a major role in London’s economy, and the city sees over 65 million visitors a year. What this means is that it’s a great city to visit for families. But before you pack your bags and hop on a plane, there are a few helpful things to know before you visit London with kids.
How to choose things to do in London with kids
As you’re planning your trip to visit London with kids, keep in mind that you may not have time to do everything on your list. London is a big city, with a lot of things to do. Even if you spend a month or more in London, you’ll likely still not be able to see everything.
To avoid exhausting yourself or disappointing yourself during your trip, prioritize your top three to five attractions and activities, depending on how long you have to spend in London. Accept that it’s okay not to see everything and do everything. And focus on building family bonding time to your trip, rather than checking this off your list.
London is such a unique and interesting city. Even walking through its ancient streets will be an adventure!
How to get around London with kids
For being a bustling metropolis, the city of London is surprisingly easy to get around, even when you visit London with kids. From its extensive network of rail lines, and an even bigger network of bus lines, it’s not too hard to get from one part of London to another (though it may take some time since the city is pretty big) and experience the city like a local Londoner.
The rail system in London is called the London Underground, also known as the Tube. It was established in the 1860s and has 11 lines which transport more than 200 million passengers each year. For above ground transport, travelers in London can take advantage of the city’s extensive bus lines, which include the iconic red double decker buses that London is known for.
There are a couple options for paying for bus and Tube fares. You can purchase an Oyster card, which allows you to top up with funds or purchase a season ticket. Children under the age of 5 are free. And for older children, you’ll be able to purchase discounted fares on special child-designated Oyster cards.
If your phone has the ability to do contactless payment, that’s also an option for paying fares. Contactless payment allows you to pay as you go. However, they don’t offer discounts for kids. Nonetheless, it makes getting to all the things to do in London with kids much more convenient.
The best time to visit London with kids
In my opinion, the best time to visit London with kids is from April to June and in early September. This is when the skies are generally the clearest, precipitation is at its lowest, and the climate is not too muggy.
If you can, avoid coming to London during the months of July and August. This is when the temperatures are at their highest. These months are also when London receives the most tourists, and when London kids take their summer holidays. So if you happen to be in London during this time of year, be prepared for larger than normal crowds, and plan accordingly.
What to bring along on your trip to London
As you prepare for your London trip, be sure that you pack all the things you need to make your trip fun and memorable. Basic supplies include comfortable walking shoes, as well as comfortable clothes. But depending on the time of year, you might also consider bringing a waterproof jacket.
Taking along a packable tote bag might also come in handy when you visit London with kids, especially to carry random souvenirs, snacks, and water bottles. And speaking of water bottles, we never travel anywhere without our Grayl water bottle. It’s one of favorite eco friendly travel products!
Here are some of the things we took with us for our trip to London:
- Osprey bag to pack our things
- Keen sandals for walking
- Adidas shoes, also for walking
- Waterproof jacket
- Packable tote bag
- Grayl water bottle
Read here for our picks for best backpacks for travel with kids.
Our top 30 things to do in London with kids
As I was putting together this post of things to do in London with kids, I wanted to make sure I shared as many sights and activities as I could for families to see and do when they visit London with kids. So I enlisted the help of other bloggers to share their top attractions and activities in London.
The following is a list of our favorite family friendly things to do in London. I’ve grouped them by landmarks, museums, parks or public walks, public markets, tours, and other activities. Feel free to skip ahead to the section that interests you the most.
Must-see landmarks in London
London is an iconic city to visit. And for families who plan to visit London with kids, a visit of the city’s many landmarks is a must.
Some of the most popular landmarks and London attractions for kids include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben (located at the Palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets), and Tower Bridge. Each one is packed with history and interesting facts that are perfect for worldschooling families to soak up.
Since our time in London was so short, we only got to see a few famous landmarks in passing. However, take a read through what other bloggers have to say about London’s landmarks.
1. Buckingham Palace
Contributed by Dymphe from Dymabroad
One of the best things to do in London with kids is going to Buckingham Palace. This is the official residence of The Queen, and it is one of the most well-known sights in the city. It is a very large building with beautiful and impressive architecture.
At the front of Buckingham Palace, you can see the Changing the Guard ceremony, which is a very interesting thing to see. This ceremony takes place at 11:00 AM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Besides that, in summer, this takes place every day of the week.
Also, you can do a Buckingham Palace Garden Guided Tour. During this tour, you can see beautiful flowers and plants in the garden. Also, you can learn a lot about the use of the garden by The Queen and about the history of the garden. This tour takes place from March 5 until May 1. The entrance fee for adults is £24.50 and £13.40 for children.
Another tour that you can do when you visit London with kids is one of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. This is a tour that you can do between March 25 and April 24. The entrance fee for this is £65 per person. During this tour, you can see many rooms of the building from the inside. For example, you can see the Throne Room and the Grand Staircase. All the rooms have beautiful decorations, which is amazing to see.
2. Tower of London
Contributed by Becky from Planes, Trains, and Buggies
The Tower of London is one of London’s most recognised sites and an interesting option for things to do in London with kids. It’s home to not only the 1000-year-old White Tower, but the Crown Jewels and an infamous Prison as well as a lot more.
Situated in an iconic location on the banks of the River Thames, the Tower is easy to reach by Underground, car or by boat.
Kids will love the gory history of the Tower including seeing where Henry VIII’s Wife Anne Boleyn was beheaded or finding out more about Guy Fawkes who was imprisoned at the Tower after his famous failed gunpowder plot.
If you want to see the more glamorous side of the Tower, the Crown Jewels are not to be missed. Under constant armed guard and hidden behind thick steel walls you can marvel at the Coronation Regalia from Kings and Queens spanning over 600 years. Considered the most visited attraction in the UK, if not the world, they are a sight to behold.
If you’re planning to visit the Tower of London when you visit London with kids, know that it is open daily from 9am to 5:30 pm. On Mondays and Sundays, the Tower of London opens at 10am. Ticket prices are £29.90 for adults, and £14.90 for kids aged 5-15. You can add an additional donation if you want. Children under 5 are free.
3. Westminster Abbey
Contributed by Sophie from We Dream of Travel
As one of the most iconic landmarks in London, you can’t visit London with kids without visiting Westminster Abbey. With over 1000 years of history, this UNESCO building has been the place of many important events over the years.
Regardless of religious beliefs, Westminster Abbey is a great place to visit with kids, helping them understand more about London’s history in a fun way.
Throughout the year Westminster Abbey puts on a variety of family events, particularly during the school holidays. These include arts and crafts, storytelling, and performances. So it’s a good option for educational things to do in London with kids.
If you plan to visit Westminster Abbey, it’s always worth checking online before you visit to see what new programs are available.
However, if you’re visiting on a day without family events, don’t be discouraged! You can pick up a Family Trail guide for free when you arrive to help you explore and discover the Abbey with kids. At the end, children who use the trail can collect a free badge!
While there, take time to spot the main carved animals throughout the church. It makes for a great eye-spy game or treasure hunt!
Tickets for visiting Westminster Abbey are £25 for adults and £11 for children aged 6-17 years. Children under 6 go free. Many of the combined tickets, such as London Pass, include access to Westminster Abbey. Also, during some school holidays children go free, so keep an eye out for any current offers!
Opening hours vary so check online prior to visiting.
4. Globe Theatre
Contributed by Julianna from London x London
London is blessed with so many theaters, but few are as unique as the Globe Theatre. A trip to see a play at The Globe is one of the best things to do in London with kids not only because it immerses them in history but also brings the liveliness and fun of Shakespeare’s plays to life.
The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by William Shakespeare and his theater company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men – that version was destroyed by fire in 1613 and provided the original for the modern Globe Theatre you visit today.
Seeing a play at the Globe when you visit London with kids is a brilliant experience for kids and adults alike. The immersive and intimate setting provides a unique way to experience one of Shakespeare’s classic works.
The cheapest £5 groundling tickets probably won’t be the best choice for smaller children. Opt for one of the more expensive tickets in the surrounding seats so they can see the stage.
There’s also a lovely little exhibition on the first floor which takes you through the history of the Globe, from its inception to how it was rebuilt in the 1990s. It’s a great place for kids to learn about theater and Shakespeare in a fun and interactive way.
5. Trafalgar Square
If you’re planning to visit London with kids, Trafalgar Square is a must-see! Trafalgar Square was built in 1822 and named after the Battle of Trafalgar, which took place in 1805. The square is an important public space in London and features a number of monuments and statues. We loved visiting there in the late afternoon and enjoying a calm moment by the fountains.
The most famous monument in Trafalgar Square is the Nelson’s Column, which commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died during the Battle of Trafalgar. The column is over 170 feet tall and features four bronze lions at its base.
Trafalgar Square is also a popular spot for events and protests. Every year, around Christmas Day, a large Christmas tree is erected in the square. Trafalgar Square is accessible via the London Underground at the Charing Cross and Embankment stations.
For families looking for a few minutes to relax between all the things to do in London with children, Trafalgar Square is a great option.
6. Millennium Bridge
Contributed by Dave from Silver Backpacker
If you have seen the spectacular scenes from the film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where the London Millennium Bridge is attacked by the Death Eaters, swinging from side to side and eventually collapsing, then you may think twice before taking your kids across when you visit London with kids.
In actual fact when the Millennium Bridge, the first new bridge to be built over the Thames in 100 years, first opened in the year 2000, it did tend to swing a bit and was known as “The Wobbly Bridge”.
Some alterations were made to the suspension which rectified the syndrome and is now perfectly safe to cross.
Things to look out for on the bridge, which links St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern, include over 400 miniature paintings by Ben Wilson, a street artist known as the “Chewing Gum Man”. The minute paintings use discarded chewing gum as the canvas.
See how many of them your kids can find while crossing the bridge.
There are great views of the London Skyline too. Show your kids how to identify landmarks such as the Shard, Tower Bridge, and other nearby bridges.
There is no entrance fee to the bridge which is open 24 hours and also has wheelchair access. The nearest underground stations are Blackfriars (4minutes), Southwark (10 minutes), St. Paul’s (10 minutes), and Cannon Street (8 minutes away).
Traveling beyond the UK? Check out our other destinations in Europe.
Museums to go to when you visit London with kids
Museums can be a great way to learn about history and other cultures. They can also be a lot of fun for kids! They can learn about different subjects like history, science, and art by visiting museums.
When you visit London with kids, you should definitely make time to visit some of the city’s best museums. There are a handful of world-class museums to visit, including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the British Museum.
7. British Museum
If you’re looking for fun and educational things to do in London with kids, look no further than the British Museum! This world-renowned museum is home to a vast array of exhibits spanning across many different cultures and time periods.
There are three floors of exhibits at the British Museum. Kids will love getting to explore everything the British Museum has to offer, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to European art to Chinese porcelain. We didn’t get to see every exhibit while we were there, so we each picked our top area to see: Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Feudal Japan, and Africa.
The British Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm. On Fridays, the museum is open until 8:30pm. Admission to the British Museum is free. However, the museum does limit their entry to make sure that the museum doesn’t get too crowded. So it’s helpful to book your tickets in advance via the website if you plan to see the British Museum when you visit London with kids.
8. Science Museum
For another fun and educational activity to do when you visit London with kids, head to the
Science Museum. For science lovers like our family, this is the perfect museum to visit. There are interactive exhibits on topics such as mathematics, flight, engineering, medicine, and other science related topics.
Much like the British Museum, we knew we couldn’t fit all the exhibits in one day. So we each picked our top sections to visit. Even so, there were just so many things to see and do!
The Science Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am to 6pm. During school holidays, the Science Museum is open on Mondays and Tuesdays as well. Admission to the Science Museum is free. However, you will need to pre-book your tickets, as the museum is limiting entrance.
9. Natural History Museum
Contributed by Martina from Places of Juma
The Natural History Museum in London is a perfect choice for things to do in London with kids! Whether you’re young or old, you’ll be enthralled by the huge exhibition in one of the best museums in the city! There are countless exciting, interactive exhibits to marvel at here, which, by the way, are displayed in one of London’s most beautiful buildings. And it’s all free of charge, because you don’t pay an entrance fee for the Natural History Museum.
One of the most interesting exhibits, which also fascinates children, are the huge dinosaur skeletons exhibit, which holds the first found T. rex skeleton. And not only that, there are more highlights! The earthquake simulator, where you can feel the forces of a quake, is exciting. Kids also love the mammal section with the giant model of a blue whale in the spectacular central hall. Another must-see is the “Cocoon,” an 8-story building made of a silk cocoon.
Then, if hunger strikes, you’ll also find several cafés in the museum where you can enjoy a leisurely drink and meal with your families. In the Central Café you will find a wide selection of sandwiches and healthy salads, but also delicious cakes, pastries and fruit.
Of course, a visit to the pretty museum store is not to be missed. There are numerous stuffed animals as well as dinosaur and other nature-inspired gifts for sale. It’s a great way to top off your museum experience when you visit London with kids!
10. National Maritime Museum
Contributed by Annabel from Smudged Postcard
The National Maritime Museum, along with the Cutty Sark, the Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory, is part of the Royal Museums Greenwich.
Visiting the National Maritime Museum with kids is great fun when you visit London with kids. Little ones will love exploring the interactive Ahoy! Children’s Gallery (a word of warning, if you want to see anything else at the museum, don’t go to the children’s gallery first as the children will never want to leave!). It’s a brilliant area for kids to let their imaginations run wild with a ship to captain, a fish shop to man and a dock to work in.
Older children should head to the All Hands Children’s Gallery which also offers plenty of hands-on activities – the crane is particularly popular.
There are plenty of highlights within the museum itself which children will find interesting – including artifacts from Lord Nelson’s final moments aboard HMS Victory. Joining a family-friendly guided tour of the museum is a great way to engage children with some of the areas which they might not otherwise choose to visit.
For refreshments, head to the café where you’ll find a giant map of the world which children can run around on.
There is no charge to enter the National Maritime Museum but please note the other museums at Greenwich do carry a charge. The museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm.
11. Tower Bridge Experience
Contributed by Sinead from York Made Memories
The Tower Bridge Experience is a chance to learn the history of this iconic English landmark and to see its inner workings. It’s truly a unique experience for when you visit London with kids!
Visitors enter by the North Tower to explore a self-guided exhibition charting the history of the bridge including how, when, and why it was built. The exhibit includes original footage of the bridge’s construction. Kids who love math and engineering will find it fascinating.
In the South Tower, you learn about the various people and their roles who keep Tower Bridge working today. The visit ends in the old Victorian engine room where you will discover how the bridge was raised in the past and, in contrast, how it’s raised today.
The highlight of the experience is walking along Tower Bridge’s upper walkways on the stomach-churning glass floor. This floor is suspended 42 meters above the bridge road. There are fantastic views of London and the River Thames from both sides of the walkway including The Tower of London, Canary Wharf and St. Paul’s. Kids will love looking down to see red double decker buses, black cabs and pedestrians on the bridge below as well as boats on the River Thames.
The Tower Bridge Experience is open from 10am to 6pm daily, with last admission at 5pm. Tickets cost £10.60 for adults and £5.30 for children.
12. London Transport Museum
Contributed by Keri from Bon Voyage With Kids
One of the very best things to do in London with kids is the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Over 200 years of history of London’s iconic transportation system are on display at this awe-inspiring museum. And with its interactive displays, fun stamper trail for kids, and play space for kids under age 7, this is a must-see for when you visit London with kids.
London’s transportation is iconic, and something kids love. But at the London Transportation Museum, kids can get up close and personal to historical and modern transportation from London!
With full-size and interactive buses, tube cars, taxis, horse and buggies, and more, this museum is fascinating for all ages. Kids can sit in driver’s seats, touch buttons and wheels, pretend to drive or be passengers in the large selection of transport. The museum is also very thoughtfully planned out with an interactive Stamper Trail, so kids can follow the path of the museum and receive a stamp at various stops. This ensures that they don’t miss a thing.
There is also an interactive Family Play Zone for kids ages 0 to 7 years old, an onsite café, and a shop. Best of all kids ages 17 and under get FREE admission all year long. Located right in Covent Garden, it is an ideal spot for an educational and fun day out for families.
13. Other museums to visit when you visit London with kids
We really wished we could have visited every museum while we were in London, but we were limited by time. There are just so many things to do in London with kids, and so little time!
If you have ample time available when you visit London with kids, be sure to visit these additional museums:
Victoria and Albert Museum – The Victoria and Albert Museum is a museum of art and design, and has exhibits on fashion, textiles, furniture, sculpture, metalwork, and ceramics. There’s also a large collection of paintings on display.
Museum of London – The Museum of London features exhibits all about the city’s history. Families can learn about London throughout the ages, from Roman times to modern times. They can also learn about all the pivotal moments of London’s history.
Postal Museum – The Postal Museum gives visitors a chance to learn about the history of mail in the UK. A highlight of the museum is a ride on the Mail Rail, an underground railway that transports mail all across the city.
Parks and public walks to visit in London
When you visit London with kids, be sure to build in some down time. For our family, the best place to spend down time is at a public park. And it’s a great option for free things to do in London with children!
Fortunately, London has no shortage of public parks. For parks outside of the city, you can visit Crystal Palace Park and Richmond Park. However, if you’re looking for parks much closer to Central London, here are a few of our favorite parks to visit while we’re in London.
14. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the most visited parks in London. It’s a beautiful park to spend a morning or afternoon when you visit London with kids. Built by Henry VIII in the 1500s, it was opened to the public in 1637. Hyde Park is free to visit and is open year-round.
The park is located adjacent to the grounds of Buckingham Palace, connected via the Wellington Arch. Other sights to see at Hyde Park include the Speaker’s Corner, where demonstrations have occurred since the 1800s, Hyde Park Bandstand, Hyde Park Playground, and Serpentine Lake. There’s also the Princess Diana Memorial located there.
If you’re visiting Hyde Park with kids, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to walk around the grounds. There are small cafes and restaurants around the park. And you can also rent boats to go around Serpentine Lake.
Underground stations located around Hyde Park include the Marble Arch station on the Central line and the Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge stations on the Piccadilly line.
15. Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens is connected to Hyde Park, separated by Carriage Drive which runs between the two parks. Like Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is a great place to spend a day when you visit London with kids.
Queen Caroline first established the gardens in 1728, and during much of the 18th century, Kensington Gardens was private property. Kensington Gardens was eventually opened to the public. In the beginning, Kensington Gardens were only open to the “respectably dressed”, but over time the rules around entry loosened to allow everyone to enter.
The main highlight of Kensington Gardens is Kensington Palace, a historical palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (also known as Prince William and Princess Kate) live. Families can take tours of Kensington Palace for £35 for one adult and up to three kids over 5 years old, or £55 for two adults and up to three kids over 5 years old. Additional adult tickets are £20 and additional kid tickets are £10 for kids between 5-15 years old. Teens aged 16-17 are £16.
Other highlights of Kensington Gardens include Serpentine Lake (which it shares with Hyde Park) and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, which has a Peter Pan theme. Kensington Gardens is open every day and is free to enter. So if you’re looking for down time in between some of the more active things to do in London with kids, Kensington Gardens is a perfect option.
16. Kew Gardens
Contributed by Joanna from The World In My Pocket
Kew Garden is a fantastic place to go when you visit London with kids. The Royal Botanical Garden Kew is located in Richmond and offers an oasis of peace, away from the busy day to day life in London.
There are many different things that can not only keep the children entertained, but also teach them a few things. One of the most fascinating places inside Kew Gardens is the Hive, a gigantic sculpture meant to resemble a honeybee’s hive. Inside of the hive there are thousands of LED lights that glow, accompanied by music played in the C key – the same one as the bees buzz in.
Another great place for children who visit Kew Gardens with their parents is the treetop walkway, which rises 18 meters above the ground. The idea of the walkaway is to allow visitors to observe the life going on at heights, above the tree’s canopy.
Kew Gardens has a special program for children between 2 and 12 years old. It’s a garden dedicated to them where they can learn about the nature we live in, how plants grow and how to take care of them.
There is always a good time to visit Kew Gardens, as every season the garden changes. There are also seasonal events organized, such as the light trail in winter, the botanical classes, or the wellbeing sessions.
17. The Jubilee Walkway
For families looking for free and active travel things to do when they visit London with kids, look no further than the Jubilee Walkway. This lovely walking trail winds its way through some of London’s most famous sights, including Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park, and the London Eye near the city’s South Bank neighborhood.
Opened in 1977 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee, the Jubilee Walkway is a series of walking loops that total 15 miles of trail through the streets of London. It’s a great way to see some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
The Jubilee Walkway is divided into five loops: The Western Loop, the Eastern Loop, the City Loop, the Camden Loop, and the Jubilee Loop. Each loop has several landmarks that families can see during their walk.
The longest loop is the Western loop, which is six miles and goes by Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and Covent Garden. The Eastern loop, which is three to four miles, includes the Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. The other three loops are between two to four miles.
People who complete a walk can download a certificate of completion on the Transport for London Jubilee Walkway website.
18. Sky Garden
Contributed by Bridget from The Flashpacker
Families will adore the views of London from the Sky Garden when they visit London with kids. Located at the top of the so-called Walkie Talkie building, The Sky Garden offers a 360-degree panorama of London’s iconic skyline. Stepping out of the lift on the 35th floor has that real wow factor.
The Shard is across the river in all of its splintered splendor. North of the Sky Garden are the city of London’s most recognizable skyscrapers: The Gherkin, the Cheesegrater and NatWest Tower. But some of the best views are to the east where the Tower of London and Tower Bridge look like Lego models.
But there is more to the Sky Garden than just viewpoints. It is also a lush leafy sanctuary, featuring palm fronds, African lilies, birds of paradise (the non-feathered variety) and fragrant herbs.
Best of all, visiting London’s Sky Garden is completely free. However, you need to book tickets in advance on the official website, which are released three weeks in advance. To guarantee a decent slot, book as early as possible. Limited walk-in tickets may be available but it’s a gamble.
The Sky Garden is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm on weekdays, 11 am to 9 pm at weekends. There are bars and pricey restaurants onsite.
Read here for more outdoor activity ideas for travel.
Public markets you don’t want to miss
For a family, especially a family with multiple kids, eating meals at a sit down restaurant takes a lot of effort. And it can get pretty painful on the budget as well! That’s why we like going to public markets to find food options.
Besides visiting markets for our meals, we like walking through public markets for the vibrant and lively atmosphere. London is full of amazing markets, some of them dating back centuries! Here are our favorite markets to experience when we visit London with kids.
19. Camden Market
Camden Market is one of the most popular tourist destinations in London, and it’s no wonder why. With its vibrant atmosphere, excellent selection of stores and restaurants, and convenient location, Camden Market is a fun option for things to do in London with kids.
Camden Market is located in Camden Town, just north of the city center. The market has been around since 1974. But before that, in the 19th century, the area was known for its distilleries and warehouses for gin. Camden was a prime location because of the canal running through the area, making trade easy and convenient.
Today, tourists are unaware of the area’s gin history. However, they can still catch a glimpse of the importance of canal trade by taking a canal boat ride along the Regent’s Canal. This is a great way to sneak in some relaxation time when you visit London with kids.
The London Waterbus Company offers canal boat tours that start at Camden Market and end in Little Venice, southwest of Camden Town. It goes along the back side of the London Zoo and through Regents Park. One way fares cost £13 for adults and £9 for kids. Each ride is about 45 minutes. After your canal boat tour, be sure to head back towards Regent’s Park to visit the nearby Sherlock Holmes Museum!
20. Borough Market
For another market experience when you visit London with kids, head to Borough Market. This market is located near the river Thames, a few blocks away from the historic London Bridge, and is a great place to buy fresh produce or grab a bite to eat.
Established in 1756, Borough Market still brings in over 100 traders who come to sell their produce, food, and products. Borough Market is a popular lunch spot for Londoners, as there is a wide variety of food stalls to choose from, with cuisine representing all kinds of cultures and styles.
For Harry Potter fans, Borough Market is also a filming location for the third installment of the Harry Potter franchise, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Borough Market is where the Night Bus takes Harry when he runs away from home.
Regardless of whether you visit Borough Market for the produce, the food, or the Harry Potter filming locations, it’s a market not to be missed on any trip to London.
21. Other public markets to see when you visit London with kids
London is full of other public markets to visit and experience. Here are a few other markets to consider going to when you visit London with kids.
Covent Garden – In the West End of London is Covent Garden, which is known for its luxury stores and restaurants. Covent Garden is also a great place to experience afternoon tea, a quintessential British experience. Be sure to make reservations in advance for your afternoon high tea!
Spitalfields Market – Located in the East End of London, Spitalfields Market is a great artisan market to visit. There are also artisan food stalls where you can buy food. Spitalfields Market is located near the iconic Brick Lane, where you can find a variety of colorful street art.
Leadenhall Market – Dating back to 1321, Leadenhall Market is a historic market full of unique boutiques shops and restaurants. The market occupies the site of central Roman London, back when the city was called Londinium. Leadenhall Market was also a filming location for Harry Potter, when Harry was first introduced to the Leaky Cauldron in the first movie.
Start talking to your kids about travel privilege with these posts.
Tours to do when you visit London with kids
An easy option for things to do in London with kids is to take a tour. This is a genius way to pack in a lot of things into one day, and also get some local insight.
Here are a few tours you can consider doing when you visit London with kids.
22. Hop-on Hop-off London Bus Tour
One of our favorite ways to orient ourselves in a new city is to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour. We love doing these types of tours because we can pack in all the sights (and learn about them too!) in one day and essentially experience a city at a relaxed pace.
We loved doing the hop-on hop-off Rome tour when we were in Italy. And we enjoyed doing a similar hop-on hop-off tour during our Paris 3 day itinerary.
Families who visit London with kids have several options for a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Here are some bus tours to book during your visit:
23. Walking Tour of London
Another fun way to get to know London on a deeper level is to take a walking tour. Families have a large selection of tours they can choose from, whether it’s food tours or historical tours, or Harry Potter filming location tours. There’s a tour for practically every kind of interest.
Here are a few tours you can book when you visit London with kids:
Traditional English Food Tasting and Walking Tour – We love experiencing a city through its food, whether it’s sampling Mexican food in San Miguel de Allende or filling up on street food in Hanoi! For foodies, this London food tour takes travelers to different neighborhoods of London, where they can sample English dishes like scotch eggs, scones, and local cheeses, and visit some London pubs.
Harry Potter London Walking Tour – This tour is geared specifically for Harry Potter fans and fans of the Harry Potter movies. The two hour walking tour takes you to several filming locations throughout London.
London Beatles Tour – For music fans, this London Beatles tour takes travelers to several spots in London that were significant to the Beatles. Included in the tour is a visit to Abbey Road and the site of the last Beatles public performance.
Working Women of the East End Walking Tour – One of the ways that families can practice responsible travel is to learn about the people’s history of a destination. This tour focuses on women’s history of London.
Palaces, Parliament & Power: A Walking Tour of London’s Royal City – This is another historical walking tour that families can take to learn about the history of London. This tour focuses on the powerful and influential places of the city.
24. Street Art Tour of Brick Lane
Located in the eastern part of London, Brick Lane is famous for its street art. It’s traditionally been a haven for immigrants, starting with French, Irish, and Jewish immigrants. Today, Brick Lane is home to a large Bangladeshi community.
Brick Lane is also a popular place for art and fashion. Its vibrant street art draws crowds on a daily basis. And famous street artists like Banksy have used the walls of Brick Lane as their canvas.
If you’re a fan of street art, book this street art tour offered by Alternative London for when you visit London with kids:
25. Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
For all the fans of the Harry Potter films, a visit to the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden is a must. The Warner Bros Studio Tour allows visitors to see actual sets of the movie, get up close and personal to the props and special effects, and learn all about the making of Harry Potter movies.
This is a whole day experience, and is a great way to incorporate worldschooling into your travel experiences. Kids gain behind the scenes information of what goes into making a feature film. And for those who enjoy watching the Harry Potter films, they can see how some of their favorite scenes were made.
The Warner Bros Harry Potter studios is located about 21 miles away from Central London. Families can take a 20 minute train from the London Euston station to Watford Junction. From there, a free shuttle is available to take families to the Warner Bros Studio.
Alternatively, you can book the bus transfer and studio admission offered by Golden Tours. The bus is climate-controlled, and you’ll get to watch a Harry Potter movie during the ride!
Book your Harry Potter studio tour for when you visit London with kids here:
26. Ghost Bus Tour
For travelers and families looking for unique evening things to do in London with kids during their England itinerary, the Ghost Bus Tour of London is the perfect option. It’s a horror-comedy bus tour taking visitors through the streets of London on an old double-decker bus.
Throughout the tour, the tour guide provides humorous commentary on the sites, as well as ghost stories that are sure to entertain. The Ghost Bus Tour lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the traffic.
While most bus tours of London provide useful, though dry, information about the sites of London, the Ghost Bus Tour takes a different approach. Its focus is on fun and humor, rather than education. This is not a tour where you’ll learn a lot about London. But it is a tour that’s sure to be entertaining, perfect for when you visit London with kids!
Tickets to the Ghost Bus Tour costs £24 for adults, and £16 for children between the ages of 5-15 years. Students and seniors are £18. And there’s also a special family rate for 2 adults and 2 children that is £61.
Tours leave at 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm every day. On Saturdays, there are also tours that depart at 6:00 pm.
Book your Ghost Bus Tour of London here:
Want to travel deeper? Read these posts to see slow travel is the way to go.
Other ideas for things to do in London with kids
Besides famous landmarks, museums, parks, and neighborhoods, there are plenty of other things to do when you visit London with kids. London is teeming with so many unique things to do for families.
Here’s a collection of additional ideas of things to do in London with kids. From role-playing to watching shows, there’s an option for every age of kid to enjoy.
27. Kidzania London
For a fun and hands-on learning experience, be sure to visit Kidzania. It’s an interactive indoor amusement park where kids can role play in various jobs and careers. We’ve visited Kidzania in Mexico City, Delhi, and Jakarta, and our kids love trying out all the different types of Kidzania activities that are offered.
The London Kidzania is located in the Westfield London shopping mall in Shepherd’s Bush. Nearby stations include Shepherd’s Bush (servicing the Central line) and Shepherd’s Bush Market (the Circle line and the Hammersmith and City line). Several double decker bus lines also travel there.
If you’re planning to do Kidzania while you visit London with kids, you can buy tickets at the door. Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time here:
28. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Contributed by Ashleigh from Ashleigh’s Atlas
If you’re looking for the best things to do in London with kids, make sure you go to the Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Harry Potter fans will love it, but it’s also worth going to even if you’re not into Harry Potter.
The play is very long so it will be better for older kids. It is split into two parts – and each part is two and a half hours long. Most people see it consecutively i.e. all in one day with a break in between and go out for dinner. If you have kids you may wish to see it over two days so it’s not such a long time for them to sit still.
You would think it would be boring if it’s so long, but I was hooked the whole time even though I don’t even like Harry Potter. I didn’t think it was too long or there were any parts they should have cut.
If you’re planning to catch the Harry Potter play when you visit London with kids, be sure to check the show times. It’s on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (Part 1 at 2pm and Part 2 at 7pm) and Sundays (Part 1 at 1pm and Part 2 at 6pm). The Sunday performance may be better for kids since it finishes earlier.
Tickets book out months in advance so make sure to book them early. The prices vary depending on what seats you get but are roughly 100 pounds a ticket.
29. Sea Life London Aquarium
Contributed by Paulina from UK Everyday
Sea Life London Aquarium is set in a very convenient location which makes it a good family activity option when you visit London with kids. It is just a few minutes walk from Waterloo Station by the River Thames. In this area of London you will find plenty of landmarks such as the London Eye or Big Ben, so make sure to get a ticket that includes a few other attractions in its price.
There are different zones in Sea Life London Aquarium to explore such as Ocean Invaders, Rainforest Adventure, and Coral Kingdom. During a visit, kids will be impressed with a variety of species from different parts of the world. It takes less than 2 hours to explore the Sea Life London Aquarium so it is a perfect idea for a few hours out in London with your kid.
Some of the species to admire include clown fish, yellow tang, or jellyfish. Kids will be also fascinated with huge sharks such as sand tiger sharks or nurse sharks. When they enter the world of intriguing creatures they will fall in love with this place.
Visiting London can be a great adventure to explore tropical fishes with your kid. There is no better place to see a crocodile in the capital than Sea Life London Aquarium. Also, admiring jellyfishes will stay in your kid’s memories forever. Those colorful creatures look really incredible so if you want to explore London with a kid, look no further than Sea Life London Aquarium.
30. London’s West End
Contributed by Kelly from Girl with the Passport
If you’re looking to enjoy your time when you visit London with kids, then head over to the West End and experience all that this amazing part of the city has to offer.
Not only can you attend a wide variety of kid friendly shows like Lion King, Frozen, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but you can also visit vibrant shopping areas along Oxford Street and pick-up kid friendly souvenirs at the Disney Store.
In particular, Primark is a great budget shopping spot in London where you can purchase a wide array of Harry Potter inspired souvenirs.
Afterward, walk to Leicester Square to explore M&Ms World before stepping inside the largest LEGO Store in the world.
Next, grab a selfie with the family at Piccadilly Circus before visiting top art exhibits at The National Gallery or The Royal Academy of Arts.
If you’re looking for some more adrenaline-fueled fun things to do in London with kids, then try out the Crystal Maze Live Experience.
It consists of fun mental and physical challenges that you need to complete to earn crystals. Each crystal earned will get you more time in the final challenge – time that you can use to catch as many tokens as possible.
Then when you’re feeling a bit hungry, take the kids to a family-friendly restaurant like the Rainforest Cafe. Otherwise, grab some authentic street food at Berwick Street Market.
It’s not only one of London’s oldest markets but it’s a great place to try delicious, fresh pastries from local hot spots like Continental Bread.
Need travel planning tips? Read my post on planning a family vacation.
Making the moments count as you visit London with kids
Hopefully, this extensive list has given you plenty of ideas to make your trip to London memorable and enjoyable. We loved our time in London, and can’t wait for the next time we will visit London with kids.
As you plan for your upcoming trip, remember to plan it the way that feels most comfortable for you. Don’t feel obliged to do everything on this list. And if you find things to do in London with kids that aren’t on this list, please do share them with me. I’m always looking for new ideas for future trips.
Have you had a chance to visit London with kids? Share what you did in the comments below!
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