Things to do in London with kids
With world-class museums, fascinating historical sites, beautiful parks, incredible shopping and an endless list of cultural attractions, London is an excellent city for families. With so much on offer across the capital, there’s simply no time for children or their parents to get bored. The only problem is knowing where to start. Follow this two-day itinerary to inspire and entertain the whole family during your stay in London.
Begin the day with a 10-minute drive, or 30-minute walk through Hyde Park, to The Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum
The giant skeleton of a blue whale towers over visitors as they arrive at The Natural History Museum, a preview of the impressive artefacts on display. The museum is home to a collection of 80 million specimens spanning billions of years of natural history, alongside interactive displays and activities to inspire children and adults alike.
Then, take a 20-minute drive to ZSL London Zoo.
ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world, home to hundreds of species from gorillas and lions to reptiles and insects. It’s easy to spend hours exploring its many exhibits, the living rainforest being a particular a highlight. Zookeepers also host daily activities such as penguin shows, talks at animal enclosures and feeding sessions.
From the zoo, take a 15-minute taxi ride to Hyde Park.
As well as being one of London’s most beautiful parks, the 350-acre Hyde Park is a popular destination for families. Spend an hour boating on the Serpentine, enjoy a picturesque horse ride, tackle the climbing frames in the playground or pick up ice creams and fresh sandwiches from one of the park kiosks for a picnic lunch.
Exit the park on the north-east side and take a 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk to Hamleys on Regent Street.
England’s most famous toy store, a trip to Hamleys, is a magical experience for children. Open since 1760, the fine toy shop offers an enormous selection of toys for all ages across several floors. On each level, entertainers show off the newest products available, giving children a chance to try before you buy. Life-size Hamley and Hattie Bear also pop in to meet visitors at regular intervals each day.
To reach the next stop, take a 20-minute stroll through Soho over to Covent Garden.
Covent Garden in the city’s vibrant West End is a highlight for the whole family. You’ll find the world-famous Apple Market here, where all manner of artisanal trinkets, art and antiques are available to purchase. Street performers are commonplace in the old Piazza, with jaw-dropping routines drawing crowds in their hundreds. The square is also home to a multitude of restaurants. Check out the adjacent East Colonnade Market for handmade sweet treats, soaps and jewellery.
To get back to the hotel, it’s a 10-minute taxi ride.
Start the second day with a 15-minute drive south of the River Thames to the London Eye.
The London Eye
At 135m in height, The London Eye is one of the world’s tallest observation wheels. Visitors enjoy a 4D cinema experience before boarding the wheel, which rises to offer breathtaking 360-degree views over the city and its sites. An exhilarating experience for children of all ages, it’s also an excellent photo opportunity. Private capsules can be hired for large family outings or a special occasion.
Next, take a two-minute walk to SEA LIFE London Aquarium, a stone’s throw from the London Eye.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
SEA LIFE London Aquarium is home to one of the largest collections of marine life in Europe, with countless species of local and international fish, jellyfish, octopi, turtles, rays, sharks, and much more. There’s also colony of penguins and a rainforest zone where river predators such as crocodiles, catfish and piranhas live. Adventurous families can book interactive experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours or shark feeding.
Take a scenic walk along the South Bank for 25-minutes, or hail a taxi for a 10-minute drive to Shakespeare’s Globe.
If your child has been studying William Shakespeare in school, treat them to a trip to Shakespeare’s Globe. The theatre is a replica of the original 16th century theatre where the playwright’s famous plays where first performed. Family-friendly tours of the building and fascinating live demonstrations about Elizabethan life run throughout the day. Book tickets to catch a performance of one of the playwright’s much-loved works.
To reach the next location, take a 25-minute drive east along the River Thames.
The famous Cutty Sark was the fastest ship in the world when it was built in 1869 to transport tea from China to Britain. Today, it’s a popular attraction for families fascinated by marine history. Young sailors can explore the ship to meet Captain Woodget and other characters from Cutty Sark’s history, take control at the wheel, climb into the crew’s bunks and enjoy interactive games and activities.
Then, take a 25-minute drive north of the river to the V&A Museum of Childhood.
V&A Museum of Childhood
An excellent opportunity for children to learn and for adults to reminisce, the V&A Museum of Childhood is the biggest institution of its kind in the world. Discover the UK’s largest collection of dolls, as well as teddy bears, books, clothing and games, some of which date back to the 1600s. Children can also enjoy interactive tours, storytelling and arts and crafts workshops.
A drive back to the hotel will take 35 minutes.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.