Even just bringing the children into the city can feel overwhelming, but working out the best things to do with kids and the family to keep them suitably entertained is half of the challenge. That's why we've curated this ultimate guide to London attractions and activities for kids, from hitting up an urban city farm to visiting one of the many free museums; here's our London activity guide for those looking for more than one way to keep the kids happy.
Guide to things to do with kids in London
In this guide
Activities and things to do with kids in London
- Natural History Museum – A fun way to learn
- Science Museum – Thriving science and technology museum
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – A must for Potterheads
- Hackney City Farm – The workings of an urban farm
- London Zoo – Long-established zoo
- Crystal Palace Park Farm – Get to know farm life
- The V&A – The world's leading design museum
- Monopoly Lifesized – On-your-feet Monopoly
- Hamleys – The world's largest and oldest toy shop
- Unicorn Theatre – A theatre dedicated to children
- Tumbling Bay Playground – Parks and climbing galore
- Sea Life Centre – Go under the sea
- Richmond Park – An ancient London park
- Victoria Park – An East London gem
- London Transport Museum – London's historical hub for city transport
- National Maritime Museum – Maritime-themed fun
- Belmont Farm – Meet a variety of farm animals
- Hoxton Street Monster Supplies – Where to buy all of your monster supplies
- Bunker 51 – A Cold War-themed bunker
- Tower of London – A London landmark
- Gosh! Comics – One for the comic fans
- The National Gallery – The National Gallery with kids
- Whitechapel Gallery – Art for the little ones
- Finsbury Park – An urban green space in North London
- All Star Lanes – Bowling and American comfort food
- KidZania – A miniature city for miniature people
- The Wallace Collection – Art and armour at The Wallace Collection
- Immersive Gamebox – A world of immersive gaming
- Imperial War Museum – The story of WWI and WWII
- Go fruit picking with the little ones – Pick your own fruit
- Museum of the Home – The evolution of home
- Hackney Bumps – Get them skating
- Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – See an unusual sight together
- Coram's Fields – Popular with kids for decades
- Lost Jungle London – Go crazy with golf
- Pandemonium – Discover new toys
- Ruislip Lido – Fun at the beach
- Flip Out – Bounce around
Activities and things to do with kids in London
A fun way to learn
There's nowhere quite like The Natural History Museum when you're a child in London, plus, it's free to visit. Housed in a beautiful building in Kensington, this museum teaches incredible lessons about the world's natural history through interactive exhibitions and jawdropping displays. The giant life-sized whale is a firm favourite amongst children and adults alike.
Thriving science and technology museum
The free-to-visit science museum is home to interactive galleries and award-winning exhibitions telling the story of incredible scientific achievements. The museum houses more than 15,000 unique objects, like a real piece of the moon and the spacecraft that the astronaut Tim Peake travelled on when he came back to Earth from the space station.
A must for Potterheads
Explore the Wizarding World at the film studio that was home to the Harry Potter film franchise for over a decade. The studio features sets, props, and costumes created for the films and saved by the crew to showcase the magic of filmmaking to fans. Discover original sets, animatronic creatures, and special effects on two soundstages and a backlot adjacent to the working film studios. Accessible from London via Watford Junction, shuttle buses take you directly to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour venue.
The workings of an urban farm
See farm animals up close and get to know the workings of an urban farm at Hackney City Farm in Bethnal Green. This community charity spot teaches some excellent lessons about the natural world and farm life whilst also teaching the skills to live life with a minimal environmental impact. There's also a farmyard shop for stocking up on homemade goodies and snacks.
It's the oldest scientific zoo in the world but London Zoo remains a popular day out with the city's residents and visitors today. A whole host of different creatures live here and there are various activities and food and drinks options on-site. Educational activities aimed at children take place here regularly, including during school holidays.
Get to know farm life
Crystal Palace Park Farm is free to visit and offers a fantastic opportunity for children to get stuck into urban farm life. Meet and greet an assortment of animals like donkeys, horses and pigs, and learn all about the ins and outs of a working farm.
The world's leading design museum
Enjoy the ultimate power of creativity at the V&A museum, the world's leading design museum home to more than 2.3 million objects dating back over 5,000 years. You can wander around rooms featuring the museum’s permanent collection or swing by one of their seasonal exhibitions; previous shows have included Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, to name a few.
Take part in an immersive indoor life-sized Monopoly on a 15-metre X 15-metre board. The game is suitable for anyone aged nine or over but younger players are encouraged to play the junior board, a fun fairground board that is packed with family-friendly challenges.
The world's largest and oldest toy shop
For a child, there's no place quite like Hamleys. There are a few branches dotted around the city, but the most impressive is Hamleys on Regent Street. People travel far and wide to visit this iconic toy shop, and it’s not hard to see why; it houses seven floors full of games, toys, and arts and crafts and is the world’s oldest and largest toy store.
A theatre dedicated to children
Unicorn Theatre is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, creating productions that aim to encourage children to question and explore the world around them. They emphasise the importance of accessibility and believe that children of all abilities and perspectives have the right to experience this kind of work.
Parks and climbing galore
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park features Tumbling Bay Playground with rock pools, sand pits, slides, swings, wobbly bridges and more and has been built on the natural landscape of the ground. It has been built with the aim to encourage children to play in a more natural environment. There are also parks with more challenging climbing frames as well as a climbing wall and water fountains for cooling off from the summertime heat.
Go under the sea
All age groups will be fascinated by what they see at Sea Life Centre London Aquarium. Located on the South Bank, this aquarium is home to the UK's biggest coral reef as well as a wide array of aquatic creatures. Learn more at a feeding session or a talk from one of the expert staff.
An ancient London park
Get up close to herds of deer just a stone's throw from central London in Richmond Park, an area teeming with ancient trees and wildlife species. You can also try your hand at horse riding or hiring a bike to explore off-road along the Tamsin Trail.
An East London gem
Get lost in the leafy Victoria Park in East London, where you can make use of the playground facilities, hop on two wheels at the skate park or even hire a pedalo boat on the lake. Be sure to grab a pastry and juice from Pavilion bakery at some point throughout your day here.
London's historical hub for city transport
Visit the world’s leading museum of urban transport at the London Transport Museum. Here you can learn about the link between the growth of London and transport dating all the way back to 1800. See a whole range of transport treasures from red route buses to classic London taxis.
Visit the free National Maritime Museum with your children to discover the fascinating world of maritime treasures. Throughout the summer months, there are maritime-themed events taking place, including indoor and outdoor play sessions and plenty of games.
Meet a variety of farm animals
Take the kids along to learn about the ins and outs of a working farm at Belmont Farm in Mill Hill, North London. Here they can meet an assortment of farm animals, like cows, chickens, sheep and even alpacas. You can head along to meet different animals, like the ‘meet the cows’ session, where children can learn a little about the dairy industry and the lives of the cows that live at Belmont Farm.
Where to buy all of your monster supplies
Whether you want to stock up on chocolate common toads or a jar of edible eyeballs, you can get all of your monster supplies from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. This one-of-a-kind store prides itself on being the only purveyor of goods for monsters of every kind and even just browsing offers the little ones a unique and entertaining experience.
A Cold War-themed bunker
Get stuck into a game of junior paintball at Bunker51, a themed Cold War nuclear bunker activity centre for all ages. Not only do they do children-friendly paintballing, but they also host airsoft games, laser tag, escape rooms and a variety of zombie experiences so that there's something to suit every child.
A London landmark
Explore London's World Heritage Site at The Tower of London, a royal fortress and London landmark. Once inside, you can ogle the Crown Jewels up close, meet the infamous ravens and explore the castle ground at your own leisure. This historical site plays an important role in telling the story of the royal history of London and is a must for anyone visiting the country.
One for the comic fans
Gosh! Comics is one is for comic book enthusiasts. Located on a street in Soho, this comic book store stocks everything from graphic novels to limited edition comic books. However, they've also got sections dedicated entirely to kids.
The National Gallery with kids
Step into a fascinating world of art with your little ones at The National Gallery. The gallery houses a collection of incredible paintings, from Da Vinci and Van Gogh to Monet and Turner which you can enjoy simply admiring, but there’s also a plethora of activities for families to enjoy, like storytelling sessions and audio tours for kids.
Art for the little ones
Enjoy the artist-led workshops, events and exhibitions hosted at Whitechapel Gallery for children and families. Get stuck into under-fives sessions, reading workshops and other child-friendly experiences that are sure to keep your little one busy for the best part of a day.
An urban green space in North London
Finsbury Park went through a major spell of renovations during the early 2000s and now is chock full of things to do and explore. There’s a play area for children, tennis courts, a running track and plenty of surrounding walking routes - the one from Ally Pally to Finsbury Park is a must.
Bowling and American comfort food
Try your hand at a spot of bowling at one of All Star Lanes' funky bowling alleys. Once you've worked up a suitable appetite, finish the session with some delicious homemade American food, like the classic Mac ’n’ cheese or the crispy buttermilk chicken thighs with American cheese sauce.
A miniature city for miniature people
This microcosm of a classic city has been built purposely to teach children aged between four and 14 about the workings of everyday life. Let your child engage in role play as they make their way around the city, from learning to be a pilot to putting out fires as the local fire brigade.
Art and armour at The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is open for families to explore throughout the entire year. Get stuck into their downloadable activities or take part in their monthly Hands On Armour sessions that pair handling real armour alongside creative workshops and storytelling for an immersive and interactive experience.
A world of immersive gaming
Get lost in a world of immersive gaming at this unique experience at a few London locations. All of the games use motion tracking, touch screens and surround sound for the ultimate experience from the moment you enter the box. It's also a great activity for team building as you have to play in groups of two to six.
The story of WWI and WWII
This one is suitable for slightly older children but is still definitely worth a visit. Here you can learn all about WWI and WWII and how human conflict has had an impact on Britain throughout the years. You can see how London survived the Blitz as well the stories of those who took part in either war.
Pick your own fruit
Whatever the season or time of year, there's always something you can pick at a pick-your-own farm around London. October brings big plump pumpkins, spring sees the arrival of raspberries and blackberries, and come Christmas time, you can even pick your own Christmas tree at certain spots. It's a great activity for children to get stuck into whilst also learning about seasonal produce. Take a look at our fruit-picking article to find the best spot.
The evolution of home
This free museum is located in an 18th-century Grade I-listed structure on Kingsland Road, offering insightful stories about the evolution of homes over the centuries. Witness the transformation of interiors from 1600 to the present day and delve into the changing trends in decoration and furniture. Additionally, you can enjoy a splendid garden adorned with seasonal exhibits that showcase the historical evolution of gardens.
Get them skating
If your kids are keen on skateboarding, Hackney Bumps is the ideal place for them to learn the ropes. This community project was built in Clapton in the 1980s and is ideal for skating beginners, made up of concrete bumps without ledges or rails. Skating classes for kids, with all equipment provided, are available here too.
See an unusual sight together
Kids and adults will be equally entertained looking at the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. These Grade I listed monuments were built in the Victorian days and are pretty different to what we know about dinosaurs now. Families can tour these fascinating sculptures on foot or by pedalo for a rather surprising day out.
Popular with kids for decades
Coram's Fields in Bloomsbury is a seven-acre playground that's been in situ since the 1930s. Open to anyone aged under 16, there are a number of areas and loads of fun to discover. Take on the zip wire or climbing wall, jump in the paddling pool, or run around to work off some energy.
Go crazy with golf
On the outskirts of the city, you'll find Lost Jungle London, the largest adventure golf course in Europe. There's no need to book ahead – turn up when you're ready to play. Three exciting and challenging courses are available to try, with dramatic decor to set the scene. You can also book kids' parties here.
Discover new toys
Your kids won't get bored of shopping if you take them to Pandemonium. This well-stocked toy shop has a vibrant red exterior and is jam-packed with thrilling toys and games for various age ranges. Best of all, there's an on-site playroom where kids can have fun and the adults can relax with a coffee.
Fun at the beach
London has its own beach in Ruislip Lido. On the edge of the capital, this artificial beach is a sandy spot ideal for various activities. Kids will be entertained by the play areas around here, plus there's a miniature railway that's a fun way to explore the surroundings.
Take the kids to work off some energy at Flip Out. These lively trampoline and adventure playgrounds have areas for all ages, including the smallest children. Each venue is a hive of activity and colour, with various features to explore. Parties for kids are available here as well.