Teens can be notoriously challenging to impress, but with a city as varied and vibrant as London, there's plenty to offer the discerning teenager looking to fill their time with something they're passionate about. Whether or not your teen knows what sparks their interest, this guide covers all bases so that there's something for everyone. From creative pursuits at The Cartoon Museum to racing around multi-level race tracks at TeamSport, here's our guide to the top things to do with teenagers in London.
Guide to things to do with teenagers in London
In this guide
Things to do with teenagers in London
- Monopoly Lifesized – Monopoly but make it supersized
- The Jack the Ripper Tour – Travel back to the 1800s
- ClueQuest – Escape rooms and virtual reality
- ArcelorMittal Orbit – Slide down the tallest slide in the world
- Plonk – Nine crazy holes for crazy kids
- Natural History Museum – 4.6 billion years of human history
- Science Museum – For wide-eyed teens
- Bunker 51 – Zombie S.W.A.T training, anyone?
- Whistle Punks – From the woods to the city
- Electric Cinema – For those movie marathons
- Clink Prison Museum – Old Bankside's sordid past
- Shakespeare's Globe – Visit the site of Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre
- All Star Lanes – A luxe bowling alley
- Sherlock: The Official Live Game – For the wannabe detectives
- Seven Dials Market – For the foodie teens
- Forbidden Planet – One for the comic enthusiasts
- Bounce – Ping pong galore
- God's Own Junkyard – A neon heaven
- Hackney City Farm – The workings of a city farm
- The V&A – For those with a keen interest in design
- Regent's Park Open Air Theatre – For the performers
- The National Gallery – For the young artists
- Kew Gardens – A healthy dose of nature
- British Museum – Two million years of human history
- Otherworld – A virtual reality hub
- Immersive Gamebox – A hyper-immersive adventure
- Portobello Road Market – Perfect for a Sunday stroll
- British Library – The largest library in the world
- Sky Garden – For the best views of the city
- The Cartoon Museum – An exploration of creativity
- HMS Belfast – Ahoy Captain
- Churchill War Rooms – Churchill's preserved war rooms
- Tate Modern – For the budding artists
- Barbican Conservatory – One for the plant-lovers
- Design Museum – For the budding designers
- TeamSport Go Karting – Get your heart pumping
- Westfield – For the shopaholic teens
Things to do with teenagers in London
Fun things to do in London with teens
Monopoly but make it supersized
What's better than a lengthy monopoly game with your nearest and dearest? A supersized version. Monopoly life-sized has landed in central London, and it's bigger and better than ever. This immersive, on-your-feet version of the nation's favourite game will keep teens busy for as long as it takes to get around the board without getting locked up in jail. Pop along to the Top Hat Bar and Restaurant for a bite to eat when you've worked up an appetite post-game.
Travel back to the 1800s
Retrace the steps of the infamous Jack the Ripper, who committed his grisly murders on the streets of Whitechapel in the 1800s. Your guide will take you to the very spots he walked, showing you exactly where he committed his gruesome murders. Hear the accurate recount of the events that took place more than 125 years ago and listen as your expert guide trails you through the East End, through the cobbled alleyways of the old Victorian streets, using hand-held projectors to bring the horrifying events to life.
Escape rooms and virtual reality
Choose from four immersive games at this escape room on Caledonian Road. You’ll be given a set amount of time to try and complete all of the challenges and puzzles and solve the missions before the timer is up. They also offer VR experiences where you can lose yourself in the virtual reality world, with the choice of three missions using award-winning gameplay.
Slide down the tallest slide in the world
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and the world’s tallest slide. The iconic red structure, located in the newly built Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers sweeping views of the city skyline from the very top and is one of the more thrilling ways to enjoy London's epic vistas.
Nine crazy holes for crazy kids
Try your hand at mini golf, nine crazy holes to be precise, at any of Plonk’s vibrant venues around the city. The courses are decked out with colourful graffiti art and murals, and the course is suitable for all ages. When you’ve been around the course, have a go on any of the arcade games if you want to carry on the fun.
4.6 billion years of human history
There's nowhere quite as magical in London as The Natural History Museum. It's housed in an architectural landmark, built in a Gothic Revival and twelfth-century Romanesque style, and is a marvel to even look at. The museum tells the all-important story of human history, spanning 4.6 billion years and is home to fascinating displays and exhibitions, like Dippy the Dinosaur which is a life-sized recreation of a diplodocus using real dinosaur bones.
For wide-eyed teens
London's Science Museum is one of the most interactive museums in London, jam-packed with scientific knowledge about everything from aviation and space to the development of technology and the history of farming. It's sure to keep teenagers wide-eyed. There's also an excellent café where you can sit with a bite to eat and drink.
Zombie S.W.A.T training, anyone?
This is for the teens that play a little too much Call of Duty. Bunker 51 is a cold war-themed nuclear bunker in North Greenwich, packed with heart-thumping games and activities. Enjoy airsoft, laser tag, paintball and more, with games catering to different age groups. They also have several escape rooms and zombie training experiences for those seeking even more of a thrill.
From the woods to the city
Forget trekking into the woods to get your axe-throwing fix; you can now give it a go in the city with Whistlepunks. These guys were the first people to bring axe-throwing out of the wilderness to create an instructor-led experience. Learn from the professionals before challenging your friends to see who can hit the most bullseyes, then enjoy one of their delicious pizzas post-throw.
For those movie marathons
Electric Cinema is one of the oldest cinemas in London and one of the oldest working film theatres in Britain. Inside it’s swanky and houses plush leather armchairs for comfortable viewing as well as a handful of front-row beds and back-row sofas for two. Pair your trip with a meal from the American-themed Electric Diner next door.
Visit the site of Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre
Shakespeare’s Globe is a world-renowned theatre located in a scenic spot on the bank of the River Thames. In 1613 a theatrical canon misfired during a performance, and The Globe was destroyed. However, in 1970 an authentic replica was rebuilt in the same spot. Today, it’s a cultural landmark with a roster of incredible performances throughout the week and is an excellent spot to bring teens with a keen interest in Shakespeare.
A luxe bowling alley
This luxe bowling alley offers up more than just ten-pin bowling; there’s a restaurant, bar and lounge area, and even karaoke booths. Try your hand at a game or two of bowling before stopping by the restaurant for a bite to eat. They serve classic American fare, like burgers, buffalo wings and mac ’n’ cheese.
For the wannabe detectives
Transport your teen straight into Sherlock’s world, giving them a taste of what life as a detective would be like. The experience lasts for 90 minutes and includes the original sets and props from the show. See if they've got what it takes to solve the mysteries and puzzles before the time is up. The script has even been written by The BBC Sherlock show creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
For the foodie teens
Sample some of the best street food in the city at Seven Dials Market, an epic food market by the renowned Kerb brand. They serve a range of independent food and drink in an atmospheric setting. You'll find everything from cheese conveyor belts and truffle burgers to vegan tacos and more here.
One for the comic enthusiasts
Forbidden Planet is the place to go for all things sci-fi, graphic novels, action figures, clothing, and more. It’s the ultimate fantasy superstore, spanning several floors of merchandise. They also host regular meet-and-greets with superstars like Jason Mamoa and Dan Fogler.
Ping pong galore
If you're a fan of ping pong, shuffleboard, or beer pong, pop along to Bounce, London's ultimate ping pong restaurant and bar. They welcome under 18s in the venue during their off-peak hours, where you can enjoy a range of games, including a new game called Wonderball, an immersive, computerised version of ping pong using state-of-the-art projection mapping. Refuel with some bar snacks and a pizza post-game in the bar area.
A neon heaven
God’s Own Junkyard is a neon-lit, psychedelic paradise in an old warehouse in Walthamstow. It was created by Chris Bracey, who started out by creating signs for Soho’s strip clubs and brothels before moving on to making props for big-name film directors in Hollywood. It’s filled with vintage signs, old film props, disco balls and various trinkets, and treasures. Spend some time ogling the hundreds of signs before grabbing a bite to eat at the on-site café, The Rolling Scones.
The workings of a city farm
Take your teen to see the ins and outs of a working farm at Hackney City Farm, where you can get up close to a range of farmyard animals, from pigs and donkeys to sheep and goats. The farm has been functioning in the city for over 35 years and is an important part of the local community. They are committed to helping people learn about where their food comes from and about nature and the environment.
For those with a keen interest in design
The V&A is the leading museum for art and design in London, exhibiting everything from ornate architecture and timeless fashion pieces to delicate ceramics and much more. The museum offers a variety of ways to learn about the collections on display while hosting various events for different ages. There’s even a programme dedicated entirely to young people interested in performance, architecture, digital design and fashion, consisting of workshops, courses, festivals and career-focused events.
For the performers
This award-winning theatre is a long-standing favourite, especially throughout the summer months. It’s one of London’s largest theatres and is set in the scenic Regents Park, surrounded by lush forest and greenery, making for an enchanting spot to catch a show. They host everything from musicals and classic plays to plays for children, and many of the productions go on to tour the rest of the world.
For the young artists
This one is for teen art aficionados. The National Gallery is home to one of the most spectacular collections of European paintings worldwide, housing collections dating from the 13th century to the early 20th century. You’ll find everything from Van Gogh to Leonardo da Vinci. The best bit? It’s completely free to visit.
A healthy dose of nature
If you've got a teen that would prefer to be out and about in nature, take them along to Kew Gardens. Stroll through the gorgeous outside gardens, through beautiful blooms, between towering trees and past glistening lakes. Make sure you stop by the Princess of Wales Conservatory, a plant-filled hub that's home to a computer-controlled climate and a series of incredible micro-ecosystems.
Two million years of human history
The British Museum houses a whopping eight million works, divided into different periods and origins dating back two million years ago. It’s the ultimate spot to learn about other cultures worldwide, from the dawn of human history to the present day. Delve into ancient Egyptian times or take it back to the Japanese Edo period; there’s so much to be explored at this iconic British institute.
A virtual reality hub
Step into a virtual reality world at this immersive VR gaming experience in Victoria and Hackney. The space is decked out in a futuristic fashion; even the bathrooms are next-level modern. There are 14 custom-built booths integrated with extra-sensory effects for a truly immersive gaming experience, including artificial heat, wind and scent responses resulting from the user’s experience. Choose from sixteen games, from zombie fighting and climbing mountains to robot slaying and more.
A hyper-immersive adventure
Immersive Gamebox offers the chance to get stuck into a hyper-immersive adventure. They have numerous locations dotted around the UK and are home to interactive digital rooms featuring surround sound, projection mapping, touch screens and motion tracking for the ultimate sensory adventure. Choose from various interactive games, from Squid Game and Angry Birds to CIA training and trivia quizzes.
Perfect for a Sunday stroll
Portobello Road Market is the largest antique market in the world, situated the rainbow-coloured houses in the borough of Notting Hill. It’s been around for more than 150 years and is renowned for its incredible selection of antiques, street food, clothing, and bric-a-brac items. It’s a lovely spot to take a stroll and rummage, followed by a bite to eat at the neighbouring street food market.
The largest library in the world
Bibliophile teens will love the British Library, one of the largest libraries in the world and a neverending treasure trove of literature. It houses everything from novels and manuscripts to letters, religious texts and photographs, comprising 170 million items dating back to 3,000 years ago.
For the best views of the city
Enjoy spectacular city skyline views at London's highest public garden, Sky Garden. It's located on the 36th floor of the iconic Walkie-Talkie building and is filled with lush hanging Mediterranean and South African plants framing the 360-degree windows. The best bit? Visiting is free; you just need to secure tickets in advance. Children under 16 are only permitted to enter during certain hours, so check ahead of your visit.
An exploration of creativity
If you've got a teen who's an avid comic or cartoon fan, you must take them to The Cartoon Museum. This museum is the ultimate hub for British cartoons, showcasing incredible artworks from the 18th century to the modern day. They also host various learning programs and workshops to encourage young people to explore their creativity after being inspired by the cartoons and comics on display at the museum.
Bring amateur teen explorers on board the HMS Belfast, moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, to see the inner workings of this iconic London landmark. Make your way up and down the ship's ladders to explore all nine decks while re-imagining what life would've been like onboard when it was used to fight during the Korean War and World War II.
Churchill's preserved war rooms
Hidden beneath Westminster, you’ll find the Cabinet War Rooms, where Churchill and his team rustled up wartime strategies, ultimately winning them the fight against the Nazis in WWII. The rooms have been left exactly as they were in 1945 and provide a fascinating glimpse into this period of history.
For the budding artists
The Tate Modern is one of the most famous galleries in the world, housing a permanent collection of art spanning hundreds of years. You’ll find artwork from the early 1900s to the present day, as well as temporary exhibitions with artists like Andy Warhol and Olafur Eliasson.
One for the plant-lovers
The Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London, brimming with an oasis of tropical flora and fauna. It’s home to more than 1,500 species of plants and trees from around the world, including Swiss cheese plants, orchids and ginger plants. There’s also an Arid House attached to the side of the conservatory, where you’ll find collections of cacti, succulents and cymbidiums.
For the budding designers
If you’ve got a budding designer amongst you, then take them along to the Design Museum. Unlike the V&A, which showcases 5,000 years of art and design, this museum is dedicated to contemporary design in every form. Explore the museum’s permanent collection or visit a regularly changing exhibition.
Get your heart pumping
Get your heart racing, do your best Lewis Hamilton impression and hop on board a go-kart at TeamSport, where you can fly around any of their five racing tracks located around the city. It’s got epic multi-level tracks with straights measuring up to 1000m and is the host of the first-ever official British Indoor Karting Championship, BIKC.
For the shopaholic teens
We all know teens love a spot of shopping, and Westfield is probably one of the best places to scratch the itch. The malls house many of our most-loved brands, from Nike and Adidas to Zara, Claire's, JD Sports and more. There's even a food court in each of the malls so that you can refuel with something tasty mid-shopping session.