We love our visits to London and are lucky to live about 90 minutes away by train so can easily go up for the day. Yes, it’s always busy and can be hectic if you have to navigate the underground at all, but every trip is worthwhile. Here are ten of our favourite things to do in London with children.
Ripleys Believe It Or Not
Fun and funky, there’s something for everyone at Ripleys, with the new Alice in Wonderland segment, crazy art gallery, unusual history room, and lots of record breakers. Tickets are on the expensive side and it’s not an activity that will fill a whole day, but it is definitely worth a visit.
Worth a photograph if you’re passing through, particularly if your little ones are fans of the furry fella.
Standing outside the Queen’s house is invariably a highlight of every London trip, so the time we actually went inside (well, into the courtyard, anyway) was a definite hit. A short visit ideal for kids aged 5 and over.
If you can, try and visit off-peak as queues here can get ridiculous, meaning once you’re inside there’s little scope to actually stop and looking at anything due to the sheer volume of visitors. Miss J loved doing the behind the scenes tour last year, and the sharks are always a highlight for the boy.
National Portrait Gallery
Great for budding artists, this gallery often has free family activities – when we visited, Miss J was given a sketch book to draw her favourite pictures in. It kept her nice and quiet meaning I could actually have a good look round too!
If you ever want to amaze your children, surprise them with a ride on one of these buses – the look on their faces when it drives into the water will be well worth it! We did this at the weekend and had a great time. Our guide was very funny and informative though admitted he deviated from the usual speech as his only audience was us (two adults and three children) and two Italian girls who didn’t really understand him anyway. Both he and the driver were very patient with the children who wanted to ask lots of (not always sensible) questions and move around to see out of various windows.
Prices for this start at £24 for an adult. Thoroughly recommended to see the sights and learn a bit about them along the way.
Free entry and no queues make this museum a popular choice for families. Obviously, some of the subject matter is not suitable for younger children (there is currently a holocaust exhibition with a recommended minimum age of 14) but there are plenty of things for them to do regardless. Unfortunately, we only had time to explore one area when we visited last weekend, and that was the WW1 exhibition. There was lots of learning to be done for us all, including several interactive displays for the children. One of their favourites parts was the dress up area. We have already decided to visit again soon as there are many, many more areas we would like to see.
Another expensive attraction, but one that offers the best views in London in our opinion. Shorter queues than the Eye and easy to get to with little ones as it is situated right by the nearest tube station.
A bus tour with a difference where you will learn all the dark and horrid secrets of London! Our tour was specifically for children though I am unsure if regular tours are suitable.
Thames River Cruise
I love a good river cruise, having enjoyed them in Paris and Amsterdam, and London is no exception. The guides are generally fun and informative and love to answer questions from children.
For more ideas on the best things to do in London, visit Groupon, where you will find everything from vintage open top bus tours and city cruises to a Jack the Ripper walking tour… creepy!