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The best things to do in London with kids

With so many things to do in London with kids, the trickiest part of a family city break is working out what to fit into your stay – after more than 40 years visiting and living in the capital, I’m proof positive as my own wishlist is still far from ticked off.

Boy in a toy bearskin hat lying on a chalk picture of London landmarks - the best things to do in London with kids

So to start you off, I’ve rounded-up some of the best London attractions to visit with kids, all perfect for a family day out in London – along with the best-known London family attractions and museums, you can find places to get outside, ideas for kids who love animals, history-lovers, royal London and more.

These include my own unmissable highlights, plus ideas for if you’re visiting London for the first time, along with more unusual things to do in London with the family, things to do in London with toddlers, and inspiration for a rainy day in London in my other posts too.

London museums and art galleries with kids

London is a sheer treasure trove of fabulous museums, many of them free to visit – prebooked tickets may not be required year-round but are usually recommended during peak season, some with timed slots.

The most popular museums do get booked up fast during school holidays too so it’s worth snapping up the early entry times.

Check out this post for more tips on visiting London’s best museums with kids

View of the whale skeleton hanging in the Hintze Hall of the Natural History Museum in London - one of the best things to do in London with kids

The Natural History Museum

If you see only one museum in London with kids (and really, one isn’t enough!), make it the wonderful Natural History Museum.

Most famous for its dinosaurs, these are still the highlight for most young visitors – even if Dippy the dinosaur has moved on from his home in the main Hintze Hall, to be replaced by Hope the Blue Whale.

The dinosaurs are only the beginning though, with galleries on mammals and insect life, birds galore and marine creatures, plus geology and the famous earthquake simulator.

There are also regular exhibitions, for an extra charge – previous events have included the Fantastic Beasts exhibition, while Dippy’s brief return is being followed by a special Titanosaur exhibition for 2023.

You can prebook tickets to the Natural History Museum, which is strongly advised for peak periods, including weekends and school holidays.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Natural History Museum in London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for a visit to the Natural History Museum in London with kids, only 99p'

The Science Museum

Another of the most popular museums to visit in London with kids, and another free option, the Science Museum has some fantastic displays to appeal to the whole family.

The Garden, aimed at younger kids with its water play, tactile interactives and giant blocks, and the Pattern Pod are both ideal places to start.

Although the first-come first-served limit on numbers isn’t now in operation, it’s worth heading there early as it can get crowded during holiday periods.

For more things to do in South Kensington with kids, check out my pick of the best

Old planes in one of the galleries at the London Science Museum - my ultimate guide to London's museums and tips for London museums with toddlers and kids

Elsewhere, you can discover the evolution of transport, from the earliest steam engine to the first cars and space travel, as well as galleries on communications, the Secret Life of the Home, and more.

Older kids will love Wonderlab too – this does have a charge, and prebooking tickets (and a timed entry slot) is advised – with the chance to get hands on and experiment, as well as seeing live shows. Or the new Technicians gallery is great for teens.

You can choose your timed entry to the main museum to coincide with your Wonderlab visit, or to allow time to explore the main collections first as well as afterwards. Prebooking tickets to the museum is also recommended, especially at peak periods, including weekends and school holidays.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Science Museum in London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for a visit to the Science Museum in London with kids, only 99p'

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of my own favourites, and with some great Explorer trails to download and follow, it’s one to enjoy with preschoolers up.

And there are simply thousands of items to see, including the famous mummies and the Rosetta Stone in the Ancient Egypt section, along with pieces from ancient Greece, Rome and Assyria, as well as Africa, the Americas, and a moai from Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

But that’s really only the start of what there is to discover. In fact, there’s so much that it’s best not to attempt everything in one visit.

You could take on one of the Museum Missions, or look for the 12 key highlights to see with kids at the British Museum.

Or for school age kids, it’s easy to theme a visit around a particular civilisation or culture too, plus there are ideas for what to do if you have one hour at the museum, or three hours at the museum.

Tickets are free (kids also go free in the special exhibitions, although there’s a charge for adults) but you’re advised to prebook, with timed slots.

For more ideas of free things to do in London with kids, check out my top picks – plus this downloadable version

My daughter completes an activity trail at the Museum of London - my ultimate guide to London's museums and tips for London museums with toddlers and kids

Museum of London

Did you know that hippos once lived where Trafalgar Square now lies? Where better to discover more about London than the museum dedicated to it.

EDIT: The museum is now temporarily closed until reopening in its new site at Smithfield in 2026

The Museum of London follows the story of the city from prehistoric times through to more modern ers, from the Romans and Saxons to medieval London and the plague, the Great Fire and more.

There are trails to follow through the galleries, and you can pop inside a recreated Saxon house and stroll through a Victorian Street, plus there’s usually chance to get hands on with some of the items.

It’s not only ancient history though: you can see the 2012 Olympic cauldron, as well as learning more about London during the Second World War, and post-war Britain.

Another free museum, you can even spot a piece of Roman Wall as you come in, as an added bonus.

Tickets are available on the door but can also be prebooked, recommended during school holidays, although this museum does tend to be quieter than the British Museum and Kensington museums.

View of some of the vintage vehicles in the main hall of the London Transport Museum - a visit to check out the London Transport Museum Christmas events

London Transport Museum

For younger kids who love buses and trains, the collection at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is sheer heaven – but it’s a great option with older kids too.

The museum follows the development of transport from sedan chairs and carriage, to river travel, trams right through to the famous red double decker buses and tube trains.

As well as being able to see changing designs and the development of the iconic tube map and signs, kids can pretend to drive a bus and get behind the controls of a tube train simulator.

There’s also a special play area for kids aged under seven, plus regular family and craft activities, and special exhibitions including the Hidden London area.

Tickets can be prebooked (timed entry slots are no longer required) or bought on arrival, and the purchase entitles you to an annual pass. There’s currently a discount on tickets to the London Transport Museum if you book with tiqets, using code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

Check out my review of a visit to the London Transport Museum with kids

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design is not the most obviously family-friendly of the South Kensington museums, but there’s a lot more to the Victoria & Albert museum for kids than you might expect.

You can explore collections spanning 5,000 years of art, as well as cultures from around the world, so there’s an endless source of inspiration – not to mention the temporary exhibitions, including recent ones which featured Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland, as well as one focusing on Korea, perfect for K-Pop obsessed teens.

The museum also has various interactive displays, family activities and children’s activity packs to discover as well.

Tickets to the main museum don’t need to be prebooked, and it’s free to visit, but there is a charge for some exhibitions and prebooking is essential for the most popular events.

Check out what we thought of a visit to the V&A with kids

Sign at the corner of the Victoria and Albert Museum - my ultimate guide to London's museums and tips for London museums with toddlers and kids

Museum of London Docklands

The sister site of the Museum of London, the Museum of London Docklands sits in a converted warehouse on West India Quay, once the heart of London’s thriving docks industry, and it’s the perfect place to discover this side of the capital.

Like its sister site, galleries are set out in chronological order, so visitors travel from late Tudor times through to the modern day, when London’s financial district took over the area.

As well as interactive sections, such as walking through a recreation of Sailortown and looking inside an air raid shelter, there are displays on slaver, as well as on the Great Stink and the Great Dock Strike, so some harder-hitting topics covered here.

Great for slightly older kids, you’ll also find temporary exhibitions, and clever touchscreen displays which don’t actually require you to touch the screen.

For younger visitors, the Mudlarks Children’s gallery has also reopened after a facelift, with free tickets also now available for families with kids aged eight and under – there are sessions throughout the day, but you do need to prebook a time (available from the day before).

Entry to the main museum is free, with tickets available on the door. There are also regular events during school holidays.

Read more about my visit to the Museum of London Docklands with kids here.

Tate Modern

With two branches of the Tate to choose from in London, you could easily pack both into one visit – there’s even a boat which links the two – but if you only pick one gallery to visit, Tate Modern is ideal with kids.

Set in a converted power station on London’s Bankside, it’s definitely not your average art gallery – kids are encouraged to talk (and there’s plenty of space to run around in the turbine hall) plus you’ll find lots of easy ways even for younger ones to enjoy what they see including suggested games.

You’ll also find suggested routes for families to follow through the collections, which include big names from the 20th century, such as Matisse, along with works from the past decade.

You no longer need to prebook tickets and entry is free, except for exhibitions (prebooking is recommended for these).

For more ideas of free things to do in London with kids, check out my top picks – plus this downloadable version

Visiting the Cutty Sark in Greenwich after a boat ride along the Thames

The Cutty Sark

If your kids are looking for a more hands-on approach to history, it’s hard to beat a visit to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich – also ideal to combine with a boat trip along the Thames.

There are children’s trails to follow around the historic clipper ship and displays on its history, while you can also wander through the ship peeking inside cabins and discovering more about the cargo she carried.

Best of all, you can explore right from the copper-bottomed hull to the deck (watch out for the carved monkey), as well as trying the various interactive displays including a chance to try sailing a virtual ship (harder than it looks as we discovered on our visit!)

For more ideas of things to do in Greenwich, check out this post – and if you’re visiting more than one of the Royal Museums Greenwich, which also includes the free National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House, you can also get a Royal Museums Greenwich pass – including a discount if you buy from Tiqets using the code MUMMYTRAVELS6

The Horniman Museum

With a little bit of everything, the Horniman Museum is particularly fun with younger kids – ideal if your toddlers feel overwhelmed by the city too as it’s outside central London.

With galleries on different themes, it’s is good for little attention spans as you can wander from the famous overstuffed walrus in natural history to world music and culture, to see butterflies and wander the grounds outside, where you’ll find more animals.

It’s free to enter the main museum so you don’t need to prebook, although there’s a small charge for the butterfly house, aquarium and any temporary exhibitions – prebooking is recommended for these as numbers/space are limited.

Check out our visit to the Horniman Museum..

The exterior of the National Gallery in London, seen from Trafalgar Square against a blue sky - my ultimate guide to London's museums and tips for London museums with toddlers and kids

With well over 2,000 works, you can see some of the greatest art in the world at the National Gallery – and you don’t need to have an in-depth grasp of art history to enjoy looking at the collections.

For an easy introduction, try finding the gallery’s 30 highlights, as well as the new immersive app, The Keeper of Paintings aimed at families and kids.

For creative kids, don’t go without packing a pad and some colouring pencils – you’ll spot plenty of other families stopping to create their own art along the way, while there are also family events during school holidays and at weekends. Check here for what’s coming up.

Tickets to the National Gallery are free – prebooking is recommended for the exhibitions.

Kids who love art should also check out the Royal Academy of Arts – exhibitions are free for children under 16

Museum of the Home

Reopened in 2021 after an £18 million three-year facelift, the Museum Of The Home (formerly the Geffrye Museum) has almost double the space of its former incarnation.

Tracing everything from changing fashions and technology at home to the impact of religion, as well as tackling homelessness, it’s an engaging way for kids to understand changing society and different cultures through people’s houses.

And the period rooms through time, always a visitor favourite have remained too, along with lots of interactives, whether that’s playing on early games consoles or trying to squash virtual bedbugs.

Free to visit, along with some lovely little themed gardens, there’s no need to prebook.

Check out my review of the Museum of the Home here

1970s style West Indian family living room at the Museum of the Home in London, one of the series of period rooms

Imperial War Museum London

Founded during the First World War, the galleries at the Imperial War Museum focus on the experiences of people affected by war, so while you’ll also get to see some very large guns, planes hanging from the ceiling and collections of medals, there’s more emphasis on individual stories.

A new gallery covering the Second World War was added in 2021, perfect for kids studying it at school, and the museum runs regular family events during school holidays – a recent one was based around spies and espionage, another on war in video and computer games.

There is a separate exhibition on the Holocaust as well, although this is only recommended for children aged 14+.

Tickets for IWM London are available on the door – you may have to wait at busy times so prebooking timed entry slots is recommended.

Older kids will also enjoy visiting the Churchill War Rooms, where you can get a glimpse what life would have been like in these secret corridors during the tense days and nights of the Second World War

HMS Belfast

Once a Royal Navy light cruiser, now a museum ship permanently moored on the Thames, HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving Second World War Navy warship – present at the D-Day landings and in the Korean War.

Reopened after major renovations, you can discover what life would have been like on board for the crew who served aboard – and with nine decks to explore, there’s plenty to see aboard.

Interactive experiences range from a sound installation inside a gun turret to a chance to see just what it takes to feed the 950 men aboard (hint: that means peeling a LOT of potatoes) and steering the ship.

There are also memories from veterans who served on HMS Belfast, as well as regular family trails and activities during school holidays.

Prebooking tickets is recommended.

View of HMS Belfast warship museum on the Thames with Tower Bridge just seen in the background - one of the best things to do in London with kids

RAF London

The Royal Air Force Museum in Colindale, north London tells the story of the RAF over its first 100 years, from its founding in 1918.

Inside the hangars, you can see a whole string of aircraft from over the years, as well as displays of everything from logbooks and hidden maps to survival rations, plus other vehicles.

Kids can try on an RAF uniform or test their own reaction times, along with sensory areas to touch the models and discover some RAF smells and sounds, plus the chance for the littlest ones to climb into a miniature plane.

There’s also a great playground with mini models of aircraft. Tickets to the museum are free but must be prebooked.

For more ideas of free things to do in London with kids, check out my top picks – plus this downloadable version

The National Army Museum

With five galleries looking at everything from life as a soldier to the impact the army has had on the world, the National Army Museum in Chelsea is a great options for kids who love history (or playing soliders).

There are sections on the English Civil War, as well as later conflicts, plus artefacts linked to everyone from Napoleon to Lawrence of Arabia.

But one of the most popular areas for younger kids is the museum’s Play Base, aimed at kids aged one to eight, with a soft play assault course, and play trucks and cookhouses – limited numbers and sessions, so this is one you must prebook for.

Entry to the main museum is free and doesn’t need to be prebooked. There is a charge for Play Base, and timed hourly sessions so while you can get tickets on the day, prebooking is recommended at peak times.

The Postal Museum

One of the newest museums to open in London, the Postal Museum covers the history of the Royal Mail – but this is definitely not just for stamp collectors.

With a special play area, Sorted, for age eight and under, plus the Mail Rail train to ride, there’s plenty of interactive fun for kids.

The displays cover some of the quirkier side of the history of the post, from a lion on Salisbury Plain to cryptic Valentine cards, and some of the rarest and most valuable stamps around.

Prebooking is recommended for the 45-minute sessions at Sorted (it’s also slightly cheaper than paying on the day), an immersive mini-town with chances to get building and little streets to inhabit.

Teens can also go on the special tunnel walks, while there are sessions for neurodiverse families too.

Tickets give unlimited access for a year, although they’re only valid for one ride on Mail Rail during your first visit – there’s a discount if you prebook. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (except some dates during school holidays).

For more unusual things to do in London with kids, check out my pick of the best

A lion statue in London against a blue sky - one day in London with kids who love animals, my ideas for animal-loving kids if you've only got a short time to explore

Animal attractions in London with kids

There’s plenty in London for kids who love animals, from the biggest zoos to little city farms and aquariums.

London Zoo

The world’s oldest scientific zoo, London Zoo is still one of the city’s biggest attractions – for kids and adults – more than 170 years after it opened.

Once home to the bear that inspired Winnie the Pooh, these days, you can see everything from lions and tigers to being able to walk with lemurs, venture into rainforest conditions, see animals from the African savannah and Australian Outback, and lots more.

There are three colour-coded routes around the zoo, pink, blue and orange – all different lengths, they start and end in approximately the same place so you can do them in any order you want, and if you’re short of time, it lets you focus on your favourites.

There are keeper talks which take place throughout the day, as well as special animal experiences – you could even help feed the gorillas. If you’re lucky, you can spot the keepers feeding the animals as you explore.

Keep an eye out for regular special family events, especially during school holidays, too. Tickets must be prebooked.

For more information on visiting London Zoo, click here, and check out some of my other tips from our previous visits to London Zoo

Penguin stands by the edge of the pool at London zoo waiting for feeding time - my top tips for visiting London Zoo with kids

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

This little children’s zoo is great for younger kids – less overwhelming, less far to walk and plenty of animals to delight, especially if you’re short of time (a couple of hours is plenty) or visiting London on a budget.

Because while London Zoo is a fantastic day out with kids, there’s no question that it’s a pricy one – and for younger toddlers, they’re often as excited by a rabbit as something rare and exotic.

You won’t find bigger creatures at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo but there are monkeys and lemurs, wallabies, farm animals, birds, reptiles and assorted small furry things. There’s also an adventure playground to entertain – as well as plenty of space in the park around the zoo.

Tickets don’t need to be prebooked – under-twos go free.

Check out my review of a day at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo with a baby as well as more of London’s smaller zoos, including a little free zoo in north London

City farms

If you’re visiting London with kids who love animals, add one of the many city farms to your list, with a string of sites dotted around the capital.

Freightliners City Farm (between Caledonian Road tube and Highbury & Islington) has some rare breeds, as does Spitalfields City Farm.

At Vauxhall City Farm, you’ll find alpacas alongside farmyard animals and even a couple of cats, while there are llamas at MudchuteHackney City Farm has some smaller fluffy inhabitants including rabbits and guinea pigs as well as larger creatures too.

Some of the farms have limited opening hours/days, so always check directly for the latest information.

Jellyfish against a purple background floating at Sea Life London Aquarium - one of the things to do in with kids London this summer

Sea Life London Aquarium

A lovely alternative to the city’s zoos for animal lovers, the Sea Life London Aquarium is a great place to visit – one of the biggest collections in Europe.

London’s aquarium houses over 500 species, 14 themed zones and more than 2 million litres of water with some unusual creatures to discover, as well as some favourites including penguins and clownfish.

Set near the London Eye it can get busy at peak times and on rainy days, so it’s well worth prebooking and there are usually discounts if you buy online in advance.

For more ideas on how to save money on days out in London with kids, check out my top tips

Historic attractions in London

One of the things I love most about London is the fact that walking down a single street lets you discover around two thousand years of history – my daughter and I have retraced some of the locations of the Great Fire of London, as well as exploring other parts of London for kids who love history.

My daughter walks between concrete blocks with the words of the song London's Burning near Pudding Lane - a Great Fire of London walk with kids, visiting Great Fire of London locations

You can also discover Roman London, including parts of the old walls and other outdoor sites, perfect for theming a walk around the old city of Londinium.

Check out this post for ideas of some of the best landmarks to spot

The Tower of London

The Tower is one of my own personal favourites, and from the astonishing crown jewels to the famous ravens and beefeaters, it’s a great day out with kids in London too.

You can explore former royal apartments, decorated as they would have been when kings lived there, and discover the Tower’s grim history as a prison too, including a memorial to two of Henry VIII’s executed queens.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Tower of London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for a visit to the Tower of London with kids, only 99p'

It also houses part of the Royal Armoury, plus you’ll find displays on the Tower’s menagerie of animals, discover live performances during school holidays, and walk the walls.

Tickets can be bought on the day, although prebooking is recommended – there’s a discount if you book via tiqets using my code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

For a memorably unusual evening, book separate tickets to visit in the evening and observe the Ceremony of the Keys – check out my experience of watching the Ceremony of the Keys with kids.

There’s also a new immersive experience near the Tower themed around the Gunpowder Plot, where you’ll be whisked back to 1605 to see if you can foil Guy Fawkes…

A view of part of the Tower of London against a blue sky - my 12 days out in London with kids 2018

Hampton Court Palace

This magical Tudor palace – built by Cardinal Wolsey and ‘acquired’ by Henry VIII – is a fabulous day out with kids in London.

As well as exploring inside, tracing the palace’s history from its Tudor days (don’t miss the sprawling kitchens) to Georgian times, there are grounds and gardens to discover too, including the Maze – the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze.

And set aside a couple of hours for the Magic Garden playground too: a truly enchanting set of play areas, including sand play, climbing equipment and fake hills.

Although it’s right on the edge of London, there are fast trains running from Waterloo. Prebooking tickets is recommended, with additional costs for some special family activities – there’s a discount if you book via tiqets using my code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

Check out my review of our most recent visit to Hampton Court Palace after lockdown as well as more ideas for day trips from London with kids

Kensington Palace

Childhood home of Queen Victoria, Kensington Palace was a favourite of George II and his court, and has also been home to Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William and Harry.

With changing exhibits, including a new exhibition on royal fashion, you can also see displays from Queen Victoria’s early years, from her difficult relations with her mother to her first meeting with future husband Prince Albert, as well as tracing her path from a princess no-one thought would be Queen to her coronation.

Elsewhere in the palace you can still play Georgian gambling games, spot a throne, marvel at the grand staircase and imagine the balls held here – plus the seedier side of the royal court with some horrible history sure to entertain kids.

Prebooking tickets is recommended – and Kensington Gardens are on the doorstep to explore afterwards.

Check out my review of visiting Kensington Palace with kids after lockdown

Gilded gates and front view of Buckingham Palace - the best of the many royal places in London to see with kids

Buckingham Palace

If you’re fascinated by the royal family, where else should you start than the monarch’s own official residence? You can get a glimpse of the exterior of Buckingham Palace year-round, as well as the chance to go indoors for a few months of the year.

Take a look at the flagpole to find out whether the King is staying there during your visit: if it’s the Royal Standard, that means Charles III is in residence, but if it’s the Union Flag, he’s currently residing elsewhere. If you’re visiting on a weekday, you’ll have more luck finding him in than a weekend.

There are various different opening times at the public areas of Buckingham Palace, with some special guided tours of the State Rooms during May and June, before its usual main opening dates from July to September.

The Palace gardens are also open during the summer months, while the Queen’s Gallery is also open year-round (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) – prebook tickets here.

And you can also see some of the famous carriages (and horses in the stables) at the Royal Mews.

For more ideas of the best royal places in London with kids, check out my picks from palaces to historic sites

Changing of the guard

Another tradition that dates back centuries – this one to the late 15th century – the Changing of the guard is one of London’s most popular free attractions as they march in their famous bearskin hats as a full military band plays.

The Household Troops have guarded Buckingham Palace since Queen Victoria moved in in 1837, although they have guarded the monarch and royal palaces for centuries before then. And from 10.43am, the Old Guard hands over to the New Guard in a ceremony which takes around an hour.

You can also see the guards starting to form up by the palace from 10.30am and the new guard arriving from Wellington Barracks. The Changing of the Guard normally takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, daily during June and July, but may be cancelled for major events as well as particularly bad weather – check it’s going ahead before you queue.

Expect to get there early if you want a good spot – being too close to the palace isn’t always ideal, as you don’t necessarily have the best view through the gates. If you’re visiting London with younger kids, get a taste at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk beforehand, where you can spot them forming up and hear the music at around 10.15.

For a less busy option, you can also see the Queen’s Life Guard change on Horse Guards Parade, which tends to be less busy – 11am daily, except on Sundays when it takes place at 10am.

For more ideas of free things to do in London with kids, check out my top picks – plus this downloadable version

A view across the Thames to the Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster - my 22 things to do on the Thames, London, with kids or without

Listen to Big Ben

One of the icons of London, the Elizabeth Tower – which houses Big Ben – has been under scaffolding for the past couple of years during a long restoration project, but has been unveiled in all its glory once again.

The 96m tall clocktower dates back to 1859 and with London traffic (and lots of visitors climbing the stairs inside as part of the Big Ben tours), the renovations were the first for around 40 years.

Now unveiled once again, the clock face is visible and tours are expected to start again once all the conservation work is finished.

The 13.7 tonne Great Bell, as Big Ben is officially known, was silenced during the facelift, except for special occasions, but the famous ‘booooong’ is ringing again, striking the hour and sounding the quarter chimes.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for London's iconic sights and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for finding some of the iconic sights of London with kids, only 99p'

Houses of Parliament

If you’ve always fancied seeing inside the Houses of Parliament there are various tours you can take to explore inside.

There are multimedia tours, if you prefer to go at your own pace – including an audio guide for kids – or you can take one of the guided tours, to discover more about the history and traditions of Parliament and its home.

As well as the 90-minute guided tour available for all visitors, there’s also a 75-minute free option for UK residents.

UK residents can also get a free ticket to see a debate, either in the House of Commons or the House of Lords – worth doing if you fancy taking in one of the more popular debates. You’ll need ID, there’s airport-style security and it’s a good plan to dress reasonably smartly too.

Contact your MP in advance, otherwise you can chance your luck on the day and queue to get in to see the House in session – recess quite often coincides with school holidays if you’re visiting with kids though.

View of the side entrance to Westminster Abbey with its rose window - one of the best places to visit in London with kids who love history

Westminster Abbey

Unmissable if your kids are interested in British history, over 3,300 people have been buried or commemorated at Westminster Abbey, including 16 separate British monarchs (or 17, if you believe the bones thought to be the Princes in the Tower include those of Edward V) plus many of their consorts.

As you explore inside, you can see the tombs of Henry V and all the Tudors except Henry VIII, alongside early kings such as Edward the Confessor, who died a week after the abbey was consecrated.

Plantagenet kings including Henry III, who had the current abbey built in the 13th century, and Edward I also lie here, while Mary I and Elizabeth I share a tomb. The last King of England to be buried here is George II.

And every king or queen of England has been crowned here, except two – Edward V, who was deposed and presumed murdered before his coronation, and Edward VIII who abdicated before his could take place.

Prebooking tickets is recommended – you can also buy tickets with free cancellation here.

National Trust

You need to venture out of central London to explore the capital’s National Trust sites, but there are some great historic houses to explore, as well as lovely grounds to get outdoors in London with kids.

  • Osterley Park
    The ‘palace of palaces’, as the house in west London was described, has reopened and you can explore the beautiful gardens as well as the ‘long walk’ through the woods. Prebook tickets here. Check out our day out at Osterley Park after lockdown
  • Ham House
    This National Trust property in south west London sits on the banks of the river Thames and has its own lovely gardens and parkland to explore – there are often great family trails in school holidays, plus crafts in the servants’ quarters. Prebook tickets here Get a taste of Ham House with kids in this post.
A view of the rear of Osterley House against a blue sky - visiting Osterley Park after lockdown

English Heritage

London is also home to several glorious English Heritage properties, although again, you’ll have to venture a little way out of the centre.

  • Kenwood House
    One of the closest historic houses to central London, set in Hampstead, you’ll also find great Christmas trails at Kenwood. Prebook tickets here.
  • Eltham Palace
    Discover the glorious Art Deco interior of the mansion, along with the medieval great hall, gardens, playground and cafe. Prebook tickets here
  • Chiswick House
    Spot velvet wallpaper, Old Masters and other luxurious touches at this Palladian villa in west London. The gardens are free for the public to enter, or prebook tickets here to see inside the house.
  • Marble Hill House
    The ‘country retreat’ of the Countess of Suffolk in Twickenham, south west London, reopened in May 2022 after a major restoration, bringing the Georgian villa to life and retelling the dramatic story of her life. Free to enter, prebook tickets here.

There’s currently 15% off membership for English Heritage using code EHAFF2023

A view along the terrace to the rear of Gunnersbury House, the white building against a blue sky with the start of the lawns - my review of a free day out in London, visiting Gunnersbury Park Museum with kids

Gunnersbury Park and Museum

The Rothschilds west London mansion once laid claim to being one of the most opulent houses in the capital – Disraeli said even a banquet at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace couldn’t compare to dinner here.

Now turned into the Gunnersbury Park Museum, you can learn more about its history as well as exploring the old kitchens, with interactive fun for kids and a small museum on the area.

Entry is free, although the museum is currently closed on Mondays, while the kitchens are closed on Mondays-Wednesdays. You can also discover some of the secrets of the park – including a waterside temple built for a princess.

For more ideas of free things to do in London with kids, check out my top picks – plus this downloadable version

London tours and other attractions

If you’re looking to save money on a holiday in London with kids (and who isn’t), check out the London Pass and London Explorer Pass – both include slightly different attractions and deals, as well as lasting for different durations, so the best London city pass depends very much on how long you’re staying and what you’re planning to see.

For more ideas on how to save money on days out in London with kids, check out my top tips

Thames river cruises

I love seeing London from the river, and it’s my favourite way to travel down to Greenwich on a sunny day too, with the river cruise and sightseeing companies running again as normal.

There’s a huge choice of boat tours in London with kids too, including the Terrible Thames cruise which was launched in 2021 by Horrible Histories, along with sightseeing cruises, hop-on hop-off options, speedboats and even a chance to get behind the wheel yourself.

For sightseeing, check out City Cruises which runs various tours along the river, or if you’re not bothered about commentary, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is often a cheaper option, and a good way to get from A to B.

Click here to check out the complete set of boat trips in London with kids

Ship in a bottle outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich - there's a choice of river cruises in London, including ones to transport you along the Thames to Greenwich

London open-top buses

London has various open-top bus sightseeing tours to choose from, with different options depending which routes and times you want.

Tootbus (previously called The Original Tour) has a special 45-minute London Kids tour as well as the London Express two-hour tour, plus a hop-on hop-off option.

Or the hop-on hop-off route from London Big Bus Tours also takes you past most key landmarks, with some discounts online if you buy in advance.

If you fancy creating your own bus tour for less – and riding on a red doubledecker as a bonus – Route 15 takes you past St Paul’s Cathedral to the Tower of London, the 11 passes Westminster Abbey and Horseguards parade, while the number 9 goes from Trafalgar Square to the South Kensington Museums.

For more of the best bus tours in London with kids, check out my pick of the best, including options for teens and toddlers

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is easily the most famous of London’s bridges, and as well as getting a view of its famous blue and white paint, you can head inside to discover its history.

There’s a chance to stand on the glass walkway and look down, head into the engine rooms, and there are regular family activities for kids too.

Check out the Tower Bridge Trail for Little Explorers and family trail app. Buy tickets to Tower Bridge via the Tiqets website and there’s a discount using my code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

If you’d like a chance of seeing the bridge’s impressive opening as a bigger boat comes through, check the lift times.

Check out the Tower Bridge Cat series of stories too, one of my picks for the best kids books about London

View of Tower Bridge seen through an arch at the Tower of London - the Tower Bridge exhibition is one of the options for families in London this summer

The Sky Garden

London’s highest public garden is free to visit, although you do need to book in advance to soak up the views – unsurprisingly tickets to the Sky Garden get snapped up, especially for weekends and you’ll need ID, so plan ahead.

Not far from Monument station (take a look at the famous Monument itself on the way, another free thing to do in London with kids if you don’t climb it), the garden sits at the top of the skyscraper Londoners know as the Walkie Talkie building – if you’re struggling with directions, it’s not tricky to spot.

With a covered terrace, you can get some amazing views across to the Shard, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and along the Thames during your hour slot. You can stay longer if you plan visit one of the places to eat and drink, although these are (obviously) not free.

You can also check out the view from 300m up in the UK’s tallest building – buy tickets to the View from the Shard here – as well as these other great views in London with kids

The London Eye

One of the iconic sights of the city, the London Eye is also a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the capital.

Turning high above the South Bank and looking out across the Thames, it’s best for good weather – unsurprisingly – but cold sunny winter days can give some gorgeously clear views.

Or time your ‘flight’ for sunset and watch the lights twinkling on across London.

Prebooking is strongly advised, with discounts if you buy your tickets online in advance. There are also fast-track tickets available to skip the queues, which is ideal with kids, especially in peak season.

You can also buy combination tickets with the London Dungeon and nearby London aquarium.

For more ideas on how to save money on days out in London with kids, check out my top tips

A view towards the London Eye against a blue sky, with the river Thames and the old County Hall building seen in the foreground - if you're looking for things to do in London with toddlers and preschoolers, fast track tickets are definitely a good idea

Madame Tussaud’s

From celebrities to superheroes to the royal family, you can while away hours gazing at the waxworks on display at Madame Tussauds – and posing alongside quite a few.

And there are constantly updates and new figures being added: the Marvel Hall of Heroes is always a favourite for fans of the movies, there’s a Star Wars area, as well as seeing the stars of sport, fashion and film.

Prebooked tickets are advised – if you buy direct, you can reschedule for free plus there are online discounts for booking in advance.

You can also buy combination tickets with the London Dungeon and London aquarium, as well as tickets with free cancellation from Get Your Guide.

For more unusual attractions in London with kids, keep an eye on the pop-up events taking place as well as new temporary experiences like Twist Museum of Illusions

The London Dungeon

One for older and braver kids, a trip to the London Dungeon is guaranteed to scare you into forgetting the weather, with live actors whisking you through 1,000 truly alarming years of history, plus plenty of special effects and rides to get your heart racing even faster.

One of a string of locations around the UK, like the other Dungeons, each location has areas themed to suit its own history too. The London Dungeon, for example, brings you face to face with the Great Fire and Sweeney Todd.

Prebooking is strongly advised, with online discounts if you buy your tickets in advance: best for teens and braver tweens. You can also buy combination tickets to other Merlin attractions.

For more things to do on the South Bank with kids, check out my tips

Looking down over some barrels to the buildings beyond the Golden Hinde

Golden Hinde

On the banks of the Thames, head back to Tudor times as you explore the replica of the Golden Hinde, the ship which Francis Drake sailed around the world.

Tickets can be booked online or there are walk-up options, as well as some very fun family experiences – so far, we’ve enjoyed a very memorable sleepover as well as trying out the brand new escape room with kids, Escape from the Golden Hinde.

Go Ape high ropes

Head up into the trees to get your heart racing at one of the London Go Ape locations.

There are several different courses to choose from, but the most central is Go Ape Battersea Park, including a treetop adventure course if you’re visiting with younger kids (minimum height 1m).

Head further out and there are more courses at Alexandra Palace with some great views to distract you: one of the two treetop adventure courses at Ally Pally is for any age (1m+), the other with a bit more challenge for age 6+ and 1.2m tall.

Or at Cockfosters has a course that’s good for older kids, although this is only suitable for ages 10+ and 1.4m tall.

Silhouette of the obstacle course against the sky - my Go Ape Battersea Park review, a day out at the city course

Shrek’s Adventure

Shrek fans will love the chance to walk through the world of Far Far Away, meeting some of the famous characters including Princess Fiona and Donkey.

There’s a challenge to collect ingredients to find Shrek and make it home safely, as well as 10 themed live shows and a 4D flying bus to complete Shrek’s Adventure. Better for primary school aged kids who’ll appreciate the fun than for toddlers and preschoolers.

With the option to reschedule for free, you can also get combined tickets to other Merlin attractions, including the nearby aquarium or London Eye. Tickets with free cancellation are also available from Get Your Guide.

Find Harry Potter in London

Harry Potter fans can find a string of sites from the books and movies across the capital, including a chance to see the designs which brought the wizarding world to life, as well as locations which pop up in the films.

Start at King’s Cross: Platform 9 ¾ was actually filmed between platforms 4 and 5, but there’s a chance to pose with a luggage trolley disappearing through the wall on the station concourse.

Then discover some of the locations used in the Harry Potter movies, including Leadenhall Market and the Millennium Bridge, and enter the Wizarding World at the House of MinaLima – graphic design duo Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created everything from the Marauder’s Map to packets of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

For more Harry Potter locations in London, check out this post, or check out one of the Harry Potter tours, including this child-friendly Harry Potter walking tour.

And while the Harry Potter studio tour isn’t in central London, it’s only a short journey from Euston and has quickly become one of the top London attractions with kids.

Be prepared to book well in advance to explore the Harry Potter Studios, especially for Hogwarts in the Snow at Christmas and allow lots of time – there’s a huge amount of detail for fans to enjoy.

For more tips on visiting the Warner Bros studios in Leavesden as well as ideas of where to stay near Harry Potter World, check out this post.

A view across the Thames to St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium bridge - one of my top 31 days out for Harry Potter fans

Catch a show

The West End is rightfully famous for its theatre so if you’re visiting London with older kids, check out the deals at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square if you haven’t booked in advance.

There’s plenty for younger visitors to enjoy as well, with great child-friendly shows and some amazing children’s theatres. Try puppet and marionette shows at the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, while the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge is aimed at mini theatregoers aged six months plus.

You’ll find performances in central London as well: at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, you can see shows like the Tiger Who Came To Tea, as well as Frozen the Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, to name just a few.

For more ways to find cheap theatre tickets in London with kids, check out my tips

Visit The Globe

Step back to Tudor England with a visit to the Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of the open-air playhouse where Shakespeare worked, and where his plays are performed today.

And as well as buying a ticket for a performance – definitely one of the most memorable ways to see Shakespeare, especially for teens studying the plays – there are often family workshops and events during school holidays.

You can also take a tour behind the scenes, including stories of the original 16th century playhouse and London in Shakespeare’s Day, how it survived plague and political oppression, along with how the Globe was recreated, all packed into 50 minutes.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for London's iconic sights and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for finding some of the iconic sights of London with kids, only 99p'

Get outdoors in London

London may be one of the world’s biggest cities but there’s still plenty of green space – the eight royal parks alone cover a whopping 5,000 acres, not forgetting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and plenty of places to play.

Get a free list of the top 20 places to get outdoors in London with kids if you sign up for the London with Kids newsletter here

Visit the parks

London’s parks are perfect if you’re looking to escape the crowds, or for some cool green space on sunny days, and each has its own character – not to mention toilets and cafes, and usually at least one playground.

In central London alone, you can wander through Hyde Park, with the Diana Memorial fountain to discover as well as its own playground for kids and the Serpentine Lake.

Next door, Kensington Gardens is home to the Diana Memorial Playground (operating a one-in one-out rule at busy times), one of the best playgrounds in the city, along with the Peter Pan statue and the fountains in the north-east corner.

Two pelicans swimming in the lake at St James's Park in London - one of the unusual things to do in London with kids in the royal parks

The famous pelicans at St James’s Park are one of the biggest attractions there – and a great place to burn off some steam after visiting Westminster.

You’re almost guaranteed to spot the birds swimming and lounging on their island as you wander through the oldest of the royal parks.

Or spot the peacocks in Holland Park, often to be found strutting near the Japanese garden. There’s a great adventure playground here for kids too.

Pitzhanger Manor has a nature treasure hunt to download that’s great for exploring any park or bring a copy of I Spy in the Park for some added fun

Not far from the British Museum, Coram’s Fields is home to playgrounds, a wildlife garden and paddling pool – and it’s perfect for families as you’re only allowed in if you’re visiting Coram’s Fields with kids.

In north London, you could get a sneak peek of a few of the animals at the zoo from the path at Regent’s Park – the zoo itself is also open – or combine your stroll with a walk along the Regent’s Canal.

From here, you could also head to Primrose Hill, or further north is the open space of Hampstead Heath and Golders Hill park with its own little free zoo.

If you’re in south London, you can enjoy some more river views from Battersea Park as find tranquillity at the Peace Pagoda. The attractions within the park include Battersea Park Children’s Zoo (check out my review of the little zoo here), and Putt in the Park mini golf, plus the Go Ape high ropes course.

Further out, as well as spotting deer at Richmond Park, you could climb King Henry’s Mound and soak up the views of the city or see the vivid flowers of the Isabella Plantation.

My daughter looks down from the hill by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich across the park to the Royal Naval college and skyscrapers on the London skyline - visiting the parks is one of my top things to do in London with kids this summer

Greenwich park has its own herd of deer as well as some great views from the hill at the Royal Observatory.

And for a more unusual day out in London with kids, you can still head to Crystal Palace park to see the dinosaurs (the megalosaurus is back with a facelift – it had been undergoing repairs after sadly being damaged a few years ago).

For more free places to visit in London with kids check out this post – or buy my downloadable guide

Find a playground

Along with the playgrounds in the royal parks, including the Diana Memorial Playground and Holland Park adventure playground, you’ll find some great places for kids to have fun throughout the city.

The ship in the sand at the heart of the Diana Memorial playground in Kensington Gardens - one of the great free things to do in London with kids

Paddington Recreation Ground – aka Paddington Rec, near Maida Vale tube – is one of the most impressive, with its pastel coloured playhouses, steamliner, train, tunnel, musical instruments and forest play area, all designed to encourage creative play.

On the riverside, Bishop’s Park has water play and an urban beach among its playgrounds, plus a rose garden and sculpture garden. You could also join the Thames Path here as well as checking out Fulham Palace gardens next door.

Jubilee Park & Garden near the London Eye has its own playground if you’re taking a walk along the South Bank.

And in east London, Victoria Park has both a playground and a splash park, or there’s the Tumbling Bay playground with sand, wobbly bridges, pools and more to play in at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

For more of the best playgrounds in London, check out this post

Splash in the fountains

One attraction that’s only for the summer, there’s nothing like cooling off from the heat of the city in one of the pop-up fountains.

Just behind King’s Cross, the fountains at Granary Square are made up of 1,080 choreographed jets – each individually controlled – which squirt in patterns for kids to splash in.

Or on the South Bank, the Appearing Rooms at the Southbank Centre is a fun alternative (kids need to wear a top here). Designed as an interactive sculpture, the jets of water create ‘rooms’ as they shoot into the air – before vanishing again just as quickly.

Further along the river, you’ll find the More London fountains near Tower Bridge, and another set in the courtyard of Somerset House on the opposite bank.

It goes without saying to take spare clothes!

For more ideas of things to do in London with toddlers and preschoolers, check out this post

View along the Thames with one of the bridges and St Paul's visible

Walk by the river

There are miles and miles of Thames path to explore as well as the parks – one of my favourite parts of the city, the river is the true heart of London for me.

There are plenty of London attractions by the Thames if you want to combine something else with your walk.

Otherwise, head to the South Bank, where there’s always something to see – check out the programme here, from the Christmas market in winter to pop-up events and festivals with street food, live music, markets, rides and games.

One of my favourite stretches of river, you’ll find quirky art and iconic buildings for some of London’s best Instagram views too.

If you’re looking to get onto the river itself, check out the best boat trips in London with kids

Explore the canals

For another waterfront wander, head to London’s canals. The stretch of the Regent’s Canal around Little Venice is one of the best known but you can also head down to Paddington Basin, to check out the Floating Pocket Park (mini green spaces which bob on the water).

At midday on Wednesdays and Fridays, or 2pm on Saturdays, you can see the Fan Bridge being lifted at Paddington Basin as well.

Walk The Line

The Line is London’s first public art walk, running between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, along some of east London’s waterways and following the line of the Greenwich Meridian.

There are half a dozen artworks on the North Greenwich peninsula alone, near The O2 if you don’t fancy following the entire route, which takes around 2 1/2 hours to walk (likely more if you’re doing it with kids!)

The Sackler Crossing bridge over the lake at Kew Gardens after reopening post-lockdown

Visit Kew Gardens

I’ve visited Kew Gardens countless times with my daughter, starting from a picnic shortly after she was born to repeated visits during recent lockdowns – and there’s always something new to discover.

Check out my tips for exploring Kew Gardens with kids

You’ll find regular family events taking place, from school holiday trails (such as this one themed around the Beano) to the Christmas at Kew light trail, as well as the fantastic Children’s Garden playground.

But even apart from the extra activities, there are acres to explore, spotting the dragons on the pagoda and the nearby Japanese garden, seeing peacocks strut along Cedar Vista and spotting Syon Palace across the river from Syon Vista.

You can walk inside the Hive and head up to the treetop canopy, venture into the glass houses, and find out what it feels like to be a badger – not to mention flowers galore throughout the year.

Tickets are available several months in advance – click here to prebook – and time slots to the Children’s Garden can also be prebooked, which is a good idea during peak season, weekends and school holidays especially.

You can also visit Kew Palace as part of entry to the gardens, while Queen Charlotte’s cottage is open during the summer months.

My daughter walks across the wild walk ropes course at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, one of the best places to get outdoors in London with kids

WWT London Wetland Centre

At this green oasis not far from Hammersmith, you can spot short-clawed otters and discover more about the wetlands, as well as trying family activities during holidays.

There are also two play areas – an indoor play room, which is great on colder, drizzly days, as well as the Wild Walk and fabulous wildlife-themed outdoor play area, with tunnels, water play and the usual playground fun.

Look out for special trails, including giant Lego statues, as well as helping kids to learn more about nature and conservation as you stroll around the wetlands themselves.

Tickets to the London Wetland Centre in Barnes can be prebooked, although it’s not essential.

Read about some of our previous visits to whet your appetite here – meeting the otters at the London Wetlands and our day out pond dipping.

See Walthamstow Wetlands

Around 15 minutes from central London, the Walthamstow Wetlands are the newest and biggest wetlands in the city and are free to visit – with 13 miles of paths through the nature reserve to explore across 211 hectares.

Europe’s largest urban wetland reserve is set around 10 reservoirs, and there are regular trails to discover, plus a visitor centre in the Victorian Engine House.

It is also walking distance from several tube stations, including Tottenham Hale and Blackhorse Road on the Victoria Line, which is around 10 minutes from the main entrance on Ferry Lane/Forest Road.

For more free places to visit in London with kids check out this post – or buy my downloadable guide

Fulham Palace Gardens

Once the gardens at Fulham Palace were the preserve of Bishops, who’d stroll here on the banks of the Thames. Now the 13 acres of botanic gardens are open to the public, along with a natural play area.

While you visit, you can also pop inside the house and museum – prebook a free timeslot to look around or just turn up. There are family trails too, as well as a cafe, while Bishop’s Park is next door for even more green space.

My daughter walks through Chelsea Physic Garden - one of my things to do in London with kids this summer

Chelsea Physic Garden

The fascinating mix of plants at the Chelsea Physic Garden make it a lovely place to while away an hour or so with kids.

Something of a hidden gem beside the Thames, there are often children’s trails as well as the glasshouses to explore.

Walk-up tickets are available, or you can prebook tickets, including for family activity days.

Explore Covent Garden

There’s always something to see around the Covent Garden Piazza, whether you prefer to browse the market stalls, enjoy some street theatre or discover the latest displays.

At Christmas, giant baubles hang from the glass roof, while you could also find anything from Lego creations to Disney-inspired fun to occasional entertainment on the big screens.

The street performers audition for the coveted slots here, and you might spot anything from magic tricks to music – it’s free to watch, although if you enjoy the show, it’s only fair to drop something in the hat at the end.

While you’re there, take a stroll over to nearby Neal’s Yard for its eye-catchingly bright buildings.

If you’re looking for the best places to stay near Covent Garden with kids, check out my pick of family hotels in London

Spot street art

There’s plenty of street art to spot around the capital – something which changes regularly, so it’s possible to find new additions even on your doorstep.

The biggest concentrations are around East London, especially Shoreditch and Hackney. Wander along Brick Lane and the roads nearby, or if you’re close to Liverpool Street and Spitalfields, there’s street art to be found here too.

The Leake Street tunnel near Waterloo changes constantly but you’re guaranteed to discover something eye-catching here as well.

Otherwise, the South Bank and Camden have plenty to spot, while Walthamstow is making a name for its street art too – follow the Wood Street Walls maps.

For more things to do in Camden with kids, check out my top picks

And you can still spot some of the 40 works of art created by more than 15 artists during the London Mural Festival back in 2020.

Street art figures on a yellow background at London's South Bank - discovering street art in London with kids

Go on a treasure hunt

I’m a big fan of treasure-hunt style trails to explore cities with kids – far more exciting than simply wandering, it keeps them engaged and entertained, and you get to do lots of sightseeing along the way.

For younger kids, I’ve created a simple scavenger hunt to spot some of London’s iconic sights, so they can tick them off as they go.

Or the maps from Treasure Map Trails are perfect with kids: brightly coloured, with a quirky theme, plus the challenge of spotting lots of unexpected details you might otherwise miss.

There’s 10% off all the Treasure Map Trails with code MUMMYTRAVELS, including all the central London mapsCovent Garden, Leicester Square & Chinatown + Trafalgar Square.

There are more options to spice up a walk in London with kids from Treasure Trails too. We followed the Greenwich Treasure Trail with friends last summer which took us from the Cutty Sark through the park, past the Royal Observatory, the Prime Meridian and to the National Maritime Museum and riverside.

There is a total of 50 different Treasure Trails across London so you’re guaranteed to find one close to you – because even after a lifetime visiting and living in London, there’s always something new to discover.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for London's iconic sights and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for finding some of the iconic sights of London with kids, only 99p'

Discover the Secret Stories of London

With so many centuries of history, you could spend your whole life discovering new corners and new stories as you explore.

Fortunately, the Ordnance Survey Secret Stories app has made it easier by turning some of those quirky tales into themed tours, including less-visited corners of the city, as well as routes past the iconic landmarks.

Designed with kids in mind, they’re written to entertain as well as inform (full disclosure: I’ve written several for OS) with topics on everything from Stuart kings and queens to the highwaymen of Hyde Park, the Romans, ghosts, authors and more.

The app is free to download for ioS and Android – tour prices vary, including some free options.

Banner image including two shots of a phone, and the words Secret Stories: Discover mini adventures - the Ordnance Survey Secret Stories app is a fun way to explore London with kids

London attractions which are still closed

The following London attractions are still closed or have yet to announce their opening date after lockdown.

The gallery is closed until 2023, as part of ongoing renovations.

The Museum of Childhood (Young V&A)

Also set to reopen in 2023, the former Museum of Childhood is being transformed into the Young V&A.

For ideas of where to stay in London with kids, check out my pick of the best family friendly hotels and apartments

Getting around London with kids

Realistically, it’s tricky to get around London without using public transport at all – if you do plan to drive, the congestion charge has been expanded over the past couple of years, with the cost rising to £15.

Some vehicles have to pay extra within the Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ), which is also expanding in 2023

And that’s all before you pay for parking as well… So public transport is by far the easiest way to get around the centre, including the new Elizabeth line, tube, bus, DLR and overground (not to mention boats and bus tours).

A London Underground sign with the words underground on - my 12 days out in London with kids 2018

Kids under 11 travel free on the tube, with reduced prices for children aged 11-15 as well – for more tips on using the London Underground with kids, click here, including details of getting reduced fares.

Accompanied kids aged under 15 travel free on buses as well. Click here for the latest information on public transport in London, including safety measures, such as details of wearing masks and when the busiest stations and times to avoid are, accessibility and any other changes.

Once you’re in the centre, I’d always recommend walking around London where you can as there’s so much to see that you’ll miss underground.

For more news and ideas, sign up for the London with Kids newsletter or join the London with kids Facebook group which I help to run

*First published summer 2020, last updated 2023*


The best things to do in London with kids, from museums to animal attractions including London Zoo, ways to get outdoors and other family attractions and tours in London

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission.

Main image/Science Museum/Buckingham Palace/Houses of Parliament/HMS Belfast/lion statue/Millennium Bridge/Diana memorial playground/underground sign courtesy of Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels


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