Top Things To Do In London With Kids
London is an absolutely lovely city for children in which every child, regardless of age and interest, will find something to love. Here is a selection of the best places for children in London.
For the curious, the Museum of Natural History is absolutely perfect. Alongside the main exhibition of the museum – thousands of animal species, tracking their evolution throughout history – is the chance to witness life size replicas of dinosaurs. This is simply breathtaking, and the terrifying T-Rex may even stir if you come too close!
For thrill seekers visiting the museum, one of the attractions is an earthquake simulator, which places you in a Japanese supermarket and really shakes things up. You may find yourself trembling from head to toe, but it’s a certainty that your kids will love it.
The Science Museum, located right next to the Museum of Natural History, is perfect if your child is one of those who often asks “how does that work?”, or “what would happen if I…” or “should I press this?” (to which the answer is always NO!). The beauty of the museum is that the answers to these questions and more can be found by experimenting both by themselves and with you.
Another main attraction of the museum is the timeline of industrial invention over the last 250 years, starting from the first bicycle and continuing on to the very latest computer technology.
Visiting the Museum of Childhood is reminiscent of a journey into the past. The museum exhibits toys from over 300 years ago, starting with rag dolls and teddy bears and featuring some absolutely beautiful doll houses.
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is where children can learn about London’s maritime history and more practical things such as loading cargo ships, mooring the ship and shooting guns (make sure they don’t point it at you!). Museum trip can be combined with a visit to Greenwich Park nearby for some outdoor recreational fun.
If your children are a little older and have strong nerves, London Dungeon is absolutely perfect. Inhabited by creepy characters from London’s bloody history, your kid will leave either scared out of his wits or absolutely thrilled! They’ll get to try and crack the case of Jack the Ripper, learn about the history of torture in Medieval London and hear the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd. In the dark dungeons of the prison some of the characters can come to life, so be warned and be on your guard!
For the more active children amongst us, there are some especially interesting parks in London’s suburbs where the whole family can enjoy a thrilling day out and let off some steam.
Legoland Windsor, close to the Queen’s residence of Windsor Castle is an amusement park with more than 55 different attractions. A paradise for children between 3-12 years old, they can fly above the trees to escape the dragon of the keep, visit Vikings in a submarine or even acquire their own driving license (perfect for when you’re tired at the end of the day and need a lift home!). The resort even has its own hotel so you can prolong the pleasure for longer.
Chessington World of Adventures is the next step up, offering rides for visitors both young and old, with such rides as the Vampire providing a bite to the day’s proceedings. Chessington also has its own zoo and safari ride, where children can get acquainted with the animal world.
Thorpe Park is strictly for fans of adrenaline. Whether it’s speed you want, jumping from great heights or overcoming obstacles, it’s all here. Never fear if you do bring the little ones, for there is a number of rides aimed at smaller children.
For animal lovers, the London Aquarium, found on Southbank within minutes walking distance of the London Eye, is perfect. One of the largest aquariums in Europe, London’s Sealife is home to an amazing array of marine life: sharks, stingrays, turtles, crocodiles and octopus have made their home here. The main attraction is a simply stunning underwater tunnel; walking through it, you find yourself mere inches away to these amazing sea creatures. At certain times the aquarium hosts feeding sessions to stingrays, sharks and other marine creatures.
London Zoo is one of the oldest in the world and has a fine collection of animals. The zoo often hosts performances such as meeting sessions with giraffes and penguins to see how they are fed and to observe them at arm’s length (or neck length, in the giraffes’ cases!) The zoo is also home to a ‘Territory of the Tiger’ exhibition which recreates the habitat of Sumatran tigers to almost pinpoint accuracy.
Finally, the Horniman Museum & Gardens is a paradise for those kids who love nature and animals. As well as an aquarium, there is a nature centre and living area where some of the animals can be held and petted (no tigers here!). The museum itself is in a place of stunning natural beauty with plenty of room for a picnic, a football match or simply some sunbathing.