The Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do in London (That You’ll Enjoy, Too)
Spending the morning touring Renaissance painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum before jaunting off to afternoon tea sounds delightful, but we highly doubt your six-year-old will be keen on the idea of sipping Earl Grey and nibbling cucumber sandwiches for two hours. Instead, we’ve rounded up seven awesome attractions throughout London guaranteed to be fun for the whole family.
ATTEND A ROCKET SHOW AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM
Interactive exhibits like giant spinning drums and space rovers keep your curious kids entertained (while secretly teaching them science). Make sure you stop by the Wonderlab Statoil Gallery, which explores over 50 different scientific phenomena through immersive demonstrations (aka it will keep the kids busy forever). Your entry remains valid for the entire day, so you can pop in and out as you please (or as your kiddos demand).
HOP THE TRAIN TO HOGWARTS AT PLATFORM 9¾
OK, so you can’t actually get on a train to the infamous wizarding school, but you can pose for pictures with a trolley that’s permanently stuck halfway between the muggle and magical worlds. Once you snap a photo, head over to the Harry Potter Shop next store where you can pick up wands, quidditch sweaters and even a personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter. No judgment if you also pick up a few souvenirs for yourself.
COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH TIGERS AT THE LONDON ZOO
These three-year-old cubs aren’t exactly kittens anymore, but that doesn’t mean you won’t catch them wrestling and playing in the zoo’s Tiger Territory. But it’s not all about felines. Watch an adorable penguin show, eat lunch with the otters and have high tea with the giraffes. There’s also a jungle-themed playground, but be sure not to let your kids tire out too much before treating them to a prehistoric surprise in Zoorassic Park. (Hint: It involves life-size animatronic dinos from the Mesozoic Era.)
HEAD UNDERGROUND TO CHURCHILL’S WAR ROOMS
A visit to the underground bunkers where Churchill and his War Cabinet planned and plotted during WWII are highly recommended, no matter your age. While some portions of the museum have been altered (the large electronic table with an interactive timeline of Churchill’s life is a fairly new addition), the Map Room hasn’t been touched since the lights were turned off at the end of the war in 1945.
WAVE TO THE LEGO ROYAL FAMILY AT HAMLEYS TOY SHOP
Nothing says “kid approved” like a visit to the oldest and largest toy shop in the world. Other than the obvious joy they’ll get from being surrounded by more toys than their brains can comprehend, they can also attend story time and lively sing-along shows. Oh, and of course you’ll want to pay your respects to a life-size Lego version of the royal family, including the Queen with her throne and a faithful corgi by her side.
RIDE THE LONDON EYE
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s your child flying high above the London skyline in a giant Ferris wheel! Even the adults in your group will be in awe over the incredible panoramic view this British landmark offers. Play a game of “I spy” from 400 feet above the ground and see if your family can spot Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace.
FLY TO NEVERLAND WITH PETER PAN
Look for the second star to the right then head straight on through Kensington Gardens to find the statue of Peter Pan in the exact spot he landed after his pram rolled away from his distracted nanny. J.M. Barrie commissioned the statue in 1912 and had it erected in the middle of the night so that the children of London would think it had appeared by magic. That, and he never actually got formal permission from the city to install the statue.