It’s hard to know where to begin when talking about all there is to see and do in London with kids. This city is so full of art, culture, and history, but it is also a great place for foodies, fashionistas, and fun-seekers.

Westminster - things to do in London with kids

We each had a list of must-do items that was really hard to narrow down, but we managed to hit a lot of highlights during our time in this amazing city. Read on to find out what we did, as well as what makes us eager to return! This is London for kids – AftT style.

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Visiting London with kids - London family travel
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22 Awesome Things to Do in London With Kids

1.) Take a Walking Tour

We think the best way to get to know a city is to walk the streets and see the sites with someone who knows all the history and the most interesting stories. London Walks offers a variety of tours to fit your interests and schedule, and at a reasonable price as well. It should come as no surprise that we chose a Harry Potter tour if you read our previous post on London.

Do you have some Potterheads in your family? Check out our guide on where to find the Best Harry Potter Sites in London!

Best things to do in London with kids - Harry Potter

As we made our way through the City of London, our guide pointed out all the recognizable film locations, as well as some spots that inspired J.K. Rowling’s settings.

Harry Potter walking tour - things to do in London for kids
Our fantastic London walking tour with London Walks.

Many of the Harry Potter filming locations are of historical significance, but our guide pointed out other important sites along the way as well. Highlights from the tour include Leadenhall Market, Tower Bridge and London Bridge (and the important difference!), Millennium Bridge, the Globe Theater, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and various other locations seen throughout the film series.

Things to do in London with kids - Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge – London

Other family tours of London we think look cool are the Beatles and Jack-the-Ripper tours. We have used London Walks for other tours, such as our Salisbury and Stonehenge tour, and we have used their partner company Paris Walks for our Bastille Day tour and a Hemingway and Fitzgerald tour in 2014. We absolutely love their London walking tours for families so give them a try!

  Tours always begin and end near a Tube station, so they are easy to get to. Just check the tour schedule!

London is great but there is a lot to see just outside of the city also. For some great London day tour options, check out our guide.

Don’t feel like walking?

Try a Hop on-Hop off bus tour with Big Bus. These are easy London tours for kids and easy wins for Mom and Dad. If the weather is good, it’s a great way to get some sun and fresh air – perfect for combating  jet lag! Be sure to book ahead here to get a discount on your tickets.

2.) Take Advantage of the Water Taxis and Ferries

Kids love a good boat ride, and since many of the important sites in London are right along the River Thames, a water taxi is a fun way to see the sites and quickly reach your destination. They came in especially handy during an unlucky Tube strike during one visit. Since the Thames Clippers are not part of Transport for London, they were just the thing to get around town!

Tickets for the Thames Clippers can be purchased at the ticket window at the Pier or on their website. Their hop on/hop off option is great for sightseeing families!

3.) See the Tower of London with Kids

Don’t miss a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) tour as part of your Tower of London adventure. These royal guards have fascinating stories to tell, and the tour is included as part of your admission ticket. Tours leave every 30 minutes all day long and last about an hour. No family trip to London is complete with a visit here!

Everyone will love the wire animal replicas (did you know they used to have a zoo there?), the amazing suits of armor worn by kings and royalty of all ages, and of course, the jewels. Kids will particularly love learning about the legendary ravens that live at the Tower.

Tower of London - fun things to do in London with kids

The Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels, and words do not do them justice. They were every bit as sparkly and spectacular as we hoped they would be (no photos allowed, though!). The Tower of London has seen a lot through its history as a prison for high profile criminals, the site of many a beheading, and a royal home. Its story is gruesome at times, to be sure, but for history buffs of all ages, it is a must see London icon!Tower of London - top things to do in London with kids

Download their app here before you visit and head out on one of their Digital Missions! Also, check out these other tips for visiting the Tower of London with kids.

Tower of London - things to do in London with kids

Tower of London Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
Summer - 9:00 - 17:30 Tues. - Sat & 10:00 - 17:30 Sun. and Mon.
A full schedule can be found here.

Family pricing is offered for 2 adults and up to 3 children ages 5-15 for £70 at the gate or £59 online. Tickets can be purchased here: Tower of London Tickets
Getting Here:
Circle or District lines to Tower Hill Station

4.) Stroll Across Tower Bridge

After your visit to the Tower of London, take a walk across Tower Bridge.

Crossing the Tower Bridge - what to do with kids in London
Tower Bridge

Better yet, learn how this quintessential London landmark works. For families wanting to learn more about the bridge’s history and inner workings, take a tour where you’ll get to see the engine room, explore exhibits, and see the Thames River in a unique way by walking across the glass-bottom walkways! Be sure to download the family-friendly app to your phone before you head out for lots of things to do and discover. Also, check the daily schedule so you can see when they will raise the bridge!

Tower Bridge Hours and Prices

Tour Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:30 in warmer weather
A full schedule can be found here.
Family pricing is available. 2 adults & 2 children is £22, but several options are available. Tickets can be purchased here: Tower Bridge Tickets
Getting Here:
Circle or District lines to Tower Hill Station

  • Where we like to stay in London

    For our trips to London, we’ve stayed at Park Plaza properties. They have comfortable family rooms that sleep 2 adults and 2 kids, are stylish, clean, and close to several major attractions and tube stations. We’ve stayed at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, Plaza on the River, Park Plaza London Waterloo, and Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes. They’re not overly expensive, and you can use Club Carlson points to stay if you like.

    Check here for the latest prices and more info.

5.) Visit a Park

London’s Parks and green spaces are not to be missed. During our trip to London, we visited Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We were surprised by the wildness of parts of Hyde Park (you can almost picture Henry VIII hunting there), but also the pristine beauty of the Italian Garden as you make your way from Hyde Park into Kensington Gardens.

Kensington Gardens - best things to do with kids in London
Kensington Gardens

You will also discover many sculptures and areas of interest throughout the parks, such as a tribute to Princess Diana, the Albert Memorial, Speakers’ Corner, a Holocaust memorial, and more.

Albert Memorial - London family friendly activities
Albert Memorial at Kensington Gardens

Take time to really enjoy this green space amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. You can take a walk along the paths, or you can sit and enjoy the tranquility with some ice cream and a good book.

A little more well-kept than Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens has lots of things that kids will enjoy. Personally, we were on a quest to find Peter Pan’s statue, which the kids had recently seen in the Robin Williams movie, Hook.

Visiting Peter Pan - fun things to do with kids in London
Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

We also knew to look for the gorgeous swans swimming in the nearby pond. What we were not expecting were little green parakeets. There are tons of these beautiful little birds in the trees at Kensington Gardens, and they will eat right out of your hands. The kids were absolutely enthralled. Be sure to buy a bag of peanuts before you head into the park to feed the birds!

Feeding the parakeets at Kensington Gardens- places to visit in London with kids
Bring some peanuts for the parakeets!

On our most recent London trip with kids, we took a morning walk through St. James’s Park near Buckingham Palace before the changing of the guard. It’s a beautiful park and just across the street from Wellington Barracks where the new guard forms up before marching over to the palace.London sightseeing for kids at St. James's Park near Buckingham Palace.

  All of these parks can be easily reached by the Tube. Take the Piccadilly line to either Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner. You can also take the Central line to Marble Arch station. Notting Hill Gate station will put your near Kensington Palace and is served by the Central, District, and Circle lines.

For St. James’s Park and Buckingham Palace, take the tube to either to St. James Park, Green Park, or Victoria stations.

Need a Great Guidebook?

Obviously, the water taxis are just one of many options for getting around town, but navigating your way through a large city can be a daunting task. We bought the Lonely Planet Discover London guidebook before our trip and found it to be totally worth it. The kids particularly loved the pull-out map that shows all the Underground lines and Tube stops. It was fun to figure out how to get to each adventure! Pick up a copy of their updated 2019 version here.

6.) Explore the British Museum

London’s British Museum is an unbelievable place that holds just about everything. It’s like digging through the world’s treasure chest.

Best things to do in London with kids - visit the British Museum

Whether you have several days or just half a day to explore it, you should not miss this world famous museum. Since we were limited on time and weren’t sure where to start, we headed straight for the guest services desk and picked up a souvenir guide book specifically for kids. This book helped us to narrow down what we should see, and the way it was organized would give families several options for more in-depth exploring.

Some of the highlights for us included the Rosetta stone, the mummies, and the Lewis Chessmen which were made between 1150 and 1200 AD.

London attractions for kids - Lewis Chessmen at the British Museum
Lewis Chessmen at the British Museum

We treated the main items in this book as a sort of scavenger hunt, and we were so excited when we came across an item that was stumping us! (We thought we’d never find that Greek drinking cup!)

Visiting the British Museum - kid friendly things to do in London
Found it!

If your visit is during peak travel season, be prepared for some really large crowds. We would recommend getting there early and seeing the more popular exhibits first. By midday, the mummy room was extremely crowded.London for children - the British Museum

Finding the Rosetta Stone - London England with kids
Rosetta Stone


Mummies at the British Museum - trip to London with kids
The kids liked the mummified cats.

British Museum Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:30. Open until 20:30 on Fridays.
A full schedule can be found here.
Getting Here:
  Piccadilly line to Russell Square, Northern line to Goodge Station., Central or Northern lines to Tottenham Court Rd., or Central or Piccadilly lines to Holborn Station.

7.) Marvel at the Natural History Museum

When Charles Darwin, the world’s most famous naturalist, is a native son, it’s a safe bet that London’s Natural History Museum is world-class.

London Natural History Museum -things to do for kids in London

Like the British Museum, the Natural History Museum is one that you could enjoy in about half a day, or you could stretch it into a longer visit. And, also like the British Museum, it is a popular destination and can get quite crowded during peak travel seasons. But, don’t let the crowds dampen your spirits at this or any other tourist destination. We feel like the nuisance of a crowd is a small price to pay for some of the amazing things you will see and learn about during these visits. The Natural History Museum is most well known for its dinosaur skeletons and for the beauty of the building itself. Not only does the museum boast items of scientific value, but great historical value as well, since many of the specimens were actually collected by Charles Darwin.

Natural History Museum Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:50
More info about visiting can be found here.
Getting Here:
  Gloucester Road and South Kensington Stations on the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines.

8.) Tour Westminster Abbey & Take Afternoon Tea

Having afternoon tea is one of those British customs you really shouldn’t pass up. I am actually not a fan of tea, but I can definitely see the appeal of this mid-afternoon break. Plus, you get tiny cakes and sandwiches and scones to go with it.


Afternoon Tea at Cellarium Cafe in Westminster Abbey - best things for kids in London
High Tea at the Cellarium Cafe – Westminster Abbey

If you take your tea at the Cellarium Cafe at Westminster, you’ll receive a three-tier tray of dainty, delectable treats, along with your choice of tea and Prosecco if you so choose. It was definitely a unique and fun experience for the family, and at least one kid became a fan of tea that day!

Top things to do with kids in London - afternoon tea at Cellarium Cafe - Westminster Abbey
Pinkies up!

The nice thing about having afternoon tea at Westminster is that you can enjoy a tour before or after your visit.

I wish photography inside Westminster Abbey was allowed because words cannot do it justice.

Wesminster Abbey - things to do in London England with kids

It is so full of British history, and serves as the burial place for royals, poets, musicians, artists, and other important Brittons. I commented that it was like seeing my Survey of British Literature class all in one place. Almost every author and poet I studied is buried here (with one notable exception…the bard does not rest here). It was just an amazing and humbling experience.Wesminster Abbey - what to do in London with children

Westminster Abbey Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
Typically 9:30 - 15:30
A full schedule can be found here.
Family pricing is available: £45 for 2 adults & 2 children, but several options are available. A free audio guide is included. Tickets can be purchased here: Westminster Abbey Entry Tickets
Getting Here:

  Jubilee, District, or Circle lines to Westminster Station, or Circle or District lines to St. James Park Station

9.) Visit Buckingham Palace

No trip to London would be complete without witnessing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.London sightseeing for kids - Buckingham Palace We had no idea just how cool our personal experience would be because we didn’t know until that morning that it was the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Not only was the Royal Air Force doing the changing of the guard, but there was also a flyover with a mix of WWII and modern aircraft, and the royal family made an appearance on the famous balcony.

Buckingham Palace - what to do in London for kids
It sure was nice of the Queen to come say ‘Cherio!’ during our visit!
Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace - places to visit in London for kids
Changing of the Guard with the Royal Air Force

Changing of the guard - London trip for kids

The changing of the guard, in simple terms, is when one regiment takes over for another, and normal ceremonies last about 45 minutes. The ceremony is accompanied by one of the five bands of the Foot Guards, and you will hear them play a wide range of music, from traditional marches to pop music. We heard everything from John Phillip Sousa to Michael Jackson when were there. During the summer it takes place at around 11:30AM.

On our second trip to London recently, we decided to meet over at Wellington Barracks before the ceremony to watch the guard form and the band warm up.Free things to do in London with kids - changing of the guard

This was a much better way to see the guard up close and was much less crowded than standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Wellington Barracks are located just across the street from the Palace and across from St. James’s Park. From here, you’ll get an up-close look at the new guard and band parade over to Buckingham Palace which is fun for the kids.Changing of the guard - fun activities for kids in London

Once they pass by, stroll through St. James’s Park across the bridge towards The Mall. By the time you reach the other side of the park (10 minutes or so) the old guard will be preparing to march down The Mall straight towards you on their way to St. James’s Palace. This is also a great way to the kids to get some good photos of the guard.places to see in London with kids - changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

If you haven’t seen the full ceremony at the Palace, then by all means do so, but it’s crowded and not easy for the kids to see. We think this way is better and more fun. The kids probably didn’t think too much of the ceremony anyways (chuckle).

After seeing the changing of the guard, you might also want to consider a tour. If the queen is not there, you can tour Buckingham Palace and the staterooms. Families will be interested in the multimedia tour that is now offered, as well as a visit to the Family Pavilion and Garden Trail. Visit the Royal Collection website for full details on all there is to see and do with children at Buckingham Palace.

If the Queen is at the palace, you can still enjoy a visit to the Royal Mews, which is what we did. There you will see horses, antique and historic carriages, and royal family cars. It was really an awesome experience to see these items up close!Visiting the Royal Mews - London kids tour

Watching the changing of the guard is free. Other tours and experiences for Buckingham Palace can be found here.

Royal Mews Buckingham Palace - things to see in London with kids
Practicing our royal waves at the Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace

Royal Mews Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:00 in summer
A full schedule can be found here.

Click here for information on the Changing of the Guard
Family pricing is available. 2 adults & 2 children is £25.80.Tickets can be purchased here: Royal Mews Tickets
Getting Here:
Circle or District lines to the St. James Park Station, or Victoria, Circle, or District lines to Victoria Station.

10.) See the Original Hard Rock Cafe

If you are a fan of good burgers and rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, then you have to stop by the original Hard Rock Cafe to catch a glimpse of Eric Clapton’s guitar over the bar. It was the piece of musical history that started it all.Places to go in London with kids - Hard Rock Cafe London While you’re there, be sure to visit the vault in the basement of the gift shop for more great pieces of rock ‘n’ roll history.

Hard Rock Cafe - fun things to do in London kids

  To get here, just hop on the Piccadilly line to the Hyde Park Corner Station.

11.) Go Shopping

Shopping at Harrods - London sights for kidsLondon is known for fashion, so don’t miss some of its most famous shopping districts. First, Harrods is worth a look. This historic department store is located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge London and is currently owned by the state of Qatar. The decor is gaudy and weird, but that’s what makes it fun to see. You’ll definitely want to check out all the amazing food on the ground level, too.

For a more down-to-earth shopping experience, try Selfridges. This one was definitely our favorite. They sell just about everything here, and we were happy to take home some of the UK versions of Harry Potter from this shop.Shopping at Selfridges - best things to do in London for kids

The kids also experienced their first sushi at YO! Sushi in Selfridges.

family fun in London at Yo! Sushi
Dinner at Yo Sushi right inside of Selfridges

This conveyor belt Asian restaurant was a feast for the eyes, just as much as for the stomach. The kids had an absolute blast and tried a lot of things they never would have eaten back home.

YO! Sushi - Eating in London with kids
Conveyor belt of noms.
Yo! Sushi - things for kids to do in London
Chopsticks at the ready!

YO! Sushi has several restaurants around town, and we tried the Baker Street location during our last visit. It’s right next to the Baker Street tube station so it’s super convenient, and the food was delicious as always. They even had a special for Monday where all the dishes were blue (meaning the same price) even if they are usually more. Score!

  Harrods can be reached on the Piccadilly Line to Knightsbridge Station. Selfridges can be reached from the Bond Street Station on the Central or Jubilee lines.

Other Places to Shop in London

Being a bit of an Anglophile, Carrick took us off the beaten path to visit some of the old shave shops and perfume houses that have been around since Victorian times. These creaky old shops like Taylor of Old Bond Street and Geo. F. Trumpers still hold royal warrants indicating their official status as perfumer to this prince or that duchess.

If fine tailoring is your thing, London’s famous Saville Row is also nearby. It was a fun few hours exploring how the upper crust lives. We each came away with a fun memento –  a few tubes of shave cream for Carrick and a bottle of perfume from Floris London for Carrie.

If you’re visiting around Christmas, don’t miss Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly Street. The entire store is covered top to bottom with decorations and festive food that will put anyone in the holiday spirit.Fortnum and Mason - Things to do in London with kids

Pop inside to warm up and grab a nibble of something sweet, or book here for fancy afternoon tea.Places to go with kids in London - Fortnum and Mason

12.) Experience Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

Most adults remember reading Shakespeare in school, and a visit to the Globe really brings history to life.

Globe Theater London - London tour with kids

Even if you are not a huge theater fan, I think you’ll enjoy a peak inside this theater and inside the life and times of the famous bard. The Globe is part museum and part active theater. The Globe that stands along the Thames today is a replica, but it was amazingly built using the technology that would have been used to construct the original. It truly is like stepping back in time.

Visiting the Globe Theater - stuff to do with kids in London

During our tour, we were not able to explore all parts of the stage or take pictures because there was a dress rehearsal happening, but what an experience to sit and listen to professional actors working the lines that have been performed for hundreds of years. We were able to fully explore the museum portion, however. Here, you’ll see costumes used by the company in their many Shakespearan productions, miniature models of the theater, and a timeline of how the original theater came to be.Visiting the Globe Theater - kid activities in London

The Globe Theater was built with the first and only thatched roof permitted in London since the Great Fire of 1666. The theater was also built to exacting standards based on information about the time period and materials used during the time of William Shakespeare. The only exception? A modern-day sprinkler system.

Globe Theater Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
9:00 - 17:00 generally
A full schedule can be found here.
Family pricing is available. 2 adults & 3 children is £43, but several options are available. Tickets can be purchased here: Globe Theater Exhibition Tickets
Getting Here:
By boat to Bankside Pier (best and closest option)
  By tube on the District and Circle Lines to Blackfriars Station or Mansion House Station, the Northern and Jubilee Lines to London Bridge Station, or the Central Line to St Paul's Station.

13.) Gain Perspective from the London Eye

Just about wherever you’re at in London, you can spot the London Eye. It’s a great way to get your bearings if you’re lost, but also affords some of the best views of London. Located just across the Westminster Bridge, it’s easy to find and get to.

We rode just before sunset and it was awesome!

Best things to do in London with kids - The London Eye

The London Eye - must do in London with kids

London Eye Tips!

  • Get your tickets when the ticket window opens.
    • Ticket lines can get unwieldy during the day. It's best to buy your ticket first thing in the morning, and then come back for your scheduled time.
  • Consider riding in the evening around dusk.
    • The views at this time of day are magical, and you should be able to get some great photos around this time.
  • Hours of Operation and London Eye Prices:
    • In summer, the Eye is open from 10:00 - 20:30. Check the schedule for hours during your visit.
    • Window Prices: Adults: £26 Children 3-15: £21 Children under 3: Free
    • Click here to pre-order your tickets if you know the day you'll be visiting. You'll also save 10%, but you may want to see what the weather will be doing that day!

Getting Here:
  By boat to the London Eye Pier (closest option)
  By tube on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, Waterloo or City lines to Waterloo Station.

The London Eye - best places to visit in London with kids

14.) Straddle the Hemispheres at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

At 00° 00′, Greenwich is where east meets west – literally. The Prime Meridian runs right through Greenwich, and families can straddle both sides of Earth at the same time.Visit the Prime Meridian - must do with kids in LondonRoyal Observatory Greenwich - places to visit with kids in LondonEnjoy a visit to London’s only planetarium where families can explore the universe and everything in it. Take in a sci-fi movie, a special exhibit, or just ponder your place in the galaxy. The planetarium is fun for all ages.

Bonus: Explore Great Britain’s proud naval history at the National Maritime Museum and also the Queen’s House, London’s first fully classical building. Admission is free to both of these attractions, so there’s no reason not to visit!Where to go in London with kids? - Queens House Greenwich

Queens House Greenwich - things to do in London for families
The famous Tulip Staircase at the Queens House Greenwich.

Royal Observatory Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:00
A full schedule can be found here.
Adults: £9.50 Children: £5 Tickets can be purchased here: Royal Observatory Tickets
Getting Here:
By boat to Greenwich Pier
  By DLR Light Rail to Greenwich or Maze Hill Stations

15.) Sail the High Seas on the Cutty Sark

Residing in Greenwich, the Cutty Sark is the the world’s only surviving tea clipper, one of the fastest of it’s time.Visit the Cutty Sark- things to do London with kids Kids will love exploring this famous ship from bow to stern. Activities include Toddler Time for little ones with stories and songs, exploring the crew’s quarters, including the captain’s cabin, and lots of interactive displays and exhibits to go around.

Cutty Sark Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:00
A full schedule can be found here.
Adults: £13.50 Children: £7 Tickets can be purchased here: Cutty Sark Tickets
Getting Here:
  By boat to Greenwich Pier
  By DLR Light Rail to Greenwich or Maze Hill Stations

16.) Fly the Emirates Air Line Cable Car

This 10-minute gondola ride across the river affords great views of the Thames Barrier and Royal Docks, plus you’ll learn about some of the history of Canary Wharf, as well as modern additions to the area like the O2 arena. Our ticket actually came as part of a package deal along with rides on the Thames Clippers. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to do this again, but it was a fun way to show the kids a bird’s-eye view of London right off the bat.

Emirates Air Line - things for families to do in London

In the cable cars, there are narrated videos describing what you’re seeing as you look around the skyline. While on the ground, visitors can do the Emirates Aviation Experience which allows guest to experience modern commercial air travel in a new way with interactive displays and life-size replicas. We chose not to do this, but it looks like fun and is for all ages.

Emirates Air Line Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
Summer hours are 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on weekdays.
A full schedule can be found here.
Adults: £4.50 Children: £2.30. Discounts are available to Oyster Card holders. Tickets can be purchased here: Emirates Air Line Tickets.
Getting Here:
  By boat to the North Greenwich Pier
  Jubilee Line to North Greenwich Station

17.) Go on Safari at the ZSL London Zoo

If your family loves animals, take a day to visit London’s Zoo. There’s something for everyone, and be sure to check out their newest exhibit, Land of the Lions. Don’t miss the feeding schedules for extra-cool experiences, and download their app before you go! iOS App

London Zoo Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 18:00 in summer
A full schedule can be found here.
Family pricing is available. 2 adults & 2 children is £75.80, but several options are available. Tickets can be purchased here: London Zoo Tickets
Getting Here:
Northern line to Camden Town Station.

18.) Rewind Human History at the British Library

The British Library is the national library of the UK and is where you’ll find an amazing collection of works across all types of media – not just books.The British Library - fun things for kids to do in LondonDuring our 2017 visit, their exhibition Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound was on display which was great!things to do with the kids in London - Visiting the British Library

Other interesting artifacts include ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, an original Magna Carta from 1215, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, and original manuscripts from from composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Handel. Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed in the treasures room, but trust us – it’s unbelievable.

  • Interested in the Magna Carta?

    Although the British Library contains one of the few remaining copies of the Magna Carta (Great Charter), the best copy is actually found in Salisbury Cathedral. We made a day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge with London Walks and had a great time. You can read more about that trip here: London Day Trips with Kids.

We visited specifically to see the temporary exhibition ‘Harry Potter – A History of Magic (of course we did) and it was the greatest thing ever (of course it was). If you want to visit, it runs until the end of Feb. 2018.British Library - things to do with family in Londonbest places for kids in London - the British Library

If you can’t make it in person, you can visit the exhibit in book form. We purchased one to take home and it’s perfect for the coffee table.

British Library Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
9:30 - 20:00 generally.
A full schedule can be found here.
Getting Here:
King's Cross Station at St. Pancras via several lines.

19.) Get Cultured at Tate Modern

Tate Modern is London’s museum of modern art. Located on the river near the Globe Theater, Tate Modern is easy to get to and offers up some great exhibits. Alter your perspective and drop by – it’s free!

Tate Modern Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 18:00 during the week and 10:00 - 22:00 on Fri. and Sat.
Getting Here:
By boat to Bankside Pier (closest)
  By tube on the District and Circle Lines to Blackfriars Station or Mansion House Station, the Northern and Jubilee Lines to London Bridge Station, or the Central Line to St Paul's Station.

20.) Find Magic at King’s Cross Station

Besides being a main transportation hub in London, it’s also where you’d hop on the Hogwarts Express to start your next term at school. Although there’s not really a Hogwart’s Express, you can snap a photo at Platform 9¾, visit the Harry Potter gift shop, or relax outdoors in Pancras Square. For kid friendly activities in London, nothing beats a little dose of Harry Potter Magic.

Catch the Eurostar to Paris at nearby St. Pancras station for a quick trip to the French capital.

Related: If you want to actually ride the Hogwart’s Express, you’ll need to head to Scotland for that and book a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train. Read about how to book this awesome journey here.

21.) Picture Yourself at the National Gallery

London’s National Gallery is where you’ll find one of the greatest collections of art and paintings in the world.kid activities London - Visit the National Gallery Their collection spans from the medieval period to French Impressionism. Free and open 361 days a year, the National Gallery is an excellent choice for visiting families, or visitors needing a place to tour on a rainy London day. Check out their guide for families where you’ll find activities and art trails that families can enjoy together.

London National Gallery - London with children
Andrew liked the one with the dragon eating the guy’s face. Because boys.

National Gallery Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 18:00 Fridays 10:00 - 21:00
A full schedule can be found here.
Getting Here:
By tube on the Northern and Bakerloo lines to Charing Cross Station and via Northern and Piccadilly lines to Leicester Square Station.

22.) Celebrate Human Achievement at the Victoria and Albert Museum

On our first trip to London, we were disappointed to have missed this museum because we had heard and read so many good things about it.Visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum - where to go in London with kids In 2017 we were able to visit, and we’re so glad we did. V&A is an awesome museum about design, art, engineering, and really a celebration of all these things. Pop culture, fashion, music, sculpture, and architecture are all represented from all over the world.The Victoria and Albert Museum - London tourist attractions for kids We highly recommend visiting if you can, and we think you’ll be blown away by their unique collection.

V&A Hours and Prices

Hours of Entry:
10:00 - 17:45 Fridays 10:00 - 22:00
A full schedule can be found here.
Getting Here:
Take the Central, District, or Piccadilly lines to South Kensington Station. from there, follow the signs to museum. You can walk the tube all the way there and there is an entrance to the museum directly from the Underground.

Map of things to do in London with kids

Getting Around London

The Tower Bridge - fun things for kids in LondonLondon has one of the best and most elaborate public transit systems in the world, and you should take full advantage of it. Whether it’s by boat, underground (tube), bus, or light rail, there is a way get there via public transit. In fact, we didn’t ride in a cab the entire time we were there.

Money-Saving Tip!

Children under 11 are free to travel on Tube, DLR, buses and trams, London Overground, TfL Rail, and some National Rail services when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (up to four children per adult).

London with kids waiting for the tube
Waiting for the tube to come to a stop.

There are a couple of great resources for navigating the London Underground which is where we spent most of our time. The one we used the most was Google Maps. If you click on a tube station on the map, Google will highlight the entire line for you, making it really easy to find a station near your destination. You can also put in a source and destination, and then click on the train icon to get transit directions. Easy-peasy.

The other resource is the Transport for London website. Their trip planner does a pretty good job of getting you from A to B. You can also read about fares, Oyster cards, and which stations allow you to use contactless payments with a credit card.

Oyster Cards

Oyster cards are refillable cards that allows you to quickly pay for fares on all Transport for London (TfL) trips including Buses, the Tube, Trains, Light Rail, etc. They’re easy to use, and we recommend purchasing them either before you leave or from the airport as soon as you land. They also save you money over paying for single fares each time to ride.

Simply find a TfL visitor center or any kiosk in the tube stations to purchase or refill your cards. You can find TfL visitor centers at both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. An entire list is here. While you can purchase a Visitor Oyster Card in advance of your visit, we simply used an automated kiosk at Heathrow at the tube station and had no issues. If you have a credit or debit card that uses chip+pin technology, then you shouldn’t have an issue.

Money-Saving Tip!

If you have a child over 12, they still get a discount (50%) on TfL fares. If you've purchased a Visitor Oyster Card, take it to the TfL Visitor Center at the airport and they will set it up to only swipe half the fare instead of the full adult fare.

Getting Into Town

Depending on how you arrive to London, you have several options to get into the city.

From London Heathrow (LHR)
By tube, take the Piccadilly Line into town from any of the terminals. This journey is about an hour and is the cheapest option. This is what we do.

  By rail, your choiceis the Heathrow Express whicch is quicker than the tube, but also considerably more expensive. It will get you to Paddington Station in about a half hour or less. TfL is currently building at the new Elizabeth Line that will open in late 2019 and includes what used to be part of the Heathrow Connect service.

From London Gatwick (LGW)

  By rail, you can take the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, Thameslink trains to London Bridge & St. Pancras International, or the Southern Railway trains to London Victoria via Clapham Junction and East Croydon.

Of course, taxis, buses, and other transportation is availble, but will be either more expensive, or less convenient.

What will you see on your visit to London?

We loved London so much, and this list merely scratches the surface of all there is to see and do in London with kids. We can’t wait to go back! Tell us about your must-do sites and favorite attractions in the comments.

If you're planning a London family trip, check out our United Kingdom Destination Guide.

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22 Awesome Things to Do in London With Kids

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    8 replies to "22 Awesome Things to Do in London With Kids"

    • aFabulousTrip

      It sure looked like a lot of fun for you and your family ! 🙂

      • Carrick Buss

        It’s a great place to explore with kids for sure! Thanks for reading.

    • Michelle Lammers

      Love this blog post! We are going to start traveling abroad with our kids in the near future. ? Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

      • Carrick

        Thanks for reading Michelle. Excited for you guys! To get our newsletter, you can fill in the form at the bottom of the post.

        Here’s to some great trips with the kids!


    • Alysia

      What an amazing list! and well written too thank you so much for the time and engird you put into this. so many ‘kid” friendly ones don’t really have great info besides where they were so thank you so much for adding extra!

      • Carrick

        Alysia, I’m glad you found it informative and thank for reading. Happy travels! -C

    • oneearthhotels

      Your site is great and I plan on exploring it even more in the future. It is well written, comprehensive in it’s suggestions.It was a great article, thanks for sharing!

      • Carrick

        We’re glad you’re enjoying it and thanks for reading! -Carrick

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