London is the absolute best place for children and families. With dozens of attractions and museums, we guarantee you’ll never be bored exploring the city. Here are our top family-friendly activities to keep you entertained this weekend, next weekend and at least 45 weekends after that.
The Museum of London Docklands has a host of exciting events lined up for this February, including some fantastic FREE activities the whole family can enjoy, perfect for half-term! Drop in and learn about life in historic London through these hands-on sessions.
They are set to launch a brand new family trail based on the hair-raising, funny and rip-roaring adventures of Dodger, Fagin and the gang as seen in the BAFTA-winning BBC series Dodger.
Created in collaboration with Universal International Studios and the BBC, the free trail map will be available from Saturday 11th February.
People come from far and wide to experience this royal tradition, so it’s definitely worth heading down to Buckingham Palace to catch the Changing the Guard ceremony at least once. It’s free to watch and will be happening daily throughout September. The colourful spectacle sees the Buckingham Palace Old Guard change with the New Guard. The ceremony lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by music. Head down earlier than 10.30am to ensure you get a good view.
WHEN: 10:30 am St James’ Palace & Wellington Barracks, 11.00 am Buckingham Palace
WHERE: Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA
Explore the home of Henry VIII, The Renowned Magic Garden and get lost in the famous Maze. Discover more about this majestic palace and its unique history and explore the gorgeous gardens and stunning rooms. You’ll experience the public dramas and private lives of Henry VIII, his wives and children in the world of the Tudor court.
WHEN: Monday and Tuesday Closed, Wednesday – Friday 10.00 am – 4.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
WHERE: East Molesey, Surrey. KT8 9AU
A World Heritage Site and a top UK attraction, Kew Gardens is the world’s most famous garden. Visitors of all ages will be fascinated with the sheer range of climates, native and exotic plants and the beautiful collections of botanical art. Explore a tropical rainforest in the Palm House, where temperatures reach a balmy 27°C, stroll the tree-top walkway, see the serene lake and waterlily ponds!
This experience for two is truly out of the ordinary, and will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world – and you’ll learn about the 250 years of science and history behind this world-famous attraction, too!
WHEN: 10.00am – 6.00pm
WHERE: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
Kidzania is an indoor city run by kids, combining learning through interactive role-play in a range of job professions within a scaled city replica of real life.
A great family day out for children aged 4-14 years Kidzania is designed to empower and inspire.
WHEN: Check the website for available days and times
WHERE: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
Situated on the South Bank of the river Thames, the London Eye is an iconic part of London’s skyline. At 135 metres, the Lastminuite.com London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, with 40 kilometre panoramic views in all directions (that’s as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day!).
With mesmerising 360-degree views of the capital, take in London’s most famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square. Made up of 32 high-tech glass capsules, a ride on the London Eye takes 30 minutes.
WHEN: 11.00am – 6.00pm daily
WHERE: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
Treat yourself to the ultimate day out at the London Dungeon… if you dare! The home of scary fun invites you to live and breathe your way through London’s darkest history via a selection of scream-drenched stories and fear-inducing shocks. With thirteen haunting tales and two thrilling rides, guests will come face-to-face with some of London’s most notorious historical characters: Guy Fawkes, Sweeney Todd and even Jack the Ripper! Familiar tales are played out before your eyes and storytelling is given a contemporary twist in a trip that’s not to be missed.
WHEN: 11.00am – 4.00pm daily
WHERE: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Home to over 720 different species of animal, London zoo is the perfect way to connect with nature and animals in the heart of the city.
This animal kingdom in Regent’s Park offers some excellent experiences to help children and families learn about wildlife from around the world. Enter the Lion Temple to see the big cats roaming about. Head down to the Penguin Beach for feeding time. Don’t forget to meet the monkeys! The kids will love monkeying around in the monkey play area, designed to teach them how monkeys move in their environment.
WHEN: From 10am daily
WHERE: Regent’s Park, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY
Step through the world-famous doors of Madame Tussauds London and onto the red-carpet action with your favourite celebs. Mingle with the rich and famous at the ULTIMATE A-list party, strut like you mean it on the catwalk and rub shoulders with the Royal Family in a truly iconic setting. Perform with global music stars then hail a cab to journey through the history of London. Save the world one more time with the Marvel Super Heroes before using the force with the greats of the Star Wars universe. Are you ready for your moment in the spotlight? COME ON IN!
WHEN: 10.00-3.00pm daily
WHERE: Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR
© Mikael Buck / Madame Tussauds
The Monument is the tallest isolated stone column in the world and if you and the kids can hike up its 311 steps, you’ll be able to experience the incredible views from the top. The Monument is a reminder of the Great Fire of London which took place in 1666 and is still one of the most famous events in London history. Climb to the top of the tower and learn all about the ghastly event that began on Pudding Lane and engulfed the city of London in the 1600s.
WHEN: 9.30am – 6.00pm daily
WHERE: Monument Street, EC3R 8AH
Puttshack is an upscale, tech-infused mini golf experience that appeals to everyone. More than just indoor mini golf, Puttshack leans on its ground-breaking technology to elevate the game, while also serving world-class food and full bar in a cool environment. The Puttshack experience is really all about having fun – and doing something fun – together.
WHEN: Mon – Wed 12.00pm – 11.00pm Thurs – Fri 12.00pm -12.00am Sat 11.00am – 12.00am Sun 11.00am – 10.00pm (adults-only from around 7pm)
WHERE: Bank, Lakeside, Watford, White City
Discover the secret underwater world in our oceans and coastline. Experience the habitat of thousands of seawater creatures. The Shark Walk immerses you in the world of sharks. Get up close with Sand Tiger sharks, Bow Mouths, Black Tips and Grey Reefs. Don’t forget to remind the little ones that the sharks can’t harm them from behind the glass! You’ll also learn about how Sea Life are helping support ocean conservation and marine welfare.
WHEN: 10.00am – 7.00pm daily
WHERE: County Hall, Riverside Building, SE1 7PB
The Science museum holds a collection of over 300,000 items located over seven floors and categorized by topic, such as medicine, nuclear power, photography, electricity, food, technology, transportation, and much more, there is SO much to see a do.
Located in South Kensington, The Science Museum is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. It’s a great place to see, touch and experience science first-hand.
WHEN: Monday and Tuesday currently closed, Wednesday – Sunday 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
WHERE: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
Join the adventure and become the hero of London’s only fairy-tale walk-through experience. Be whisked into Far Far Away, an enchanting world of magic for an adventure of a lifetime. Journey on a 4D flying bus, visit Cinderella in Shrek’s swamp and cook up a magic spell with the Muffin Man. See, hear, touch and smell the action by exploring 11 fairytale-themed live shows, collecting the special ingredients you need in order to make it home safely and meet the big green ogre himself, Shrek!
WHEN: 10.00am – 5.00pm daily
WHERE: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Head 800ft above the streets for incredible panoramic views across the Capital for a great family day out in London.
Step into the smooth high-speed “kaleidoscopic” lifts and be swept over 800 feet up to London’s highest observation deck. The View from The Shard is a must-see and sure to impress everyone from kids to grandparents. From the top, you’ll have a 360-degree panoramic view of the capital that stretches as far as 40 miles around on a clear day.
Don’t forget your cameras as the views are truly spectacular, and take as much time as you need to spot all of London’s famous landmarks. You’ll have plenty of time to capture the perfect family selfie with the best backdrop imaginable!
WHEN: Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00 am – 7.00 pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10.00 am-10.00 pm
WHERE: 32 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
Frozen, The West End Musical
With incredible special effects, jaw-dropping scenery, and all the songs you know and love, it’s going to be an unmissable experience that will stay with you long after the curtain falls.
Even the biggest FROZEN fans will be in for some surprises, as the production features brand-new music from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, writers of the unforgettable Let It Go.
For advice on getting cheap tickets, click here.
WHERE: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JF
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours 15 minutes
SUITABLE FOR: Children under the age of 4 will not be permitted
The Tower Of London experience dives right into the heart of London’s dark and horrible history. Spend the day engrossed by tales of murder and mystery and learn about deadly plots that took place in the tower as you walk around the famous stone walls. Take a peek at the magnificent Crown Jewels too, which are made up of an incredible 23,578 gems. Book tickets here!
WHEN: Tuesday – Saturday, 9.00 am-4.30 pm; Sunday – Monday, 10.00 am – 4.30 pm
WHERE: The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
One for the Potter fans!
The Making of Harry Potter is a public attraction in London and quite possibly the only permanent filmmaking exhibit of its size in the world. Step back into the world of Harry Potter and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the films.
WHEN: Opening times vary, check the website for details
WHERE: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR
The Lion King tells the tale of a young lion cub named Simba who struggles to accept his destined role as king and the responsibilities that come with adulthood.
Using a timeless score by Elton John and Tim Rice, Julie Taymor creates an imaginative and highly creative world that brings the flora, fauna and animals of Africa to life, with songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina, and Hans Zimmer.
WHERE: Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
SUITABLE FOR: Children 8+
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The Natural History Museum in London is a museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history.
During the summer they have a great butterfly house.
WHEN: Monday-Sunday 10.00 am-17.50 pm
WHERE: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
A world of creativity in the heart of London. From unmissable exhibitions to extraordinary collections, there is something for everyone at the global destination for art, design and performance.
WHEN: Daily 10.00 am-5.45 pm (Friday 10.00 am-10.00 pm)
WHERE: Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
The Regent’s Park combines large open spaces with tree-lined pathways, formal gardens, and four children’s playgrounds. It has excellent sports facilities, and contains central London’s largest outdoor sports area.
WHEN: 5.00 am-5.00 pm
WHERE: Chester Rd, London NW1 4NR
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is free to visit every day of the week – and at 560 acres, there’s always something new to explore.
The Park is open 24 hours a day, every day! Please note that different venues will open at different times, so check before you visit. It is also advisable to book activities and tours in advance – visit the individual venue websites for more information.
WHEN: 24 hours a day
WHERE: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum founded in 1835 by French wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in London. Star in immersive experiences and get up close and personal with more than 150 lifelike figures of your favourite celebrities.
WHEN: Opening times vary depending on the time of year
WHERE: 8 Marylebone Road, London W1
At 135m, The London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects and was launched in 2000.
It has won over 85 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement. In fact, it has become the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction.
WHEN: Anyone wishing to visit will need to pre-book a ticket in advance
WHERE: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SRE1 7PB
Book tickets on LondonEye.com
The IFS Cloud Cable Car crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, just five minutes’ walk from The O2 and North Greenwich Underground station.
Spanning just over 1 kilometre across the Thames, it takes up to 10 minutes each way and offers unique views of the city. As you fly 90 metres above the River Thames, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Capital
WHERE: 27 Western Gateway, Royal Docks, London E16 1FA
This is big outdoor fun in the big city with spectacular views across Battersea and the park.
There’s more to this stacked course than meets the eye with people above, below and all around you. A head for heights is a must as Battersea’s Treetop Challenge crossings are twice the height of most Go Ape locations.
WHEN: Booking is essential and times depend on the activity booked
WHERE: Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
London bus tours provide the perfect introduction to the city and the best photo opportunities of iconic landmarks from the top deck.
WHEN: Times vary depending on package purchased
WHERE: You can begin the tour from any stop included in the tour across London. Check out their bus stops here.
Buckingham Palace is recognised worldwide as the home of the monarch, the focus of national and royal celebrations, and the backdrop to the regular ‘Changing the Guard’ ceremony.
Explore the magnificent State Rooms which are open to visitors on selected dates for Exclusive Guided Tours during winter and spring, and for 10 weeks each summer.
WHEN: Dates for 2023 are Friday, 14 July to Sunday, 24 September – book in advance for the best value.
WHERE: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA
The Houses of Parliament offer a range of tours that enable you to see inside one of the world’s most famous buildings and find out about the work of UK Parliament.
WHEN: Timing varies, pre-booking is essential
WHERE: Westminster, London SW1A 0AA