Time to Pack the Bags, London Awaits! Check out www.visitlondon.com top picks for a fun family stay in the capital, at any time of year. No stress and great memories guaranteed!
The capital has no shortage of things to do with children. From educational visits to iconic attractions, it’s easy to keep kids of all ages entertained.
Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery at the Science Museum will delight even the most curious of young minds thanks to 50 incredible exhibits exploring the marvels of science. With maths, space, chemistry and more, watch as your kids learn and take part in demonstrations led by the team of Explainers. Wonderlab: £8-£10, family rate available. Access to the museum is free
The nearby Natural History Museum won’t disappoint either. Get the kids acquainted with planet Earth’s history with a walk through the dinosaur era and introduce them to Hope, the 25.2-metre-long blue whale skeleton which has now replaced Dippy the Diplodocus in the Hintze Hall. Access to the museum is free.
History buffs will love the Museum of London, where children and adults alike will learn about the city’s past through interactive displays and specially conceived family activities. Don’t miss Beasts of London, an immersive tour of London’s history narrated by the animals who once inhabited the city, on until January 2020. Access to the museum is free.
Across the river, near Tower Bridge, theatre lovers can initiate little ones to the stage at the Unicorn Theatre, which offers productions suitable for children as young at 6 months-old. Some of them are even dedicated to babies and toddlers. Prices vary per production
For more history, head to Greenwich where kids can become pirates aboard the Cutty Sark, the world’s only surviving tea clipper, while mums and dads can treat themselves to a hearty afternoon tea! £6.75-£13.50
Lovers of British pageantry won’t want to miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (free), while shopaholics can explore London’s many unique stores such as Leicester Square’s Lego shop – the biggest in the world, the pretty Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop, the Moomin Shop and the Tintin Shop, all three in Covent Garden.
Finally, don’t leave without going for a stroll along the river Thames on the South Bank which is packed with many family must-dos, such as the Coca-Cola London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure! and SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Prices vary per attraction
Green spaces galore
Whether it’s an urban oasis or country feels you’re after, London has it all. With a third of the city classified as green space, and recently named the world’s first National Park City, the metropolis offers countless spots to put down a picnic blanket and relax, or socialise with the local fauna.
Head to St James’s Park for friendly squirrels and a stroll around the lake. Don’t miss the pelicans’ feeding time, every day between 2.30pm and 3pm, by Duck Island Cottage. Over in south-west
London, Richmond Park is the largest of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, and a local favourite. Kids will love the sight of the herds of wild deer and enjoy running across the park’s wide-open spaces.
The Square Mile, as the City of London is often known, is home to a plethora of gardens. Explore this network of tranquil spaces with a guided walk by a City of London Guide (available May – October). Free for under 15, £10 for adults
For those looking for adventurous activities, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the place to be. Go for a walk in the parklands or hop on a boat for a tour on the canal, then emulate the world’s greatest athletes with a swim at the London Aquatics Centre or give track cycling a go at Lee Valley VeloPark. Prices vary per venue
Tasty treats for the whole family
Eating out with the family can be daunting, but not with these kid-friendly spots!
If sitting still at the table isn’t your family’s cup of tea, then Bounce is the place for you. Both restaurants in Farringdon and Old Street are available for bookings and will serve you a delicious selection of pizzas, chicken wings and other favourites, all while you’re battling it out around the ping-pong table. Table booking from £4 per person.
For those with a sweet tooth, head to One Aldwych, in Covent Garden, where you can indulge in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired afternoon tea. Expect mouth-watering savouries followed by sweet treats that would delight even Willy Wonka. £45 per person
For breakfast cereal lovers, there is no better place than the Cereal Killer Cafés, located in Camden and Brick Lane. Take a step back in time with the kids and choose from over 120 colourful cereals from Lucky Charms to Cookie D’oh – and don’t forget the ice cream on top!
If it’s healthy fresh food you’re after, then look no further than Skip Garden & Kitchen in King’s Cross. Open Tuesday-Saturday, the Kitchen serves up organic food grown by local young people.
Text and photos courtesy of www.visitlondon.com, South Bank London and Trustees of the Natural History Museum 2019