25 Best Things to do in London with kids (+ map)

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Are you planning to visit London with children? This guide will help you plan the best things to do in London with kids + other useful information (transport with kids, accommodation for families with kids in London and a map with tips).

Best things to do in London with kids

London, like Amsterdam, is one of the best cities for families in Europe.

There are so many attractions, entertainment and activities that you can come back again and again and still have something to do with your children. With the younger ones and the older ones.

Below you will find 25 tips for excursions and activities if you are planning to visit London with children.

Things to do in London with kids: ATTRACTIONS

London Eye

London Eye things to do in London

Let’s start with London’s number one attraction.

The world-famous London Eye Ferris wheel can be found on the south bank of the River Thames on the left hand side of Westminster Bridge.

The famous Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are within easy reach. The London Eye was built in 1999 to celebrate the millennium and, at 135 metres, is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.

London Eye / London with kids

In the dark, it lights up beautifully with seasonal colours.

But what you will enjoy the most with your children is the beautiful panoramic view. What’s more, the bike moves really slowly, so you have a chance to take in London in peace, which is beautifully spread out from here.

You get into one of the cabins, of which there are 32 in total (the number 33 is missing due to superstition) and go for a ride into the sky. The ride includes a short 4D screening with fun effects.

Booths at the London Eye

The best time to visit the London Eye is in the evening before sunset, when London is beautifully lit up by the setting sun (if you’re lucky enough to have sunny weather like us).

  • Admission: full admission starts from £33 for all over 16s and from £29for children 2-15 (under 2s free). The queues can be really long and the tickets are more expensive on the spot. Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: 11:00-18:00 in winter, 10:00-20:30 in summer
  • Address: Riverside Building, County Hall

TIP: The Tower of London is one of the most visited attraction in London and the queues are even longer with kids. Skip the line by booking tickets in advance.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Do your children love Harry Potter? Then, besides London, you shouldn’t miss Edinburgh, where the whole idea of Harry Potter originated.

It’s not a cheap affair to visit the premises in London where the films were shot, but on the other hand it’s an unforgettable experience. You can spend almost the whole day here and take it all in slowly.

You will see, for example, the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore’s Office or the Forbidden Forest. You’ll get to try out lots of costumes, fun activities and movie effects, such as a virtual broomstick ride.

Harry Potter Studios is located in Leavesden, north of London. The first option is to buy a separate ticket (full admission starts at £51.50) and transport yourself to Leavesden. You take the train and then change to a bus that takes visitors directly to the Warner Bross studios.

The second and easier option is to buy tickets with transport. Bus departs from Central London.

Note: Tickets must be reserved in advance. They can sell out weeks in advance, so you need to book well in advance. Here you will find tickets with transport round trip.

The Shard – currently under reconstruction (August 2023)

You must have noticed The Shard skyscraper as soon as you were in London. It is an ultra-modern 72-storey building which, at 306 metres, is the tallest building in London and the UK.

It takes its name from its jagged and slightly irregular glass structure, which protrudes above its surroundings like a shard.

The Shard, Where to go in London with children
The view from The Shard is one of the best in London

On the top floors there is a viewing platform, which, thanks to the height of the skyscraper, provides the best view of London. The whole family will also enjoy an incredibly fast elevator ride.

  • Admission: £28 for all over 3 years; advance booking required; Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: vary according to the season, please check the specific time when booking
  • Address: 32 London Bridge St

Legoland Windsor Resort

Legoland Windsor Resort is a fun-filled world of Lego blocks, miniatures and rides for young and old alike. It is divided into different worlds, from Viking Land and Pharaoh Kingdom to Ninjago World and Miniland.

As the name suggests, Legoland is located outside central London near Windsor Castle. You can get here by commuter trains from Paddington to Slough Station and then bus 703, or from Waterloo Station to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station and then bus 702. The journey takes 1-1.5 hours depending on the chosen route.

  • Admission: from £32; significantly more expensive if booked on the day; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: vary according to season
  • Address: Winkfield Rd, Windsor

Skip the line by booking tickets in advance:

Cutty Sark and Greenwich

Cutty Sark / London with children

The Cutty Sark is a tea clipper from the 19. who was once known as the Queen of the Oceans. It was the fastest sailing ship used to transport tea and spices from China to Europe.

And today, you can see the ship for yourself. You’ll climb through the copper hull to the deck, walk through cabins and cargo boxes, experience a virtual boat ride or sit on a moving seat where you’ll feel like you’re riding the waves.

Greenwich London with children
National Maritime Museum

The Cutty Sark is located in Greenwich, where you can spend the day strolling around the park and the Greenwich Observatory.

It is famous for the fact that the zero or prime meridian, from which longitude is calculated, passes through here. The Greenwich Meridian is marked directly on the ground.

  • Admission to Cutty Sark: adults £18, students 16-25 years £10-12, children 5-15 years £9; Click here for tickets.
  • Combination ticket Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House: adults £27, students 16-25 years £16, children 5-15 years £13.50; Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-17:00
  • Address: King William Walk

TIP: Greenwich can also be reached by boat on the Thames. It departs from Westminster or Greenwich in the opposite direction. Book your Thames cruise here.

London Zoo

London Zoo London with children

London Zoo is not just any zoo. It is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. Plus, it is home to the bear that inspired Winnie the Pooh.

You can explore several themed zones, from the rainforest, African savannah and Australian outback to the rainforest and lizard house that served as the backdrop for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

There are 3 colour-coded one-way routes through London Zoo – pink, blue and orange. They all start at the same point, so you can go through them gradually if you have enough time and energy.

Regent´s Park London with children
Regent´s Park

The zoo is located in the Regent’s Royal Park with beautiful gardens (e.g. Queen’s Mary Rose Garden in the photo above or the Japanese Garden). Adjacent to Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill Park, where you can spread out a blanket and take in the views of London.

  • Zoo admission: Full admission starts from £27, for students 16-25 years and seniors from £24.30 and for children 5-15 years from £18.90. The price varies depending on the time of year you visit the zoo. Book your tickets by clicking here.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (closes earlier in winter)
  • Adress: Outer Cir

SEA Life

Do you prefer the underwater world? A short walk from the London Eye, the County Hall houses the huge SEA Life Aquarium, which is divided into 14 themed zones and contains 2 million litres of water.

London with kids

Here you will see over 500 species of animals including clownfish, sharks and penguins. There are also interactive elements where children can, for example, make their own jellyfish.

SEA Life is a popular place for the whole family, but especially smaller children will love it. The tour takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

  • Admission: Full admission costs from £30 and reduced admission for children 3-15 years from £27. For tickets click here.
  • Opening hours: open 9:30-18:00 in season and 11:00-18:00 on Thursdays. Off-season open Monday-Thursday 10:00-16:00 and Friday-Sunday 10:00-17:00.
  • Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd

HMS Belfast

London with children

We’ve had the Cutty Sark here, so let’s not forget the HMS Belfast. This is suitable for older children who have already studied 2. World War II and understand the context. HMS Belfast was in fact the Navy’s most important warship 2. World War II.

Interestingly, she was also present at the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944 and in the Korean War a few years later.

Today she is a museum that gives a glimpse of what life was like for the 950-man crew aboard her. There are 9 decks to explore and interactive elements that allow children to get a closer look at life on a warship. For example, thanks to the sound effects inside the gun turret.

  • Admission: adults 16-64 years old £ 27, children 5-15 years £ £13.50, students and seniors over 65 £ £24.30; no advance booking required.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Address: The Queen’s Walk

ArcelorMittal Orbit

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the tallest tower in the UK, built for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It is a short walk from the Olympic Stadium (London Stadium), home to West Ham United.

An elevator takes you up 80 metres to the ArcelorMittal Orbit observation deck, from where you can ride the world’s longest slide (for children over 1.3 metres tall and over 8 years old).

  • Admission: adults 17-64 years £15-20, students and seniors over 65 years £12-17; children 3-16 years £9-14
  • Opening hours: in season, open Monday to Friday 12:00-17:00 and Friday to Sunday 10:00-18:00. Off-season open 11:00-15:00.
  • Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 5 Thornton St

Boat cruise

A boat trip on the Thames is a great way to experience London from a different perspective. See the Palace of Westminster, Tower of London, the Shard, Tate Modern and Tower Bridge. And it’s perfect fun for kids too. You can get off at Greenwich, where there is a Cutty Sark Museum and Observatory with a large park.

Book tickets for the Thames Cruise here.

Things to do in London with kids: MUSEUMS

Museum of Science

The Science Museum is one of the best museums to visit with children in London. From toddlers to teenagers.

Here you will see over 300,000 objects ranging from the oldest surviving steam locomotive, the first DNA model to the Apollo 10 command model.

For the little ones aged 3-6 there is a dedicated Garden area in the basement where they can discover science through play.

For children up to 8 years of age there is a multi-sensory area Pattern Pod on the ground floor and for those even older aged 7-14 years there is a Wonderlab in 3. floor (chargeable, but worth it), where you travel through space under the stars or experience a lightning strike.

  • Admission: free, some venues and temporary exhibitions charged; reservation required in advance
  • Opening hours: from Wednesday to Sunday 10:00-18:00 (last entry 17:15) and during school holidays all week at the same time
  • Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington

Skip the line by booking tickets in advance:

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum London / Museum in London

Just across the street from the Science Museum is another museum – the Natural History Museum. And again, it’s something to watch. Over 80 million items, including exhibits collected by Charles Darwin and an extensive collection of fossils.

The museum combines exhibits with descriptions and interactive displays that children are sure to love.

The museum is divided into several thematic zones, which are distinguished by colour. You’ll find a Mammal Gallery with extinct mammoths or giant salmon, a Dinosaur Gallery, an earthquake simulator, an Earth Treasure Gallery where gems and precious stones, including kryptonite and the Stonehenge Stone, literally glow, and much more.

  • Admission: free; advance booking recommended; RESERVATION
  • Opening hours: 10:00-17:50 (last entry 17:00)
  • Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington

War Museum

About a quarter of an hour southeast of the London Eye you will reach the Imperial War Museum. The collection consists of permanent exhibitions z 1. and World War II, the Holocaust period (for older children only), the turning years 1934-1945, and the period of peace and security since 1945.

Imperial War Museum / London Sights

Here you will find extensive collections ranging from aircraft, armoured fighting vehicles and vessels to uniforms, medals, photographs and much more relating to the war conflicts of the 20th century.

The exhibits are complemented by touch screens and interactive elements such as recreated trenches with the sounds of aircraft overhead. The museum is very informative and more suitable for older children.

  • Admission: free (voluntary contribution is welcome)
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 – daily in summer and Wednesday-Sunday in winter
  • Address: Lambeth Rd

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is a museum tailor-made for children. Includes a collection of buses, trains, trams and metro cars.

Kids can even look inside, try driving the bus, enter the tunnel and many other fun activities. Our older one is 3 years old and loves places like this.

Signs, light boards, maps and a playground. A colourful and fun place for children to learn more about the history of transport in London.

  • Admission: adults 18-64 £24, seniors and students over 18 £23; children under 18 free; Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Address: Covent Garden Piazza

Madame Tussauds Museum London

Wax museums are popular across many cities, such as Amsterdam and Berlin. Madame Tussauds London is no exception.

You’ll not only see characters like Donald Trump, Ronaldo the footballer, James Bond, Shrek and King Kong, but you’ll also enjoy lots of fun activities.

Hop in a black London cab for a ride to learn more about London’s dark history and its resurrection after the Great Fire, copilot a spaceship with Star Wars’ Chewbacca, or fight Darth Vader with Luke Skywalker’s sword. The girls can have their picture taken with Princess Leia again.

  • Admission: full admission for anyone over 16 starts from £40 and for children 3-15 years from £36. For tickets click here.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-17:00
  • Address: Marylebone Rd

Things to do in London with kids: SIGHTS

Tower of London

The medieval Tower of London is one of the greatest symbols of London’s long history and home to the Crown Jewels. The girls will surely be thrilled with the royal crown and the boys with the swords on display.

The whole Tower of London complex is quite challenging to walk through with children. I recommend you pick a few places to visit and save the rest for later if you have the time and inclination.

The first place is the White Tower, the main building of the Tower of London. There are several smaller exhibitions for children that reconstruct some of the major events in London’s history.

A popular activity not only for families with children is the search for the 6 ravens on the tower, which have been tasked with guarding the fortress since the reign of Charles II. According to legend, England will suffer a great calamity and the monarchy will fall if the ravens leave the fortress.

During your visit you’ll also meet the Beefeaters, former war veterans who know the Tower of London like the back of their hand.

  • Free admission with cancellation: Entry to the Tower of London costs £33.60 for adults 18-64, £16.80 for children 5-15, £26.80 for students aged 16+, seniors 65+ and disabled.
  • Opening hours: vary according to the season – in winter it is open daily 10:00-17:00 and the hours gradually increase as summer approaches
  • Address: London EC3N 4AB

TIP: The Tower of London is one of the most visited places in London. Skip the line by booking tickets in advance.

Tower Bridge

Just opposite the Tower of London stands Tower Bridge, an iconic symbol of London. You can just walk around the bridge or take a look inside for a fee and learn more about the history and technology that went into its construction in the 19th century. century miracle of Victorian engineering.

The bridge is lifted up to 1000 times a year thanks to a steam-driven winch mechanism. You can climb up to the top and walk between the towers on the glass floor, which the kids will love.

  • Admission: £12.30 for everyone over 16; £6.20 for children 5-15
  • Opening hours: 9:30-18:00 (last entry one hour before)
  • Address: Tower Bridge Rd

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is located outside central London. It is the former residence of Henry VIII and is worth seeing in its own right.

Surrounding the palace are beautiful gardens ranging from a well-kept French garden with fountains to an English park with the oldest natural maze.

Children will love the Magic Garden adventure playground, where there are plenty of climbing frames, a viewpoint, a large dragon, refreshments or they can frolic among the water jets in the summer.

  • Admission: full admission is £26.30-29 for all over 16s, £21-23.20 for students, over 65s and disabled and £13.10-14.50 for children 5-15. Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-17:30
  • Address: Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey

Things to do in London with kids: PARKS

Hyde Park

Hyde Park London

Hyde Park is the largest Royal Park in London. There are so many great activities to do here. Rent a bike or pedal boat, visit the garden full of roses, have a picnic in the grass or just walk around and enjoy the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: 5:00-24:00

Kensington Gardens

Diana Memorial Playground

Kensington Gardens was formerly part of Hyde Park. They lie just off to the west and are another great place if you’re planning to see London with kids.

Kids will love the Peter Pan statue and the Elf Tree, which is a short walk from the Diana Memorial Playground.

If you had to pick just one playground in London with kids, it would have to be this one with the giant boat in the middle (see photo above). There is also a café where you can refresh yourself. Just be careful if you go here in high season, as the number of visitors on the playground is limited by park rangers.

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: 6:00-21:15

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens , or the Royal Botanic Gardens, are just like Hampton Court Palace to the west of London.

London with kids / Kew Gardens

With the children, you can visit the Palm Greenhouse, where you will feel like you are in the rainforest. Here you will see, for example, the oldest potted plant in the world.

Surrounding the greenhouse are beautiful gardens and lots of features for children including a playground and a treehouse. There’s also a train that runs regularly through the gardens.

  • Admission: full admission is £21.50 for anyone aged 30-64, £9 for 16-29 year olds (no student card required) and students, £19.50 for over 65s and disabled and £5 for children aged 4-15. Tickets are cheaper in the low season from November to the end of January. Book tickets by clicking here.
  • Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-20:00, may vary throughout the year
  • Address: Richmond

Things to do in London with kids: MARKETS AND FOOD

Borough Market

London has so many places to eat well and try cuisine from all over the world. One of the best places is Borough Market on the south bank of the Thames. Just a short walk from The Shard.

Borough Market is the oldest market in London, operating since the 13th century. It offers a variety of international cuisine from seafood and French cheeses to burgers.

  • Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-17:00, Saturday 8:00-17:00, Sunday 10:00-15:00
  • Address: 8 Southwark St

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden London

Looking for a market on the north side of the Thames? Covent Garden Market is an obvious choice as it is one of the most popular markets in London. Not only the market, but also the surrounding neighbourhood is a great place with independent shops, cafes, street artists and restaurants.

  • Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday 10:00-18:00, Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday 10:00-19:30
  • Address: 14 James St

London with kids: HOTELS

The best hotels in London for families with children:

ibis London Blackfriars – hotel is on the south side of the Thames near Waterloo station; central London is within easy walking distance (near Westminster or London Eye); bus stop just opposite, restaurants and shops nearby

Blue Bells Hotel – A cheap but cosy hotel in the quiet Nothing Hill area near Nothing Hill Gate tube station, where 3 tube lines cross; steps from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park

Blue Bells Hotel

ibis London City Shoreditch – modern rooms near Liverpool Street Station, where buses from Stansted Airport stop; next to Tesco Express hotel and restaurants and markets nearby; walking distance to Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Best Western Chiswick Palace – beautiful and quiet location near Heathrow Airport; bus stop just opposite; 25 minutes by tube to the centre; restaurants and shops nearby

Read more about accommodation in London in my previous article.

London with kids: TRANSPORTATION

Underground and public transport in London with children under 11

Children up to their 11th birthday travel on London’s public transport free of charge when accompanied by an adult (up to 4 children per adult). These include buses, the Tube, DLR, London Overground and some national train services.

Underground and public transport in London with children aged 11-15

Option 1: Oyster card with child discount

Older children aged 11-15 can travel at a 50% discount compared to the full fare.

You can do this by buying a regular adult Oyster card from a machine on the tube or at Victoria Station for £7. You then ask the employee to apply the child discount to your Oyster card.

From then on, the child will be able to travel with a 50% discount for the next 14 days (after which the discount will automatically expire).

The limits for unlimited travel in London are as follows:

  • Unlimited metro travel in Zone 1-2: £4.05 per day
  • Unlimited bus travel around London: £2.65 per day
Oyster card machine

Option 2: Child TravelCard

For children, there are so-called Child TravelCards. These are paper tickets, valid for 1 day or 7 days, which allow children to travel on London’s public transport without restriction.

TravelCard costs £7.60 per day for zones 1-4. For Zones 1-6, a child TravelCard will set you back £7.60 (off-peak, so kids can’t use London’s public transport before 9:30am Monday to Friday) or £10.75 (kids can ride at any time).

Most venues are in Zone 1 (Greenwich is in Zone 2 and Hampton Court Palace is in Zone 6, for example).

You can also get a weekly Child TravelCard. In this case, you will go to the train station and the desk will issue your child’s card. You will need a passport photo of the child.

Option 3: Contactless card

Probably the easiest option is to use a contactless card, with which you only pay for what you actually go through with your child. However, the condition is that everyone must have their own contactless card (debit or credit).

So if you are travelling in London with 1 adult and 1 child aged 11-15, you will need 2 contactless cards.

Fares are the same as for adults – £1.75 for buses across London and £2.80 for the Tube in zones 1-2.

On the other hand, you’ll only pay for what you actually drive, so if you only occasionally take the metro or bus, this is the most worthwhile option.

On the metro or train, you swipe your contactless card as you enter and exit. For buses, only when you board. For more information on transport in London, see the separate guide.

There are also day bus tickets on offer, which cost £5.65. You can use buses all over London, just allow extra time for transfers.

The most expensive option is to buy separate single tickets for £3.10 for zones 1-6.

Underground and public transport in London with children over 16

Children aged 16-17 can apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster Card. Apply online at least 4 weeks before your visit to London and you will need a passport photo.

Without a card, children over 16 are subject to the same conditions as adults. The most convenient way to pay is with a contactless card (1 contactless card = 1 passenger) or you can get an Oyster card for £5.

This will then give you the same discounted fares as a contactless card (buses for £1.75 and the metro in zones 1-2 for £2.80).

Single tickets cost £6.70 (metro and buses) or a day ticket for buses costs £5.50. More about the Oyster card.

How to save in London with children

One way to save money in London with kids is with the London Pass. It’s a tourist card that has been designed in partnership with London’s sights, attractions and museums, so you can save on entry fees or make it easier to discover and travel to your favourite London spots.

For the price of one, you and your kids can enter more than 90 places in London, including some of the most famous, such as the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the football stadiums, Hampton Court Palace and more.

The London Pass includes many more benefits. Find out if the card is worthwhile for you in my separate guide London Pass where you’ll find all the information, including a specific example.

London with children: MAP

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map for London with children. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in my guide to London with kids. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

More information about London

LONDON ITINERARY: Check out our article with tips on places to visit in London (entrance fees, opening times, map). To help you plan, we’ve created an itinerary for 3 days in London.

LONDON GUIDE: In a separate article you can find out all about transport in London (airport, public transport, underground, bicycle). Read about accommodation, prices, food and safety in our London guide. Our recommendations for the best hotels in London will help you make your accommodation choices easier.

HOW TO SAVE IN LONDON: Read our 7 tips on how to save on transport and entrance fees in London. The London Pass is a popular way to save money in London – find out more about the London Pass.

THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS: Amsterdam and Barcelona are other great places for families with children. Take a look at our guides for Amsterdam with kids. We’ve also got tips on how to enjoy Barcelona with kids.

ENGLAND: The list of the most beautiful places in England includes tips on things to do in England.

London with children: FAQ

What to do in London with kids?

London is our favourite city. It’s a city of opportunities to have fun with young and older children alike. From museums to attractions the whole family will enjoy. Harry Potter fans can’t miss the studios where Harry Potter was filmed. Spend a few hours at the Natural History Museum where there is so much to see. From dinosaurs to an earthquake simulator. Or enjoy the view from the cells of the London Eye Ferris wheel. For even more tips, check out the article.

Where to eat with the kids?

There are plenty of child-friendly restaurants in London. My recommendation is the markets. There is nothing better where you can explore and try flavours from all over the world. Borough Market and Covent Garden Market are some of our favourite markets located in central London.

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