The south bank of London's Thames river packs a lot into an easily walkable area, making it the ideal destination for a family day out.
Start your day with a trip to some of London's top attractions. See the wonders of the deep at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium or reach great heights on the London Eye, the world's highest observation wheel.
Film fans of all ages will love a visit to the The London Film Museum (formerly the Movieum of London). This interactive museum puts you behind the scenes of some iconic films, including Superman, Star Wars and Batman. And after learning how films are made, there's even the opportunity to shoot your own trailer. If you prefer watching films to making films, BFI Southbank holds monthly Film Fundays which include a family film, fun activities and a special children's menu at benugo bar & kitchen.
The Southbank Centre is an excellent place to stop for lunch. There's a wide variety of food on offer including many family-friendly restaurants like Wagamama or Giraffe. Kids love sampling the dim sum at Ping Pong; the tasty parcels are perfect for little fingers. If the sun's shining, enjoy a picnic in nearby Bernie Spain Gardens. Alternatively, dine al fresco at Gabriel's Wharf, where you'll find a range of cafes and restaurants offering savoury delights and sweet treats.
After stopping for much-needed refreshments, head up the Thames towards Bankside. Kids and culture don't always go hand in hand, but at Tate Modern there are a range of free activities for families and children. Budding artists can learn all about modern art in the dedicated Family Zone. Take a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre for an insight into Shakespeare's London. Kids will love listening to the storyteller guides and watching exciting sword-fighting demonstrations.
Wander along the Thames and you'll come to the full-scale reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake's world-famous galleon, The Golden Hinde. Create your own swashbuckling adventures as you tread the boards on a self-guided tour of this magnificent ship. Sticking with the nautical theme, HMS Belfast is also well worth a visit. With free entry for under 16s, this WWII cruiser is a floating museum with nine decks to explore. Its busy events programme includes many family activities, so climb aboard to have some fun.
Finally, discover the dark side of London's history at the London Dungeon. Costumed actors, special shows and thrilling rides will bring this gruesome experience to life and have the whole family screaming for more!
It's time for tea and there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants in the area. For a meal with a view, Strada offers good value and a fantastic location overlooking Tower Bridge. Many of the pizzas and pastas are available in child-friendly portions, and there is plenty of outdoor seating if the sun's still shining. Nearby in Hay's Galleria, Café Rouge has a great menu for kids, with healthy main courses and delicious desserts. Kids also receive an activity kit packed with games and puzzles to help keep them entertained.
For more ideas, download the South Bank and Bankside Family Guide [3.17MB]