Things to do during school summer holidays in London

Various venues

About

Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying London's best interactive exhibitions, children’s theatre shows and kid-friendly museums.

Save money by grouping different activities together and choosing a wide-ranging London Pass or a Go City London Explorer Pass, depending on your plans.

There are lots of brilliant things to do in London during the kids’ school summer holidays. Whether you’ve got little ones or teenagers to keep entertained, we’ve rounded up summer holiday activities for all ages to enjoy below.

Some attractions might require booking in advance, even if entry is free.

When are the next summer school holidays in London?

The next school summer holidays in London are from Thursday 19 July until Monday 7 September. School holiday dates vary around the UK.

Summer activities for kids in London

As soon as the summer holidays kick off in London, the city's top attractions are taken over by an exciting programme of activities for kids of all ages. But, these are not only meant to be enjoyed by the young ones – summer holiday days out in London make for a memorable time for the whole family.

From fun outdoor events at London's top parks to unique summer pop-ups at famous London landmarks, there are plenty of new and iconic things to do this summer in the capital. 

Summer holiday events in London

Two children sit on a toy boat at the ahoy! childrens gallery at the national maritime museum.

  • Head to Notting Hill Carnival for a day of fantastic food from around the world along with vibrant music and dancing. 24-26 Aug
  • Celebrate the summer through theatre, art, dance and circus at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 202423 Aug-8 Sep
  • Head to the Southbank Centre for a season of inspiring climate care live talks, performances, music and family events.
  • Take to the stage at Shakespeare's Globe for family fun, where you will bring to life Shakespeare's most famous plays through a range of activities and games.
  • Catch an iconic outdoor play at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Catch family friendly performances in a idyllic location.
  • Spend a day in Greenwich with a visit to a planetarium show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich or by joining a workshop at the National Maritime Museum
  • Explore London's Chinatown where you can walk beneath the iconic red lanterns before tucking into handcrafted delicacies. 
  • Squeeze the most out of your summer in London with more unmissable events and experiences, which are perfect for lush summer days.

Find more exciting events the kids will love from July, through August and into September.

Summer school holiday activities for young children

A young girl steers the wheel of the Cutty Sark ship in Greenwich London.

Find even more things to do with kids this summer in London.

Things to do with teenagers in London

Family of four take a selfie on top of the O2 stadium in london.

For more school holiday ideas, take a look at 101 things to do in London with teens.

Family shows in London during the summer holidays

 A Midsummer Nights Dream at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre Auditorium.

Keep the little ones entertained with more family theatre shows. Check back nearer the time for more summer shows on the West End.

Outdoor adventures for the family

A young girl in a green top and blue dungarees smells bright pink flowers at the Horniman Museum in London.

  • You can easily spend a whole day at Kew Gardens – so mark your calendar and book in advance for a fantastic day out.
  • Take a trip to some of the capital's best sports venues, getting a behind the scenes look at your team's stadium. 
  • Or have a fun day out at some of the UK's top theme parks, from family favourite LEGOLAND Windsor to the thrilling Thorpe Park
  • London’s picnic spots and leafy parks await your visit! Prep a hamper and head to your local patch of green.
  • Alfresco cinema? It’s a thing! Find out what’s on at your local drive-in or outdoor cinema in London, from cult classics to new releases.
  • Get the kids asking “Is that a real dinosaur?!” around every corner at Crystal Palace Park.
  • Wander through the vast gardens of the Horniman Museum. Try to spot the velociraptor in the Prehistoric Gardens, find wild landscapes in the Grasslands Garden and marvel at the flowers in the Sunken and Display Gardens.
  • The 19-acre (8-hectare) gardens of medieval Eltham Palace are a great place to explore with a moat, pools and water features to discover.
  • Soak up the sunshine at Battersea Park, spotting fountains and the Peace Pagoda on the way. You can also greet the animals at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.
  • Bathe in tranquility with just the sounds of birds for company at wildlife-rich London Wetland Centre, an 105-acre (42-hectare) oasis for nature lovers.
  • Spot wildlife on a day out at the Walthamstow Wetlands.
  • See how many skyscrapers you can name from Parliament Hill, the high point of Hampstead Heath.
  • There's so much to explore at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park! Relax among the green spaces or pick up a racket and take in the 2012 Olympic spirit with a game on Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre’s outdoor tennis courts.
  • Spot the Chinese pagoda and have a leisurely stroll around the lakes on a day out at Victoria Park.

See more outdoor spaces to be explored this summer. 

Top summer experiences

Two people cheers drinks aboard a valentines themed afternoon tea bus tour

Discover more unique experiences in London. 

Unmissable summer activities

one woman sat on a chair, one in action playing ping pong smiling and the back figure of a man holding a drink watching the ping pong game 

Check out more things to do for the adventurous in London.

Day trips from London

Children stand in a line learning how to use a sword at Warwick Castle.

  • Visit royal residence Windsor Castle, to explore many historical artefacts .
  • Combine the mysterious Stonehenge and beautiful Bath including a stop at the Roman baths on a guided tour of these two iconic historical sights. 
  • Discover the enchanting city of Oxford, including the beautiful 400-year-old Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum and a picnic lunch as you go punting down the Thames.
  • See medieval England brought to life through impressive displays and immersive experiences at Warwick Castle.
  • Take a trip to the sunny seaside town of Brighton, enjoying a stroll along the pier or grabbing some tasty fish and chips to enjoy on the beach.
  • Meet fearsome vikings, take a ride along the river and wander the cobbled stone streets in the charming city of York.
  • Escape to the beautiful British countryside with a trip to idyllic spots such as the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. 
  • Tick off castles, cathedrals, the white cliffs of Dover and a boat ride along the Thames on a Leeds, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich tour.

Check out more amazing day trips from London to enjoy this summer.

Family hotels and restaurants in London

A rainforest themed cafe with plants and animals in london.

For more inspiration this summer holiday, see what's on in London or take a look at our guide to London for kids, including the top family attractions, top family experiences and the best museums for children

If you're in London now, make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips.

Where can I take my kids on a hot day in London?

There is plenty to do when the sun comes out in London, but where are the best places to take the kids on a hot day? 

London has many wonderful parks and gardens where you can enjoy a stroll before settling down with a picnic with a cool drink or ice cream under the shade of the trees. Relax in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace, where the mushroom-like trees are sure to offer some respite from the sun, or head to Richmond Park where you can enjoy a bike ride through the trees along with some wildlife spotting.

The city also has many fantastic spots where you can cool off with a swim in one of London's outdoor pools or lidos. Alternatively, go for a breezy boat ride along the Thames or take to the pedalos on the lake at Alexandra Palace.

You'll also find that many of London's galleries and exhibition spaces are a great place to take a break from the outdoors on a warm day thanks to their air-conditioned rooms designed to keep the artwork in good condition.