Make the school summer holidays memorable, whether you’re rediscovering your local London area or enjoying fun things to do for kids at home.
What’s open this summer in London?
Some London attractions and entertainment venues are temporarily closed and some events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. However, many venues have now reopened with safety measures in place. Find out what’s open.
If you’re in London, ensure a safe summer holiday by avoiding non-essential journeys on public transport and staying in your local neighbourhood – walk or cycle to your local attractions and venues.
Make sure to confirm with individual venues before visiting, as some require pre-booking for guaranteed entry, and remember to follow social distancing guidelines when out and about.
Activities to crack-on with at home
Even if you’re not able to make it to London, you can still make the most out of the summer holiday! Discover what’s on for kids and teens to enjoy at home, from virtual exhibitions to children’s online theatre shows and digital displays at kid-friendly museums.
- Step inside the magical world of Harry Potter with online activities from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
- Tune in for virtual gigs in London venues by world-class musicians and rising stars.
- Take your pick from London's online theatre shows, most of which are free.
- Visit the Queen’s London home from your own, as Buckingham Palace opens its doors virtually.
- Explore Churchill’s wartime office in an underground bunker on a virtual tour of the Churchill War Rooms.
- Find out about London's past, present and future through online activities and archives of the Museum of London.
- It’s time to get creative! Try out some DIY tutorials, cook up a storm or find more quirky classes and workshops to get on with from home.
- Go on a quest to find dragons and find out what it took to become a knight (6 and 13 Aug) or join the Knights and Dragons Family Day (14 Aug) with Westminster Abbey for lots of medieval mischief – all from the comfort of your home!
- Write in to the National Theatre’s mysterious storyteller Madame Kalamazoo and you’ll receive a free story for your kids, with them in it!
- Have the teens been twirling around the lounge? They can develop their talents with English National Ballet’s free online Youth Dance Course this summer, suitable for 14 to 19-year-olds.
- Have a go at designing your own banknote for a chance to win prizes from the Bank of England Museum’s shop. Until 14 Aug
- Make your own multi-sensory show at home with a M-SET Activity Book, create a Where the Wild Things Are costume and enjoy more family fun with the Barbican’s online activities.
- Try out Roman-themed fun, architecture activities and more as part of Our City Together, from attractions in the City of London.
Things to do in your neighbourhood
There’s heaps to do in all corners of London this summer. Find new hidden gems in your local area, discover kid-friendly attractions and visit your favourite museums and eateries on your doorstep; helping to support the local community to thrive post-lockdown.
Don’t forget to share your experiences using #BecauseImALondoner on social media!
Outdoor adventures for the family
- Saddle up and take to London streets by bicycle, for a day exploring those local areas and sights that you’ve always wanted to visit. Or get that daily step count up by walking!
- Make every summer weekend count with outdoor events and activities listed in our weekend guide to London.
- 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.
- Feel your legs shake as you walk the crystal clear Tower Bridge Walkway – all in aid of the perfect shot for the 'gram.
- Turn this summer into a season of self-care and pamper yourself with shopping at your local shopping hotspot in central London.
- Get your Instagram grid looking green with a visit to the Conservatory at the Barbican.
- Check out that local museum or gallery you’ve been meaning to visit for a while!
- Explore the UK's largest living coral reef and discover hundreds of aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE London.
- For a day out at South Bank, visit the Florence Nightingale Museum for its blockbuster exhibition Nightingale in 200 Objects, People and Places: Leader, Icon and Pioneer.
- Get some green-fingered inspiration at the Garden Museum, where Derek Jarman: My Garden's Boundaries are the Horizon exhibition is currently on.
- Greenwich locals... embrace your inner adrenaline-junkie as you climb The O2 while taking in scenic views, with Up at The O2.
- 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.
- Take in 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.
- Don’t miss a chance to ride the miniature railway at Brockwell Park on Sundays, even if you’re not so little!
- Explore more than 60 acres (24 hectares) of stunning horticultural gardens before admiring the lavish interiors of the Hampton Court Palace. Gardens are now open, interiors open on 17 July.
- You can easily spend a whole day at Kew Gardens – so mark your calendar and book in advance for a fantastic day out.
- Grab a different plate of nosh every week from heaps of food traders at Boxpark Wembley.
- Bathe in tranquillity with just the sounds of birds for company at wildlife-rich London Wetland Centre, an 105-acre (42-hectare) oasis for nature lovers.
- Fly over to the Royal Air Force Museum to learn about the history of the RAF, wartime conflict and the people who have taken to the skies.
- Spot wildlife on a day out at the Walthamstow Wetlands and Woodberry Wetlands.
- See how many skyscrapers you can name from Parliament Hill, the high point of Hampstead Heath.
- Pick out some retro vintage threads at Camden’s independent shops.
- And don’t forget to peruse through the numerous stalls of eye-catching accessories and treasures at Camden Market.
- Take a wander along Regent’s Canal – making sure to maintain social distancing!
- Turn into Dr Dolittle as you meet more than 750 species of animals at ZSL London Zoo.
- There's so much to explore at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer! Spot inspiring art, 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.
- Experienced horse rides can get back in the saddle at the Lee Valley Riding Centre.
Family restaurants in London
For more inspiration this summer holiday, see what's on in London in July and August. Or take a look at our guide to London for kids, including best museums for children. Make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips when exploring your local area.