101 best things to do in London with kids in 2024

If you're visiting the capital with children in tow, don't miss these 101 family-friendly activities for kids in London when exploring the city.
Visit London Editors
Written by Visit London Editors 05 July 2024
Two young children looking out at of the London Eye with the Houses of Parliament in the backdrop.
Kids at the London Eye © Shutterstock

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From free museums and family-friendly restaurants to fun kids activities, there are plenty of things to do in London with kids.

Big-hitter family attractions

First off, it's time to hit the biggest and most famous family attractions in London and see it all, from Harry Potter sets and world-famous wax statues to marine life and incredible aerial views.

  1. Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter film series at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
  2. Get a taste for the high life on the London Eye.
  3. See sharks, green sea turtles, penguins and more in the SEA LIFE London aquarium.
  4. Take in sky-high views across London at The View from The Shard
  5. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at wax figure museum Madame Tussauds London.
  6. Explore the UK's oldest surviving hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace

Plan a fun-filled day out or longer with more of London's top attractions for kids.

Top theatre for kids

Next, let the city entertain you with its wide roster of fantastic shows, musicals and theatre for kids of all ages.

  1. Be amazed by top musicals in London, including family favourites The Lion King musical London and the Wicked musical.
  2. Sing along with Arendelle's princesses Anna and Elsa, as they go on a magical adventure in Frozen.
  3. See one of Roald Dahl's most celebrated stories brought to life at Matilda The Musical.
  4. Follow Harry, Ron and Hermione in a magical on-stage adventure with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
  5. Catch a performance of the Hollywood-hit turned musical in Mrs. Doubtfire
  6. See a theatrical production with many inspiring options for family-friendly kids theatre in London.
  7. Older kids and teens can learn all about the Bard on a fascinating tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Best museums for kids

Inside the bright natural history gallery featuring stuffed animals including a huge walrus at the Horniman Museum.
Horniman Museum Natural History Gallery. Credit: Sophia Spring. Image courtesy of Horniman Museum and Gardens.

After a spot of culture? Among the best places to visit in London with kids, the capital's excellent museums won't disappoint, with many kid-friendly places to learn new things throughout the city, featuring interactive exhibitions and fascinating topics.

  1. Learn all about the capital's classic red bus at the London Transport Museum.
  2. Explore the anthropological Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London where children can touch museum objects.
  3. See a four-and-a-half-billion-year-old meteorite in the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  4. Experience the ground-shaking sensation of an earthquake at the Natural History Museum.
  5. Visit the Science Museum to ogle the Command Module of Apollo 10, a spacecraft that went around the moon in 1969.
  6. Experience the legends of the WW2 warship HMS Belfast with hands on activities for children. 
  7. See Egyptian mummies during a visit to the British Museum
  8. Walk in the footsteps of ancient Londinium as you explore London's Roman Amphitheatre.
  9. Brush up on your knowledge of modern art and get creative with kids activities at Tate Modern

Top attractions

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Film locations and movie experiences

The Dumbledore office set, including stairs, pictures on the wall and Dumbledore costume, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour - London
Dumbledore's office TM & © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR.

From Harry Potter to James Bond, discover London's most famous film locations, fictional characters and movie experiences.

  1. Visit the locations from the Harry Potter films and books while exploring Harry Potter’s London.
  2. Check out Shrek’s Adventure! London, an indoor walk-and-ride attraction inspired by the hit film.
  3. Take an adventure around the capital to check out the best Paddington Bear book and film locations in London.
  4. Follow in the footsteps of movie stars with a visit to the capital’s top film locations.
  5. Shoot selfies with the kids' favourite movie characters at the Scenes in the Square statue trail.
  6. Enjoy a film on the UK's biggest cinema screen at the BFI IMAX on the South Bank. 

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Explore the Harry Potter film studios.

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Free things to do for children

With plenty of free attractions and activities, find the best free things to see and do for children of all ages in London.

  1. Be wowed by the street entertainers in Covent Garden.
  2. Play soldiers during a visit to the National Army Museum.
  3. Go on a journey through London’s past and learn about the history of British currency at the Bank of England Museum.
  4. Learn about the history of the river Thames at the Museum of London Docklands.
  5. Take a fascinating voyage into maritime history at the National Maritime Museum.
  6. See Tower Bridge open from the bank of the river Thames.

Transport attractions for kids

Looking up from beneath the hull of Cutty Sark - with the crisscross pattern of the glass ceiling above and the stern of the black and gold ship beyond
Cutty Sark, Royal Museums Greenwich. Image courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich.

If your kids are fascinated by trains and ships, London's excellent transport museums and activities won't disappoint!

  1. Take a ride through underground tunnels on the Mail Rail train at the Postal Museum.
  2. Discover what life was like onboard the legendary sailing ship, Cutty Sark.
  3. Hop on a miniature railway in Brockwell Park (every Sunday from March until October).
  4. Explore The Golden Hinde, a full-scale reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s famous sailing galleon.

London Transport Museum

Spot London transport icons and posters.

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Blow your mind

Let your children's imagination run wild at these top mind-boggling London attractions.

  1. Stand astride two hemispheres on the Prime Meridian Line at Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  2. Step into a world like no other at the graffiti wonderland, Leake Street Tunnel.
  3. Feel the wind in your hair at high-speed rollercoasters at Thorpe Park.
  4. Let your imagination run wild at the Discover Children’s Story Centre.

Family-friendly restaurants

It's time to eat! Treat the whole family to an incredible meal in London with the city's best family-friendly restaurants, picnic spots and ice-cream parlours.

  1. Indulge your sweet tooth further with more themed afternoon teas, ranging from Peter Pan to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  2. Tuck into tasty food inspired by international cuisine at Giraffe, in various locations across central London.
  3. Feast on ice cream, gelato or sorbet at top ice-cream parlours, or stuff yourself with cupcakes, brownies and macaroons at one of these cake shops.
  4. Head to the Hard Rock Cafe for a family-friendly meal with a side of music treasures. 
  5. On a budget? Have a picnic in one of London’s Royal Parks or at these mouthwatering picnic spots.

Outdoor kids activities

A row of trees and a neatly kept lawn in the foreground leads towards the red brick facade of Hampton Court Palace in London in the background.
Hampton Court Palace and gardens. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Perfect for active kids and teens, explore London's great outdoors, with these top recommendations for parks, outdoor activities and child-friendly summer attractions.

  1. Go bug hunting and pond dipping at Camley Street Natural Park in King’s Cross.
  2. Get lost in Hampton Court Palace’s incredible gardens and parkland. 
  3. Catch a film under the stars at one of London's best outdoor cinemas
  4. Spot the capital's bridges shining bright after dark with Illuminated River.
  5. Take part in fun summer holiday outdoor activities, including exploring London's many parks.

Best adventure playgrounds for kids

Find the best adventure playgrounds for kids in London to let the little ones run around safely, climb up treehouses and enjoy rock pools, swings and much more. 

  1. Let the little ones become pirates for the day on Captain Hook's huge wooden pirate ship at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
  2. Have hours of fun at Coram’s Fields, a seven-acre (three-hectare) park and playground in Holborn.
  3. Spend a fun day out exploring Timber Lodge and Tumbling Bay Playground at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, featuring rock pools, treehouses, slides, swings and plenty of space to run about.

Indoor activities for kids in London

A group of gamers, wearing orange, try to catch falling items within the colourfully lit dome, as part of the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience.
Take on the challenges at the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience. Image courtesy of the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience.

If the weather's too hot or too cold to play outside, there are plenty of exciting indoor activities for kids in London to choose from. Explore fascinating and lesser-known museums, play indoor games or catch a family-friendly movie with these top indoor kids activities in London.

  1. Step inside the London home of one of the world’s most famous detectives at the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
  2. Jump into the life-sized Monopoly board for an immersive gaming experience.
  3. Or get ready for the ultimate team challenge at The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London.
  4. Enjoy London's only permanent indoor skate park, The House of Vans, which is built into the tunnels under Waterloo Station. And it's free to use!
  5. For ice-skating fans, the Alexandra Palace ice-skating rink is set inside one of London’s most iconic landmarks and is open all year.
  6. Older kids and teens will love scaring themselves silly by delving into the capital’s dark and bloody history at the London Dungeon.
  7. For something more chill, catch a movie at one of the city's independent cinemas. One of the best kids indoor activities in London for a reason!

Things to do with a 5 year-old in London

Wondering where to take a 5 year-old in London? Rest assured the capital has plenty to offer kids of all ages. Beyond the parks and playgrounds listed above, discover more things to do with a 5 year-old in London.

  1. Roam among the world's oldest life-size dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park.
  2. Explore ancient woodland in Epping Forest, or let the little ones run wild in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  3. Take a trip to Hobbledown Heath, one of the largest play areas in London with plenty of exotic animals to match!
  4. Catch a performance of Shrek the Musical! See Donkey, Shrek, and Fiona take to the stage in this child-friendly performance. 

Travelling in London with kids

One of the cabins on the London cable car moves in the air, with The O2 and river Thames in the background, on a slightly cloudy day.
London cable car © John Sturrock/Transport for London. Image courtesy of Transport for London.

Travelling around London with kids in tow needn't be a stressful experience! Turn it into something fun for the whole family with these cool ideas and original ways of travelling in London with kids. From classic kids London bus tours to thrilling cable car rides...

  1. Soar above the river Thames in the IFS Cloud Cable Car and enjoy great views of London.
  2. Rest your feet while getting an eyeful of the city’s top attractions onboard a hop-on hop-off bus tour – possibly the best London bus tour for kids!
  3. Sit at the front of a driverless Docklands Light Railway train to pretend you’re driving it!
  4. Climb aboard a classic Concorde and enjoy a virtual "flight" at the Brooklands Museum
  5. Sail along the river Thames on a City Cruises boat.

Action-packed activities for kids in London

From park hikes and wild swims to thrilling expeditions over actual London landmarks, find the best action-packed activities for kids in London.

  1. Explore the gorgeous grounds of Kew Gardens.
  2. Enjoy a refreshing dip in one of London’s gorgeous lidos.
  3. Hire a pedalo or a rowing boat at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.
  4. Race to the top of Primrose Hill, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of London.
  5. Over-10s can enjoy a thrilling expedition over the roof of The O2 with Up at The O2.
  6. Or enjoy an exhilarating ride down the river Thames on a family-friendly speedboat tour.
  7. Swim in the wake of champions at the Aquatics Centre, which hosted swimming and diving events during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

London farms and zoos

A deer with a fine set of antlers calls on a misty morning, with the mist and mature trees in the background.
Spot deer in Richmond Park © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.

Animal lovers will be overjoyed with London's fantastic range of wildlife spots, family-friendly urban farms and animal encounter experiences.

  1. Get up close to lions, tigers and penguins at London Zoo.
  2. Spot birds, otters and other wildlife at the WWT London Wetland Centre.
  3. Pet and feed farmyard animals at one of London’s city farms.
  4. Meet monkeys, meerkats and more at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.
  5. Watch the pelicans being fed in St James’s Park.
  6. Go deer-spotting in Richmond Park.
  7. Encounter the new rhinos from Nepal at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Shops for kids

From iconic toyshops to colourful candy stores, discover London's best shopping destinations for kids and teens.

  1. Find toys galore in London’s most famous toyshop, Hamleys.
  2. Visit the world's largest sweet shop at M&M’s World in Leicester Square.
  3. Shop at the world's largest LEGO Store, before visiting the LEGO heaven at LEGOLAND Windsor.
  4. Little vampires and werewolves can stock up on quality goods at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Quirky things to do in London with kids

An over-stuffed walrus, racing frontwards, site on a white plinth in the middle of a gallery, with display cases of specimens in the background.
An over-stuffed walrus at Horniman Museum and Gardens. Image courtesy of Horniman Museum and Gardens.

If you're after weird and wonderful attractions and activities to surprise the kids and keep them entertained, don't miss London's quirkiest museums, spaces and experiences.

  1. See an over-stuffed walrus and a merman at the Horniman Museum.
  2. Marvel at a jar crammed full of moles at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
  3. Go mudlarking outside Gabriel’s Wharf, where you can dig around for ancient clay pipes and bits of pottery.
  4. Lose yourself among the quirky old toys at the tiny Pollock's Toy Museum.
  5. Flex your mini golf skills at the tech-packed Puttshack.
  6. Or take it outside at the Jurassic Falls Adventure Golf in Chingford.

Thrilling London attractions

Explore yet more thrilling places to take kids in London with these top adrenaline-fuelled attractions and experiences.

  1. Whizz down the UK’s tallest public artwork with a 40-second ride on the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world at ArcelorMittal Orbit.
  2. Brave The Dare Skywalk and scale 46.8m (153ft) above Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's pitch. 
  3. Enjoy a zip wire treetop adventure at Go Ape Battersea.
  4. Take on aerial challenges for all ages at the exhilarating Gripped London.
  5. Have a thrill-a-minute water adventure at Lee Valley White Water Centre.
  6. Take a trip to one of London’s theme parks for an adrenaline-packed day out.

Discover more family activities in London and find family-friendly restaurants.

Check more family ideas and activities during the school holidays, including things to do during February half-term, the Easter holidays, the May half-term holiday, the school summer holidays, the October half-term and Christmas.

If you're in London this weekend, check out the epic activities awaiting you in the city.