London is a wonderfully family-friendly city with loads of great parks and open spaces, as well as world-class attractions with toddler-friendly activities. Here's how to keep it a tantrum-free trip!
Top museums for toddlers
Let the little ones to get lost in fun for hours at some of London's best museums.
- Smell flowers and make music at the Horniman Museum and Gardens: Wander through the butterfly house and spot animals in the aquarium, before meeting your child's inner artist in the music gallery.
- Play conductor for the day at the London Transport Museum: Don't miss the All Aboard playzone where kids can pop on a uniform and try out as a Baby DLR driver, sail a Thames Nipper, and even man the Lost Property office!
- Head to AHOY! Children's Gallery at the National Maritime Museum: Have the kids join a polar expedition, or perhaps they're more interested in playing pirate for the day.
- Get creative at the Young V&A: From sensory landscapes to a performance and storytelling zone, young children are encouraged to lead with their curiosity and explore wonderful new textures, colours and sound.
- Enter the magical world of the Discover Children's Story Centre: Let their imaginations run wild at this immersive play space set across two floors, as well as joining a storytelling session or get messy at a craft workshop.
Parks and playgrounds
- Explore London's best parks and play areas for toddlers and children: Hyde Park has the South Carriage Drive Playground, neighbouring Kensington Gardens have the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, which is a firm favourite with kids. There's also Coram's Fields in Holborn, which you can only enter in the company of a child.
- Find parks with good playgrounds outside central London: Check out pretty Battersea Park, sprawling Greenwich Park, Stoke Newington's Clissold Park and Islington's Finsbury Park.
- Don't forget to check out commons too: Hampstead Heath in north London and Clapham Common in south London have play areas.
- Check out children's theatre shows in London: From hit shows, including The Lion King theatre tickets, to seasonal touring productions of popular work such as The Amazing Bubble Man, Peppa Pig, a traditional circus with Cirque Berserk, a close-up show with The Magic Circle and many more.
- Try a baby disco: Various London venues have embraced the growing trend for baby disco, a place where you can get down on the dancefloor with young kids. Top spots include Baby Loves Disco at Dalston Junction venue Arcola Theatre and Disco Loco at Hackney Showroom.
Kids love animals and zoos are a great destination for parents of young (and not so young) children.
- Enjoy a brilliant day out at London Zoo: You'll find smooth paths and step-free access everywhere, baby-change tables in all toilets, family-friendly dining options and a petting zoo with a kids play area, including water play.
- For something smaller, Battersea Park Children's Zoo is a popular local zoo: It has a heated mother-and-baby-feeding room.
- Visit one of London's city farms: Most have on-site cafes and are often located near local parks.
Step-free South Bank
- Take to the South Bank with babies and toddlers: The whole area is step free so it's very buggy-friendly. You can enjoy boat-spotting on the river Thames (the banks are all protected by sturdy fences), public fountains for kids to frolic in, buskers and street performers.
- Enjoy family-friendly attractions in the area: Don't miss the SEA LIFE London aquarium (free entry for kids under three) and Tate Modern (free entry for all). The Southbank Centre hosts a varied programme of events, including family-targeted shows and activities.
- Grab some food at kid-friendly restaurants: Try Giraffe, which offers high chairs, kids menus and baby-change facilities.
- Take a look at family-friendly restaurants in London: Find venues which welcome children of all ages. Many London restaurants and pubs welcome families at lunchtime and may allow children in the evening too. Check with the venue in advance to find out whether kids are allowed.
Kids go free in London
- Read our guide to children's travel in London: Children under five-years-old travel free on all London public transport with a fare-paying adult. Find out more, including information for families with older children.
- Make the most of free admission to many of London's top attractions: Many of the city's most famous spots are free to enter for children and adults alike, while children under three generally get free entry to paid attractions, including the London Eye (free entry up to three years of age), Tower of London (free entry up to five years of age) and Madame Tussauds London (free entry up to three years of age).
How to take buggies and strollers on public transport
- Download TfL's step-free Tube map: It shows which stations have step-free access to the street (eg: there's escalators and/or lifts) and between Tube lines. Stations with steps are still an option of course: if you're travelling with two adults you can carry the buggy up the stairs, and most Londoners are happy to help out if you're on your own. Tube trains, local trains and buses all have designated areas for buggies.
- Avoid peak travel times when catching public transport: Stations, trains and buses can get extremely crowded. Almost all other forms of London's public transport are also accessible.
Breastfeeding and baby change facilities
- Know the basics: It is legal and widely accepted for women to publicly breastfeed their babies anywhere in London.
- If you're looking for dedicated facilities: You'll find parent rooms and baby change facilities in most of London's department stores and both Westfield Shopping Centres. Likewise most major museums and galleries have family rooms.
- Download the NCT's Babychange app: So you can find baby change facilities near you.