11 best London museums for kids

London is home to many museums for kids and family-friendly attractions.
Written by Visit London Editors 24 May 2024
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A child looking impressed by one of the shark teeth exhibits during a learning session at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
A child enjoying the exhibitis at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Image courtesy of Laura Mtungwaz.

Whether finding unusual things to see at the Natural History Museum, quirky exhibits at the Science Museum, maritime marvels at Royal Museums Greenwich or delving into the history of the capital at the London Transport Museum, there are a host of top London museums for kids.

Most London museums offer fun or interactive activities for kids and other things to do for children, and almost all are free to enter. Take your pick of the best museums for kids in London and explore imaginative exhibits at a children’s museum London.

Best museums in London for kids

1. London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden hosts exhibitions connecting transport with the history of London. Find more than 80 vehicles, including a red London bus and the world's first Tube train. The galleries are full of exhibits for children to play on. Look out for All Aboard, the children's interactive area. Free entry for under-18s.

Prices from £24.00 Book now

2. HMS Belfast

Step aboard Europe's largest preserved WW2 warship and experience the legend of HMS Belfast. The ship has nine decks steeped in history, from the Captain's Bridge to the sailor's mess, and offers hands-on activities for children. Free family audio tours are available.

Prices from £4.50 Book now

3. The British Museum Free

The British Museum is one of the world's greatest, showcasing objects from prehistoric to modern times. Entertain kids at the Digital Discovery Centre and check out the free events for kids of all ages. Free activity backpacks are also available.

4. Natural History Museum Free

Meet a life-sized blue whale or a roaring T-Rex dinosaur. At the Natural History Museum, kids can delve into the Darwin Centre, get hands-on at the Investigate science lab or shaken up in the earthquake machine. Some charges apply.

5. Science Museum Free

Museums don't get more family-friendly than the Science Museum. Trace the space rocket's history, meet Isambard Kingdom Brunel or catch a 3D movie. Teenagers can get hands-on at Wonderlab, and young kids will love Pattern Pod. Some charges apply.

6. Young V&A Free

Young V&A, Sand Spinner, Imagine Gallery © David Parry. Image courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Young V&A enables kids and young people to experience their inner artist. Created with kids in mind, the museum seeks to inspire the next generation and to help them to gain new skills and confidence with activities they enjoy.

7. Horniman Museum and Gardens Free

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a children's paradise. As well as a programme of free activities for kids, there's an aquarium, a hands-on centre, a Nature Base, plus beautiful gardens perfect for picnics. Some charges apply.

8. National Maritime Museum Free

Kids will love the National Maritime Museum as there's plenty to engage and entertain young minds. For under-sevens, there's the AHOY! children's gallery, while older children can steer a ship into port at All Hands. Look out for family events during the week.

9. Bank of England Museum Free

Teach kids the value of money the fun way at the Bank of England Museum. See gold bars from ancient times – even try to lift one – and hear unexpected tales about the Bank's ghostly nun. 

10. Museum of London Docklands Free

Kids can learn the history of the river Thames at Museum of London Docklands. Venture through the 19th-century Sailortown, let them loose in the Mudlarks soft play area, or join the fun at the free family events during the weekend.

11. The Cartoon Museum

Lover of illustrations? Pencil in a date with The Cartoon Museum which explores and preserves British cartoons, comics and animation. Discover a treasure trove of more than 6,000 original artworks and 8,000 books during your visit.

Prices from £8.50

What is the most interactive museum in London for kids?

There are plenty of museums in London that host interactive exhibitions to inspire the curious minds of kids. The London Transport Museum is full of exhibits for children to play on in the All Aboard children's interactive area, while the Young V&A has several work stations where you can get creative.

Are museums free for kids in London?

Almost all family-friendly museums in London are free to enter and many offer interactive activities, workshops and events to keep kids thoroughly entertained. The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the British Museum are just some of London’s free museums that make a great addition to a day out in the capital.

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