15 rainy day activities in London with kids

Rainy and windy outdoors? Don't worry! London has plenty of exciting and fun indoor activities for kids and the whole family that are completely weather-proof.
Content contains affiliate links, marked with asterisks (*). If you click through and make a purchase, Visit London receives a commission – every purchase supports London’s jobs and economy.

Whether it's meeting a dinosaur, star-gazing or watching a family show, you can be sure of a fun day out, whatever the weather, with the following indoor things to do.

1. SEA LIFE London

The SEA LIFE London aquarium is home to 500 species of aquatic life, from sharks and piranhas to Nemo-style clownfish. Don't miss the daily feeds and talks, where you see sharks and species usually found in coral reefs and rainforests enjoying their lunch. A much nicer way to surround yourself with water than being soaked outdoors!

Prices from £27.00 Book now

2. London Dungeon

Escape the rain by heading underground into the huge London Dungeon beneath County Hall on the South Bank. Take a thrilling 90-minute tour of London's grisly history which includes live shows, underground rides and terrifying special effects. Screams guaranteed!

Prices from £29.50 Book now

3. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Have a magical day out with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Harry Potter films at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter. See first-hand the sets, costumes and props used in all the Harry Potter films, and step inside some of the films' locations, including the Great Hall, Dumbledore's office and Hagrid's hut. It's the ultimate Harry Potter experience!

Prices from £89.00 Book now

4. Madame Tussauds London

Walk down the red carpet and strike a pose with more than 250 celebrity wax figures at Madame Tussauds London. Spot the royal family, join sports celebrities and step on stage with music icons, from Madonna to Ed Sheeran, before immersing yourself in the Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie and meeting heroes and villains from Star Wars movies.
Prices from £33.50 Book now

5. Royal Observatory

Part of the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory is home to Greenwich Mean Time, the Meridian line and London's planetarium. There's plenty to do, after you've jumped between the eastern and the western hemispheres! Take in a planetarium show, see London's only public camera obscura, or visit the time galleries.

Prices from £18.00 Book now

6. KidZania London

Embark on an adventure of exciting real-life activities at KidZania in Shepherd’s Bush. Combining learning with fun, children will have the chance to explore different careers and life skills in an indoor city with immersive play areas. Once inside, they can independently experience being doctors, police officers, pilots and journalists.
Prices from £11.50 Book now

7. Tower Bridge

Uncover the stories of the unsung heroes of Tower Bridge in the City of London and discover one of London's most secret spots: the magnificent Victorian Engine Rooms. Download the free Family Trail App to transforms your mobile into a working wrench to tighten the bolts of a shaky engine and into a shovel to throw coal in the boiler to power the bridge!

Prices from £12.30 Book now

8. Discover

Do something different at Discover, a children's story-making centre in Stratford. You can dress up, explore a secret cave, and even visit a pirate ship! Aimed at families with children aged 0 to 11, it makes for a fantastic day indoors. And if the weather does pick up, you can head outdoors and explore the Story Garden.

Prices from £9.00

9. Barbican Centre

The Barbican is Europe's largest arts centre all under one roof, including three cinemas, two art galleries, a library, foyers and shops. On offer are accessible, fun and inspiring activities for the whole family to enjoy. Rain? No problem!

10. Horniman Museum Free

Horniman Museum in south east London is packed full of exhibitions and activities about the cultural and natural world. Hear musical instruments from around the globe, gaze at a Fijian reef in the aquarium or follow a special gallery trail. The Horniman also holds special events, such as storytelling, puppet workshops, and arts and crafts.

11. 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.

12. Science Museum IMAX

Snuggle down into your seat and wait for your eyes to boggle at the Science Museum's amazing 3D IMAX screen. Experience a rocket launch in the Space Station, float with jellyfish in Deep Sea, or meet orphaned orangutans in Born To Be Wild! Caught in a sudden rain shower on the Southbank? Head to the BFI IMAX instead.

13. More London museums for kids

Royal Academy of Arts' exhibition. Image courtesy of the RA.
Find plenty of family events in some of the best museums in London. View modern and contemporary art and design installations at Tate Modern and the Design Museum. While the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts are great for learning about painting and art history, the British Museum offers visitors two million years of human history and culture to explore. Most museums also offer free entry – a good excuse to spend an entire day wandering galleries!

14. Top London shows for kids

London hosts lots of family-friendly theatre shows, from lively musicals to wonderful puppet shows. The capital is also home to an array of special children's theatres, which put on amazing productions just for kids.

15. Top 9 toyshops in London

The Hamleys shop front and Regent Street sprawling across with a red bus and black cab driving along.
The world-famous Hamleys shop. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Whether you're after retro toys, or film merchandise, London's top toyshops offer it all. Budding scientists will love the gadgets and kits available at the Science Museum shop, while Harry Potter fans won't want to leave the Harry Potter Shop. Don't miss old favourite Hamleys, or newer options such as the LEGO Store in Leicester Square.

Find more free things to do with kids, including some of the best attractions in London for the whole family and packed-fun activities for an adrenaline rush. Download the Visit London app for more inspiration while out and about.