Family days out in Kensington

Kensington boasts some of London's most famous museums and adventure playgrounds; perfect for days out with kids.

Enjoy a family day out in Kensington where free museums and open parks mean parents can find lots of activities for children to do, and plenty of hands-on things to learn.

Museums in the morning

Natural History Museum. Photo: Jon Reid

There are three fabulous museums in South Kensington, and each one could easily fill a whole morning. All three venues are free to enter, so take your pick!

The Science Museum is packed with interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational. Children can learn all about the major scientific achievements of the past 300 years and take a peek into life in the future. Families can also catch a film about space exploration in the museum's IMAX 3D Cinema.

Dinosaurs, creepy crawlies and a huge blue whale are just a few of the amazing exhibits waiting for your family at the Natural History Museum. Kids can examine geological fossils, minerals and rocks in the Earth Lab and discover the epic forces that shape our planet in the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery. Free Explorer backpacks are available for under sevens, filled with activities to keep them amused and help them get the most out of the museum. Don't forget to pay a visit to the Darwin Centre, too, where millions of insect and plant specimens are kept.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is London's leading museum of art and design. The V&A is home to 3,000 years' worth of amazing artefacts from around the world. Every weekend the museum hosts free events for families, including Drop-in-Design, where kids can create their own crazy designs inspired by the collections.

Lunch in Kensington

You'll find excellent family-friendly dining in each of the museums, as well as picnic areas if you've brought your own food. The Deep Blue cafe at the Science Museum is an award-winning family restaurant, offering activity boxes to keep younger children entertained. The Natural History Museum Restaurant also has a kids menu and microwaves with which to warm up baby food.

Alternatively, tuck into tasty British dishes inside the beautiful old Vanderbilt family mansion at Scoff and Banter, enjoy flavourful Middle Eastern mezze at Ceru, or try the kid-friendly menus at the nearby Bumpkin or Spaghetti House.

Afternoon in the Royal Parks

After lunch, it's time to explore Kensington Gardens. Look out for the statue of Peter Pan and the Elfin Oak, a gnarled, partially hollow tree stump carved with figures of fairies, elves and woodland animals.

Children love to play in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, this magical playground has a huge wooden pirate ship as its centrepiece. There is also plenty of seating so you can relax while the kids embark on an exciting adventure!

After conquering the imaginary high seas, why not hire a boat and set sail for real? You can sail model boats on Round Pond in Kensington Gardens or hire a rowing boat or pedalo on The Serpentine lake in nearby Hyde Park.

Where to eat dinner with kids in Kensington

End your day with a memorable family meal. Fun in a bun, chow down on some indulgent eats at Byron Burgers or Honest Burgers. Share Indian dishes at Dishoom or tuck into piles of pancakes at My Old Dutch.

More information about Kensington

For more ideas for things to do, visit the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's official website.