I’ve got fond memories of visiting London as a child. The tall buildings casting shadows on the pavement, the different smells coming from every street corner, and people – lots of people, everywhere! Now I’m raising children of my own, I’m always keen to take them to the capital when I can.  

We’re not the only ones who love London either; according to parliament data, the capital attracted 50% of all visits to the UK in 2018. We tend to fly in to Gatwick Airport when we go and pick up a bunch of anytime train tickets to give us a little flexibility. 

Once you’ve got there yourself, here are five ideas for family-friendly activities.

The Science Museum

Are your kids into science? Mine aren’t especially, but they still loved this free museum! Inside you’ll find exciting hands-on displays and demonstrations aimed at children of different ages – and you might just learn a thing or two yourself. 

There’s also an amazing IMAX theatre which screens eye-popping educational films throughout the day.

The Natural History Museum

Just next door is the Natural History Museum. This magnificent building captures the imagination from the moment you step inside, with huge displays of dinosaurs or mammals dominating the entrance hall.

There’s also an ice rink outside at Christmas time which made our visit extra special. Be prepared to queue, however…


As toy shops go, Hamleys must be one of the most magical I’ve ever seen. Located just a short walk from Oxford Circus, the window displays alone are worth a visit – and once you’re inside you might find your inner child gets a little carried away!

The staff here are great and put on demonstrations all day long. We managed to leave without spending all our money, but I’m not sure how!

The Barbican Big Adventure

The Barbican Big Adventure is a self-guided adventure trail that gets everyone working together. You’ll need to solve clues, play games and even show off your talents to make it round the Barbican building, and you could even win a prize at the end.

This is definitely one of the more out-there activities we’ve enjoyed in London. See how you get on with your family.

A London kids bus tour 

You can’t move for hop-on hop-off bus tours in the capital, but not all of them do enough to keep kids interested. Thankfully, there are some tours available that are more tailored to little ones.

They’re usually shorter and cover off the kind of sights kids won’t get bored of. See if you can book online to avoid missing out.

Are you planning a trip to London with your family? Whether you tell your kids all about what you’ll get up to or you’d rather keep it as a surprise, you’re bound to have a great time together.  

What do you think?

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1 Comment
  • Margaret Gallagher
    Thursday, December 28, 2023

    Been a while since we visited London
    You’ve inspired us to go