Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in London

Boy (7-9) pulling on father's hand in museum
Justin Pumfrey / Getty Images

London can be a wonderful destination for a family vacation but it pays to do your research. Here are some great ways to have fun with the family in London without spending too much money.

To help with trip-planning you can also check out: Top 10 Free Things for Kids to Do in London and Toddler-Friendly London Attractions.

01 of 10

Annual Events for Kids

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival. onourtravels/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Address
69 Horse Guards Rd, London SW1A 2AX, UK

London has loads of annual events that kids would enjoy. Here are a few highlights throughout the year:

02 of 10

Mudlarks at Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands
Lonely Planet/Getty Images
Address
No.1 Warehouse, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL, UK
Phone
+44 20 7001 9844

The Museum of London Docklands has a great play area for under 12s called Mudlarks. Everything is themed around life in the London docks so the big kids can weigh cargo or load a tea clipper while the smaller kids get to crawl around and play with large foam bananas and London buses, plus they can pretend to drive a DLR train. Talking of trains, to get to the Museum of London Docklands you need to take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). Get a seat at the front as these trains don't have a driver and you, or your little one, can pretend to drive the train!

03 of 10

Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens

Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens
Stuart Black/robertharding/Getty Images
Address
London W2 2UH, UK
Phone
+44 300 061 2000

This bronze statue of Peter Pan is in Kensington Gardens, next to Hyde Park. The exact location was chosen by Peter Pan's author, J.M. Barrie. Barrie lived close to Kensington Gardens and published his first Peter Pan story in 1902 using the park for inspiration. In his Peter Pan tale, The Little White Bird, Peter flies out of his nursery and lands beside the Long Water lake on the spot where the statue now stands.

04 of 10

Foundling Museum and Coram's Fields Playground

Coram's Fields
London Looks/Flickr/Creative Commons
Address
40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, UK
Phone
+44 20 7841 3600

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children. The Foundling Museum is free for children at all times but there is a small charge for adults. They have regular family events on the first Saturday of every month and admission is free for all then. Just around the corner is Coram's Fields, a central London children's playground where adults are only permitted with a child and there is always staff on site. There is a Pet's Corner and a cafe as well as playground activities for all ages

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon
www.CGPGrey.com/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
Address
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB, UK
Phone
+44 20 7654 0809

The London Dungeon calls itself "the world's most chillingly famous horror attraction." It covers 2,000 years of London's gruesome history. Kids love that stuff. The London Dungeon Review will help you know if it's right for you and your family

06 of 10

Hamleys Toy Shop

Hamleys Toy Shop
Jon Boyes/Getty Images
Address
188-196 Regent St, London W1B 5BT, UK
Phone
+44 371 704 1977

It can be a chore taking children shopping with you, particularly in a big city, as they can get easily bored. Hamleys is the most famous toy store in the world. It was established in 1760 and has been a London landmark since the early 1800s. The Regent Street store has 7 floors packed full of the latest toys, games, and gifts. And there's an exclusive Narnia staircase too. Keep your little darlings stimulated by visiting a few of the Top London Shops for Children.

07 of 10

London Zoo

London Zoo
Martin Moos/Getty Images
Address
London NW1 4RY, UK
Phone
+44 20 7449 6200

London Zoo opened in 1827 and is reputedly where the word 'zoo' originates from. Its focus is on conservation and it has long-term breeding programs for 130 species as well as extensive education programs. Don't let the word 'education' put you off as London Zoo is an excellent family day out for kids of all ages. There are plenty of free activities once you're inside so you can easily spend a whole day there.

08 of 10

The British Museum

The British Museum
Chiara Salvadori / Getty Images
Address
Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Phone
+44 20 7323 8299

The British Museum opened in 1753 and has prided itself on remaining free to visit for all that time. There is so much to see at the British Museum in London that it would easily take a week to get round everything, so to help I have put together some photos of the British Museum highlights that can be seen in a couple of hours. Kids love the Egyptian mummies and the Easter Island Statue.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Horniman Museum

Horniman Museum.
Neil Setchfield / Getty Images
Address
100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ, UK
Phone
+44 20 8699 1872

The Horniman Museum is a real find. Tucked away in the depths of south London, it features exhibitions of the natural and cultural worlds. And it has an aquarium. And it's all free. Really, this place is worth the trip across the river. In fact, it's actually only 13 minutes by train from London Bridge train station. 

10 of 10

London Museums and Galleries, and More!

Trafalgar Square Fountain I
Trafalgar Square, with the National Gallery in the background. Copyright George W Johnson / Getty Images
Address
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
Phone
+44 20 7747 2885

All of these ideas are FREE!