As I wrote in my previous article “on how to move with children in London” . The city is childproof, organized and ready to host them, they will discover a new world and you will be calm. I will list some places where they will have fun like crazy and trust me, you will have fun too:
Tip : Take a tour! They are almost always well done. Children love them. The guides are great. Highly recommended.
One of the most famous and popular is undoubtedly that of:
Harry Potter : Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Transfers – Full day ticket including (themed) bus transport from central London to the studio. There is also a fully guided tour of the Harry Potter studio (The Making of Harry Potter’s only fully guided tour). The 2.5 hour Muggle London guide is excellent.
KidZania London – Kids absolutely love this place! Real-life RPGs in engineering, medicine, construction, theater, aviation, dentistry, banking, bus, fire and rescue, and about two dozen more.
The Original London Sightseeing Bus Tour – Hop-on hop-off – 3 different bus lines throughout the city. The free river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London is included in the ticket. There is also the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise on the Thames.
Tower of London
This well-preserved famous medieval castle is one of London’s top attractions for families – adults and children alike love it.
The internal exhibits are interactive and informative. The castle was eventually converted into a prison and a place of numerous executions. Much of its history is dark and gruesome. Get as close to opening hours as possible and head straight to the White Tower which is filled with interesting and kid-friendly exhibits (lines start forming shortly after doors open and get longer throughout the day). Next visit to the crown jewels .
There are free guided tours that start every 30 minutes and last 45 minutes – get a schedule before entering (at the ticket office) that lists all the day’s events.
Hours: from 10:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Saturday: from 9:00 to 17:30; November to February Sunday and Monday: 10:00 to 16:30, Tuesday to Saturday: 9:00 to 16:30.
Costs: family £ 55, adult £ 20, child £ 10, children under four are free.
London’s number one icon. The bridge opens and closes nearly 1000 times a year. The Tower Bridge exhibit provides a history of the bridge and allows access to the upper bridge walkway via an elevator.
You can see the river below through the reinforced glass section in the middle of the walkway. You can also take a look at the steam machines that raised the bridge for the first hundred years of its existence. (Historical note : The Luftwaffe did not bomb the iconic bridge during World War II because they needed it as a landmark.)
Underground : London Bridge or Tower Hill
Hours : from April to September from 10:00 to 18:00, from October to March from 9:30 to 17:30.
Costs : family £ 11, adult £ 8, student £ 5, child £ 3, children under four are free.
Harry Potter shop in King’s Cross
Absolutely not to be missed. Shop that contains all the magic of Harry Potter , with the most absurd gadgets. Your kids will go crazy. Outside the shop you will find the famous trolley wedged into the wall of platform 9 and 3/4.
The line is quite flowing, just enough time to take a photo or two per person. If you don’t want to spend it, I suggest you take the photo with your mobile phone, as the one that the staff will take for you will be subject to a fee.
Underground: King’s Cross.
Hours: 8.00 to 22.00. The trolley is always available but without the service of the staff.
Legoland Windsor is all about bricks. It is divided into several different “worlds”, from the Kingdom of the Pharaohs and the Land of the Vikings to Ninjago World and Miniland – where you can see London’s famous buildings recreated in miniature using Lego bricks.
There is a good combination of rides for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school children as well as cool Lego creations, 4D movies, live entertainment and adventure playgrounds. Some of the hikes involve getting wet, which is especially fun in hot weather. Download the Legoland app to find your way around the park.
Train : London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Riverside
Hours : every day from 10:00 to 18:00 in summer, from 10:00 to 17:00 rest of the year
Costs : the standard ticket costs £ 45 for all ages; £ 30 when purchased online 7 days in advance.
Find out more on the official website: https://www.legoland.co.uk/
Changing of the guard
Some children find it a little boring, others love tradition. The best place to see the guards is at The Mall, near St. James’s Palace. If your kids are small, they won’t see much crushed by the Buckingham Palace crowd.
You can also find a changing of the guard at Windsor Palace (35 minutes outside London by train) which sees much smaller crowds but offers more glitz.
Metro: St. James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner.
Hours: 11:30 but before 11:00. It takes place every day from May to July and alternating days otherwise – check the schedule.
Cost : free.
National maritime museum
500 years of maritime history enclosed in a fantastic space. Hands-on exhibits make it fun for younger children, but this is definitely an attraction for all ages. Battles and boats galore plus free themed speeches.
Underground: Maze Hill or Cutty Sark (DLR).
Hours : from 10:00 to 17:00.
Natural History Museum
One of the best museums in London for all ages . Dinosaurs, blue whales, saber-toothed tigers, elephants, volcanoes, meteors, earthquakes and all sorts of creepy creepers.
The ideal mix of fun for children and adults. Multimedia guides are available and can be booked in advance.
Metropolotana: South Kensington.
Hours: from 10:00 to 17:50 every day, from 10:00 to 22:30 on the last Friday of each month.
This giant Ferris wheel offers fantastic views over Greater London. It takes 30 minutes to spin and the wheel moves at such a calm speed it’s not scary and doable for all ages. Passengers are completely enclosed in glass containers with air conditioning and heating and can accommodate 25 people.
Underground: Waterloo or Westminster.
Hours: daily from 10:00 to 20:30 most of the year, from 10:00 to 18:00 most of the winter.
Costs: The standard ticket is £ 24.30 for adults, £ 19.80 for children aged 3-15. £ 33.30 adults, £ 28.20 children for Fast Track tickets to bypass the queues. Online booking saves up to 15% on all tickets.
A futuristic museum that is spread over seven floors of interactive and fun exhibits and explores everything from space travel to the industrial revolution.
There is something here for children of all ages, including young children. Highlights include the giant telescope in the Exploring Space section, flying machines in the Flight Gallery – from hot air balloons to vintage planes, and IMAX movie shows in deep space and the underwater world. Visits to the Science Museum can easily be combined with visits to the Natural History Museum.
Underground: South Kensington.
Hours: every day from 10:00 to 18:00.
London Sea Life Aquarium
Large state-of-the-art aquarium popular for families and children to enjoy. There are 17 themed zones to go through. The habitats of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans showcase creatures from the deep, while Tidal Reach proves that British coastal waters are anything but boring!
Sharks glide around a wreck, catfish lurk in warm rainforest waters, and kids can search for Nemo and Dory in tanks filled with clownfish and blue tang. Highlights include the Ocean Tunnel, with the sharks swimming overhead, the feeding times of the rainforest and ray fish tanks, and the Antarctic section with gentoo penguins.
Underground: Waterloo or Westminster
Hours: Mon-Fri 10: 00-18: 00, Sat and Sun 9: 30-19: 00
Costs: The standard ticket is £ 21 for adults, £ 16.80 for children aged 4 to 15. Online booking saves up to 30% on all tickets.
Find out more on the official website: https://www.visitsealife.com/london/
London Zoo is located in the northern part of Regent’s Park and is extremely popular with families. Wildlife habitats include Tiger Territory, Gorilla Kingdom, Land of the Lions, Penguin Beach, and Reptile House (where part of a Harry Potter movie was filmed).
Children (aged 11-15) also have the option to play with a zookeeper for one day (book in advance).
Subway: Regent’s Park or Baker Street
Hours: every day from 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on Christmas day.
Costs: The standard ticket is 29.75 for adults, £ 22 for children aged 3-15, £ 75.80 for a family (online only). Fast track £ 29.30 for adults, £ 23 for children (online fares only). Online booking allows you to save up to 20% on standard tickets.
The London branch of the famous waxwork museum is great fun for families, especially older children.
Start by taking your photos with Hollywood movie stars and then move on to the royal family, pop stars (from Jimi Hendrix to Lady Gaga to One Direction).
There are 15 interactive areas in total and it’s a good idea to arrive at opening hours, as there are very long queues later in the day. Towards the end there is a ride suitable for children over 6 years of age. Skip-the-line admission tickets allow you to see the Star Wars Experience and watch the Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie.
Underground: Waterloo or Westminster
Hours: every day from 8:30 to 18:00 in August; several hours of rest throughout the year.
Costs: The standard ticket is £ 35 for adults, £ 30 for children aged 4 to 15. Skip-the-line entrance ticket £ 50 for all ages. Online booking saves up to 15% on all tickets.
Boat ride on the Thames
Taking a boat down the Thames is a great way to see many of London’s most famous landmarks without getting the kids too tired.
It is something that can be done even on rainy days, as the boats have closed seating. From Westminster Pier, City Cruises and Thames River Services run east to Greenwich, passing the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Cutty Sark . Older children can enjoy adrenaline-pumping speedboat rides on the Thames with the Thames Rockets.
Underground: Westminster, London Bridge or North Greenwich
Hours: every day from 08:00 to 19:00.
Costs: Standard one-way ticket costs £ 12.50 for adults, £ 6.25 for children aged 5-16, Rover (unlimited day) ticket is £ 16.65 for adults and £ 8.33 for children.
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