London, the UK’s capital, is so jam-packed with fun, educational and interesting kid-friendly attractions and activities that you’ll have trouble fitting them all in.
From iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to outdoor playgrounds and captivating museums, London has something for all ages, budgets, and preferences, which is why we love visiting the city with our kids in tow.
As there are so many things to do in London, we know planning can get overwhelming. After all, with only a short amount of time in the city, which attractions do you prioritise?
Well, with the help of TripAdvisor, we’ve curated a list of the top 20 family-friendly activities in London—all of which have been voted by travellers.
So, if you’re planning your next trip to London with kids, here are our (and others) favourite things to do in the city.
If you’re a family of foodies, then Borough Market is a must-do when visiting London with kids. Not only is the market an explosion of colour. But there are aisles upon aisles of fresh fruit, meat, and our kid’s favourites, sweet treats.
From chocolate-covered strawberries to Yorkshire pudding wraps, Borough Market is the perfect place for an afternoon pick-me-up after a long day of sightseeing.
Plus, as one of the oldest and largest food markets in London (did you know it dates back to at least the 12th century?), a trip to Borough Market also takes you back through history, giving you an insight into what London was like hundreds of years ago.
Price: Free to enter.
Address: London SE1 9AL, United Kingdom.
There are plenty of landmarks and historic buildings dotted throughout the city. But one of the most well-known is Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837. And from July through to October, visitors can actually go inside the palace and tour its State Rooms.
If you’re visiting Buckingham Palace outside of those months, or if looking at the building from the outside is more than enough for you, then you can simply stand at the gates and take in its undeniable beauty.
On certain days throughout the week (currently, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), you’ll also get to witness The Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place from 10:45 a.m. The ceremony lasts around 45 minutes and is truly a spectacular sight to see.
Price: Adult tickets – £30.00. Tickets for 18 to 24-year-olds – £19.50. Child tickets aged 5 to 17 – £16.50. And children under five enter for free.
Address: London SW1A 1AA, UK
Buckingham Palace Tours website: https://www.rct.uk/visit/buckingham-palace
Another famous landmark in Central London is Big Ben–the magnificent 316-foot-tall clock tower that sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament).
Officially, the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben, which has stood tall over London since 1859, is a symbol of the city and one of the most recognised landmarks in the world.
For one of the best photo opportunities of Big Ben, you’ll want to walk along the Westminster Bridge. The bridge will take you directly to the foot of the tower, where you can snap pictures to your heart’s content.
Alternatively, if you want to get even closer to Big Ben—and learn more about its history—then you can even join a public tour. The tours are only open for children aged 11 and up due to the stairs and the loud noise of the clock. But on the tour, you’ll go all the way up the tower, behind the clock faces, and into the belfry.
Price: £25 for adults and £10 for children aged 11-17.
Address: London SW1A 0AA, UK
Chelsea FC Stadium Tour and Museum
There really is no better London attraction for football-loving-littles than a tour of Chelsea’s Football Stadium, Stamford Bridge. The tour takes you around the stadium, into dressing rooms, press rooms, and the player’s tunnel, and into the museum, where you’ll learn all about the club’s history.
Whether your little one is a huge Chelsea fan or just a lover of all things football, a tour of the stadium will by far be the highlight of their London trip and an experience they won’t stop talking about for years to come.
As there are different tour packages, each with its own unique perks and experiences, the prices of Chelsea Stadium tours vary.
Price: Adult tickets start from £40.00. And children’s tickets start from £27.00.
Address: Fulham Rd., London SW6 1HS, UK
Chelsea FC Stadium Tour and Museum website: https://www.chelseafc.com/
Covent Garden is one of London’s most popular shopping and entertainment hubs. And whenever we are in London, we like to pop by and grab a bite to eat.
There are so many great restaurants in Covent Garden, which is why it’s an amazing spot for kids as all in one place, you’ll be able to find different cuisines to suit all palette preferences.
From afternoon tea at Brigit’s Bakery to seafood at Sheekey’s, Covent Garden really is a one-stop shop for all things food and drink.
Plus, once your tummies are full, you can then mooch around the shops and enjoy the area’s various forms of entertainment.
Price: Free to enter.
Address: Covent Garden, London, UK.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
Calling all witches and wizards (don’t worry, muggles can join too) to London’s Harry Potter walking tours! As London features a selection of Harry Potter filming locations, including King’s Cross Station, Millennium Bridge, and St. Paul’s, joining a tour gets you closer to the magic so you can see where some of the movie’s most iconic scenes were filmed.
There are free walking tours, self-guided tours, tours you pay for, and even bus tours of the city. So, no matter what your budget is, you can get involved with the fun.
If you do have an extended amount of time in London, then another must-visit Harry Potter attraction is the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour London. After driving roughly 40 minutes out from Central London, Harry Potter fans can delve into a world of magic, seeing movie sets, authentic props, and costumes that the actors actually wore.
The tour, on average, takes around 3.5 hours. But you can immerse yourself in the wizarding world for as long as your kids can handle.
There are shuttle buses that take you from London Victoria or Baker Street to the studios for your convenience.
Price: There are free tours or guided tours starting from £20.00. Tickets to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour are £53.50 per adult. £43.00 for children aged 5 to 15. And free for children under 4.
Address: London and Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR, UK
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London website: https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/
In our opinion, one of the best ways to see the city—especially if you have little legs in tow—is by jumping on a hop-on-hop-off bus. There are a number of bus companies that operate throughout London. But they all pretty much do the same thing.
The buses take you to all major landmarks and sites in London, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and London Bridge.
Along the way, you’ll learn all about the history of London and its most famous sites thanks to commentary through headphones that the bus provides.
Hop-on-hop-off London buses are an extremely cost-effective way to get around the city. They also eliminate a lot of walking, which you and your kids will be thankful for.
Price: One-day bus tickets start from £37 per adult and £22 for children aged 5 to 15.
Address: There are bus stops all over London. But it’s best to check with your specific bus company where their buses pass by.
London can be extremely overwhelming for kids. There are extremely tall buildings, lots of people, and not a lot of space to move around freely. But don’t worry; this is where Hyde Park comes in.
Hyde Park is London’s largest and most well-known green space. And as it covers 350 acres, there is plenty of room for your kids to run around and let off some steam.
Whether you sit on the grass and have a picnic, join a walking tour, or gaze upon the memorials and statues that sit within the grounds, an hour or two in Hyde Park is the perfect respite before tackling more of the city.
You may also want to visit some of the other royal parks in London. Regents Park, Greenwich Park, Kensington Gardens, and Richmond Park are all great choices.
Price: Free to enter.
Address: Hyde Park, London, UK.
One of London’s scariest attractions—and for this reason, we only recommend families with older kids visit—is London Dungeons, an attraction that delves into the city’s perilous past.
Inside the dungeons, you’ll learn all about Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes, torture throughout history, the Black Plague, Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, and so much more.
We will admit that the dungeons are incredibly scary. But they’re also extremely educational. If you have kids who don’t scare easily and who enjoy learning about such topics, then the dungeon experience is a fun way to spend a few hours in London.
Price: Adult tickets start from £33.00, while kids tickets (ages 5 to 15) start from £27.00.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB, UK
London Dungeons website: https://www.thedungeons.com/london/
The London Eye, Europe’s tallest cantilevered Ferris wheel, gives you a birds-eye view of the entire city, making it a must-visit for families visiting London with kids. From your 360-degree view pod, you can see all of London’s sights, from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge and The Shard. Plus, you’re in a giant Ferris wheel, so what’s not to love?
Price: Adult tickets start from £22.50, while child tickets (2 to 15 years) start from £22.50. Kids under two ride free.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
London Eye website: https://www.londoneye.com/
ZSL London Zoo, now London Zoo, is the world’s oldest zoo, as it opened on the 27th of April 1828. Today, the zoo houses more than 14,000 animals from habitats all over the world.
Strolling through the zoo’s grounds, visitors can witness interesting species like African wild dogs and black-capped squirrel monkeys, as well as lions, zebra, and giraffes.
The zoo continues to assist in global conservation in the hopes of boosting species numbers and reintroducing animals back into their natural habitat. By visiting the zoo, not only are you allowing your children to learn about the resident animals. But the money from your ticket also helps the zoo continue its conservation work.
Price: Adult tickets are £31, while child tickets (ages 3 to 15 years) are £21.70. Children under two enter for free.
Address: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY, UK
London Zoo website: https://www.londonzoo.org/
A great free activity for families with kids in London is to visit one of the city’s many playgrounds. Suitable for toddlers and up, London’s playgrounds offer a space where kids can run around, use their imagination, and interact with other kids their age.
Some of the best playgrounds in the area include the following:
- Diana Memorial Playground – equipped with a beach, sculptures, a pirate ship, teepees, and a sensory trail.
- Burnard Park Adventure Playground – features a climbing structure, water features, and football and basketball pitches.
- Coram’s Fields Playground – has sandpits, a paddling pool, and aerial slides.
- Greenwich Park Playground – with sand play, water features, double slides, and disability-friendly equipment.
Price: All playgrounds are free to enter.
Madame Tussauds London
Teens, in particular, will love Madame Tussauds London as it isn’t every day you get to be up close to your favourite celebrities—albeit the wax version of your favourite celebrities.
Madame Tussauds London has been a popular London attraction since its opening in 1835. And today, it is home to over 150 wax lifelike celebrity figures that spread out over three floors and eight zones, including Music, Film, the Royal Palace, Star Wars, and even Marvel.
So, whether you’re into Harry Styles and Taylor Swift or Bob Marley and Christiano Ronaldo, you can have your photo taken next to your favourite celeb to get an idea of what they’d actually look like in real life.
Price: Adult tickets are £37, while child tickets (ages 3 to 15 years) are £33. Children under two enter for free.
Address: Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR, UK
Madame Tussauds London website: https://www.madametussauds.com/london/
Natural History Museum
A great educational—and rainy day—activity for kids in London is the Natural History Museum. Over the past 140 years, the Natural History Museum has grown to house 80 million specimens within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology.
While walking through the museum, kids can learn all about dinosaurs, human evolution, space, our oceans, and British wildlife. With the amount of exhibits there are throughout the museum, you could honestly spend hours taking it all. And the best part? Entry into the museum is completely free! You do need to book tickets in advance, and you can make donations if you so wish.
Price: Free to enter.
Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
Natural History Museum website: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/
Sea Life London Aquarium
Another great rainy day activity—or any day activity, for that matter—is the Sea Life London Aquarium. You can’t go wrong with an aquarium or a zoo, which is why Sea Life is one of the best London attractions for families with kids.
Split into five zones, Sea Life London is home to countless aquatic species, including sharks, octopus, penguins, and turtles. As you explore the different aquariums, you’ll get up close to some of Earth’s most magnificent animals, learning all about the ways they live and survive underwater.
Price: Adult tickets start from £28, while child tickets (ages 2 to 15 years) start from £25. Children under two enter for free.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB, UK
If your kids loved the Natural History Museum, then the Science Museum is another must-visit attraction while spending time in London. The London Science Museum was founded in 1857 and now includes exhibits that really get your brain working.
Kids (and adults, too) can learn all about steam engines, rockets, cars, and supercomputers, as well as space, science-related discoveries, and materials that we can find here on Earth.
With three levels to explore, an IMAX Theatre, and 3D experiences, there is an endless amount of fun and learning to be had at London’s Science Museum.
Similar to the Natural History Museum, entry to the Science Museum is free. But donations are encouraged if you have the means to do so.
Price: Free to enter.
Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK
The British Museum
And the final museum we wanted to mention was the British Museum. The British Museum is a museum dedicated to human history, art and culture. And a visit there will transport you back through time to when human culture first began.
The museum features exhibits of Parthenon sculptures, Egyptian pharaoh busts, totem poles, moai statues from Easter Island, and the museum’s most famous artefact, the Rosetta Stone.
The British Museum may not be as enticing to kids as the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. But if you have kids who love learning, you should definitely add it to your London must-do list.
Other museums in London that you might want to visit include the following:
- National Maritime Museum
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- National Gallery
- London Transport Museum
- Imperial War Museum
Price: Free to enter, but donations are encouraged.
Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, UK
London is home to a few famous bridges (all of which you should check out), but Tower Bridge is arguably the most impressive. This Grade I listed suspension bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 and crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London.
Measuring 800 feet in length and consisting of two 213-foot bridge towers, Tower Bridge is a London sight not to be missed. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see the bridge open to allow boats to sail through. For more information on Tower Bridge lift times, you can check out the Tower Bridge website.
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, UK
Tower of London
Tower Bridge leads us nicely onto the next activity for kids in London, and that’s a visit to the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a castle and a World Heritage Site that most famously houses the Crown Jewels.
In 1078, William the Conqueror built the White Tower, which gives the castle its name, and over the years, it was used as a prison, an armoury, a treasury, and a palace. As the years went on, the Tower of London underwent several expansions until the late 13th century, which left us with the castle we see today.
Your ticket to the Tower of London lets you walk inside the castle, hear captivating stories of its past, and get up close to the crown jewels which have been stored in the castle since 1661.
Other historic places in London to add to your itinerary include the following:
- Westminster Abbey
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Kensington Palace
- Trafalgar Square
Price: Adult tickets are £33.60, while children’s tickets (ages 5 to 15) are £16.80. Children under five enter for free.
Address: London EC3N 4AB, UK
Tower of London website: https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/
Watch a West End Show
And the final activity for kids in London is to see a West End Show. The West End theatres are some of the most well-known theatres in the world. And with various different shows to choose from, there really is something for kids of all ages.
Some of the most popular shows for kids are The Lion King, Matilda, Frozen the Musical, Wicked, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And as there are matinee shows almost every afternoon, you won’t need to worry about keeping your kids up late!
Price: Price varies depending on the show, date, and time.
London Theatre website: https://www.london-theater-tickets.com/