Every parent knows that planning a family activity is no easy feat. Keeping everyone happy is almost impossible, especially on holiday! Whether you’ve got babies, toddlers or teenagers, it never gets easier. Luckily, we’ve had plenty of practice, and we’re here to pass on our advice. So, you’re going to London? The UK’s capital is one of the most fantastic cities in the world. The history and culture are second-to-none, and the atmosphere is buzzing and exciting. But, just like any other big city, it’s enormous! Where do you even start?
The good news is that London is great for kids. A UK holiday isn’t all about museums and art galleries (though there are some fantastic ones on offer!) We know children, and we know they need something more exciting to stimulate them. There’s a balance to be found in London. In this post, we’ve listed a whole host of activities that are great for children and adults. You’ll keep them happy, and you’ll enjoy yourself too. After all, it’s a family trip! Let’s take a look at some of the best options, shall we?
It’s the home of the Queen, and one of the finest buildings in the country. If you’ve never been to London, it’s a must-see destination. Where else will you get to see the traditional ‘changing of the guard’ and the iconic red uniforms? We suggest taking advantage of Buckingham Palace tours if you want to see everything properly! By doing this, you’ll get to see behind the gates of the palace, and enjoy an afternoon tea. After that, be sure to stay and watch the guards perform the wonderful changing routine.
Harrods and Hamleys
London is the world’s premier destination for shopping. Forget New York or Paris! London is home to the finest shops on the planet. Home to the iconic Oxford Street and Bond Street, there’s something for everyone. We know the kids aren’t always fond of the shops, but that’s why London is so unique. Here, you’ll find one of the biggest toy shops anywhere in the world. Hamleys is enormous, set over four floors, and packed full of toys! The kids will love it, and happily spend hours exploring the toys on offer. Mums, you can leave the kids with Dad while you explore Harrods and Liberty just around the corner!
Swimming in the Serpentine
The summer is a wonderful time of year to visit London. The whole city comes alive with excitement. It buzzes with activity! If you’re lucky enough to see a little sun, head to the Serpentine. It’s a huge lake in Hyde Park, and it’s open for swimming! In fact, it’s the official venue for triathlons and outdoor swimming events. On regular weekends, it’s open to the public and you can frolic in the cool water to your heart’s content. The kids will love it, and you can take it easy in the wonderful surroundings of Hyde Park.
Meet the dinosaurs
Museums aren’t always at the tops of the kids’ ‘fun list’, but wait until they see this. In the Natural History Museum, they’ll find life-size dinosaurs in wonderful 3D models. If you’ve struggled to drag them around a museum in the past, this might just change their mind. The Natural History Museum is also home to a life-size Blue Whale! Trust us, in London, the museums are simply astonishing. Even better, most of them are free. So, if the kids get bored half way around, you’re free to leave knowing you got your money’s worth.
Visit the zoo
If all else fails, you can rely on a great zoo to pick to pick up everyone’s spirits! Luckily, London has one of the best in the world. London Zoo is a timeless, iconic tourist attraction; home to some amazing animals and species. You’ll discover majestic tigers, pygmy hippos, and the world’s biggest collection of spiders! Okay, so you don’t have to go near the spiders, but there is plenty to see here. From gorillas to giraffes to bears, there’s something for everyone.
Harry Potter World
Who doesn’t love JK Rowling’s charming young wizard? Harry Potter has become a global sensation, with 7 enormous films and an iconic book series. If you thought that Hogwarts only existed in your imagination, you were wrong! Harry Potter was heavily inspired by London. Platform 9 ¾ is even based on the station at Kings Cross London. Now, you can immerse yourself in the world with the Harry Potter amusement world. You can visit Diagon Alley and see real props from the films! Why not try your hand at a game of quidditch or test your potion-making skills? All this is possible, and it’s fun for all the family.
There are eight wonderful royal parks in London. The most famous are Hyde Park and St James’ Park. Our favourite, however, is the relatively small Green Park. It’s quiet and unspoiled, and you’re bound to find a tranquil spot to relax. Best of all, there’s a huge playground for the kids to run wild! They’ll let their energy out while you recharge your batteries! The lush setting is perfect for a picnic or a quick catchup while you plan the next adventure.
Football Stadium tours
Dads, locate your favourite clubs and take a look around the stadiums. London is home to Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, and West Ham. Chelsea and Arsenal host particularly stunning tours in the enormous Stamford Bridge and Emirates Stadium. Your boys will love stepping out onto the field and exploring the dressing rooms behind the scenes. You’ll get to visit the museums and see the trophies! Best of all, you’ll get to take a penalty from the pitch itself. This is a dream-come-true for your football-mad children!
We hope these suggestions settle some arguments and help you fall in love with London! It’s a truly wonderful place for families with plenty to explore. Where would you start your London adventure?