Things to do with kids in London

London is a great city to explore with children. On a clear day, take the kids for a ride on one of the hop-on hop-off red buses; the constantly changing scenery is exciting and it'll save a lot of energy trying to walk the streets with small children in tow. The bus tickets also allow a Thames River boat ride past sights such as Westminster, Big Ben, the London Eye and Tower Bridge. Kids will be delighted at the amount there is to spot along the way.

While obvious holiday attractions for kids in London include the London Eye, Big Ben and the delightfully tacky and gruesome London Dungeon, there are also an assortment of parks, museums and shows to keep children happy. Whether children are interested in nature and science or arts and crafts, London is a child's paradise. Children will love discovering the famous wax sculptures in Madame Tussaud's. Don't miss taking the kids to the world-renowned Hamley's Toy Shop for a shopping experience to remember.

London may be synonymous with cold, rainy weather but is still a year-round holiday destination. For families with kids in tow the city is best enjoyed during spring (April to June), when the days are warm, the flowers are blooming, and the many parks and gardens can be explored.

London Dungeons photo

London Dungeons

Take a trip through London's dark and gruesome history, meet Jack the Ripper and see what became of his victims, or see the chaos and destruction caused by the great fire of London…

London Dungeons

Take a trip through London's dark and gruesome history, meet Jack the Ripper and see what became of his victims, or see the chaos and destruction caused by the great fire of London. The London Dungeon brings history's most notorious killers and evildoers back to life in an experience definitely not for the faint-hearted. Beware: some of the exhibitions have a nasty way of coming alive and jumping out at the unsuspecting visitor! The tours last about 90 minutes and are very funny as well as scary. The experience can be enjoyed by both Adults and kids.

Address County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road

Website www.thedungeons.com

Opens Opening times vary throughout the year, check the website for details. Generally, however, London Dungeon is open from 10am to 5pm every day.

Admission

£30 (adults), £24 (children under 15). Concessions and group tickets are available. Discounts for booking online.

West End Shows photo

West End Shows

There are always plenty of child-friendly musicals and shows playing on London's West End, perfect for family holidaymakers looking to soak up some of the great atmosphere of Londo…

West End Shows

There are always plenty of child-friendly musicals and shows playing on London's West End, perfect for family holidaymakers looking to soak up some of the great atmosphere of London's Theatre District. Some West End favourites include The Lion King, Roald Dahl's and the relatively new School of Rock Taking in a theatrical performance on London's West End is one of the iconic tourist experiences that the city has to offer, for children and adults alike, and will be a spectacular amusement for the whole family.

Address The Strand, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Kingsway

Website www.londontheatre.co.uk

Hamleys photo

Hamleys

Children will love visiting this world-renowned toy store, located in the heart of London on famous, bustling Regent Street. Hamleys is one of the world's largest toy stores, with …

Hamleys

Children will love visiting this world-renowned toy store, located in the heart of London on famous, bustling Regent Street. Hamleys is one of the world's largest toy stores, with six floors of magical, cutting-edge toys and games. The store draws over five million visitors each year and is worth a look even if you're just browsing. The Lego collection at Hamleys (located in the basement area) must be seen to be believed. There are helpful and entertaining service staff all over Hamleys eager to show off new toys and play with the kids - the only difficulty for parents is getting out without buying numerous presents.

Address Regent Street, London

Website www.hamleys.com

Transport

Within easy walking distance of Bond Street, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube stations

London Zoo photo

London Zoo

Boasting a plethora of exciting, cute and fuzzy animals from over 750 species, the London Zoo is a must for all children and animal lovers. Kids will love the Animal Adventure area…

London Zoo

Boasting a plethora of exciting, cute and fuzzy animals from over 750 species, the London Zoo is a must for all children and animal lovers. Kids will love the Animal Adventure area, where they can climb, touch, tunnel and splash their way through the zoo discovering animals along the way. Other great habitat areas at London Zoo include Gorilla Kingdom, Penguin Beach, Britain's only (man-made) rainforest area, and a komodo dragon enclosure. The recipient of a Gold Award from the Visit London tourism initiative, the London Zoo is a fail-safe choice for a day of family fun and excitement. Be sure to check the website before you go, as the zoo regularly plays host to a variety of interesting exhibitions, festivals and events.

Address Outer Circle, Regent's Park

Website www.zsl.org

Transport

Within easy walking distance of Camden Town and Regent's Park underground stations

Opens Opening times vary according to the season, check the website for details. In general, however, the Zoo is open every day of the week, from 10am until 4pm.

Admission

Prices vary according to the season, check the website for details. In peak season (summer), prices are £25 (adults) and £19.50 (children aged 3 - 15). Discounts for online bookings.

London Science Museum photo

London Science Museum

Perfect for inquisitive children, the Science Museum will captivate, educate and thrill kids of all ages. Featuring dozens of state-of-the-art exhibits, the Science Museum also fea…

London Science Museum

Perfect for inquisitive children, the Science Museum will captivate, educate and thrill kids of all ages. Featuring dozens of state-of-the-art exhibits, the Science Museum also features a 3D IMAX Theatre. The Museum's rotating exhibitions are topical and intriguing ensuring that kids can visit many times and always learn something new and relevant to their world. Other popular attractions include the space descent VR experience with astronaut Tim Peake as your guide, the Tomorrow's World object gallery, and the interactive Wonderlab gallery.

Address Exhibition Road, South Kensington

Website www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Transport

South Kensington underground station (served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines)

Opens Open daily, from 10am to 6pm.

Admission

Free, though charges apply for the IMAX theatre, the flight simulators, and some special exhibitions

Chessington World of Adventures photo

Chessington World of Adventures

Located in southwest London, Chessington World of Adventures is a theme park and zoo catering to children of all ages. Featuring rides, roller coasters and water slides, this theme…

Chessington World of Adventures

Located in southwest London, Chessington World of Adventures is a theme park and zoo catering to children of all ages. Featuring rides, roller coasters and water slides, this theme park is best visited during the summer months. The zoo, however, is open all year round. An 'African Adventure' themed area is already proving wildly popular among kids, who'll be able to observe magnificent creatures such as lions, zebras and oryxes, as well as enjoy some traditional African mask displays and listen to some African drumming performances. Other highlights are the exciting events and shows; accommodation is also available, in the form of glamping and elaborately themed hotel rooms.

Address Leatherhead Road

Website www.chessington.com

Opens Opening times vary according to the season (check website for details), but are generally from 10am to 5pm most days

Admission

£47 (adults), £43 (children aged 3 - 11). Combination and discount tickets are available as are tickets for single sections of the park. Discounts for booking online.

Natural History Museum photo

Natural History Museum

Located on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the Natural History Museum appeals to everyone from excitable kids to discerning adults. Housed in a gorgeous Romanesque building, t…

Natural History Museum

Located on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the Natural History Museum appeals to everyone from excitable kids to discerning adults. Housed in a gorgeous Romanesque building, the Natural History Museum has often been described as a cathedral of nature, boasting fascinating collections magnificently displayed beneath vaulted ceilings. As soon as you step foot inside the museum, you are greeted by the skeleton of a blue whale looming over you. The Natural History Museum has one of the world's greatest collections of prehistoric fossils and remains, and is home to a series of animatronic dinosaurs that will spellbind kids. The Museum is divided into four zones. The Blue Zone deals mainly with animals, and (along with the dinosaurs) is famous for its life-size model of a blue whale that hangs from the ceiling, and its sabre-tooth tiger skeleton. The Green Zone presents exhibitions that focus on plants, insects and ecology, including a termite mound and a cross-section of the world's largest tree, the California redwood. The Red Zone takes a look at the earth's subterranean processes: visitors can try out the earthquake simulator, be moved by the Pompeii exhibition, and ogle at an enormous collection of gemstones, minerals, and rocks. Finally, the Orange Zone is primarily a research centre but also features several cutting-edge exhibitions that will thrill visitors, including the Attenborough Studio, where audio-visual shows are staged. Budget at least three or four hours to do the museum's collection justice.

Address Exhibition Road, south London

Website www.nhm.ac.uk

Transport

Within easy walking distance of South Kensington underground station

Opens Open daily from 10am to 5 50pm. Last entry at 5 30pm.

Admission

Free admission, though temporary exhibitions may charge a fee

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