Parenting

Free Things to Do In London With Kids This Summer

  • June 29, 2018

The summer holidays are getting ever closer and you’re probably starting to plan family days out. Maybe you’re having a staycation this year or visiting England from another country? Whatever reason you’re thinking of heading to the capital, there’s no need to spend a fortune as there are lots of free things to do in London with kids.

I’ve put together a handy list for you, to give you lots of ideas for free fun family days out in London…

free Museums in london

Some of the best free activities in London are the museums. You can spend a whole day in just one of them, and there’s something to keep every child entertained. There are so many to choose from but our top picks are…

Our favourite is the Natural History Museum. I used to love going as a child and Little H has really enjoyed it both times we’ve visited. There are some special exhibitions that you have to pay for, but the majority is free and definitely enough to keep you busy for a whole day. The dinosaurs and the Blue Whale are obvious favourites, and Little H also loved the human body section. You can also feel an earthquake, journey to the centre of the earth and learn all about bugs.

T-Rex at the Natural History Museum

The Science Museum is another favourite and ideal for kids who like to be hands-on and interact with the exhibits. There are interactive galleries, sensory areas, simulators and you can even see exhibits such as the Apollo 10 command capsule.

If your child is interested in Ancient Egypt then you must head to the British Museum. We haven’t visited with Little H, but I used to love this place when I was younger – the pharaohs and mummies fascinated me as well as all the artefacts from China. There are also lots of free activities and workshops worth checking out.

Other museums to put on the list include the Tate Modern, the V&A Museum of Childhood, the Museum of London and the National Army Museum.

Sightseeing in London

You absolutely have to be a tourist in London at some point, even if you’ve been before or live nearby. It’s so much fun for kids to see all of the landmarks in real life, and of course, it’s all really educational which is a bonus.

Obviously, all of these landmarks have entrance fees but you don’t need to go inside. Take a walk through London, hop on and off buses and take a tour of the most famous London sights.

The must-see landmark when everyone visits London is Buckingham Palace. There are tours of the palace at certain times of the year but just seeing it from outside is great fun and children will love to see the Changing of the Guards – which happens at 10:45am every day. Remember, if the Royal Standard flag is flying it means the Queen is at home!

Big Ben is a must, and you have to get a selfie with it behind you! At the moment (Summer 2018) it’s undergoing construction work but is still definitely worth a visit as you’ll also get to see the Houses of Parliament and can cross the river to the London Eye.

Big Ben

A great London landmark to visit with children is the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. There are boat tours, walking tours and pedalos but you don’t have to spend any money to take a look around. There are also free trails that you can follow including the London 2012 trail which lets you relive the Olympics as well as the Explorer’s Guide to Adventures with secret missions. If it’s a hot day you can also cool off in the fountains by the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Any child learning about Kings & Queens at school will want to see the Tower of London, especially if they’re interested in its gruesome history. It’s quite pricey to get in, but you can take a walk around the outside and along the river.

You can always rely on Covent Garden for street entertainment for the kids, especially in the school holidays. You can sit with a drink or an ice cream and watch magic shows, mime artists, puppet shows and lots more.

Trafalgar Square is fun to explore, kids will love the lion statues and the fountains. It’s also right next to the National Gallery.

Lion at Trafalgar Square

And if you have a Harry Potter fan, you have to head to Kings Cross to see Platform 9 ¾ and pose for a photo with the luggage trolley!



London’s Parks

If it’s a sunny day you might not want to be in a hot stuffy museum, and might rather be outside enjoying the open spaces.

Despite being a very busy city, London does have a lot of large parks perfect for running around and exploring – there are 8 royal parks to check out.

St James Park next to Buckingham Palace is probably one of the most famous parks in London. After sightseeing at the palace you can take a stroll to the park and try to spot some pelicans at the lake. The park is also home to the 7-mile Diana Princess of Wales memorial walk which takes you past three palaces, two mansions, lots of sculptures and to the memorial playground in Kensington Gardens.

Buckinham Palace

Regents Park is home to London Zoo, four playgrounds, a boating lake, an open-air theatre and London’s largest outdoor sports area. You can also take a walk up to Primrose Hill to an amazing view over London.

At Camley Street Natural Park in King’s Cross you can go bug hunting, pond dipping and have a picnic by the canal.

If you go to Crystal Palace Park you can even meet life-size dinosaurs built by the Victorians. There is also a children’s farm, maze and playground.

There are lots of other London parks to explore and you can find all of the Royal Parks listed here.

 

What are you looking forward to the most on your next visit to London? Hopefully, this post has given you plenty of ideas for free things to do with kids.

Sarah

If you're heading to London for a family day out check out my list of Free Things to Do In London With Kids This Summer | #london #daysout #England #travel
If you're heading to London for a family day out check out my list of Free Things to Do In London With Kids This Summer | #london #daysout #England #travel

13 Comments

  • Karen Dennis

    When I was a child, I visited London for the first time, we fed the pigeons in Trafalgar sqare, one landed on my sister’s head and my cousin told her that they have warts on their feet, that would affect her hair!#kcacols@_karendennis

    Reply
  • bread // queer little family

    Free is the best way to go when kids are involved. Lol. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Reply
  • Shan Ellis

    Cor, I love London I do and so much to do on a budget! Now G is that little bit older (I’ve tried the tube with a pram and it didn’t go too well!) it would be lovely to just visit the museums and see the sights as a tourist. Glad I don’t live locally any more and can enjoy it as a tourist not having to rush from one place to the other! #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • motherhoodtherealdeal

    We will definitely be rinsing the London museums this summer! We’ve never been to Queen Elizabeth Park so will have to add it to our list.

    Reply
  • JC Cross-Jones

    I love London but we haven’t taken our little dude yet, think maybe next year he will be old enough to enjoy the Natural History Museum though which I love!!

    Reply
  • Laura@dearbearandbean

    There is so much to do in London that doesn’t have to cost money, a great list.

    Reply
  • fashionandstylepolice

    There is quite a lot to see in London. We need to go sight seeing one of these days.

    Reply
  • Nick Holland

    so much to see! I think as an adult you could see multiple of these in one day, as a parent, just plan for one #globalblogging

    Reply
  • Sarah | Mummykind

    Brilliant summary! I love taking day trips to London with Olivia 🙂 #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • ChelseaMamma

    I have never been to Primrose Hill but would love to take in that view

    Reply
  • Jacqui Bester

    Such great ideas! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Reply
  • Suburban Mum

    The Natural History and Science Museum are some of our favourite places to visit! Never bored of going there. #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • laurasidestreet

    This is a really great list! We love visiting London and do so a couple of times a year and always take advantage of the free stuff on offer such as the parks and museums! These gave some extra ideas so thanks for sharing

    Laura x

    Reply

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