The capital of England and one of the world's most visited cities, London has something for everyone from a rich history stretching back to Roman times, grand architecture, world-class dining and entertainment, and magnificent old parks. Packed with world-renowned museums, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, luxury hotels, and more, London is one of the most exciting cities to visit with kids on earth. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge
© St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge
St. Ermin’s is an elegant hotel in Westminster that boasts a dedicated tea lounge and library that serves traditional afternoon high tea service and a range of savory and sweet treats in a relaxed atmosphere. The Tea Lounge & Library at St. Ermin’s has ornate décor, original rococo plasterwork, and a warm and welcoming ambiance where visitors can enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea, which is served on the hotel’s outdoor terrace in the summer. Inspired by seasonal ingredients, handcrafted bites are made from scratch with produce grown on their rooftop kitchen garden or locally sourced from farmers, such as luxurious sandwiches are crayfish with goat’s cheese with figs or rocket and lemon mayonnaise, freshly baked scones including clotted cream and homemade jam, and decadent treats like black choux with lemon and honey and apple mousse with honey compote. A wide variety of local and imported loose-leaf and bag teas are offered with several milk options, and lemon, and honey. The Tea Lounge & Library at St. Ermin’s is open daily.
Caxton St, Westminster, London SW1H 0QW, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-20-72-22-78-88
2.Covent Garden Market
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Established in 1845, the Covent Garden Market is a London institution and famous tourist spot that sell a wealth of antiques, handmade crafts, and locally-made goods. Based in a beautiful colonnaded 19th-century Piazza in the heart of downtown London, the market has humble beginnings as a fruit and vegetable market and has grown into one of London’s top attractions. The market is home to a variety of top brand stores such as Tom Ford, Chanel and Mulberry, and fine dining restaurants, chic coffee shops and elegant bars. The Apple Market, which runs from Tuesday through Sunday boasts a plethora of independent traders selling unique and handcrafted items, handmade jewelery, and hand-painted T-shirts, and on Mondays, the space transforms into an antiques and collectibles market, selling old printing blocks, with classic cameras, and vintage tins and signs. The East Colonnade Market is open daily and sells artworks, handbags, jewelry, handmade soap, and hand-knitted children's clothing.
The Apple Market, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RF, Phone: +44-0-20-72-40-57-81
3.Grant Zoology Museum
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Based at the University College London in a former Edwardian library, the Grant Zoology Museum is a natural history museum that holds one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK. Established in 1928 by Robert Edmond Grant as a zoological teaching institution, the museum is home to 67,000 specimens, including bones, fossils, and other remains of extinct creatures like Dodo skeletons, the zebra-like quagga that lived in South Africa, and a jar of moles. One of the main attractions at the museum is the Micrarium, a booth lined with illuminated microscope slides showing a variety of zoological specimens, and visitors can explore the distant evolutionary with modern technology such as iPads and smartphones.
Rockefeller Building, 21 University St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6DE, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-20-31-08-90-00
Hamleys is a world-renowned toy store and paradise for adults and children alike. One of the oldest and largest toy stores in the world, the British multinational toy retailer was founded by William Hamley in 1760 as ‘Noah’s Ark’ and grew into one of the city's prominent tourist attractions. Boasting over seven floors, the flagship store has more than 50,000 lines of toys on sale, ranging from action figures and cuddly toys to dolls, puzzles, LEGO, and stuffed toys, including a four-foot-high mountable stuffed pony. Hamleys also features a Harry Potter-themed Department of Magic where children can find golden snitches, wands, and chocolate frogs. The chain has 25 outlets around the United Kingdom and more than 90 franchises worldwide.
188-196, Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT, Phone: 087-17-04-19-77
5.Harry Potter Filming Locations Walking Tour
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Harry Potter fans can enjoy a wizard day out in London on a walking tour of all the Harry Potter locations around the city. The tour begins at Westminster Tube Station and visits some of the most popular places and features from the 'Harry Potter' films such as the Ministry of Magic, the Leaky Cauldron pub, Diagon Alley, and the spot where Death Eaters destroyed the Millennium Bridge. Guide share behind-the-scenes stories from the blockbuster movies and visitors watch ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ show on stage or fly a broom at the Harry Potter studios just outside London.
Located in the famous Westfield London center, KidZania London is a family-friendly indoor role-play city designed for children between the ages of four and 14. Spanning 75,000 square feet, the center features a variety of hands-on, interactive, and real-life role-play activities that children can enjoy such as fire-fighting, flying a plane, designing the latest fashions, working as a spy for the CIA (known as the Children’s Intelligence Agency), and building a house. The museum caters for younger visitors with an Early Years area, which has a RightZKeepers Residence and a Science Lab. KidZania London also hosts a series of events throughout the year, such as Feel Good Family Sundays and Career Fairs.
Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London W12 7GA, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-33-01-31-33-33
7.LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort
LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is a theme park dedicated to one of the world's favorite toys and offers young children and their families the ultimate LEGO® adventure. The 150-acre park is designed and built with more than 55 million Lego bricks and features a variety of attractions, live shows, and a fully LEGO themed hotel. Popular attractions in the park include the Lego City Driving School where kids can drive whizzy electric cars; the Jolly Rocker pirate ship; the Castaway Camp adventure playground; Miniland London with miniature landmarks like Big Ben; and the watery voyage rides of the Pirate Falls Treasure Chest and Vikings' River Splash. Legoland is open during the summer months and has play tables full of the ever-popular bricks to keep kids occupied while standing in the queue.
Winkfield Road, Windsor Park, Windsor, SL4 4AY, Phone: +44-0-37-12-22-20-01
8.London Duck Tours
London Duck Tours offers a selection of entertaining and informative land-based tours in distinctive yellow vehicles that were initially used in the Second World War and have been completely overhauled and refurbished. Three fun-packed sightseeing and themed tours visit some of London’s most popular tourist attractions and world-renowned sights and include the Classic Sightseeing Tour, the City Tour, and the historical D-Day Duck Tour, which are led by friendly, knowledgeable guides who provide action-packed live commentary and share exciting facts about the city. All private-hire tours leave from Belvedere Road in Waterloo, and tours can be customized for special occasions and celebrations.
55 York Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7NJ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-20-79-28-31-32
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Located along London's South Bank, the London Dungeon is a popular tourist attraction that delves into the capital’s most horrible history at the city's notorious dungeons. The macabre attraction recreates tales of murder, torture, foul deeds, and gory historical events that happened in the dungeons in gallows-humor style using a mixture of live actors, innovative special effects, and exhilarating rides. Complete with genuine foul smells and real-life rats, the 90-minute tour explores the grim daily lives of people living in London in the Victorian age and visitors can sail downriver to the Tower of London as a ‘traitor’ in the days of Henry VIII, and learn the real story behind the ill-fated Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-20-76-54-08-09
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One of London’s most famous tourist attractions and skyline icons, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames. Also known as the Millennium Wheel or the Coca-Cola London Eye, the London Eye stands at 443 feet high with a diameter of 394 feet and offers the second-highest public viewing point in London after the observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard. Located in the London Borough of Lambeth, the London Eye is set at the western end of the Jubilee Gardens between the Hungerford and Westminster Bridges and operates daily from 11:00 am.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB
11.The Science Museum
The Science Museum is a significant science and technology museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington that features over 15,000 objects on display. Founded in 1857, the museum does not charge an admission fee and is one of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting hordes of visitors who come to see world-famous objects such as Stephenson’s Rocket and the Apollo 10 command capsule. The museum boasts seven floors of educational and informative exhibits that bring the first scientific principles to light. Exhibitions include the Medical History Gallery, the Wellcome Wing, Pattern Pod, LaunchPad, and the Exploring Space galleries, which include full-scale models of the Beagle 2 Mars Lander and the Huygens Titan probe. The museum is also home to an IMAX cinema that takes visitors into space or down into the depths of the ocean.
Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-33-32-41-40-00
12.London Transport Museum
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The London Transport Museum explores the history of London’s world-famous transport network system from the 1800s to the present day. Housed in the historic Flower Market building in Covent Garden Piazza, the award-winning family-friendly museum aims to conserve and highlight the rich heritage of transport in London and features over 450,000 artifacts, items, and objects in various exhibits, galleries, and interactive displays. The museum’s collection includes a variety of buses, trains, trams, and trolleybuses from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the first underground electric train from 1890 and offers fun activities such as interactive games and workshops, and tube simulator rides.
Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-34-32-22-50-00
13.ZSL London Zoo
Located in regent’s Park, the ZSL London Zoo, also known as Regent's Zoo, is a leading institution for the conservation, preservation, and welfare of animals and the oldest scientific zoo in the world. Originally established as a base for scientific study, the zoo is home to more than 17,500 animals across 750 species that reside in their natural habitats from all over the world. Habitats at the zoo range from Gorilla Kingdom and Land of the Lions to Animal Adventure and Tiger Territory, among others, and interactive experiences at the zoo include meeting the animals, being a zookeeper for a day, photography workshops, and sleepovers.
London NW1 4RY, UK, Phone: +44-0-34-42-25-18-26
14.Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is dedicated to showcasing the natural history of the world through a variety of world-class exhibits and displays that feature a vast range of specimens from various segments of history. One of three museums on Exhibition Road, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum is home to around 80 million earth, and life science specimens from the genres of botany, mineralogy, entomology, paleontology, and zoology. The Natural History Museum is also a leading research institution and world-renowned center of taxonomy and has a vast library containing thousands of books, manuscripts, journals, and artwork collections linked to the investigation and work of the various scientific departments within the gallery.
Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD, Phone: +44-0-20-79-42-50-00
15.Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road is the world’s largest antique market and one of London’s best-loved landmarks. Established in the 1800s as a farmer’s market, Portobello Road grew into a world-renowned antique market in the 1950s and now sells everything from clothing and music to bread and fruit. The market is still a popular place to hunt for antiques and vintage items with over 1,000 dealers selling all kinds of collectibles and bric-a-brac, including books, silver, glass, and crystal. Main market days are Friday and Saturday with smaller markets during the week, and bizarre and talented street performers provide endless entertainment.
306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, United Kingdom
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Regent's Park is a 410-acre park in north-west London that was originally a hunting ground for Henry VIII and then a royals-only retreat until 1845. Today, it is one London's most popular open spaces and boasts a wide range of facilities and amenities, including manicured flowering gardens, an open-air theater, sports pitches with tennis courts, a tranquil lake with a heronry, waterfowl and a boating area where rowing boats can be hired. Designed by John Nash in 1811, the park is home to the London Zoo, vintage bandstands, charming cafés, including the well-known Garden Café, and children's playgrounds with a sandpit and a timber treehouse area for older kids. The 256-foot Primrose Hill is on the northern side of the park and boasts spectacular views of central London.
Chester Rd, London NW1 4NR, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-30-00-61-23-00
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17.Sea Life London Aquarium
Located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames, The Sea Life London Aquarium takes visitors on an inspiring underwater journey into the depths of the ocean. Established in 1997, the Aquarium is home to thousands of sea creatures, including rare Green Sea Turtles and Stingrays, and features a variety of exciting exhibits such as the ‘Shark Walk’ and the ‘Shark Reef Encounter’ and the ‘Ocean Tunnel.’ Thousands of visitors encounter the creatures of the deep in impressive displays at the Aquarium every year, which is also renowned as a leading center of excellence in conservation, education, preservation, and marine management.
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK, Phone: +44-0-87-16-63-16-78
© Shrek's Adventure
Shrek’s Adventure is a magical family-friendly attraction based on the Shrek movies that include interactive fairy tale shows and a 4D movie-ride. Inspired by the hit DreamWorks Shrek films, the one-of-a-kind indoor “walk-and-ride” tourist attraction allows children to meet the characters of the movies, like Fiona, Donkey, and Shrek himself face-to-face. Shrek's Adventure features ten fun-filled shows with sets, props, and other well-known items from the films, an exhilarating 4D DreamWorks animation ride with special effects, and an interactive tour where children can help Shrek return to his beloved Swamp.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-33-33-21-20-01
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19.St James’s Park
St James's Park is a 23-hectare park at the southernmost tip of the St James's area in central London that offers a beautiful green urban space for the public in the heart of the city. Named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less, the park is bordered by some of London’s top attractions such as the Horse Guards, Buckingham Palace, the Mall, and Birdcage Walk. The park is home to St James's Park Lake and two islands, namely West Island and Duck Island, which are named the flocks of waterfowl that call the lake home. The lake is spanned by the Blue Bridge, which affords charming views of Buckingham Palace framed by trees.
London SW1A 2BJ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-30-00-61-23-50
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20.The Changing of The Guard
The Changing of the Guard, also known as the Guard Mounting, is a world-renowned ceremony that takes place at Buckingham Palace during which The Queen's Guard are replaced by The New Guard as they march from the Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace. The Queen's Guard consists of five different regiments, namely The Irish Guard, The Welsh Guard, The Scots Guard, The Grenadier Guards, and The Coldstream Guards and are typically dressed in red tunics and traditional black bearskin hats in the warm months and long grey coats during the winter months. The Changing of the Guard ceremony officially begins at 11:00 am and takes place in three different locations - Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace, and the Wellington Barracks.
Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-30-31-23-73-00
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21.The Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a legendary 19th-century British clipper ship, the fastest ship of her time and world’s sole surviving tea clipper today. Built on the Clyde River in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clipper ships to be made and is now on display in Greenwich as an award-winning visitor attraction. After being damaged by fire, the vessel was lovingly restored to its former glory, raised out of the water and ensconced in a modern visitor’s center. Here, guests can walk directly beneath the stern, which rests three meters above the ground, to see and touch the original hull planks and iron framework, which are nearly 150 years old. The Cutty Sark Museum is open daily and hosts an array of exciting events and programs throughout the year, featuring music, comedy, and drama.
King William Walk, London SE10 9HT, United Kingdom
22.The Diana Memorial Gardens
The Diana Memorial Gardens in Kensington Gardens is a memorial garden that honors the memory of Princess Diana and is filled with white flowers and foliage. The gardens are also home to the Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground, a children's wonderland that is dedicated to the late Princess who loved the innocence of childhood. The park features a huge wooden pirate ship as the amazing centerpiece, along with play sculptures, toys, teepees, a beach and a sensory trail that winds through lush trees and plants, and plenty of seating for adults to watch their kids play. The Diana Memorial Gardens in Kensington Gardens sees over 1,000,000 visitors enjoy this free playground each year.
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX
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23.The V&A Museum of Childhood
The V&A Museum of Childhood is a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum that specializes in objects by and for children. Located on the Green in Bethnal Green in the East End of London, the Museum houses the country’s national collection of childhood items and objects dating from the 1600s to the present day. The collection features both toys, dolls and games, rare, handcrafted toys, and well-loved toys from the 20th century, as well as items related to children such as clothing, educational items, and childcare. The V&A Museum of Childhood also hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions and displays, interactive and immersive activities, workshops, community outreach projects and an award-winning program for schools.
Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-0-20-89-83-52-00
24.The Royal Mews
The Royal Mews provides road transport for members of the British Royal Family by both horse-drawn carriage and motor car. Originally located at Charing Cross, and at Buckingham Palace since the 1820s, the mews is an essential branch of the Lord Chamberlain's Office and are open to the public for most of the year. The Royal Mews is home to world-class stables where training of the Cleveland Bays and Windsor Grey horses that pull the royal carriages, takes place. The Royal Mews is also responsible for housing and maintaining state vehicles and the carriages used for royal and state occasions, roughly 50 times a year. The most dazzling of all coaches is the Gold State Coach, which has been used at every coronation since that of George IV in 1821 and the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, built for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London SW1W 0QH, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-30-31-23-73-02
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25.The Tower of London
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Officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, the Tower of London is a historic castle on the banks of the Thames River. Built by William the Conqueror in 1078 during the Norman Conquest of England, the castle was used as a royal residence in its early history but was later used as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries where many historical figures fell into disgrace, including Elizabeth I before she became queen. The Tower is located between two concentric rings of defensive walls and surrounded by a moat. Today, the Tower of London is one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions and protected as a World Heritage Site.
St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK, Phone: +44-84-44-82-77-77
25 Fun Things to Do in London with Kids of All Ages
- St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge, Photo: St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge
- Covent Garden Market, Photo: Massimo Usai/stock.adobe.com
- Grant Zoology Museum, Photo: Dmitrii Iarusov/stock.adobe.com
- Hamleys, Photo: mayanko/stock.adobe.com
- Harry Potter Filming Locations Walking Tour, Photo: Jaroslav Moravcik/stock.adobe.com
- KidZania London, Photo: iordani/stock.adobe.com
- LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, Photo: Nigel/stock.adobe.com
- London Duck Tours, Photo: Joshhh/stock.adobe.com
- London Dungeon, Photo: Andrea Izzotti/stock.adobe.com
- London Eye, Photo: Mistervlad/stock.adobe.com
- The Science Museum, Photo: cceliaphoto/stock.adobe.com
- London Transport Museum, Photo: greta gabaglio/stock.adobe.com
- ZSL London Zoo, Photo: Alex/stock.adobe.com
- Natural History Museum, Photo: coward_lion/stock.adobe.com
- Portobello Road Market, Photo: chris/stock.adobe.com
- Regent’s Park, Photo: Andy Evans Photos/stock.adobe.com
- Sea Life London Aquarium, Photo: yulia_md/stock.adobe.com
- Shrek's Adventure, Photo: Shrek's Adventure
- St James’s Park, Photo: aerial-drone/stock.adobe.com
- The Changing of The Guard, Photo: Sammy/stock.adobe.com
- The Cutty Sark, Photo: fuchsphotography/stock.adobe.com
- The Diana Memorial Gardens, Photo: coward_lion/stock.adobe.com
- The V&A Museum of Childhood, Photo: romeo3131/stock.adobe.com
- The Royal Mews, Photo: David/stock.adobe.com
- The Tower of London, Photo: Tony Baggett/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Alexey Fedorenko/stock.adobe.com