London is truly one of the very best places to travel with little ones – there are just so many fun things to do in London with kids! And there is so much variety – everything from world-class museums to outdoor space to live theater, much of which is free.
We loved being there this summer, and spent 6 glorious days barely scratching the surface of that incredible city. Still, I find three days is often the amount of time people have if they’re traveling through Europe, or want to venture out to other parts of the UK. So it’s a great starting point for seeing some of London’s highlights with kids!
DAY 1 IN LONDON
- Kensington Palace
- Princess Diana Playground
- Kensington Gardens/Peter Pan Statue/Parakeets/Hyde Park
- Afternoon Tea
After that, take a stroll through Kensington Gardens. Be sure to stop at the Peter Pan statue, as well as to see the parakeets who flock around you! My kids were mildly terrified at first but quickly found it was a delight. Consider crossing over to Hyde Park, as well; if it’s summertime, you could even rent a pedal boat or rowboat!
After that, head to a late afternoon tea. Many places serve until 5pm, and some do until 7! I recommend going around 4:30 or 5 with young kids – you’ll miss the earlier rush and most people won’t be bothered if you’re not completely silent. Plus, then it doubles as an early dinner, and your exhausted kiddos can go back and head straight to bed. Some have a stricter dress code, but others aren’t that particular – be sure to check at your location. Kensington Palace itself hosts one in the gorgeous Sunken Gardens, and many hotels do, as well. We loved the one we did at Fortnum & Mason, and the food hall is spectacular! Wherever you go, be sure to check if they have a children’s tea, and the ages for which they charge.
DAY 2 IN LONDON
- British Museum
- Transport Museum
- Savory Pies
- National Gallery
- Houses of Parliament/Big Ben/Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace and/or London Eye
After that, pop into the National Gallery across the street, one of the most kid-friendly art museums I’ve ever visited. They have several self-guided highlights tours and children’s tours on their website, as well as many wonderful guidebooks you can purchase in the gift shop. We got one with a brief description of pieces of art along with stickers for each one that the kids stuck on after finding it. We meant to spend half an hour here and ended up staying for 2.5 hours, but I think planning for 45 minutes-1 hour will allow you to see some of the major works. (Another option is to look into their evening hours on certain days – we loved going when it was much less crowded.)
Finally, head down to the iconic Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is currently under construction, but it’s still pretty incredible to see the building on the banks of the Thames. Wander over to Westminster Abbey (we love seeing it but didn’t go inside) and Buckingham Palace, or hop on the London Eye for an arial view of the city. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the sun setting and casting a rosy glow on the water!