London is one of the very best places to travel with children – there are so many fun things to do in London with kids! There is so much variety – everything from world-class museums to outdoor space to live theater, much of which is free. Planning a family trip to London? Keep scrolling down for our 3 Day London Itinerary with Kids!
We loved being in London with kids in the summer of 2018. We spent 6 glorious days barely scratching the surface of that incredible city. Still, 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 highlights in our 3 day London itinerary with kids.
Be sure to pick up an Oyster Card for public transportation – it works for the Tube as well as the bus. While the Tube is great for getting you longer distances, we loved taking the bus for short hops. It’s just so fun riding on the top deck!
Keep reading for a fantastic itinerary for 3 days in London with kids – and some suggestions for extra days if you have them! These are our best suggestions to plan a family trip to London.
London with Kids Itinerary – 3 Days
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Family Trip to London – Day 1
- Kensington Palace
- Princess Diana Playground
- Kensington Gardens/Peter Pan Statue/Parakeets/Hyde Park
- Natural History Museum and/or Victoria & Albert Museum
- Afternoon Tea
Kensington Palace with Kids
(Tip: If you’re traveling as a family to London and plan to visit this and even one other attraction on the list of Historic Royal Palaces, it may be worth it to get an annual pass. Or here’s a combined ticket for the 3 most popular ones.)
Lunch & Princess Diana Playground
From there, take a short walk to the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground. This is one of the highlights of visiting London with kids and you could easily spend hours here – it’s multiple playgrounds within a single complex. There’s a giant ship, sand areas, a tiny stream, and tons more. Beware that it can get quite busy, and the lines to enter can get long (although we were there on a sunny day in July and didn’t have to wait at all so…who knows?). Either eat your pre-packed picnic lunch here, or grab some food right outside the playground.
After that, stroll through Kensington Gardens. Be sure to stop at the Peter Pan statue, and pause to visit 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 warm, you could even rent a pedal boat or rowboat!
Natural History Museum and/or Victoria & Albert with Kids
Once you exit the gardens, head over to the Natural History Museum. It’s truly a kid wonderland; the dino exhibit is our favorite.
The Victoria & Albert Museum next door is also a fantastic spot when visiting London with kids. It has a whole series of multimedia children’s backpacks you can check out (for free!) to learn about different art collections.
And the best part? Both museums are completely free!
Afternoon Tea in London with Kids
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 when planning your London itinerary with 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 afternoon tea tea we did at Fortnum & Mason – 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.
London Itinerary with Kids Day 2:
- British Museum
- Transport Museum
- Savory Pies
- National Gallery
- Houses of Parliament/Big Ben/Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace and/or London Eye
British Museum with Kids
London Transport Museum with Kids
Lunch at Admiralty’s
After that, head in to Admiralty’s pub for lunch, which serves Fuller’s Ale & Pies. My friend who lived in London says these are the best pies in London and I can’t argue – they were fantastic! (Not all locations serve the pies, but this link should show the ones that do.)
After that, pop into the National Gallery across the street (also free!), one of the most kid-friendly art museums I’ve ever visited. This may not be top of mind when visiting London with kids, but the museum has several self-guided highlights tours and children’s tours on their website, as well as lots of guided tours. The gift shop also has a number of wonderful guidebooks you can purchase.
At the start of our time, we purchased a book 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.)
Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, London Eye
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 and Buckingham Palace, or hop on the London Eye for an arial view of the city.
Based on time, we couldn’t go inside Westminster Abbey or the Houses of Parliament, but I’d really recommend it if you have time. There are some terrific tours that we hope to do the next time we go! Afterwards, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the sun setting and casting a rosy glow on the water.
London Itinerary with Kids Day 3:
- Tower of London
- Borough Market
- Millennium Bridge & St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Last afternoon options
Tower of London with Kids
Start off the last day of your family trip to London at the Tower of London. You can purchase a ticket ahead of time HERE. We decided to purchase the Historic Royal Palaces pass, which is worth it if you want to visit 2 or more sites on the list of 6. Or, again, HERE’s a combined ticket for the 3 most popular of those sites.
Head to see the Crown Jewels first, before the crowds arrive, then go back and catch the Beefeaters tour. The tour is included in your ticket and is well worth it. They are extraordinarily knowledgeable and usually quite funny, too.
Tower Bridge & Lunch at Borough Market
When you’ve finished your tour, stroll over the Tower Bridge itself (much more identifiable than its famous-in-name-only cousin, London Bridge). Again, because of time constraints, we didn’t go up and look through the glass floor. But I think it would be so fun if you do have time! Purchase advance tickets HERE.
Then head up the Thames to Borough Market for some lunch. You could spend ages here just wandering stalls. Do not miss getting some Bread Ahead doughnuts while here! Be sure to wander around getting a few samples before you settle on what to get – there are tons of options. Or you could take a food tasting tour!
Globe Theater, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral
Mosey on by the Globe Theater (and consider a show if you have older children or there’s something really compelling playing). You could even do a behind-the-scenes tour.
Then walk back over the river on Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The lines for the cathedral can get long, so if you choose to go inside, be sure purchase tickets in advance. Or you could consider attending Evensong later in the day; it was truly ethereal. Just be aware that children should be able to remain fairly still and quiet – we only kept our older ones inside.
If you’re a modern art fan, the Tate Modern (directly across Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s) has really outstanding children’s programming – also for free!
More Options for a London trip with Kids
Let’s be honest, there’s just too much good stuff to see it all in a London 3 day itinerary, so here are a few options for your final afternoon:
London Harry Potter Sites with Kids
If you or your kids are Harry Potter fans, it’s definitely worth finding a few sites. Platform 9 3/4 is almost always crowded, but it’s fun to see, regardless. We opted not to wait in the line for a photo and just paused by the side of it.
The Studio tour in Leavenworth is an all-day event, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic. It sells out quickly, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance.
If you’d like to stay in London itself, THIS Harry Potter walking tour would be perfect for all the Muggles in your group!
London Neighborhoods Walking Tour
London is filled with amazing, walkable, beautiful neighborhoods. Consider strolling South Kensington or Notting Hill; the Portobello Road market is always buzzing with activity next door. There are plenty of opportunities for self-guided tours or just wandering, and lots of beautiful buildings and markets along the way. If you’d like something more organized, there are more OPTIONS than you could imagine!
Thames River Cruise
It’s always delightful seeing London from a boat! This evening cruise sounds dreamy, or you could do a hop-on-hop-off London river cruise to get to various sites along the way. Or if you’d like to visit the London Eye, this combined ticket would be perfect.
(Even without the river cruise, if you choose to visit the London Eye, I’d absolutely recommend an advance purchase Fast-Track ticket. The lines get crazy!)
Churchill War Rooms
We missed this last time as tickets were completely sold out, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance. So many people have told me how incredible this place is that I’m really looking forward to returning sometime soon!
We REALLY loved going here and seeing so many incredible manuscripts, including an original Magna Carta. If your kids are into books, this would be a wonderful (and free) stop.
Any of these would be wonderful options if you have extra days in the city, as well. Truly, you could spend a lifetime in London with kids and not do it all! If you do have some more days, there are a number of fantastic day trips in the area, as well – here’s a great one!
About to take our kiddos to Paris and London. Loving your blog. Reading your London vlog though, where is the itinerary for Day 3? Thanks!!!!
Janine, how fun!! I’m so sorry – in transferring my blog over to Wordpress, part of the post seems to have gotten cut off. We’re traveling for the next week, but I’ll be sure to update it when we get home!! 💛
Preethi! I need day 3!
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