Top 10 Must Do London Activities for Families

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Visiting London with kids is truly such a bucket list trip – there are so many amazing London activities for families! With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with picking and choosing, especially if you have a limited amount of time. It can be hard to figure out what are the best things to do in London with kids!

Now that we’ve been living in London with kids, it’s been fun re-visiting some of our favorite spots from previous trips to see if they really live up, especially amidst all the other incredible and family-friendly London activities. After doing each activity multiple times, both as tourists and as locals, here are our top London activities with kids – the things that we highly recommend you choose even on a short London family vacation. They’re also ones we’re always happy to repeat multiple times with visitors – they’re that good.

Tips for Visiting London With Kids

Here are a few additional resources to help you plan your family trip to London!

Best London Itinerary for Families

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. If you wondering how many days in London with kids, you could definitely spend a week in London or more and still barely scratch the surface of this incredible city. Still, you can see a lot in just a fews. Here are two itineraries for shorter and longer trips to London with kids.

Best Places To Stay In London With A Family

The top family-friendly London areas I’d recommend are South Kensington/Knightsbridge, Mayfair/Marylebone/Soho, and Westminster. Some of these areas sort of blend together, but they’re all great pockets that have lots to do (and eat!) and have excellent access to the rest of the city. These are perfect spots to stay in London with kids to be near the best things to do in London with kids. Here are some great London accommodations options for each!

Visiting London for Christmas

The Christmas season is such a special time in London! There are so many special activities for celebrating the season. Here are a lists full of ideas for spending Christmas in London with kids!

Must Do London Activities With Kids

I hope these must do London activities with kids are helpful whether you’re visiting for a short period or staying for a while!

Princess Diana Playground

If there’s one activity you absolutely must do when visiting London with little kids, it’s playing at the Diana Memorial Playground inside Kensington Gardens. The giant ship is iconic, and kids of all ages will love climbing, playing in sand, and exploring. In warm weather, the little water features are especially fun!

Double Decker Bus Ride

So simple and yet so exciting – and also functional! London public transit is excellent, and buses are a part of that. They’re easy to figure out (use Google Maps to easily find and track your route), and you can just tap a card or digital wallet to pay when you board (remember that 4 kids under 11 are free with each paying adult). Go up to the front of the top for the best view and most fun.

Transport Museum

Speaking of transit options, if you have a vehicle lover, the Transport Museum is a must. Adults will love some history on London’s various transportation systems, while little ones will be occupied for hours with all the wonderful, hands-on exhibits. It’s a dream for the toddler through elementary crowd!

As amazing as the Transport Museum is, there are so many fantastic museums in London that it was really difficult to choose. Here are some others we highly recommend (and that my kids had differences of opinion on which to put as first choice): Postal Museum, Natural History Museum (just popping into gorgeous Hintze Hall to see the beautiful architecture and suspended blue whale is worthwhile), Science Museum, and National Gallery.

If you have extra time, check out this combo tour of the Transport Museum and London Underground!

Tower of London + Tower Bridge

The Tower of London is such an iconic part of the city and is a must do on any London visit. Historic castle and former residence of many monarchs, you’ll love hearing the history of power and executions, as well as seeing the Crown Jewels. And playing knights and swords, of course.

Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard

So quintessentially British, it’s worth stopping over to see the very famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, residence of the British monarch.

Afternoon Tea

Hear me out – afternoon tea isn’t just all stuffy and boring and keeping pinkies in the air! It was one of our kids’ very favorite activities during our first visit, and remains something they’ve chosen for every birthday since we’ve lived here. Most places will have herbal tea, hot chocolate, or juice options for little ones, and you’ll be able to enjoy a sit-down meal that’s also fun for kids. They’ll love the little sandwiches on bit towers, and of course the fancy desserts are most kids’ favorite part.

Some of our favorite kid-friendly afternoon tea experiences include the Ampersand (both the dino tea and the science tea are so fun and have some interactive foods), the Dilly (the desserts shaped like iconic London landmarks are as delicious as they are beautiful), and Fortnum & Mason (fancier, but with unlimited refills, and free for kids under 4).

Big Ben + Westminster Palace

It would be impossible to visit London without seeing the famous clock tower. While you can of course just walk around outside, we really love the audio tour if you choose to go inside Westminster Palace. There’s a kid-friendly version that’s really excellent! Westminster Abbey is just down the street, as well, and is worth walking by. You can also do a Westminster walking tour with entrance to Westminster Abbey. Or this guided tour of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.

Hamley’s Toy Store

A visit to the world’s oldest and largest toy shop is a must on any London visit with kids. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, take a bit of time to browse around, watch the demonstrations, or get some ideas for the next birthday. Just be sure to set expectations around purchases and spending beforehand!


The London theatre scene is rightly famous, and there are some terrific family-friendly offerings. Matilda is really excellent if you have a mix of ages – it’s hugely entertaining for both elementary schoolers and adults. Frozen and the Lion King are excellent for younger kids who are ready to sit through a whole musical (be sure to check minimum age requirements, which are typically age 3 or 4). If a couple hours in a theater feels like too much, consider something like the Unicorn Theatre for children’s performances, or the Regent’s Park open air theatre.

Wicked is a perennial favorite that even my 6 year old loved. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is incredible for older kids but keep in mind that it’s very long – the show takes place in two parts, on the same day, for a total of nearly 5 hours of viewing time.

British Museum + British Library

One of the most iconic museums in the world, and with good reason. Even if you’re short on time, it’s worth popping in at least to see the Rosetta Stone & Parthenon sculptures. See if your kids know how and why they came to be in London, and if they think they should remain!

After the museum, head just a bit further north in the city to the British Library – a bit of a hidden gem in terms of tourist visitation. While it doesn’t often show up on must-see London spots, I think it’s an absolutely incredible stop with or without kids. Head into the Treasures Gallery even for half an hour and you’ll be rewarded with manuscripts like the original Magna Carta and ancient religious texts. And if you’re traveling with a Harry Potter lover, you’ll be right next door to Kings Cross, where you can pay a visit to Platform 9 3/4. 🙂


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