31 free things to do with kids in London
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From exciting museums and child-friendly art exhibitions to fun-filled parks and fascinating landmarks, there are plenty of free things to do with kids on a family trip to London.
If you're in the city now and are seeking out the best things to do in London with kids, make sure to download the Visit London app to use while you're on the go.
- Meet a roaring T-Rex and feel the ground shake on the earthquake simulator at the Natural History Museum.
- See what life was like for the poor and destitute children of London’s East End during the late 1800s at the Ragged School Museum.
- Stoke the boiler of a steamship in the AHOY! Children's gallery at the National Maritime Museum.
- Be wowed by the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies at the British Museum.
- Walk through the streets of Victorian London at the Museum of London.
- Goggle space rockets and giant steam engines at the Science Museum.
- Explore the V&A Museum of Childhood’s collection of childhood objects and take part in daily activities, including storytelling and crafting.
- Step into Sailortown, a reconstruction of 19th-century London at the Museum of London Docklands.
- Take older kids to see Napoleon's toothbrush and Darwin's walking stick at the Wellcome Collection.
Top London parks and fountains
- Splash about in the fountains and let loose in the playgrounds at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- Climb the wooden pirate ship or commandeer a teepee at the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
- Meet life-size dinosaurs built by the Victorians in Crystal Palace Park, where you'll also find a children's farm, maze and playground.
- Enjoy an afternoon of fun at Coram’s Fields, a park and playground with a small animal area, cafe and paddling pool.
- Cool off on a hot day under the fountains at the traffic-free Granary Square in King's Cross, where crowd-pleasing jets change colour and squirt in patterns.
Animal attractions in London
- Meet the gigantic overstuffed walrus at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
- Feed the cows at Mudchute Farm and Park, London’s largest urban park.
- Marvel at the funky hairstyles of Vauxhall City Farm’s three famous alpacas, Tom, Jerry and Ben.
- Take home some farm produce from Deen City Farm and Riding School after the little ones have played with the animals.
- Watch the pelicans being fed every day in St James’s Park, while keeping your eyes peeled for water birds, owls, pelicans and bats too.
- Go pond dipping at Camley Street Natural Park in King's Cross, where you can also spot birds and butterflies.
Theatre and art
- Take a ride in the singing elevator – also known as the JCB lift – at the Royal Festival Hall.
- Enjoy free children's theatre and inspirational author-led events at Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre (February half-term).
- Get messy with clay or engage in a drawing session at one of the many free workshops at Tate Modern.
- Fly away on a magic carpet with the National Gallery’s storytelling sessions for families with under-fives.
- Model with clay or create an animation at the National Portrait Gallery, which offers family workshops during the school holidays.
Fascinating London landmarks
- Watch the street entertainers in Covent Garden, where human statues, acrobats and magicians dazzle the crowds.
- Spot London landmarks from the river on a City Cruises tour. Kids under five go free, or purchase a family ticket which allows free access to up to three children (five to 15 years of age) when paying for two adults.
- See some of London’s top sights lit up for Christmas. Big light switch-on events usually include free entertainment.
- Watch the brightly dressed guards dazzle the kids at the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
- Push a trolley through to Harry Potter’s magical world at the wall marked Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross.
- Watch Tower Bridge open from the banks of the river Thames, or check out our live video feed.
More family London inspiration