London has so much to offer children and it is a great destination for a family trip. With plenty of central London hotels it is easy to stay in the heart of the action and at least attempt to see all the city has to enjoy.
Take in a show
London is world famous for its fabulous West End shows and there is always a great range of family-friendly shows on offer to appeal to a wide age range of children.
In past years, some of the most popular productions include Horrible Histories – which has the added benefit of being educational as well as very funny.
For fans of Roald Dahl, then the Cambridge Theatre is putting on the award-winning Matilda The Musical, which is based on the famous book and has been adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In addition, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal is also becoming a big hit as audiences find out more about Charlie’s visit to the mysterious Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Visit a museum
There is an amazing number of museums in the capital, so it is easy to find out more about a whole host of different topics, while still having fun. One of the many benefits of London’s museums is that many have free entry or reduced charges for kids.
For the biggest choice in the city’s key museums then head to Exhibition Road in South Kensington, with two of the largest institutions in the UK.
First, is Natural History Museum, where children can get very close to a giant blue whale, discover what it is like to experience an earthquake or learn more about dinosaurs, as well as thousands of other species.
Pretty much next door to the Natural History Museum is the Science Museum, which is very popular, so do expect queues during school holiday times. Children love that there are lots of hands-on exhibits looking at the development of technology and the growth of science. Again entry is free for the majority of exhibitions, although donations are encouraged to continue the work done by the museum.
Finally, families also love the British Museum which can be found in the Russell Square area of the capital. The museum is home to an Egyptian Mummy, as well as the famous Rosetta Stone. It was the first ever national public museum in the world and has developed into one of the capital’s most popular institutions and has been featured in many leading movies.
The majority of children love animals, so London Zoo is a great place to spend a day. There are more than 720 species, as well as lots of other things that appeal to families.
Open every day of the year except Christmas Day, London Zoo is run by the Zoological Society of London and can be found at Regent’s Park in the cosmopolitan district of the City of Westminster.
Highlights include snakes, gorillas and giraffes, and the ever-popular Penguins Beach Live event, where visitors can watch these wonderful creatures jump, dive and swim in their specially designed pool.
Getting to London Zoo is straightforward, with strong transport links, with a number of London Underground Tube stations to be found in the vicinity of Regent’s Park.
Discover a magical playground
The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is considered one of the top parks in London. Built as a tribute to the royal family member, the park is inspired by the tales of Peter Pan and is a major draw for families with young children.
At the centre of the playground is a large wooden pirate ship which is surrounded by a beach, complete with sensory trail and many traditional play equipment.
To reach the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, the London Underground is the easiest option, with several stations just a short walk away, including:
Queensway (Central lines): Three-minute walk
Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District lines): Nine-minute walk
Bayswater (Circle and District lines): Seven-minute walk
Lancaster Gate Station (Central line and Overground services): 12 minute walk
Paddington (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines and Overground services): 17 minute walk
High Street Kensington Station (Circle and District lines): 16 minute walk
In addition, the playground is also within easy reach of many other London attractions that will appeal to families, including:
Kensington Palace: 0.5 miles
Madame Tussauds: 1.9 miles
Hyde Park: 0.8 miles
The Sherlock Holmes Museum: 1.9 miles
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: 2.6 miles
London Eye: 3.4 miles
Palace of Westminster: 3.1 miles