11 Things to Do in London With Kids

Updated On November 7, 2023

London has been a favorite destination for American travelers since time immemorial.

Not only is the capital of the United Kingdom steeped in history, it shares a common heritage and language with the United States.

London is also filled with kid-friendly sights and destinations that families will enjoy visiting, from historical sights to places that Americans who have not been across the pond before have only seen on TV and at the movies.

Here are a few of them.

Things to Do in London With Kids

The London Eye
The London Eye

The London Eye

The London Eye is a huge Ferris wheel that is 443 feet tall and 394 feet in diameter located on the south bank of the Thames.

The wheel carries people in enclosed, climate-controlled capsules that can contain up to 25 people each.

Visitors buy tickets in advance that indicate which time they should arrive to join the line.

Lines last about 45 minutes, though you can buy a more expensive Fasttrack ticket for a 20-minute wait.

Each ride lasts for 30 minutes and provides a wonderful, panoramic view of London that makes it well worth the time and expense.

The London Dungeon
The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon is likely the scariest museum that you will ever visit.

It contains numerous exhibits and interactive shows that depict the macabre and dark aspects of history.

Take the Tyrant Boat Ride, for example, and share the experience of the victims of Henry VIII as they took that last boat ride to the Tower of London and their eventual executions.

Other shows include visits to a torture chamber, Whitechapel, where Jack the Ripper did his work, and the Great Fire of London.

Not for the faint of heart.

Madam Tussaud’s
Madam Tussaud’s

Madam Tussaud’s

Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London contains over 150 lifelike waxwork figures of characters from history and popular culture.

Where else can you see the British royal family, stars on the big and small screen, and even characters from the Marvel superhero and Star Wars universes?

You can meet Captain America, Queen Elizabeth I, and Taylor Swift all under one roof. Madam Tussaud’s also includes a 4D movie experience starring the Marvel superheroes and a visit to the Chamber of Horrors depicting Great Britain’s worst criminals.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London
Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Technically, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is just outside of London, but it is the place where the Harry Potter films were shot and thus a must-see for children.

Take a train from Euston Station to Watford Junction and an electric shuttle bus to the studio tour, about a 35-minute trip.

The tour includes some of the sets as well as props and costumes that were used in shooting the iconic films.

Special exhibitions are always going on, including Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse and Gringott’s Wizarding Bank.

The tour will take most of a day including the trip from and back to London.

The Tower of London
The Tower of London

The Tower of London

The Tower of London doubled as a royal palace and a prison during England’s long history.

Take a tour of the Tower conducted by one of the Yeoman Warders, who will have stories both amusing and macabre about its long and sometimes bloody history.

Highlights of the tour include the Crown Jewels and the White Tower, which contains the royal armory, including armor worn by Henry VIII, and some interactive games that kids will enjoy.

On special occasions, such as school holidays, activities such as the Knight’s School, where children are taught to sword fight and do medieval dances, are available.

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard takes place at the Buckingham Palace forecourt Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday starting at 10:45 am and lasting for 45 minutes.

The Changing of the Guard is quite a spectacle, with soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats marching to martial music.

The event is free to attend, but you need to arrive early in order to get a prime spot.

Alternatively, you can buy a ticket that includes a tour of Buckingham Palace during the summer months, when the royal family is not in residence.

The tour ends with the Changing of the Guard observed from a prime spot.

The British Museum
The British Museum

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the greatest museums of its type in the world, stuffed full of artifacts that include Egyptian mummies, Greek and Roman statues, and Asian art.

It’s a prime destination for kids who are interested in history.

The museum is always offering special events focusing on a particular aspect of history.

Viator offers a kid-friendly tour with guides experienced in keeping young people entertained, focusing on the Egyptian and Greek sections of the museum.

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum contains exhibits, especially dinosaur fossils, that will awe a child of any age.

The museum also contains a moon rock collected by the Apollo 17 astronauts, stuffed exotic animals, a blue whale skeleton, remains of humans and pre-humans who lived and died in Great Britain, and much more besides.

Special exhibits and events are always happening at the museum, so by all means check ahead.

Viator offers private tours for families with children.

Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum contains artifacts, photographs, uniforms, and insignia from Great Britain’s wars starting at the beginning of the 20th century.

The museum depicts the heroism and tragedy of armed conflict.

The museum is suitable for families with young children and offers activities geared toward kids.

While you visit the museum, be sure to see the nearby HMS Belfast, a Royal Navy light cruiser that fought in World War II and is a museum in its own right.

Also, visit the Churchill War Rooms, an underground bunker from which Prime Minister Winston Churchill conducted Britain’s fight against Nazi Germany during the height of the London Blitz.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster is one of the oldest churches in the world, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful gothic church inside and out, replete with stained glass windows, statues, and stone carvings.

British monarchs, including the current King Charles III, have been crowned at Westminster.

British royals have been married within the church’s walls, including Prince William and Princess Kate.

Three thousand famous figures from British history, including Kings, Queens, poets, and scientists, are entombed inside Westminster.

Families with children can request a “Kid’s Trail” map that marks places of interest inside the church.

Westminster is available to visit any time when no services or other special events are taking place.

Sea Life London Aquarium
Sea Life London Aquarium

Sea Life London Aquarium

The Sea Life London Aquarium is on the south bank of the Thames near the London Eye.

It contains all sorts of fascinating sea creatures, including sharks, penguins, and octopuses divided into several themed zones including the Polar Adventure, a rainforest, a coral reef, and the open ocean.

In the Ocean Invaders zone, you and your family can interact with live jellyfish.

The Coral Kingdom is Great Britain’s largest coral reef, where you can see colorful clownfish and other fascinating sea creatures.

Coloring Pages

Going to London with the kids?

Get our Free London Coloring Pages for Download (Printable PDF)

London Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: London Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we get to London?

You can get a flight from most large cities in the United States to London.

Check travel and airline websites for flight schedules and fares.

What sort of documents do you need to go to London?

You must have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay in the UK.

You do not need a visa for visits lasting fewer than six months.

Is London safe?

London is relatively safe, as big cities go.

Of course, the usual rules about not venturing into rough neighborhoods and exercising situational awareness.

Be especially wary of pickpockets and purse-snatchers.

What is the best time to go to London?

The best time to go to London is in the spring or fall when it is not too crowded with tourists and the weather is relatively moderate.

It gets chilly in the winter, and summer is the height of the tourist season.

Be prepared for occasional rain.

Are there any good places to eat in London?

London, being an international hub, boasts a variety of restaurants, including fine dining establishments, quaint ethnic eateries, and even fast-food joints such as McDonalds and Taco Bell, as well as British chains.

By all means, try authentic fish and chips or pub food.

Do a search on the web to find a number of lists of places to eat in London.

How do we get around London?

London is blessed with its underground train system, also known as the Tube.

Chances are that any place where you want to go is a short walk away from an underground station.

Alternatively, you can ride one of London’s famous double-decker buses.

If you’re in a hurry, London has a great taxi service.

Uber is also available.

A caution about crossing the street.

The British drive on the left-hand side of the road, so be sure to look accordingly before crossing.

Crosswalks called zebras because of the pattern painted on the streets are the safest places to cross because motorists must yield to pedestrians at those places.

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