London is a great city to explore with your family. But as always with kids it can go one of two ways; a rewarding and exhilarating day of fun or a stressful dash around one of the busiest cities in Europe. The secret to ensuring the former rather than the latter is all in the planning. Don’t try to cram in too much and do your research beforehand, to find indoor and outdoor attractions that are fun, interactive and most importantly, won’t break the bank.
If the sun is shining…
On a sunny day, central London is literally one giant playground. You’ll find some great outdoor exhibits and activities for kids along the Southbank, but if you fancy a touch more green head to Regents’ Park and the impressive timber tree house play area. There’s also the boating lake and plenty of coffee places to keep adults sufficiently fuelled up. Another firm favourite is the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens. A giant pirate ship is the centre piece of this imaginative and inspired play-area, which also features teepees, tree-houses, sculptures and scented plants. On a really hot day, cool off with a paddle and relax at the beautiful Diana Memorial Fountain.
Rainy day fun
When it comes to museums and galleries, families are spoilt for choice in London. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are both free and have great interactive areas to spend a busy morning/afternoon, not to mention satisfy curious young minds! For something slightly more outside the box try Ripley’s Believe It or Not London at Piccadilly Circus. Kids will love this collection of weird and wonderful exhibits (such as a real piece of the Berlin Wall, a chewing gum sculpture and art made from toast!), which is split over six floors and has plenty of hands-on elements to bring the exhibits to life. Money-saving tip – grab yourself a discounton Ripleys London tickets by buying on-line.
With attractions indoor and outdoor sorted, you just need to consider how you’ll get about and snacking options along the way. Travel-wise, an Oyster card offers the best value for families hopping on and off the tube. There’s plenty of family friendly eateries in central London too, but for ease why not take a packed lunch and top up with an ice cream in Leicester Square. One happy family day – guaranteed!
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