School’s out for summer!
While we’re still a little envious we no longer get weeks upon weeks of free holiday handed to us on a plate, we’ll gladly channel our inner child running around London doing all of the touristy things with the kiddies – well, as much as our limited annual leave days will allow anyway. Whether that’s channeling your inner Einstein in a science lab, fighting Captain Hook with the Lost Boys on board the pirate ship or, making a splash in one of the cities lidos, there’s something for all, no matter your age, ability or budget!
To save you the hassle, we’ve compiled a mega list of our favourite places to head with the little’uns, enjoy!
Let’s face it, golfing isn’t exactly the funniest of sports. But, mix it with loops, tricks and quirky holes, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon filled with kid-friendly fun! The guys at Puttshack have fused space-age technology with the classic game of mini-golf, so even your 15-year-old will (finally) get off Snapchat and join with some family entertainment. So grab your putt and ball, and let the kids versus adults competition begin!
Where: Westfield London, London, UK
Nearest station: Shepherds Bush (0.2 miles)
Charming children and parents since its first publication back in 1968, Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea is now available in actual tea form! Yep, you’re invited to a tea party with a tiger. The Savoy has partnered with Harper Collins Children’s Books to create a unique children’s afternoon tea experience for all to enjoy. Think tiger striped scones and pastries and cheesy whirly sandwiches, yum!
Where: 2 Savoy Ct, Strand, WC2R 0EZ
No matter how old you are, reading Harry Potter has become a rite of passage. So if there’s wizards and witches who’re looking for an immersive packed experience or pondering around the locations which inspired J.K.Rowling all those years ago… We’ve picked a few of our favourite places for any Potter-heads. Find them all here!
Website: Witches and wizards, follow me...
Finding kid friendly outdoor areas that’ll keep them entertained for long enough for you to have five minutes ‘me’ time is often hard. But thanks to Kew’s new Children’s Garden, the kiddies will be entertained for hours. Based in a natural setting the size of 40 (yes, 40!) tennis courts, kids can explore all the things plants need to grow; earth, air, sun and water. There are over 100 mature trees with hidden treasures waiting to be unlocked around every corner, all leading to the four-metre high canopy walk wrapped around a 200-year-old oak.
Where: Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
Wheeeeeee! There’s a new 700ft zip wire in town and we certainly can’t to try it out! Why not confront your fear of heights face on and clamber on up with the kids – we promise the view is totally worth it!!
Where: Archbishop's Park, Waterloo, SE1 7LE
Make a moo-ve as you wander around London’s best farms and zoos. Despite being a city, there’s actually a few places to feel as though we’re not completely removed from the countryside. We’re compiled a list of London’s best farms, zoos and animally attractions fit for the kids, enjoy.
Website: Find Them Here
Be wowed by the wonderful world of Lego at the Brick Wonder Exhibition at Horniman Museum. From an ancient Egyptian pyramid to the notorious Old London Bridge, travel back in time as you explore over 50 models made completely out of Lego bricks. Half a million in fact.
Running until October 27th
Where: Horniman Museum, 100 Road, SE23 3PQ
Explore London's Museums
Come rain or shine, hitting up one of London’s museums is a guaranteed fun day out with the kiddies. Long gone are the days of being dragged around looking at old artefacts. Oh no, museums these days are equipped with activities to keep the little’uns fuelled and eager to learn, whether it’s in the Wonderlab at the Science Museum or it’s getting up close and personal with some dinos at the Natural History Museum.
And, it’s a free day out, winner, winner! Although the kids will probably wanna peruse the gift shops…
When you cast your mind to traditional London museums it’s highly unlikely that the sewing machine one will pop into your head… But we’ve delved deeper and gone off the beaten museum track to pluck out random, weird and questionable museums that sounds like they’re totally worth ticking off the factual bucket list. Here’s our higgledy-piggledy selection, and you can find it here!
Website: Weird And Whacky Museums This Way
This July, we’ll see the rich and diverse Mexican culture make an appearance in the heart of the city. Fiesta de Mexico will paint the Guildhall Yard bright with its sights, smells and flavours of Mexico, complete with authentic food, drink and produce. From Mariachi bands and Aztec dancers to traditional workshops, it’ll be the perfect beginning to the kiddies jam-packed summer festivities.
Running July 26th – 28th
The city’s filled with tonnes of historic theatres bursting with elaborate and interactive shows just waiting to be discovered. Now that it’s coming up to the summer holidays, the kids will be jumping for joy knowing they’re getting to stay up late. But if you’re not willing to mess up the bedtime routine, you can always catch a matinee show…
Everyone will have heard of the legendary children’s novelist, Roald Dahl so it’s not surprise the ingenious musical adaptation of Matilda is so popular, or play is safe with a timeless classic like Lion King, ahead of the new cinematic release.
When you embark on the journey up to the 72nd floor of the cities tallest skyscraper, you expect the views to be spectacular, and The Shard’s does just so. Climb up high – or just grab the lift – and view the city from a new perspective. The kids will love pointing out the cities different landmarks, and the older children can find the building they’re most fascinated about and learn its story with one of the interactive audio guides.
Where: 32 London Bridge Street, Southwark, SE1 9SG
You really can be a kid in a candy store when you try your hand at candy making at the sweetest spot in town, Spun Candy. Inspired by the ‘Willy Wonka Experience’, Spun Candy have opened up in the heart of the city offering guests the opportunity to see the magic behind handmade candy making. Whether you’re wanting to create a life-sized candy face of your ol’ Pa or a personalised stick of rock, Spun Candy has you covered!
Where: 58 Wentworth Street, Spiltalfields, E1 7AL
If you thought that the greatest keeper of the summer was Jason Pickford, then think again. London Zoo offer a Keeper For A Day programme allowing children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience zoo keeping for real. The day includes spending time with the animals, including mucking them out, and getting a real insight into the life of a keeper. They also get a free t-shirt and goodie bag thrown in, lunch and refreshments while family get 20% off general admission to go and watch their little keepers in action.
Where: Regent's Park, Camden, NW1 4RY
Brave yourselves and venture further afield to one of the UK’s top family-friendly festivals. Whether you’re after a boogie yourself with the kids or you’re looking for some super fun activities and workshops to do with the kids, lose yourself in the magic while you party the weekend away with the fam! Here’s our top 9 family-friendly festivals that we’re headed to this year…
Website: Follow me for some festival magic...
Live like a royal for the day as you uncover 1000 years worth of history at London’s most iconic castle and World Heritage Site. The children will love perusing the luxurious Crown Jewels (we wouldn’t mind a gem or two either!) and exploring the nooks and crannies of the Tower of London. This summer, you’ll have the chance to rub shoulders with prisoners John Gerard, secret Catholic priest, Arbella Stewart, resourceful royal rival to the monarchs and William Seymour at one of the Tower Escape performances. Keep your eyes peeled though, you never know what might happen…
When a heatwave strikes, the last thing you want to be doing is hitting up the underground but if there’s a lido waiting on the other side, we’re willing to put our life on the line to venture one of the cities outdoors pools. A personal favourite of ours is the olympic-size pool in Brockwell Park. This 50m pool is surrounded by an Art Deco building housing a state-of-the-art gym and studios. It’s the perfect chance for the kids to learn to swim without the armbands, good luck!
Finding somewhere that’s happy to accommodate roaring children, running riot in their restaurant can be tricky. Which is why it’s important to do your research beforehand! One of our favourite hotspots is Kricket (who’ve actually just launched a new children’s menu available seven days a week, winner!). Or, if you’re looking for somewhere that’s roaring with exciting animals (quite literally), head on down to the all famous Rainforest Café. We’ve picked a few of our favourites out here for you too!
Website: Feeling peckish? Follow me
Yes, the city is filled with parks galore but finding somewhere with a little more than a rusty ol’ swing is difficult. But there are some good’uns awaiting to be found… Let your imaginations come to life at the Hampton Court Palace in their Magic Garden. You’ll come face to face with mythical beasts and battle for victory against the menacing dragon…
Where: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
If you’re a victim of enduring hours upon hours of CBeebies, the Twirywoo clang will be a familiar face to see. Yep, they’re headed on tour for part of the Underbelly Festival. Expect mischief, music and plenty of fun surprises as Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo share the delight of discovery with you.
Where: 30 The Queen's Walk, Lambeth, SE1 8XX
When the sun finally makes an appearance, the best way to cool down is with something cool and refreshing, and as the kids can’t chug back a beer like you and me, why take them to one of London’s best ice cream parlours. Whether you’re after a classic or an ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, the city has it all! Take a look at some of our favourites.
Website: Follow Me For Treats
Grab the wet wipes because it’s gonna be a messy one! Slime Planet hosts a whole load of workshops packed full of, well, slime! Kids can learn how to create their own slime, decked out with glitter and foam beads. Although they might smell of chocolate, bubblegum or cherry, it’s best to leave them for decoration kids!
This summer, they’ve even got poppin’ candy slimy workshops too! Choose your colour, mix-in, scent, add in your popping candy and listen to it all pop! Running July 20th. – August 18th
Where: 494 Rathergar Road, Brixton, SW9 7EP
Ahoy there! Jump on board the pirate ship and channel your inner Peter Pan. Set in the heart of the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground, you’ll find this children’s wonderland, paying tribute for a Princess who loved the innocence of childhood. Inspired by the wonders of Peter Pan, let your imaginations run wild as you explore the sensory trail, teepees and pirate ship.
Where: Broad Walk, Kensington, W2 4RU
Lose yourself in the wonderful world of street performance. Think of weird, unusual and the extraordinary and you’re probably still far off who or what you’ll find lurking on our city streets… We’ve created on where to find London’s best street performers, here.
Horse riding isn’t just for country lasses. Well neigh, you won’t want to be galloping around Trafalgar Square but you can saddle up and see some of London’s quieter sites like Richmond Park. Stag Lodge Stables offer riding lessons and courses for kiddies and adults of all ages from three upwards so you’re bound to be pros by the end of the summer…
Where: Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park, SW15 3RS
A city run by kids sounds chaotic, doesn’t it? Well, the people at KidZania have created an indoor city where the kids run the city. They’ll be given the chance to independently choose from a number of real-life entertaining activities, giving them a fun and realistic taste of adult life. It’s designed for children aged four to 14, and blends learning and reality with entertainment to bring the kids a whole day of fun perfect for when the weather’s playing up.
Where: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
Even as an adult, we get excited about being on water, so just imagine the excitement the kids will have on board their own vessel! Let the kids be the captain for the day on board one of London’s boating experiences. We’ve compiled a list of the cities five best unique boating experiences, here.
Website: Ahoy There! Follow Me
Roaaaaar! I hope you’re not scared of the dark as you’re about to embark in an action-packed night under the dinosaur skeletons… Yep, you can camp in one of the National History Museum’s spectacular galleries, including Hintze Hall. The kiddies will be able to stalk the galleries as nightfalls and you might find a T. rex hidden in the shadows…
Dine Snores runs once a month
Where: Natural History Museum
Yabba dabba doo! Twist, turn and drop down the arcelormittal orbit’s slide, take a swimming class at the London Aquatics centre or, relive the spirit of the London 2012 Games through the 2012 trail. There’s tonnes of family fun for all!
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20
Ahoy there me hearties! Discover all the history of Cutty Sark, the fastest clipper, check our the incredible naval college buildings, the marker to take a pedal and finally picnic in the park. You can meet some of the colourful characters from the ships past and discover stories of life on board the fastest ship in her day.
Where: King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 8HT
Roaaaaaar! Greenwich is full of dinosaurs! Take a tube to Greenwich Peninsula, then take a time machine to 67m years BC. Dinosaurs In The Wild allows you to experience these prehistoric creatures in person. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you’ll come face to face with these terrifying creatures in one of London’s most exciting exhibitions.
Where: West Parkside, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0BE