It is now owned by the Natural History Museum, and is free. There is also The Horniman Museum at Dullwich or Forest Hill officially, again, a collection of stuffed animals from a private collection along with a small aquarium and butterfly exhibit. They have the Rosetta stone, how cool is that? Just about every culture is represented, from Ancient Greece to Asian civilizations, Egypt is our family favorite. I really like the gift shop too with products from the arty and unique to kids books and toys. Launchpad is on the top floor and has plenty to keep kids busy including science shows and demonstrations throughout the day.
The big three are in South Kensington, you need South Kensington Tube Station then take the underground walkway to the museums. There is also an area to play dress up but the clother tend towards adult size. On a lower floor there are interesting exhibits on art and design around the world and religious art styles.
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There are audio guides available. Complete blog post on The Museum of Childhood here. Complete post on the Grant Zoology Museum here.
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Complete post on the Clink Prison Museum here. Both are, in theory, daily and at 11 am. The Buckingham Palace Ceremony starts at The old guard then marches back to barracks with accompanying band. They are back at barracks at You need to check timetables as there are seasonal, weather and security variations.
Try here. It is at Whitehall near Downing St.
Visiting London With Kids ( By a London Mum! )
The Queens Guard at Whitehall changes at 10 am on Sundays, but do check and double check these times. We often stay on this side of town too. This post includes information on how to get to Greenwich. Maybe the greatest toy shop in the world. There are five floors of awesomeness with lifts and escalators. The window displays at Christmas make things extra magical. They are extremely good, most kids love them. My son got involved with him last year, it was amazing. In the central part of the market are the market stalls, surrounding this are regular high street shops housed in the old market buildings.
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Look out for the Christmas fairs and food fairs, there are often special events. Borough market is another Harry Potter filming location The Leaky Cauldron is here and is a foodie destination above all others.
Beware, it can get very crowded on weekends and during holidays. Borough Market dates back to and is open Monday to Saturday although Monday and Tuesday are smaller market days, not all traders open then. It is likely to be closed on public bank holidays.
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Around Christmas Borough Market is also open on some Sundays. My husband and I used to laugh at tourists taking photos of the squirrels, now my children chase them around with cameras, too. You will find them wherever there is grass and trees. The Princess Diana playground is a magical place, a lovely reminder of a special lady.
It is only open to children under 12, and features a huge central pirate ship. You can find it near her old home in Kensington Gardens. The Diana memorial fountain is in Hyde Park, the two parks are side by side. The fountain is another lovely spot, children and adults like to paddle on hot days. You can see some of the zoo animals for free from Regents park, certainly the camels in the old, listed, elephant building and the farmyard animals in the petting zoo.
It is beautiful in autumn when the leaves are turning. There are a number of cafes serving ice creams, cakes and hot snacks along with rest room facilities. Before we went we found a price of around 15 pounds on a ticket and tour booking site. The price there was a huge 27 pounds! Click through, check the prices. See if you can save yourself time and money by booking smart, in advance. They have tickets for just about every attraction in London as well as a whole bunch of tours and experiences. London Zoo is a big day out, a must-do if you are visiting London with children. Unfortunately, it is a little expensive for one-off visitors.
Check out the old elephant house, a listed building, the elephants have now been relocated to Whipsnade Zoo and Safari Park, along with the other larger mammals. It does get very busy, try to avoid peak times. We used to take a packed lunch and eat it in the giraffe house, sometimes. It was a big hit with the kids, as were the ghostly tales of the Beefeaters. These guys are all ex-army, are great with the kids, and tell fantastic tales.
My animal enthusiasm may give away my zoologist roots, sorry! It has 95 floors and is m tall. This would probably be a good alternative to The London Eye. We have our full post on going up The Shard here. They particularly enjoyed the lazer maze, which you can pay to enter in isolation. My brother and I loved it back then, particularly the horrible Chamber of Horrors. Small boys and my husband love this stuff. The actor led tours are superb, some new rides have opened since my last visit, this is another place we will visit next time, the boys will be old enough then.
If you enjoy this sort of thing you could also check out the tour at The Clink prison.
One of the oldest prisons in London, it gave its name to all others. My husband and I found it interesting, but I think for the older children, the London Dungeon would be more fun. Another scare-fest built beneath London Bridge. We enjoyed it but see the note above about ticket prices.
I should also mention Go Ape , they have one of their zip line and ropes courses at Chessington. So we saw The Lion King instead. Whichever way you look at it, London is going to cost you a fair bit for accommodation. You will probably pay a lot more. If you sign up using our link you will receive an AirBnB credit. There is a full post here on eating in London on vacation and another on London Street Food in Greenwich.
There are many and diverse places to eat in London but it really pays to have some insider knowledge and not fall for the over-priced, low quality tourist trap restaurants. Take a look at our anti theft techniques, bags and devices here. I worked in the city every day for 5 years, I took my kids in every weekend, nothing bad ever happened. Escape Rooms and VR — Virtual Reality Experiences continue to open in London and would be great fun with older kids, teens and young adults.
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Check them out here. A reader asked for ideas, ideally lower-cost ideas, for tours you can take from London with kids.
So I started looking.
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