If you’re traveling to the city with the family, it can be difficult to find a balance of activities that keep everyone entertained. While you might want to go and see museums and exhibitions, little ones are quickly bored and need fun activities that will keep them interested and engaged.
There are plenty of things to do in London that have enough to keep the adults happy while making sure that the kids have fun in the process. Plenty of London’s most popular museums have things that will keep the youngsters in your party enthralled while still having something to offer for the grown-ups.
The Science Museum
Less of a museum, more of a collection of interactive exhibits, the Science Museum is designed with young people in mind. With lots of fascinating information about advances in science and the ways in which scientific discoveries have impacted on the world around us, the various halls have plenty of places where kids can get hands-on with the exhibits to learn about science and have loads of fun in the process.
Current exhibits in the museum include the history of British innovation and the science of pain, both of which have games and interactive activities for kids to get involved with. Your trip will be interesting, exciting, educational and fun for all concerned as you wander through the halls and find something new around every corner.
The museum is open every day except between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and has free entry.
If your kids are fans of the Horrible History series, they’re likely to get a real kick out of the Old Operating Theatre Museum at St Thomas Church, near St Thomas Hospital. The oldest operating theatre in Europe is found at the top of a rickety old staircase surrounded by deliciously macabre exhibits and at the top, the steeply pitched seating surrounding the operating theatre at the bottom.
The theatre occasionally has re-enactments of the surgery that would have taken place before crowds of morbidly curious wealthy patrons and would-be surgeons. These are, of course, somewhat sanitised from the original versions but are likely to have the older kids in your party squirming with gruesome delight.
This might be one you want to save for a time when you have a bit of money in your wallet, because you’re unlikely to leave empty-handed! Hamley’s toy store is the largest in the UK and has floors of toys of all kinds for kids of all ages.
The displays of toys and games change throughout the year, and visiting close to Christmas is a particularly magical experience. Its window displays are legendary and kids will have a wonderful time wandering around and ogling all the wonderful toys from small to seriously large.
Princess Diana Memorial Playground
If you have a bunch of little monkeys with lots of energy to burn, head down to Kensington for an afternoon at the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. While they run themselves ragged, you can take the opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Kensington Gardens.
In sight of Diana’s former residence at Kensington Palace, the playground has a sensory trail, teepees, sandpits and a full-scale wooden pirate ship inspired by The Jolly Roger in Peter Pan on which children can climb and play. There are plenty of areas where children who are less able to run and climb can play with those who are more physically active, making it a wonderfully inclusive place for kids to spend an afternoon.
London has plenty of places that are fun and rewarding to visit with children. Whatever it is your kids enjoy, you’ll be able to find something to keep them entertained.