Top 5 places to visit with kids in London
London is one of the most amazing tourist hotspots in the world and Europe, boasting some great places to visit such as Buckingham Palace, London & Tower Bridge, and the scary London Dungeon, but if you have small children travelling with you, they may not appreciate these historically significant but ultimately not-very-child-friendly places. Here is a list of some great places to visit with kids in London…
1) Pollock’s Toy Museum
The word ‘museum’ might be enough to send your little ones into a boredom-induced coma, but not the toy museum. Originally the museum was dedicated to ‘toy theatre’, a popular children’s activity in the 1800s involving staging mini plays at home with cut-out scenery and hand puppets. The toy museum now includes a large collection of toys from around the world, from houses to train sets to vintage tricycles. Note: the quirky winding staircases and narrow corridors may not be suitable for those with pushchairs and prams.
2) Natural History Museum
Most of those who grew up in London have fond childhood memories of the Natural History museum, from the impossibly huge dinosaur skeleton in the main entrance to the vast blue whale hung from the ceiling in the ‘whale room’. There’s plenty of ways for children of all ages to enjoy the museum, with its interactive Kids-Only exhibits including the amazing ‘earthquake room’ and even a chance to make your own volcano! Families could spend a whole day enjoying the various exhibits at the NHM, and entry is free, although there may be a charge for certain exhibits.
3) The Science Museum
The Science museum in South Kensington is another great place to spend the day and it’s free too. With over 300,000 items on display and hundreds of interactive exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The museum also has ‘science nights’, where up to 380 children aged 8 to 11 can stay over at the museum (accompanied by adults) and take part in fun, science based activities in the evening, then get to have a sleepover in the museum galleries amongst the exhibits! Even the youngest kids can have fun at the Science Museum, with activities and events for all ages including under 5’s. See http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/ for more info.
4) Vauxhall City Farm
Photo: Leon Brocard
You may not think to visit a farm while in the capital, but Vauxhall City Farm is nestled right in the heart of London, and has all kinds of animals that kids can feed, pet and interact with, including sheep, goats, alpacas and pigs, plus ferrets, rabbits and guinea pigs. There is also a horse riding centre, giving children the chance to learn to ride a horse – this is also suitable for people with disabilities, making it accessible to all. A registered charity, Vauxhall City Farm also offers animal therapy and school visits. Contact http://vauxhallcityfarm.org/ to find out about any special events that may be on during your visit to London.
5) Madame Tussauds
Older kids will most definitely get a kick out of Madame Tussauds, the world-famous waxworks exhibition in central London. As well as the many lifelike waxworks of celebrities, sports stars and superheroes, there is also an interactive 4D cinema, and a ‘chamber of horrors’ exhibit that will spook even the most hardened horror fans!