London Museums That Are Reopening In July

london museums reopening july 2020
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London museums - best friends of parents looking for an educational day out that doesn't cost a fortune.

The good news is that a number of London museums and galleries are opening again and once more we'll be able to  learn about history, marvel at art old and new and just generally have a great time, whilst learning a few things too. Finally, homeschooling can move away from the kitchen table and out into the big wide world.

Another bonus is that most museums and galleries are operating pre-booked timed slots, to allow for social distancing, so you can avoid the crowds at some of these hugely popular destinations as well. Discover all you need to know about London museums reopening in summer 2020, and what things will be new and different during  a post-lockdown visit. Some favourites such as the Natural History Museum and British Museum are yet to announce opening dates, but you can still take a virtual visit until their real-world doors are open.

The situation is changing almost daily, and some museums will be opening up closed areas, cafes and other facilities as  time goes on, so please check their websites for ongoing details.

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Foundling Museum

foundling museum reopening

Reopen date 8 July 2020

Learn what happened to the babies who were abandoned and ended up in the Foundlings Hospital. See the tokens their mothers left with them (very Oliver Twist!) and hear stories from the last children to grow up there at the Foundling Museum.

Where is it? 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ

Opening Times? Wednesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm. Closed Mon-Tues.

Cost? Pre-book online. £9.50, Concessions £7.50, Under 21s free. NHS and NCT £4.75.

Nearest Tube? Russell Square, five minutes walk. Kings Cross and St Pancras ten minutes walk.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes, there is ramped access into the museum, a lift, accessible toilets, facilities for guide dogs and Blue Badge parking outside the museum. Carers have free entry.

New COVID measures? The museum is only accepting online bookings, with timed slots available to enable social distancing. There's a one-way system once in the museum, automatic hand sanitisers and a cleaning programme for handles, taps and so on. There are perspex screens in the shop and you are asked to avoid handling anything. The cloakroom is closed so avoid taking large bags, and be aware that buggies must be left outside the Portraying Pregnancy temporary exhibition.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Baby changing, disabled and gender-neutral toilets open.

Cafe/restaurant? No cafe on site.

National Gallery

national gallery open london

Reopen date 8 July 2020

See fabulous works of art including Van Gogh's Sunflowers (often studied by primary school kids), Constable's Hay Wain, seascapes by British artist JMW Turner and lots more as you make your way through the galleries. Pick a few choice pictures on your National Gallery visit, rather than making kids look at every picture per room. Photography is allowed so they can take pictures of their favourite pieces, or do some sketches as you go around the gallery.

Where is it? Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN

Opening Times? 11am - 4pm daily. Friday 11am - 9pm.

Cost? Free admission, advance booking only.

Nearest Tube? Charing Cross.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? Some one-way systems for social distancing, face coverings encouraged, hand sanitiser stations, increased cleaning, and PPE for staff. No cloakroom facilities. Card payments in shops.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? At entrance and exit.

Cafe/restaurant? Wrapped food available for takeaway, tap water can be requested in the National Cafe and bottled water will be on sale. An ice cream stand will be outside.

Tate Modern

tate modern reopening

Reopen date 27 July 2020

Discover bright and bold modern art that will appeal to kids of all ages at the Tate Modern - and you won't be able to miss Kara Walker's 13m-tall fountain! The gallery's location right next to the Thames is perfect for a day out after lockdown; once they've tired of the art in the numerous gallery rooms, take some time out to watch boats or street entertainers. The Tate Britain gallery also reopens on the same day if you're doing a tour of London museums and galleries.

Where is it? Bankside SE1 9TG

Cost? Free entry, timed tickets must be booked online by visitors to allow for social distancing. £22 for Andy Warhol exhibition.

Nearest Tube? Southwark, Blackfriars and St. Paul's.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? One-way routes through galleries, hand sanitiser points, card-only payments. Screens in shops and extra cleaning regimes for toilets and high-use areas. Digital interactive screens turned off.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Open with extra cleaning regimes.

Cafe/restaurant? Visitors will be able to buy food and drink in the gallery.

RAF Museum

RAF museum open london
@nam_london

Reopen date 6 July 2020

More planes than all other London museums put together! Chocks away for an airborne adventure as visitors explore planes from the start of aviation to the modern day.

Where is it? Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL (Sat Nav users - input the road name rather than the postcode!).

Opening Times? 10am - 5pm daily

Cost? Free admission, book online timed slots.

Nearest Tube? Colindale. Lots of parking on site.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? One-way flightpath for visitors around the museum! Some areas may be closed, but more will open from July 20 including some interactive areas. Extra cleaning protocols, hand sanitiser, contactless payments in shop.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Yes.

Cafe/restaurant? Open for takeaway food.

National Army Museum

london museum open july

Reopen date 7 July 2020

Attention! Visitors should march along to Chelsea to see a model of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's horse and a genuine World War I uniform from the Somme.

Where is it? Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea SW3 4HT

Opening Times? Tuesday-Sunday 10.30am - 3.30pm (last entry 3pm). Closed Mondays.

Cost? Entry is free, but tickets must be booked online.

Nearest Tube? Sloane Square a ten minute walk, Victoria a twenty minute walk.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? One-way route around the Museum, more cleaning and hand sanitiser units. Protective screens and social distance markers. Play Base is closed for the present. No cloakroom facilities.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Yes.

Cafe/restaurant? Closed.

Cutty Sark

cutty sark open london

Reopen date 20 July 2020

Climb aboard this historic ship as you get a taste of life as a Victorian sailor and take the chance to discover more about one of the most famous ships that was ever sailed the seas.

Where is it? King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT

Opening Times? Book timed tickets online. 10.30am - 4pm.

Cost? One child goes free with one adult (July 20 - Aug 31). Adults £15, children £7.50. Free for Blue Light cards and some key workers on Thursdays.

Nearest Tube? Greenwich DLR and train station or North Greenwich tube station.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Wheelchairs available, no buggy parking.

New COVID measures? Reduced visitor numbers, hand sanitiser stations, increased cleaning, screens at cash desks, card payments only. Some interactive touchscreens and audio guides will not be available. Four visitors admitted at a time. No cloakroom facilities.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Toilets open.

Cafe/restaurant? Not open initially but check website for updates.

Tower of London

tower of london open
@cvancamp

Reopen date 10 July 2020

The Tower of London is planning a visit fit for a King and Queen as it reopens this July. Just don't lose your head with excitement as you view the Crown Jewels! A Yeoman of the Guard will show you around this historic building - but watch out for the ravens...

Where is it? Tower of London, EC3N 4AB

Opening Times? Wednesday-Sunday 10am-6pm.

Cost? Pre-booked time slots.  Adult: £25, child: £12.50.

Nearest Tube? Tower Hill.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Parts of the Tower are not buggy friendly due to cobbles.

New COVID measures? Enhanced cleaning regimes, hand washing and sanitation facilities, one-way routes, non-contact interactions with staff, card payments only. Some areas may be closed.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Yes.

Cafe/restaurant? No refreshments available.

The Garden Museum

garden museum london in July

Reopen date 4 July 2020

If you've been busy in your garden over lockdown, you can find out more about the history of gardening at this fascinating museum, which of course has its own garden to explore. Don't forget to climb the tower!

Where is it? Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7LB

Opening Times? Wednesday-Sunday 10am-6pm.

Cost? Pre-booked time slots for the exhibition on Derek Jarman's garden. No restrictions on time in the rest of the museum and garden. Adult: £10, Senior Citizen: £8.50, Family (1 adult, 1 child): £12.50, Family (2 adults, 2 children): £25. Children under six: Free.

Nearest Tube? Vauxhall and Waterloo.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? Enhanced cleaning regimes. Staff and volunteers temperature checked on arrival. Screens at welcome desk and shop.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Available on exit.

Cafe/restaurant? Open for takeaway refreshments to enjoy in the garden.

Florence Nightingale Museum

nightingale museum london reopen

Reopen date 1 August 2020

Visitors will be getting a post-lockdown hand washing lesson from Florence Nightingale herself at this museum in her name, as it celebrates here bicentennial year.

Where is it? St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7EW

Opening Times? Daily 10.15am-4.30pm.

Cost? Adults £9, Concessions £7, Under 16s £5.

Nearest Tube? Waterloo and Westminster.

Wheelchair/buggy friendly? Yes.

New COVID measures? Enhanced cleaning regimes, one-way system, headphones and digital screens sanitised regularly, sanitiser stations, splash screens and contactless payments.

Toilets/baby changing/disabled? Yes.

Cafe/restaurant? No.

Horniman Museum

horniman museum london

A favourite of parents on the south side of the river, the Horniman at Forest Hill is a fascinating, varied museum, with a fun music gallery, treasures from deepest Africa and of course the famous walrus!

Plans are just being finalised to arrange for reopening the museum as soon as possible following lockdown changes.

Meanwhile, its lovely Gardens are open on Mondays to Saturdays from 7.15am to sunset, and on Sundays from 8am to sunset. You can buy a drink, snack or ice cream from the cafe kiosks and there's a weekly market on Sunday from 10am - 3pm.

Where is it? 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ

Opening Times/date? TBC.

Cost? Free.

Nearest station? Forest Hill.

V&A Museum

V&A museum reopening July

Opening August (date TBC)

A neighbour of the Natural History Museum, there are 4.5 million objects in the V&A, which is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Built in 1857, the V&A was first called the Museum of Manufactures. It became the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899, when Queen Victoria laid the last foundation stone for its new buildings, which were designed by Aston Webb.

Where is it? Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Opening Times/date? TBC.

Cost? Free.

Nearest Tube? South Kensington.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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Naomi MacKay
Mum of one

Mum of one teenage boy, near Leighton Buzzard, Beds. Born and raised in the Home Counties, Naomi has explored much of London, along with Beds, Herts and Bucks, with her son and husband. When she’s not driving to various skateparks around the UK, Naomi loves finding somewhere new to explore or a new activity they can all try.