London is a playground of fun and excitement for toddlers, with so many things to do; it's one of the most family-friendly European cities!
From museums, art galleries to parks and green spaces, there's definitely something child friendly to suit every family, making for a stress-free and memorable day out with your little city explorers. To make things even easier for your family on your London day out, public transport is free for under 5s on all London forms of transport, so a trip to the capital definitely doesn't have to be an expensive excursion.
Although the prospect of visiting London with your young children may seem daunting and scary, with it maybe being their first ever experience of a big city, London is extremely toddler friendly, and there are countless places which you and your family can enjoy and relax in.
We have recommended different family-friendly, fun activities and places of interest for your family and toddler to visit now lockdown has started to lift. With a mixture of calm and action-packed, free and paid, for toddler-friendly things to do in London, there's something for everyone no matter what the occasion.
Take a read below at some of the things to do with toddlers in London, and remember to keep following government advice for England, Scotland and Wales regarding travel.
Explore The Wonders Of The River Thames At The Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre is a perfect spot along the river Thames in central London for your children to explore. It's all step-free, so easy for your little ones and buggies to navigate meaning you can really soak in the sunshine and the views of the water. Right along the Thames path by the Southbank Centre are benches where you can sit with a picnic and boat spot, whilst listening to the exciting sounds of the street performers that run along the path.
It isn't limited to just admiring the views of the river though, with plenty of toddler-friendly sites of interest to visit along the Thames Path that may take your fancy. Sea Life Aquarium is free for under 3s, and a great family day out, especially if your children are wildlife lovers. Despite being closed throughout lockdown, they are now taking bookings and plan to reopen soon with timed entry to ensure social distancing, so it's definitely worth adding to the wish list! For those who love art, the Tate Modern and Hayward Gallery at Southbank are planning to reopen in the imminent future too.
Get Your Facts Right With A Trip To The Natural History Museum, South Kensington
The Natural History Museum is a stunningly beautiful, historical building in the heart of Kensington, perfect for toddlers who love learning new things. There's plenty to do for all ages, with different things to explore including a wildlife area, space and dinosaurs! Your children will especially love the life-sized moving animatronics T-Rex, just like the one from Jurassic Park. The museum has lots of family-friendly activities as well, with a sensory trail, and interactive games along the way. It's free entry as well to make it even better. With lockdown easing, it plans to reopen imminently.
Become An Astronaut For The Day At The Science Museum, South Kensington
If your kids are little science boffins, then they'll just love visiting the science museum during their trip to London. It's one of the most interactive museums in London, with plenty of touch screen games and exhibits that your children can respond to. There's so much available to ignite your kids' curiosities. It's free entry but the museum welcomes donations. The Garden, for example, is an interactive exhibit with reflections, water and light patterns which your kids will love to play with. The Pattern Pod is another fantastic area your toddlers will just love, with sensory games and activities for them to get stuck into. With lockdown easing, it plans to reopen imminently in line with the government's health and safety precautions to ensure everyone remains safe on their visit.
Relax With A Picnic At The Diana Memorial, Kensington Gardens
The grounds of Kensington Palace are deep in the heart of Kensington, and a place not to be missed during your trip to London. The Diana Memorial playground is a centrepiece of the palace gardens, and a perfect area for your toddlers to play in for free. There's a wooden pirate ship at the centre of the memorial, which your children will just love climbing aboard and pretending they are pirates sailing through the sea on their adventures. Not only is there a pirate ship, but plenty of play areas for your children to bounce, climb, jump and explore in. With lots of seating, the parents can definitely find time to relax too whilst the kids are playing in the play area, with an abundance of picnic spots and areas too. Whilst visiting the park it is required that people maintain the social distancing regulations, and keep their dogs on leads.
See London From Above With The London Eye, Near Waterloo and Westminster
The London Eye is an iconic landmark of London that you'll surely not want your young children to miss out on. It's one of the main attractions of London, and something your toddlers will just love. The idea of flying above the London skyline, feeling like they're giants above the tiny people walking below them, will be enough to make them jump up and down at the thought of going on the London Eye. Not forgetting, the views are spectacular, and the wheel moves at a slow pace lasting 30 minutes meaning there's plenty of time for photo opportunities and it makes for a calm and relaxing trip above London. To make it even better, children under 4 go free, and those between 4 and 15 get in at a discounted rate, so it's an exciting trip that definitely won't break the bank. There's also a fast track option if your kids aren't fans of queuing! Although you usually have to share a capsule with other families, for extra money there's an option to have your own capsule to yourself, perfect for a special occasion! The Eye is due to reopen soon, with special measures and requirements in place including wearing a face covering, paying with contactless, social distanced queues and a reduced capacity of people per pod. Tickets need to be booked in advance too.
Explore The Shops At Covent Garden Market
If you and your toddlers are more in the mood for a casual stroll through the shops and traffic-less safe cobbled streets of historic London, then Covent Garden market might just be for you! Full of shops, boutiques, restaurants and the famous Apple Market it makes for such a wholesome family day out that your children will love too. It's full of shops and market stores that will definitely catch your toddlers' attention. Check out the Moomin Store in the centre of the Market building, a perfect place to buy cute goodies and keepsakes your children will treasure. Also, lots of the market stands sell amazing handmade toys and crafts, so there's definitely a treasure to be found for everyone. Also, be sure not to forget the amazing crepe stand, for all lovers of chocolate and sweet treats! Not only are there shops, but the street performers are something that your kids will love watching. From clown acts to statues that don't move, there's something for everyone.
Discover A Slice Of History At Greenwich
Greenwich Park is always a favourite amongst toddlers. If it's teaching your kids about the significance of Greenwich Mean Time, there's certainly lots of history to be learnt here. Not to mention that it's part of the UNESCO Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site. However, Greenwich isn't just for history lovers, but perfect for those children who just want to play. Full of amazing play areas and a playground, your kids will love climbing and letting off some steam, especially if the sun is shining. You can even reach the playground by boat, taking a boat trip down the River Thames. It's definitely a highlight of London that all children love.
Travel To The Jungle At London Zoo, Regents Park
If your kids are animal lovers, then London Zoo is definitely the place for them. Perfect for young children, London Zoo is one of the best and most suitable kid things to do in London, allowing them to discover all the animals and play! It's so easily accessible too, especially with buggies, with plenty of step-free access and flat pathways leading you around all the animal exhibits. There's even a play area in the petting zoo area of the zoo, perfect to sit down and relax whilst watching your children play. With over 750 species for your kids to encounter, they'll definitely be able to spot their favourite animal here. From tigers, lions, penguins and gorillas, there's so much to discover. London Zoo has also confirmed that they are safely reopening. You have to pre-book tickets and stick to social distancing regulations by staying 2 metres apart with one-way routes around the zoo. Food and drink are available on outdoor stalls only, so you may want to bring a picnic if you prefer.
Chill Out For The Day At Hyde Park
For those of you who fancy a more chilled out day out in London, then Hyde Park is the perfect place. With stunning gardens, greenery and open space, it's a great place to visit to just relax and take in the sights. There's a beautiful lake in the centre of the park, with an abundance of ducks, swans and geese which your children will love to play with and feed them bread. You can even hire a pedalo boat to take out on the lake. Keep walking, and you may even spot the famous green parakeets of London! There's even an art gallery nestled within the park, and the Serpentine Gallery says they are due to announce a reopening date shortly.
Take A Trip To Battersea Park
Battersea Park, like Hyde Park, is one of the calmer kid's things to do in London and a great place to go to and relax with your kids in the city. Take a walk along the Thames Path and you'll see Battersea Power Station, a striking building made famous by Pink Floyd's album cover, marking that you've arrived. With stunning flower gardens, fountains and picnic spots, it's a beautiful place to sit whilst you let the kids run around and play. There's even Battersea Park Zoo which has recently reopened, full of diverse wildlife and play areas for your toddlers to enjoy.
See All The Sights And Go On A Bus Ride
If you and your kids feel like there's just not enough time to see it all in one day, then why not try a London red bus ride tour? The's tours are great at letting you see all the famous landmarks on a pre-designated route, providing plenty to keep your kids entertained on the way. Tour guides are available to provide interesting facts too!
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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