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Family Experiences London: Unforgettable Experiences and Hidden Gems

London opens its arms to families and offers countless experiences that will captivate hearts of all ages, including children, adolescents, young couples or grandparents. So if you’re looking for a family experience in London, what can we say, you’re definitely in the right place!

The city can become a fulfilling journey through history, with iconic landmarks that should be on every traveler’s to-do list, cozy cafes, enchanting gardens, large green parks and fun activities that even the older ones will enjoy. 

Whether you choose to explore the wizardry of Harry Potter, marvel at the wonders of the Natural History Museum, or take in a dazzling West End performance, London ensures every member of your family will love the city and all it has to offer. From the green fields of Hyde Park to the historic charm of Greenwich, each neighborhood unfolds its unique treasures. 

Family Experiences London - Harry Potter Things to do

In this article, you will find out when is the best times to visit, uncover top family-friendly experiences in London, highlight must-visit locations, and reveal hidden gems that add a bonus to your family’s London escapade.

Is London good for families?

London is an exceptional destination for families, offering diverse family-friendly activities, marvelous landmarks, and even a unique shopping experience. Its diversity is reflected in its neighborhoods, which are colorful, with cobbled stones and traditional British architecture. 

The Tower of London, Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace are just some of the highlights of this city. 

Moreover, world-class museums such as the Natural History Museum cater specifically to children’s curiosity and have multiple areas dedicated to their amusement.

London’s numerous parks and green spaces, including Hyde Park and Regents Park, provide ideal settings for family recreational activities. 

Fun family experience London - A photoshoot with a friendly London photographer

With family-friendly entertainment options in the West End and a large variety of restaurants, London ensures a memorable and inclusive experience for families, making it a top-notch destination for those seeking both adventure and cultural exploration.

Family things to do in Central London

Central London is filled with activities and attractions that are family-friendly, ensuring a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. So, here’s what kind of experiences you can have with your family in Central London:

1. Explore the British Museum

Immerse your family in the wonders of world history at the British Museum. The extensive collection, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, offers an educational and captivating experience.

Great Court at the British Museum in London

2. Visit the Tower of London – Classic Family Experience in London

Uncover centuries of history at the Tower of London. Explore the Crown Jewels, walk along the medieval walls, and meet the Yeoman Warders, who share fascinating tales.

3. Enjoy Hyde Park

Hyde Park, one of London’s immense green spaces, provides the perfect decor for family picnics, boating on the Serpentine, and playing in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

4. Discover the Science Museum

Ignite curiosity at the Science Museum, where you can find interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. From space exploration to robotics, there’s something for every budding scientist.

5. Wander through Covent Garden

Covent Garden’s electric and colorful atmosphere, street performers, and eclectic shops provide a vibrant backdrop for moments spent with your families. Don’t miss the entertaining performances in the market square.

6. Experience the West End

Treat your family to a world-class theater production in London’s West End. Many theaters feature family-friendly shows, ensuring a captivating night out for all of you.

Introduce your family to art at the National Gallery. Marvel at masterpieces by artists like Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Monet in this world-renowned museum.

8. See Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace – Fun Experience for Families in London

Witness the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The colorful spectacle is a must-see for families, especially for kids.

Close up Shot - Guard at Buckingham Palace

9. Explore the South Bank

Walk along the South Bank of the Thames and discover the London Eye, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, and the vibrant Borough Market. Street performers and cultural events add to the lively atmosphere.

Also, if you are visiting some of these places with your family, it would be such a shame to not capture the entire visit to London. Book a photographer, pick your location, and create amazing memories and souvenirs from your trip to this vibrant city!

When is the best time to visit London with your family?

The best time to visit London with your family largely depends on your preferences and the type of experience you seek. Spring (March to May) and early autumn (September to November) are often considered ideal.

During these seasons, the weather is mild, and London’s parks, like Hyde Park and Regents Park, burst with blooming flowers.

The festive season, from late November to December, transforms London into a magical wonderland adorned with sparkling lights and holiday cheer. Families can enjoy festive markets, ice skating, and the enchanting decorations along Oxford Street and Covent Garden.

Summer (June to August) offers longer days and a lively atmosphere, with various outdoor events, festivals, and open-air performances. Keep in mind that this period can be busier with tourists, but it also provides a chance to experience London’s vibrant outdoor scene to the fullest.

Unique experience for families in London - Watch the sunset by the London Eye
London eye beside the river Thames on sunny summer day

Best family-friendly experiences in London

London is indeed one of the best cities to visit when you are planning to travel with your family. It has loads of activities, museums, and other places that will make any kid jump with joy, and at the same time, enchant the adults.

1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The wizarding world of Harry Potter might be the best place to take your kid. Explore iconic sets, see original costumes, and discover the magic behind the scenes. Check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London website.

2. Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Located in Hyde Park, this imaginative playground is inspired by the Peter Pan story. Children can explore the pirate ship, sensory trail, and various play areas, creating a magical experience.

3. Shrek’s Adventure! London

Step into the fairy-tale world of Shrek and his friends on the South Bank. This interactive attraction combines storytelling, special effects, and live characters for a whimsical family adventure. Check out the Shrek’s Adventure! website.

4. Emirates Air Line Cable Car

Soar above the Thames on the Emirates Air Line cable car for panoramic views of London. This family-friendly experience will offer such a spectacular and unique perspective of the city’s skyline.

5. Capture amazing memories with a family photographer in London

Preserve these moments and take home beautiful souvenirs that you’ll keep close to your heart forever! Choose a skilled London family photographer, select the best locations, and have the most memorable family photoshoot in London ever!

Family experience London - A photoshoot with a professional photographer

Best family-friendly locations in London

A family-friendly location in London can be a park, a unique museum that captivates the attention of both children and adults, or a spectacular exhibition. Below we’ve made a list that will help you choose the best locations for your fun family experience in London:

1. Natural History Museum

Engage in a journey through time and nature at the Natural History Museum. From life-sized dinosaur replicas to the stunning blue whale skeleton, this museum offers an educational and entertaining experience.

2. Thames River Cruise

Enjoy a family-friendly cruise along the River Thames, providing breathtaking views of London’s landmarks. 

3. London Zoo

Connect with wildlife at the London Zoo, one of the world’s oldest zoos. Encounter a diverse range of animals, participate in interactive exhibits, and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere.

London river cruise

Bonus Locations that are less crowded

For families seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences in London, there are several hidden gems and lesser-known locations that offer a more intimate and less crowded atmosphere. Here are some bonus locations that might not be on every tourist’s radar:

1. Little Venice

Escape the crowds and explore the canals of Little Venice. This area is known for its waterside cafes, tree-lined walks, and charming houseboats. Enjoy a peaceful boat ride or a leisurely stroll along the waterways.

2. Eel Pie Island

Accessible by boat, Eel Pie Island on the Thames is a private enclave with artists’ studios, quirky houses, and a unique atmosphere. Explore this hidden island for an offbeat and artistic experience.

Best family dining experiences London

London offers a diverse culinary scene, including numerous family-friendly dining options. Also, there are 73 Michelin-star restaurants in London so if you want your culinary journey to be truly mindblowing, you can check those too. 

However, if you’re a large crowd, with children who won’t need fancy food, but would rather enjoy a cool decor, here are some restaurants that you might want to try: 

1. Inamo

For a tech-savvy dining experience, visit Inamo in Covent Garden. The interactive tables allow children to play games and draw directly on the tabletop, adding an extra layer of fun to the meal.

2. Dishoom

Inspired by the Irani cafés of Bombay, Dishoom offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a diverse menu. The Shoreditch location, in particular, features a charming vintage décor that adds to the overall experience.   

Family enjoying dinner during their family trip overseas

3. Giraffe World Kitchen

With a global menu catering to various tastes, Giraffe World Kitchen is a family-friendly chain with several locations across London. The colorful and casual setting is perfect for families with children.  

4. PizzaExpress

A staple in family-friendly dining, PizzaExpress has multiple locations throughout London. The kid-friendly menu, pizza-making parties, and welcoming atmosphere make it a popular choice for families.

Fun family experiences London

London is brimming with fun family experiences, catering to a variety of interests. Here are some exciting and entertaining activities for families in the city:

1. The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Enter the wizarding world at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where families can explore iconic sets, props, and costumes from the Harry Potter films.

Slytherin - Harry Potter

2. KidZania

Located in Westfield London, KidZania is an indoor city run by kids. Children can try out various professions, from being a firefighter to a pilot, in this interactive and educational play space.

3. SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Dive into an underwater world at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, where families can walk through glass tunnels surrounded by sharks, turtles, and colorful fish.   

4. Hamleys

Explore the world-famous Hamleys toy store on Regent Street. With seven floors filled with toys, games, and demonstrations, it’s a haven for children and a paradise for toy enthusiasts.

5. Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park

Roam among life-sized dinosaur sculptures in Crystal Palace Park. This outdoor experience is both educational and thrilling for young dinosaur enthusiasts.

6. Hackney City Farm

Experience a slice of rural life in the heart of London at Hackney City Farm. Families can meet farm animals, explore the gardens, and participate in educational workshops.

Check out the Hackney City Farm while visiting London with your kids

7. London Transport Museum

Delight in the history of transportation at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Interactive exhibits and vintage vehicles make learning about London’s transport system engaging for kids.

Unusual family experiences London

If you’ve seen all the well-known attractions or you’re just into finding places that are unique and less crowded, here are some less-known and unusual activities for a family.

1. Secret Cinema

These events combine film screenings with live performances, turning movie-watching into a unique and interactive experience.

2. Escape Room Games

Challenge your family’s problem-solving skills with an escape room experience. London has numerous themed escape rooms where families work together to solve puzzles and unlock mysteries.

3. The Crystal Maze Live Experience

Step into the iconic Crystal Maze from the popular TV show. This live experience in London offers families the chance to navigate through themed zones, solving challenges and collecting crystals.

4. Little Angel Theatre

Enjoy puppetry performances at the Little Angel Theatre in Islington. This intimate venue hosts imaginative and engaging puppet shows suitable for the whole family.

Theater stage in London

Free experiences in London with the family

If you’re in London on a budget and spent most of your money on experiences like Warner Bros Studios, Sea Life, or other locations that kids demand to see, you must know there are loads of free places that you can see in London. Moreover, most of the museums have free entry, you just need to book your slot.

1. Sky Garden

Head to the Sky Garden for panoramic views of London’s skyline. While entry is free, it’s recommended to book a time slot in advance to secure your visit.

2. Regent’s Park

Explore the beauty of Regent’s Park, known for its formal gardens, boating lake, and the London Zoo. Entry to the park is free, and families can enjoy a day outdoors.

3. Street Performers in Covent Garden

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Covent Garden, where street performers entertain the crowds.

Street of Covent Garden in London

Other Locations that are free and must be on your must-visit list in London. 

1.National Gallery

2.British Museum

3.Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

4.Science Museum

5.Natural History Museum

6.Hyde Park

7.South Bank Walk

8.Tate Modern

Hyde Park London - Classic family experience in London

Expenses in London for family

The expenses for a family visiting London can vary based on factors such as the size of the family, accommodation choices, dining preferences, and the activities you plan to undertake. London is known for being a cosmopolitan city, and while some aspects can be costly, there are also ways to manage expenses.

Hotel prices vary widely based on location, quality, and the time of year. Budget hotels and family-friendly accommodations can range from £80 to £200 per night or more.

Public transportation (Oyster card for buses and the Tube) can cost around £7-10 per day per adult, with discounts for children. Taxis and ride-sharing services are additional options.

Entrance fees for family-friendly attractions like the London Eye or the Tower of London can range from £20 to £40 per person. Tickets for shows, theater performances, or other entertainment can vary. Look for family discounts or consider attending matinee performances for potential savings.

Family photography by The Now Time

Whatever you choose to do, we are sure you will enjoy your family experience in London. The city has so much to offer, from free activities to unforgettable experiences, fabulous food and that cool, fresh vibe. 

Also read: London Experiences for Couples.

6 thoughts on “Family Experiences London: Unforgettable Experiences and Hidden Gems

  1. Indispensable resource! From must-visit attractions to family-friendly dining, this site is a game-changer for planning unforgettable family adventures in London.Thank you!

  2. All the needed information for a perfect family vacation, is just right there.
    A really useful article👏🏻

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