London is one of the world’s most vibrant cities and home to 9 million residents. In all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget that The Big Smoke is an ideal destination for a family holiday.

Want to plan a city break with the kids? Discover the best of what London offers for families.

London park

Parks To Visit In London

With eight official Royal Parks, ancient hunting grounds and grassy havens lurking in every nook and cranny, it shouldn’t be that surprising that London is almost 50% green space.

Kew Gardens is particularly great for families. The park features a tree-top walkway that spans across canopies, a Japanese pagoda which children can climb, as well as an interactive Children’s Garden’.

Hyde Park is also an ideal choice, with its lido for swimming, boating on the Serpentine, and stables for horse riding. There’s also the hidden Peter Pan statue to find!

London Zoo

Visit London Zoo

No list of family-friendly activities in the UK’s capital could be complete without a mention of London Zoo.

Located in Regent’s Park, whether it’s simply seeing the baby tigers and waddling penguins, or taking full advantage of the zoo’s be-a-keeper’ type experiences, your family day out to ZSL will be a guaranteed success.

West End

See a Show in the West End

The West End is to theatre fans what Los Angeles is for cinema-lovers: it’s the bees-knees of profession stage theatre – London’s very own Broadway.

The biggest must-see for families is, of course, the adaptation of the Disney classic, The Lion King. A masterpiece in its own right, the music, costumes and extraordinary storyline make this a triple threat and firm favourite among critics.

There’s also Matilda, another adaption to the popular Roald Dahl storybook, and Wicked – which recants the history between Glenda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, years before they meet the Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and her little dog too!

However, perhaps the most sought after show to score tickets for is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which has won a record-breaking, 9 Olivier Awards.

London Dungeons

Explore London Dungeons

If you’re entertaining company age 12 and over, London Dungeons should absolutely be on your itinerary.

Meet Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper and other infamous residents of London through interactive rooms and rides. Very much an anti-Disneyland, you’ll learn about the Plague, escape the Great Fire of London and have the opportunity to play around with some rather torturous toys – all in the name of fun.

London Museums

Visit Free Museums

London is home to a hoard of museums to suit every interest and age group. And best of all, most of them are free!

In Bethnal Green, there’s the Museum of Childhood, where you can surround yourself with two floors of toys dating back 200 years, while in Covent Garden kids can learn all about London’s iconic tube’, double-decker red buses and black cabs at the Museum of Transport. 

In South Kensington, there’s the Natural History Museum for budding biologists and Palaeontologists and the interactive Science Museum for curious little minds. And for kids who just really want to see a mummy, there’s the British Museum in Russell Square.

London Shopping

Shop In London

This might not seem like a conventional fun idea for kids but then again, this is London we’re talking about!

There’s the multi-storey department store Hamley’s, which truly is the mother of all toy stores. If your child is into books, head to Hamley’s. If your child is into crafts, head to Hamley’s. If your child is into cars, motor vehicles, or bikes, head to Hamley’s. If your child’s into dolls, action figures or has a favourite tv character, head to Hamely’s…(there’s a pattern emerging).

However, if your child is into LEGO, while Hamely’s will have you covered, we recommend visiting the LEGO store in Leicester Square. It’s two floors of rainbow-coloured building blocks and heaps of inspiration!

For more things to do in London, check out our other guides!

Choice Hotels in London