London is a dream family vacation, as it offers so much to kids and adults alike. You can immerse yourself in the magic of Harry Potter, see the stars at Madame Tussauds, or experience the thrill of the Lion King. Here are 14 awesome things to do with kids that will make your family holiday fantastic.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, you can't miss this magical experience. You can explore the sets, props, and costumes used in the films, such as the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and the Forbidden Forest. You can also learn how the special effects and animatronics were created and ride a broomstick in the green screen area. Remember to try some butterbeers and buy souvenirs at the gift shop.
Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR.
Getting here: The Studio Tour's nearest railway station is Watford Junction, and direct services arrive there from London Euston, a 20-minute journey. Regular shuttle buses operate from Watford Junction to the Studio Tour, with a journey time of around 15 minutes. Buses run at least every 30 minutes from 9.20 am, with additional services available from 8.15 am when the first tour is at 9 am. The last return shuttle bus back to Watford Junction will depart the Studio Tour when the Tour closes.
2. London Eye
The London Eye is one of the most iconic landmarks in London and a great way to see the city from above. You can board one of the 32 glass capsules and enjoy a 30-minute ride with panoramic views of the Thames, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and more. You can also book a skip-the-line ticket or a private capsule for a special occasion.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
Nearest Tube station: Waterloo station.
3. London Zoo
London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world and home to over 750 species of animals. You can see lions, tigers, gorillas, penguins, and more and learn about their habitats and conservation efforts. You can also participate in interactive experiences, such as feeding the giraffes, meeting the meerkats, or becoming a zookeeper for a day.
Address: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
Nearest Tube Station: Camden Town station.
The Lion King is one of London's most popular and acclaimed musicals and a treat for the whole family. Based on the Disney animated film, the show features stunning costumes, puppets, and sets that bring the African savanna to life. You can also enjoy the catchy songs, the powerful story, and the talented cast that will make you laugh and cry.
Address: The Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden station.
The Science Museum is a paradise for curious kids who love to learn and explore. The museum has seven exhibit floors covering space, technology, medicine, and engineering. You can also see historical objects like the Apollo 10 command module, the first jet engine, and the first computer. The museum also has interactive galleries, such as Wonderlab, where you can experiment with light, sound, electricity, and more.
Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington station.
The Tower of London is a historic fortress that has served as a palace, a prison, a treasury, and a royal mint. You can discover its fascinating and sometimes gruesome history, such as the executions, the torture, and the legends of the ghosts. You can also see the Crown Jewels, the armoury, and the ravens that are said to protect the tower. Don't miss the guided tours by the Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, who will tell you stories and jokes about the tower.
Address: Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB
Nearest Tube Station: Tower Hill Station.
KidZania is a unique attraction that lets kids experience different careers through role-play. It is a mini city where kids can choose from over 60 activities, such as being a firefighter, a doctor, a journalist, or a pilot. They can also earn and spend their currency, called kidZos, and learn about money management, teamwork, and responsibility.
Address: 1 Ariel Way, London W12 7GA
Nearest Tube Station: Shepherd's Bush station and White City station.
Shrek's Adventure! is a fun and immersive attraction that takes you on a journey to the land of Far Far Away. You can board a 4D bus and go on a quest to find Shrek and friends, while encountering characters from the movies, such as the Fairy Godmother, Rumpelstiltskin, and Puss in Boots. You can also enjoy live shows, games, and photo opportunities.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Nearest Tube Stations: Westminster station and Waterloo station.
9. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in London, and a perfect place to relax and have fun with kids. You can rent a pedal or rowing boat on the Serpentine lake or visit the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and Playground. You can also see the Speakers' Corner, where anyone can express their opinions, or visit Kensington Palace, where the royal family lives.
Madame Tussauds is a famous wax museum where you can meet and take pictures of celebrities, royals, athletes, and historical figures. You can see lifelike replicas of stars such as Beyoncé, David Beckham, and the Queen and characters from Star Wars, Marvel, and DC. You can also experience a 4D cinema, a Sherlock Holmes adventure, and a ride through London's history.
Address: Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR
Nearest Tube Station: Baker Street station
11. Legoland Windsor
This theme park is dedicated to the famous Lego bricks and models. You can enjoy more than 55 rides, shows, and attractions, such as driving a Lego car, flying a Lego plane, or exploring a Lego castle. You can also see miniature replicas of famous landmarks, such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Taj Mahal, made entirely of Lego.
Address: Winkfield Rd, Windsor SL4 4AY
Getting here: Just half an hour from London Paddington station to Windsor & Eton Central station via Slough on the Great Western Railway. Or go directly from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside on the South Western Railway. The approximate journey time from London Waterloo is less than 1 hour.
There is a shuttle bus service to the park from stops close to both rail stations; please note that this is a chargeable service and is not operated by the park.
12. HMS Belfast
This historic warship served in the Second World War and the Korean War. Explore its nine decks and learn about its history, crew, and operations. You can also see how the ship was equipped, from the guns and torpedoes to the kitchen and the dentist. You can also try interactive activities like steering the ship, sending a Morse code, or firing a gun.
Address: The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2JH
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge Station
13. Hop-on hop-off bus tour
This is a convenient and fun way to see the main sights of London from a double-decker bus. You can choose from different routes and tickets and hop on and off as many times as you want. You can also listen to the audio commentary that will tell you interesting facts and stories about the places you pass by. Some attractions include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, and St Paul's Cathedral
14. Twist Museum
Photo by The Twist Museum
This new and unique attraction will challenge your senses and perception. You can experience more than 60 exhibits and rooms that test your vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. You can also enjoy optical illusions, puzzles, games, and art. You will be surprised, amazed, and entertained by this museum.
Address: 248 Oxford Street, Oxford Circus, London, W1C 1DH.
Nearest Tube station: Oxford Circus Station
Practical tips for visiting London with kids
London is a big and busy city, so planning your routes and transportation is essential. You can use the London Underground, the Tube, to get around quickly and easily. You can buy an Oyster card, a smart card that you can top up and use to pay for fares or use a contactless debit or credit card. Be aware that most stations are not very handicap friendly or easy to navigate with strollers.
London is a very safe and friendly city, but you should still be careful and aware of your surroundings. You should keep your valuables and documents secure and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. You should also be careful when crossing the street, as the traffic drives on the left side of the road.