Great kids activities in London

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Sometimes, taking the kids to a big city like London can be a daunting endeavour. However, with the sheer amount of amazing children’s stuff available in the capital, your holiday doesn’t have to be a sulk-fest, it can – and should – be a lot of fun for the entire family.

Planning an itinerary can be part of the fun, so get your kids excited about their trip and give them some choice about what you get up to during your stay in London.

To make your trip much easier, we have put together a list of some of the more child-friendly attractions in the city.

For starters: Hyde Park

Hyde Park is the perfect way to start your day in London; it’s free, it’s huge and it’s full of fun stuff. Whether you just fancy letting the kids run around the open spaces to blow off some steam, or you take a boat ride on the Serpentine, an hour here is an hour well spent.

Take a tour of the park and teach your children about the many monuments and what they signify. Head round to the Kensington Garden area of the park and let your little ones run wild in the Diana Memorial Playground. There’s a huge wooden pirate ship, teepees and a whole host of other fun toys and sculptures – the only hard part might be getting your kids to leave!

Explore Kensington Park and The Royal Gardens

Afterwards, take the tube down to Westminster and see the sights of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade. Be sure to check the times of the Changing of the Guard as your kids will be sure to love the pageantry of this quintessentially British tradition.

For the afternoon: Museums the kids will love

London is full of absolutely first-rate museums, many of which are great for children to visit and enjoy. The bonus is that it’s educational as well as fun, so you can avoid having to actually tell your kids they are learning.

To begin with, try the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. It’s full of massive animals and dinosaur bones, need we say more? But seriously, there are loads of intriguing exhibitions on that will quench the intellectual thirst of even the most curious children. The cocoon and the creepy crawly research section are bound to go down well with the kids and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year display is always a popular favourite with families.

Next door to the History Museum, you’ll find the equally fantastic Science Museum where your kids can unlock the secrets of the universe, look into the future and learn all about the history of modern healthcare.

The interactive treats here include the Typhoon jet flight simulator, the incredible Who Am I? exhibition which explores the reasons why we are how we are, and the incredible IMAX, where the experience is much more than just watching a film.

For dinner: All Star Lanes

Running around the capital all day is bound to make you and the kids work up a ravishing hunger pang and sooner or later you’ll need to stop for some food. Why not combine grabbing some grub with more fun and head to All Star Lanes?

Located in Westfield Stratford City, the restaurant/bowling alley is a great treat for children of all ages, and the food is pretty good too. There’s no fast food here, with all dishes lovingly prepared with sustainable, fresh ingredients – much healthier than a McDonald’s.

For the evening: The Lion King

If you haven’t seen it already, treat your kids to the musical extravaganza that is the Lion King. This multi-award winning masterpiece has been running since 1997 and is currently enjoying a successful residence at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End.

You children will be mesmerised by the incredible animal costumes – one of which is a giant African elephant – intrigued by the sensational stage design and captivated by the story that they know so well.

The best thing about this show is that it’s not just for kids, parents will love it too for all the same reasons mentioned above. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along with Timon and Pumbaa on the always-favourite Hakuna Matata. You can get tickets for as cheap as £35 if you book in advance.

To make sure your holiday runs without a hitch, ensure you book a comfortable hotel in advance. The Shaftesbury hotels are perfectly placed to some of the city’s major attractions and the best transport links, making it easier for you to travel around London with the children.

Remember: kids aged five to ten can travel on the tube free as long as they are with a fare-paying adult and four children can travel with every one adult.

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