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Fabulous Things to Do in London with Kids

Last year, my husband and I spent a romantic long weekend in London.  This year, we decided to head back to the U.K., but this time with the kids for a family vacation.  I shared about our Kia Optima Sportswagon and our journey to seek some family and personal history in the U.K. last week.  Over the coming weeks I will be detailing out lots of recommendations from our trip, but today we are focused on London!
Since the hubs and I got to experience more of an adult side of London, we wanted to focus our time there this year on things that the kids would especially enjoy.  We came up with a fun list of activities that we all ended up enjoying!
Why it's fabulous: This classy establishment has a traditional afternoon tea with a special kid's version (at a discounted rate).  The teas, champagne, and food were all delicious, and it gave the children an opportunity to experience the tradition.
Why it's great for kids: Not only is the kid's tea discounted, but it is very kid-friendly.  The food for the children's tea is very dessert-heavy, and the kids even get to leave with a small stuffed animal!



Sight-Seeing: Tower of London.
Why it's fabulous: The only thing I need to say is "Crown Jewels."  But seriously, the Tower is chock full of English history, and is easily accessible from the tourist parts of London. 
Why it's great for kids: The Tower is a very appealing choice for little ones.  Between the crows, the cannons, and the dungeons, it certainly kept my boys' interest.  The dungeon at the Tower is also a less-frightening way for young kids to experience something like this than the London Dungeon.

Why it's fabulous: Enjoying a glass of champagne while taking in an unprecedented 360 degree view of London?  Yes, please!  When you purchase one of the London Eye Experiences (as opposed to a general admission ticket) you get to avoid the queues and visit a VIP lounge.  The Champagne Experience includes being with a small group and some bubbly to boot. 
Why it's great for kids: What kid doesn't love a ferris wheel?  This was a fun and memorable way for them to see more of the city.  They also get a glass of OJ served in a plastic champagne flute, which made them feel fancy.

Exploration: Walking Around.
Why it's fabulous: There is so much to see just walking around London!  So much history, amazing architecture, sculptures, and iconic sights like the red phone booths and double-decker buses (which you can hop into for an added experience).  You can also venture on the Underground so the kids can learn what "mind the gap" is all about. 
Why it's great for kids: Walking allows you to take London in at your own pace, which is helpful with little ones.  You also have the flexibility for photo opps and an impromptu stop-off for gelato. 

Why it's fabulous: Not only is NHM London world class, but it is also FREE!  This might mean longer queues during holidays, but it is worth it.  The collections are enjoyable for adults and kids alike. 
Why it's great for kids: One word: dinosaurs.  OK, I'll add a few more: blue whale skeleton, interactive insect exhibit, earthquake simulator, and more.  There are also plenty of hands-on interaction activities for the kids, too.

Outdoor Fun: Hyde Park.
Why it's fabulous: One of London's largest parks, this is a lovely place to hang out near the Natural History Museum and Buckingham Palace.  There are also mini cafes that serve small bites and beverages (like beer and champagne).
Why it's great for kids: The size of the park allows for some great running around time for the kids.  There is also a really cool playground (the Diana Memorial Playground) with teepees and ships. 
Why it's fabulous: The photo opp at Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station is FREE!  It is also connected to a very cool Harry Potter gift shop with lots of high-quality souvenirs.
Why it's great for kids: Here your little ones can pretend they are off to Hogwarts, and play in the magic of the wizarding world for a moment before shopping for some unique memorabilia from their favorite house. 

Toy Store: Hamley's.
Why it's fabulous: The largest toy store in the world is fun to see no matter what your age!
Why it's great for kids: It's the LARGEST TOY STORE IN THE WORLD.  There is so much to entertain on a visit to Hamley's, whether you purchase anything or not.  There is even a whole section dedicated to sweets!

London was a very memorable time for the boys, and for us as well.  There is so much more to still show them as they get older and can appreciate more of the history, and we look forward to another opportunity some day. 

Stay tuned for more from our U.K. road trip, including a full itinerary, in the coming weeks. 

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