Exploring London with kids: A memorable family fun day

London, England’s capital, our melting pot, is a city brimming with culture, history, and unending excitement. This is why it’s still fascinating me after 25 years of life spent here. Writer Samuel Johnson used to say ‘Tired of London, tired of life’. I totally agree with him. I have provided this platform for the past 17 years to offer parents a forum and tips to enjoy London with kids.

Renowned for its rich architectural splendour, mesmerising museums, and captivating parks, it is a fantastic city to explore with your family. Here is a suggestion for a vibrant itinerary that captures the magic of London, providing both education and entertainment for your kids.

london eye

London Eye – Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

 

The British Museum: A Deep Dive into History and Culture

Begin your unforgettable family day out in London at the venerable British Museum, a beacon of knowledge and exploration. Established in 1753, it holds the distinguished title of being one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious museums. Within its vast galleries, your family will embark on a journey through time, gaining a deeper understanding of the world’s history, culture, and civilisations.

Unravelling the Mysteries of the Past

The British Museum is home to millions of works from all continents, spanning over two million years of history. Two of its most enchanting exhibits for children are the ‘Egyptian Mummies’ and the ‘Rosetta Stone.’

  • In the Egyptian Mummies exhibit, your kids will come face-to-face with history, engaging with ancient Egyptian civilisation’s complex burial rituals and beliefs about the afterlife. Here, children can gaze upon the intricately decorated sarcophagi and learn about the mummification process’s fascinating details.
  • The Rosetta Stone, another highlight of the museum, offers a valuable lesson about the importance of language and translation. 

This ancient stone slab, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued in Memphis in 196 BC, was instrumental in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. Its story illustrates the interconnectedness of human societies and the power of communication.

To enrich your experience, the British Museum offers guided tours, often tailored to the interests of families and children. If you prefer to explore at your own pace, the museum’s intuitive layout allows for an enjoyable self-guided tour.

 

Sparking Imagination through Interactive Workshops

A standout feature of the British Museum is its commitment to making history accessible and engaging for its younger visitors. Regularly, the museum hosts workshops and activities specifically designed for children.

These workshops vary in theme, covering diverse topics like ancient pottery making, Greek mythology storytelling, or Viking rune writing. They offer a hands-on approach to learning, using arts and crafts, storytelling sessions, and interactive quizzes to bring history to life. 

Children have the opportunity to touch, create, and immerse themselves in history, transforming learning into an active and enjoyable process. The educational value of these activities is immense, fostering creativity, curiosity, and a deep-rooted appreciation for the world’s rich cultural heritage.

 

Covent Garden: A Bustling Hub for a Midday Break

Post your morning of exploration and learning at the British Museum, head towards Covent Garden for a well-deserved break. Covent Garden, known for its vibrant atmosphere and picturesque market buildings, is an ideal location for a leisurely lunch.

Here, you’ll find a wide array of eateries that cater to every palate, making it perfect for a family outing. From hearty British dishes to global cuisine, the options are as diverse as they are delicious. 

This region’s charm extends beyond its food offerings, boasting boutique shops for a bit of retail therapy and street performers to keep your family entertained. In Covent Garden, every turn leads to a new discovery, ensuring that your afternoon is just as captivating as the morning. 

 

King’s Cross Station: Harry Potter House Quiz and Photo Opportunities

London is well-known for its connections to the beloved Harry Potter series, making it an inevitable stop for Potterheads. No Harry Potter fan’s visit to London would be complete without a visit to Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station.

 

Harry Potter House Quiz

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ hosts an entertaining ‘Harry Potter House Quiz.’ This interactive game allows kids to discover which Hogwarts House they would belong to, offering a personalised and unforgettable experience.

Photo Opportunities

At the very same shop, children and adults alike can capture a memorable picture while pretending to push a trolley through the magical barrier to Platform 9¾. The shop also boasts a wide range of Harry Potter merchandise, from wands to robes, allowing your family to take home a piece of this magical world.

 

Hyde Park: Basking in Nature’s Splendour

After a day filled with cultural exploration and magical adventures, retreat to the tranquil surroundings of Hyde Park

As one of the eight Royal Parks of London, Hyde Park covers a staggering 350 acres, offering plenty of space for families to relax, unwind, and engage in leisurely activities amidst its verdant landscapes.

Serenity at Serpentine Lake

In the very heart of Hyde Park lies the Serpentine Lake, an artificial lake that provides a haven for waterfowl and a peaceful backdrop for leisurely pursuits

One of the most enjoyable activities available here is boating. Whether you choose a rowboat for an old-fashioned experience or a pedal boat for some light exercise, this is an activity that offers equal parts relaxation and fun.

While you glide gently across the water, take time to appreciate the park’s diverse birdlife, which includes swans, ducks, and grebes. The lush green trees lining the lake’s edge complete the idyllic picture, ensuring an atmosphere of serene tranquillity. 

A boat ride on Serpentine Lake provides not just a chance to enjoy Hyde Park’s natural beauty, but also a moment of respite amidst a busy day of sightseeing.

 

Enchanting Escapades at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

The perfect place to conclude your day in London is at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Inspired by the classic children’s story, Peter Pan, this playground is designed to encourage imaginative play. It’s a place where the lines between fantasy and reality blur, creating an enchanting space for kids to explore and enjoy.

The centrepiece of the playground is a gigantic wooden pirate ship that seems to have run aground in a sea of sand. This impressive structure promises endless adventures as children scramble up the rigging, keep lookout from the crow’s nest, or plan a pirate mutiny below deck.

Surrounding the pirate ship, you’ll find tepees where kids can play at being Native American chiefs, musical instruments for creating impromptu concerts, and various play sculptures that add to the whimsical setting. 

Designed with a focus on inclusivity, the playground includes features accessible to children of all abilities, ensuring a fun-filled experience for every child.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is more than just a playground – it’s a tribute to childhood itself. As your children’s laughter fills the air and the sun begins to set, you’ll realise that your family fun day in London has been an unforgettable journey of discovery and delight.

BBC Earth Experience

Immersive experiences have hit London by storm. The new kid on the block is BBC Earth Experience. The London Mums’ team went to  the premiere to check it out first hand.

Takeaway

Exploring London with kids doesn’t have to be a daunting task. This vibrant city offers an array of family-friendly attractions and activities, from history-filled museums and lively markets to magical Harry Potter experiences and idyllic parks. With careful planning and a sense of adventure, your family is sure to have a memorable fun day out in London.

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