Top London Attractions for Families

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London Dungeon

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London Dungeon
The Golden Hinde
HMS Belfast
London Duck Tours
Cutty Sark
Horniman Museum
V & A Museum of Childhood
Museum of London
Museum of London Docklands
Natural History Museum
Science Museum
London Transport Museum
Madame Tussauds
Penguin Point at SEA LIFE London Aquarium
 

 

From Madame Tussauds to the London Dungeon, London has some great attractions for families. Find out where to take the kids on the weekends and when school's out.

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London Dungeon

An excellently spooky way of fostering your children's interest in history. Tremendously torturous.

Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Bankside, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Westminster Station

 
 

New for summer 2016, 'Escape the Great Fire' opens at the London Dungeon on 21st May 2016, marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London with special effects and recreating the panic of the city as the fire wreaks destruction over the city. Other attractions include an up close and personal encounter with Guy Fawkes and the murderous monarch, Henry VIII, played by a high-tech 3D version of the booming-voiced actor Brian Blessed. Sweeney Todd, Guy Fawkes and Jack the Ripper are just some of the other notorious characters from 1,000 years of London's history brought to life by a cast of 20 live actors. Book tickets to visit the London Dungeon at the South Bank and experience repulsive animatronics and waxworks, appropriately gruesome sound effects, and some (very much alive) costumed staff who stand in the displays and jump out at unsuspecting parties of tourists. In addition, there are theme park style rides so you won't be surprised to learn that kids absolutely love it.

 
 
 

Sea Life London Aquarium

London's largest aquarium holds over 300 different species of fish including sharks, seahorses, stingrays and starfish.

County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Westminster Station

 
 

The Sea Life London Aquarium features hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from around the world. Here you'll come face-to-face with sharks and watch divers feeding gigantic conger eels and penguins. Seahorses, rays, starfish and piranhas are also on show and the interactive displays include a supervised touch pool, while petting the friendly rays is positively de rigeur. You can see the fish being fed during diving displays on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 12noon and 12.30pm in the main Atlantic Tank (check in advance as this is subject to change and during holiday periods dives may occur more frequently). The aquarium itself is situated in County Hall right on the Thames, with an interactive entertainment centre next door. It's a pretty tranquil spot (as long as you can avoid colliding with school groups) and a favourite form of escape for Londoners. It is also a cool place to go on a date - Patrick Marber made it the venue for a rendez-vous in his play 'Closer'.

 
 
 

Madame Tussauds

Rub shoulders with the waxwork celebrities.

Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London, NW1 5LR

Tube: Baker Street Station , Regent's Park Station

 
 

In 1835, Marie Tussaud - former sculptor to the court of Louis XVI - established a sideshow of waxworks of famous contemporary and historical figures (not to mention some gruesome relics of the French Revolution). Today, queues stretch hundreds of metres down Marylebone Road all summer long, as tourists and children rush to Madame Tussauds to rub shoulders with Kylie, Posh, Becks, and Brad Pitt. In addition to some astonishingly lifelike sculptures, there are also a number of interactive attractions: you can score a winning goal for England under the watchful eye of David Beckham, give a speech at the UN flanked by world leaders, or sing and dance on stage with Beyonce, Britney and Kylie. If that's not terrifying enough there's always the incredibly popular and gorgeously gory Chamber of Horrors . A visit is not complete without the Marvel 4D Experience. an exclusive 4D move where Marvel Super Heroes battle it out to save London.

 
 
 

London Transport Museum

The Museum charts London Transport's 200 years of history and has a tube simulator and play area.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BB

Tube: Covent Garden Station

 
 

The London Transport Museum travels back through the 200-year history of public transport, arranged according to several themes: London Transport's famous design heritage, the poster collection, public transport during both World Wars and plans for the capital's development in the twenty-first century. The facilities include a stylish, two-storey shop and cafe overlooking the Piazza, and a 120-seat, state-of-the-art theatre for the What's On programme, school sessions and conferences. Learn about transport history in the capital since the 1920s and get to grips with the oldest public transport system in the world. Furnished with all sorts of memorabilia - from uniforms, posters and tickets to horse buses, electric trams and trolleybuses - the museum proves a fascinating way of looking at transport in the capital.

 
 
 

Golden Hinde

A full-scale, historically accurate replica of Sir Francis Drake's 16th-century galleon.

Pickfords Wharf, Clink Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9DG

Tube: Cannon Street Station , London Bridge Station

 
 

Sir Francis Drake completed the second-ever circumnavigation of the world between 1577-80 in a galleon ship called the Golden Hinde. The ship has been re-created and rebuilt as a museum, which is docked in Southwark near London Bridge. Guided tours are provided by staff dressed in period costume, and during term-time school groups can spend a day on board learning about life at sea in the 16th century. Visitors can also stay on the ship overnight to get a hands-on taste of what life as a crew member would be like. They will be able to help out on the boat, and learn about navigation and gunnery. At night after a feast of Tudor foods, visitors sleep between the cannons on the gundeck.

 
 
 
 

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark, the famous tea clipper ship docked in Greenwich.

King William Walk, West Greenwich, London, SE10 9HT

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)

 
 

The restoration of the Cutty Sark has seen 50 million spent on the famous tea clipper ship which was damaged by fire on 21st May 2007. But with much of the ship already removed from the site, most of the original has been restored. The boat's rich history begins back in 1869 when it was built for John 'Jock' Willis, a seasoned sailing ship master, and was designed for speed, racing to bring home tea from China. Capable of going over 17 knots, and with a large hold for carrying cargo, the Cutty Sark was 'the space shuttle of its time'. Preserved for the nation by Captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922, the old clipper has been at her current resting place in Greenwich since 1954 and was first opened to the public in 1957 by HM The Queen. Now raised three metres above her dry dock, visitors can see the lines of her hull - covered in sheets of metal giving it a golden sheen - which made her so swift and so successful.

 
 
 

HMS Belfast

Explore nine fine nautical decks on board the floating museum and former World War Two cruiser.

Morgan's Lane, Tooley Street, Bankside, London, SE1 2JH

Tube: London Bridge Station

 
 

HMS Belfast, moored at Morgan's Lane off Tooley Street, is a World War Two cruiser with nine decks. As you explore this floating museum, pop into the Captain's Bridge and then head down to the massive Boiler and Engine Rooms, well below the ship's waterline. Launched on St Patrick's Day (17th March) 1938 the 187-metre long ship is a 6-inch cruiser (the inches denote the size of its guns), designed for the protection of trade, for offensive action, and to support military operations by aiding landings from the sea. One of her last jobs was to help evacuate emaciated survivors of Japanese prisoner of war and civilian internment camps from China. Up until the autumn of 1947 she was fully occupied with peace-keeping duties in the Far East. Following a stint in Korea she was retired in 1952 and long after was given to the public in 1971.

 
 
 

London Duck Tours

The amphibious Duck Tours take you on a tour of London by road and by river.

55 York Road, South Bank, London, SE1 7NJ

Tube: Waterloo Station

 
 

If you've spent a few days in London you've probably spotted the bright yellow London Duck Tours tanks driving around town - they're hard to miss! The amphibious Duck Tours vehicles date back to 1942 and were first used in World War II for the D-Day landings when more than 21,000 were built to take the troops and supplies from ship to shore. There are just five of the tanks, originally known as 'DUKWS', in the Duck fleet, taking visitors around town on the roads and on the river. Departing throughout the day from Chicheley St. Waterloo (behind the London Eye), they drive past famous London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square, giving a commentary on the history of the city as well as the vehicles. Finally, for the waterborne part of the 75 minute tour, the truck launches into the River Thames from a slipway at Vauxhall. It's great fun and an unusual way to see the sights. Please note: Pre-booking is is necessary for weekend and holiday periods at least 3-5 days in advance.

 
 
 

Horniman Museum

The Horniman specialises in anthropology, natural history and musical instruments.

100 Road, London, SE23 3PQ

Tube: Denmark Hill Station

 
 

Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman collected specimens and artefacts from his travels around the world in the 1860's. His personal collection became the foundation of the Horniman Museum, which is now housed in a Charles Harrison Townsend-designed building. Horniman's original collection included natural history specimens, cultural artefacts and musical instruments. Over the past 100 years, the collection has grown so much that Horniman's original collection comprises only 10 per cent of the current museum. The Horniman also houses an aquarium, and regularly hosts music concerts and special exhibits. Some of the museum's best known objects include a gigantic stuffed walrus, a model dodo and fossils. Also worth a look are the Horniman Gardens, which are set on 16 acres and have a mix of formal and natural landscaping.

 
 

Events at Horniman Museum

Pani
OngoingFree Event

20th May to 26th November 2017 - 10am-5.30pm | Free

 
Pani Horniman Museum 2017-05-202017-11-26 Where:
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road London, SE23 3PQ
Category: Attractions for Kids
The Robot Zoo Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

11th February to 29th October 2017 | £7 (Adults), £4 (Children), £17 (Family) | Half Term events Free

 
The Robot Zoo Horniman Museum 2017-02-112017-10-29 Where:
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road London, SE23 3PQ
Category: Attractions for Kids
All events at Horniman Museum
 
 
 

V & A Museum of Childhood

East London museum devoted to the theme of childhood, past and present.

Cambridge Heath Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E2 9PA

Tube: Bethnal Green Station

 
 

The Museum of Childhood houses the UK's largest collection of toys including dolls, dolls' houses, puppets, games, and toys. Collections showcase all aspects of childhood, from games throughout the ages to a historical look at cots, prams and feeding bottles (including a 19th century ceramic bottle). The World in the East End exhibit tells stories of childhood from the East End through toys and stories, and there are plenty of hands-on exhibits including rocking horses, windup trains, and gravity powered cars. The Museum opened in 1872, when a prefabricated iron structure originally intended for South Kensington was moved to Bethnal Green. Originally, the museum housed collections from the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the art collection of Sir Richard Wallace (now The Wallace Collection).

 
 

Events at V & A Museum of Childhood

Seen But Not Heard
OngoingFree Event

10th June to 19th November 2017 - 10am-5.45pm | Free

 
Seen But Not Heard V & A Museum of Childhood 2017-06-102017-11-19 Where:
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9PA
Category: Museums
Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

22nd July 2017 to 25th February 2018 | Free

 
Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories V & A Museum of Childhood 2017-07-222018-02-25 Where:
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9PA
Category: Museums
Searching For Ghosts
OngoingFree Event

3rd May 2017 to 21st January 2018 - 10am-5.45pm | Free

 
Searching For Ghosts V & A Museum of Childhood 2017-05-032018-01-21 Where:
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9PA
Category: Museums
Ratcatcher (1999) By Lynne Ramsay Part Of The Autumn Watch, Talk, Think Film Season
On Soon

Thursday 28th September 2017 - 7pm | £7, concs £5

 
Ratcatcher (1999) By Lynne Ramsay Part Of The Autumn Watch, Talk, Think Film Season V & A Museum of Childhood 2017-09-282017-09-28 Where:
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9PA
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Discussion/Debate.

Pop-Up Opera: Hansel And Gretel
On Soon

Tuesday 10th October 2017 - 8pm | £20, under 16s £12.50, family £60

 
Pop-Up Opera: Hansel And Gretel V & A Museum of Childhood 2017-10-102017-10-10 Where:
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9PA
Category: Museums

Polly Leech is Hansel and Sofia Larsson is Gretel in Humperdinck's take on the Brothers Grimm tale.

All events at V & A Museum of Childhood
 
 
 
 

Museum of London

The history of the city, from prehistoric times to the present day.

150 Wall, City, London, EC2Y 5HN

Tube: Barbican Station , St. Paul's Station

 
 

Experience the real flavour of London life from the prehistoric to present day when you visit the Museum of London, a modern museum boasting over 1.1 million objects. Following a 20 million redesign, the five lower Galleries of Modern London take you through the history of the city from the Great Fire of London in 1666 to the present day. Historic pieces on view include precious books, mock-up city streets and vintage cars - the grandest of which is the Lord Mayor's State Coach, still used in the annual Lord Mayor's Show. The galleries include displays as diverse as a reconstructed Georgian pleasure garden and a World City space, where museum items reveal London's post-1914 history through changing tastes in fashion, mobile phones and, moving into the twentieth century, the Art Deco lift from Selfridges department store.

 
 

Events at Museum of London

Lady Lucy: Portraits for Services, Gifts and Favours
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Lady Lucy: Portraits for Services, Gifts and Favours Museum of London 2017-05-182017-09-24 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums
My Point Forward
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
My Point Forward Museum of London 2017-05-182017-09-24 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums
Niall McDiarmid: Here And Now
OngoingFree Event

18th May to 15th October 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Niall McDiarmid: Here And Now Museum of London 2017-05-182017-10-15 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums
The City Is Ours OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

14th July 2017 to 2nd January 2018 | Free

 
The City Is Ours Museum of London 2017-07-142018-01-02 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums
Multimedia 1900: Experience and Entertainment in Everyday Life - Professor Ian Christie
On SoonFree Event

Monday 25th September 2017 - 6pm-7pm | Free

 
Multimedia 1900: Experience and Entertainment in Everyday Life - Professor Ian Christie Museum of London 2017-09-252017-09-25 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Lecture.

The Conservative Party - Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA
On SoonFree Event

Tuesday 26th September 2017 - 6pm-7pm | Free

 
The Conservative Party - Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA Museum of London 2017-09-262017-09-26 Where:
Museum of London, 150 London Wall London, EC2Y 5HN
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Lecture.

All events at Museum of London
 
 
 

Museum of London Docklands

The history of the East End, River Thames and the lives that have ebbed and flowed with it.

No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, Tower Hamlets, London, E14 4AL

Tube: Canary Wharf Station

 
 

In keeping with its waterside location, the Museum of London Docklands focuses on the history of the East End with particular emphasis on the River Thames and the lives that have ebbed and flowed with it. The building in which the museum is housed is pertinent, too. As a warehouse and part of a significant port, the building was once used to store valuable shipments of sugar arriving from transatlantic crossings. Permanent educational displays include the Thames Highway - the trade which the river has enabled since the city began as a Roman settlement in AD43 makes for a fascinating tale. The display includes a spectacular large scale model of Old London Bridge, the first stone structure over the Thames with the bridge as it was in 1450 on one side, the bridge in all its Tudor glory on the other.

 
 

Events at Museum of London Docklands

Adventures Of Bengali Pioneers From Voyagers To Entrepreneurs: Talk
Free Event

Wednesday 22nd November 2017 - 6pm | Free

 
Adventures Of Bengali Pioneers From Voyagers To Entrepreneurs: Talk Museum of London Docklands 2017-11-222017-11-22 Where:
Museum of London Docklands, No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay London, E14 4AL
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Talk.

All events at Museum of London Docklands
 
 
 

National Army Museum

Over 23 million has been spent on the new look National Army Museum.

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4HT

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 
 

More than 23 million pounds has been spent on re-development of the National Army Museum which reopened in 2017 to reveal a radical transformation. This summer family activities include Play Base which welcomes children aged 0 to 8 with fun and engaging activities in an immersive base camp. For over 8s Construction Challenge (22nd July to 3rd September 2017) enables children to discover engineering techniques and have a go at the construction challenge, exploring how the army adapts to its surroundings. Both children and adults alike can discover the teamwork of driving a tank, the rhythm required to drum a battle command and learn to 'fall IN' with the museum's own Drill Sergeant in the interactives area located in the five permanent galleries.

 
 

Events at National Army Museum

War Paint: Brushes with conflict
OngoingFree Event

19th April to 19th November 2017 - 10am-5.30pm | Free

 
War Paint: Brushes with conflict National Army Museum 2017-04-192017-11-19 Where:
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road London, SW3 4HT
Category: Museums
War Paint: Brushes with conflict
OngoingFree Event

19th April to 19th November 2017 - 10am-5.30pm | Free

 
War Paint: Brushes with conflict National Army Museum 2017-04-192017-11-19 Where:
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road London, SW3 4HT
Category: Museums
War Paint: Brushes with conflict
OngoingFree Event

19th April to 19th November 2017 - 10am-5.30pm | Free

 
War Paint: Brushes with conflict National Army Museum 2017-04-192017-11-19 Where:
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road London, SW3 4HT
Category: Museums
War Paint: Brushes with conflict
OngoingFree Event

19th April to 19th November 2017 - 10am-5.30pm | Free

 
War Paint: Brushes with conflict National Army Museum 2017-04-192017-11-19 Where:
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road London, SW3 4HT
Category: Museums
War Stories With Peter Snow And Ann Macmillan
On Soon

Wednesday 4th October 2017 - 7pm | £15, concs £12.50

 
War Stories With Peter Snow And Ann Macmillan National Army Museum 2017-10-042017-10-04 Where:
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road London, SW3 4HT
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Book Signing.

All events at National Army Museum
 
 
 

Natural History Museum

Home to 70 million specimens including dinosaurs, giant squids, a life sized blue whale and a sea cow.

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station

 
 

The Natural History Museum is sure to impress even the most jaded of children. This ornate museum is home to more than 70 million specimens from across the natural world, including insects, fossils and rocks. The Dinosaur gallery is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum, with a giant T. rex, the horned Triceratops and the fossilised skin of an Edmontosaurus. Kids can also try their hand at becoming a scientist through hands-on educational tools, gallery trails and art activities. And if the giant squid and blue whales still haven't awed your kids, take them inside a giant globe representative of the solar system, or bring them to 'The Power Within' where they can feel an earthquake simulation.

 
 

Events at Natural History Museum

Whales: Beneath the surface Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

14th July 2017 to 28th February 2018

 
Whales: Beneath the surface Natural History Museum 2017-07-142018-02-28 Where:
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 5BD
Category: Museums
The Art Of British Natural History
OngoingFree Event

22nd May 2017 to 1st July 2018 - 10am-5.50pm | Free

 
The Art Of British Natural History Natural History Museum 2017-05-222018-07-01 Where:
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 5BD
Category: Museums
Oceans Uncovered
On SoonFree Event

Friday 29th September 2017 - 6pm-9pm | Free

 
Oceans Uncovered Natural History Museum 2017-09-292017-09-29 Where:
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 5BD
Category: Museums

Attractions & Museums, Tourist Attraction.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

26th October 2017 to 7th January 2018 | From £8.80 (Children), £12.65 (Adults), £39.60 (Family)

 
Natural History Museum Ice Rink Natural History Museum 2017-10-262018-01-07 Where:
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 5BD
Category: Museums
All events at Natural History Museum
 
 
 

Science Museum

Take a look at how science, technology and industry influence everyday life.

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

Tube: South Kensington Station

 
 

The Science Museum in South Kensington houses one of the most comprehensive collections looking at the development of science and industry, and it is all done in a fun and creative way. This museum is one of the most interactive in the city, with lots of hands-on exhibits. In the high-tech Wellcome Wing, visitors can digitally alter their faces to look older or younger, and manipulate their voices. Some of the highlights include the Launch Pad gallery, which explains basic scientific principles, Puffing Billy, the oldest steam locomotive in the world and the actual Apollo 10 capsule. The King George III Collection of scientific instruments highlights 18th century science, or if you're looking to rest your feet, there is also a 450-seat IMAX theater. Kids always love the Science Night Sleepovers, which are held throughout the year.

 
 

Events at Science Museum

CelluLates
On SoonFree Event

Wednesday 27th September 2017 - 6.45pm-10pm | Free

 
CelluLates Science Museum 2017-09-272017-09-27 Where:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road London, SW7 2DD
Category: Museums

Attractions & Museums, Tourist Attraction.

Illuminating India
On SoonFree Event

4th October 2017 to 31st March 2018 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Illuminating India Science Museum 2017-10-042018-03-31 Where:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road London, SW7 2DD
Category: Museums
Power UP On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

20th to 31st October 2017 | Single session: Adult £10, child £8, senior £9 | Half day pass: Adult 18, child £14, senior £16 | 18+ evening session £12

 
Power UP Science Museum 2017-10-202017-10-31 Where:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road London, SW7 2DD
Category: Museums

This October half term the Science Museum presents gaming extravaganza Power UP. Returning for its second year, the hands-on event invites gaming fans to get their fix with 180 systems and hundreds of games, including ...more

All events at Science Museum
 
 
 
 
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