Are you off on a family trip to London and searching for things to do with the kids that won’t leave them bored to tears? Then look no further – our guide to the capital’s top family-friendly museums and attractions will help you to keep everyone happy: from toddlers to teens, children to big kids, there’s something for everyone.
Where available, we’ve also detailed the cost of a family pass so whether you end up kicking back with a 4D movie or getting stuck in with hands-on learning, you can be sure it’s not going to break the bank.
Of London’s star attractions, Madame Tussauds is consistently among the most popular. As you make your way through the themed exhibitions, there are countless photo opps to satisfy the whole family’s tastes: grab a selfie with your favourite member of 1D, pose alongside Usain Bolt, or even join the Royal family for a quick snap. It’s not just wax figures, either – Madame Tussauds is also home to the Spirit of London ride and a 4D movie experience featuring characters from Marvel comics.
What’s more, if you buy your ticket online, you are allotted an arrival time period, allowing you to make the most of your time in London and avoid unnecessary queueing time.
Cost of a family ticket: £111.60 (from £55.80 online)
One destination that’s bound to illicit a few sniggers is the unfortunately-named Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Specialising in natural history and anthropology, the museum is great for toddlers and younger children: most exhibitions are highly interactive and the museum even has a ‘hands-on’ room to allow kids to discover (and play with) everything from stuffed animals to exotic musical instruments.
Not to be missed are the large gardens (complete with giant musical instruments) and the aquarium in the basement.
Cost of a museum family pass: free (with £2 charge for entry to the aquarium)
Don’t let the name fool you – the Science Museum has a whole host of tricks up its sleeve to keep youngsters entertained. One of London’s best free museums, the Science Museum really is a hub of creative energy and learning. Its exhibitions are dynamic and exciting and there are countless opportunities for children and adults alike to get involved, including a room of fun games to find out more about your personality and the Launchpad area for hands-on challenges (and learning a bit about science, too).
The museum covers everything from medicine and health to space exploration and with something for children and adults of all ages, don’t be surprised if you spend most of your day here.
Cost of family ticket: free entry (IMAX theatre family ticket £14)
The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
No trip to London is complete without delving into the world of Harry Potter – and thanks to Warner Brothers you can literally do just that. Located just outside Watford, but with regular transport links and even hourly transfers from the city, Warner Brother Studio Tour is easily accessible. Visitors can explore the sets from the films, try flying a broomstick for themselves or even sample a glass of Butterbeer. The tour is popular with children and adults.
Cost of a family ticket: £93
If you don’t fancy the journey to Watford, muggles can always join a walking tour from Muggles Tours to explore key London settings from the films on foot.
Having evolved from a museum into an immersive experience guided by actors, the London Dungeon is a firm favourite with older children and teens. The attraction recreates the goriest and most gruesome moments of a century of London’s history, including Jack the Ripper, Sweeny Todd and the Black Death – perfect for your blood thirsty little ones.
Tours last 90 minutes and include a mixture of live shows, special effects and even mazes. Just remember to try and save face in front of the kids…
Cost of entry: Adults £25.95, children £20.95 (save up to 20% online)
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Which family-friendly museums in the capital would you add to this list?