Kids & Families in London
|| Get the kids away
from the TV set and let them enjoy the very best in child-friendly
entertainment and attractions in the capital.
One attraction that’s sure to keep them enthralled
for a couple of hours is Madame Tussauds [map].
The waxwork exhibition has been around in some form or
another since the 1800’s and has been steadily evolving
into the gallery of stars and celebrities it is renowned
for today. There’s also the Spirit of London and the Chamber of Horrors exhibition, which combined
should be just gruesome and educational enough to keep
the kids entertained (if not the historians).
If your little ones love seeing ritual torture and gruesome
operations they’ll be delighted to venture into
the bowels of The London Dungeon [map],
Tooley Street, SE1, where they’ll come face to face
with the nastier parts of 500 years of the past that somehow
never seems to make it into history lessons. Brave children
can look out for ghosts and ghouls as they step into the
torturers chamber and choose your form of execution.
If looking at animals is the best way to keep your children
occupied then there’s the Kentish Town City Farm
[map] and London Zoo [map] in the area. At the Kentish City Farm kids can learn about
sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and cows by taking part in
some of the tours and activities. And with programmes
like The Pony Club and Young Riders, kids who might not
otherwise be able to learn to ride a horse could have
access to lessons.
Meanwhile at London Zoo [map] there’s always plenty to see and do for kids. At
weekends and during school holidays there is a programme
of talks and displays aimed at young people including
the feeding of the penguins and an introduction to some
City farms are great places to take younger children where
they can see farmyard favourites close up. East London
is home to the biggest city farm in the country - Mudchute
Farm [map] located on the Isle of Dogs. As well as the usual farm
animals Mudchute also has llamas roaming the extensive
East London also has Hackney City Farm [map],
which has been entertaining and educating young people
since 1984. Here you’ll find chickens, pigs geese
and sheep as well as a programme of classes to occupy
their young minds.
For aspiring actors Jacksons Lane theatre and arts
centre [map] in North London usually has something on that will interest
young people. Whether it’s a stage production or
workshop class, throughout the year Jackson’s Lane
has something in the programme for kids. There’s
the After School Club for five-11 year olds and special
events are organised during the school holidays to keep
the young ones entertained.
Kids have bags of energy and one way that they can channel
this need to be constantly on the go is by trying their
hand at some of the range of dance activities available
in Central London. Biodanza [map],
Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2, offers youngsters
the chance to enjoy a variety of classes from street and
breakdance to the latest pop moves that they see on their
favourite artiste’s videos.
If you think the wonders of a museum might be more appropriate
then there are one or two in the area you could try. The
Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood [map] is often a good choice as it can be interesting for both
children and parents. The museum holds memories of more
than four centuries of childhood including a wide variety
of toys to take you back to the days when your toys were
the most important thing you possessed.
Older children and teenagers have the chance to earn their
stripes by participating in a range of well-organised
watersports at The Surrey Docks Watersports Centre [map],
Greenland Dock, Rope Street, SE16. This is their opportunity
to try their hand at a wide selection of watersports from
water-skiing to canoeing, assisted by experienced and
Alternatively let them hone their cookery skills by booking
them into The Kids Cookery School [map],
Gunnersbury Lane, W3. This unique venue offers cookery
classes and workshops for children from the age of the
three upwards. Here they can have fun and learn the secrets
of the kitchen – as well as the safety aspects –
in this purpose-built environment. Trained staff and chefs
are on hand to teach and support classes and there’s
always someone to do the clearing up afterwards.
If you have younger children and are looking for a far
gentler environment head to the world-famous London
located at County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster
Bridge Road, SE1. Spend a day here with your youngsters
who are invited to participate in a range of activities
and see some of the oceans’ most unusual fish and
mammals. Children have the opportunity to participate
in feeding time and can even pet the friendly Rayfish.
Looking for somewhere to stay shouldn’t be a problem
and if you want to be in the heart of the action there’s
plenty of child-friendly hotels in Central and West London.
Family-friendly hotels offer unique services such as children’s
menus, child-sized beds and baby-sitting services. Stay
close to your brood by booking into a large family room.
Hotels like The Sidney [map],
Victoria, SW1, offer rooms that can be used by up to six
adults, thus providing great roomy family accommodation.
If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere,
why not use our What
You Recommend form to let us know.