Three favorite central London pit stops

As anyone who has ever stayed in one of the hotels in London provided by operators like Millennium Hotels will know, the capital city has quite a range of diversions that can provide pit stops with kids. If you’re not sure where to start, given the sheer volume of options, here, in no particular order, are some personal favorites that can amuse both children and parents when you stop over at hotels in London.

In an ideal world, a healthy pit stop would be both entertaining (for the whole family), and educational. A visit to Exhibition Road, in south Kensington–easily accessible for those staying in the vast majority of hotels in London–offers three possible choices that can definitely fit the bill. What’s more, (general) entry is absolutely free! The extensive collections housed in the Natural History Museum attract in excess of three million visitors every year; the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Dinosaur Section is undoubtedly the highpoint for children of all ages. The Investigate Centre provides hands on access to hundreds of genuine natural history specimens, allowing children to get involved as well as simply viewing some of the 70 million animals, plants, minerals and fossils that make up the massive collection of the Natural History Museum.

The Science Museum is also free to enter, although touring exhibitions often attract an entry charge, as does the in-house IMAX theatre. Unless you are on a tight budget, The IMAX cinema–which is taller that four double-decker buses–can really be worth the money, providing an excellent diversion that will genuinely wow the whole family. The cutting edge 3D technology combined with six-channel surround sound can present genuinely educational material in a totally immersive and exciting way, although this particular pit stop can require a bit of forward planning, as you want to make sure that you secure tickets, especially at the height of the tourist season.

Elsewhere in the museum proper, objects such as the command module from the Apollo 10 mission are quite something in the flesh, so to speak, with further interactive thrills provided by a selection of simulators. Guided tours of the Science Museum can help you make the most of limited time, and get a good overview of the major areas and exhibits.

The Victoria and Albert Museum contains some heavyweight art in the form of paintings, drawings photography, sculpture, costumes, and ceramics, and is in fact the largest museum of its kind on the world, housing around 4.5 million objects on a permanent basis. Although many of the collections are perhaps more suited to older children, the Victoria and Albert Museum runs a series of family events during school holidays aimed specifically at 5 to 12 year olds, which with a little forward planning can provide an interesting introduction to art and design, and a worthy pit stop for kids.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. Went to London just before I got pregnant with my son. It was amazing. So many great free museums. We missed out on the Victoria and Albert Museum, but it is on our list for next time. Now that we will have a little guy in tow, I’ll keep this list handy for our trip. Thanks!

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