The following guest post is written by Kaamna Dhawan of Momaboard.
My family of four moved to London a few months ago and I can honestly say that as major cities in the world go, London is probably the most kid-friendly in the world. As my two and five-year old and I have been exploring our new hometown, we have been delighted to find summer attractions in London ranging from parks, theaters, cinemas, museums, and restaurants dedicated to educating, entertaining, and inspiring children.
If you are headed to London for the summer, here are some of our favorite things to do:
- Be one with the fossils at The Natural History Museum: This exquisite, free museum will keep your kids intrigued for hours. The biggest attraction is the beautifully (and realistically) executed dinosaur exhibit but the other sections are definitely worth a visit too. Loads of interactive options as well.
- Get your Cap’n on at Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground: The beautiful Kensington Gardens are worth a visit for themselves and are an easy stroll across the lake from Hyde Park, but for the kids, it’s worth a trip over to the playground to explore the giant pirate ship and many other fantastically creative parts of the park. Please note that London parks take their security seriously: adults cannot enter without a child.
- Enjoy the view from The London Eye: Ever been on a giant standing-room giant wheel? (Ever paid $30 to do so?). Expensive as it is, the London Eye is worth the experience once in your life. On a clear day, the views of London are spectacular. The Southbank area in which the London Eye is located is also very well developed and fun to hang around on a sunny weekend with street performers and restaurants.
- Ride the top of a double decker bus. It’s amazing what a thrill kids get out it!
- Grab a show: This is the land of Shakespeare and the Queen’s English. Theater is a must. You can catch one of the well-known shows like The Lion King, Matilda or Billy Elliot but I would recommend finding something uniquely London. Time Out has a great roundup of what’s going on at any point of the year.
- Get a lux haircut in Notting Hill: Bella and Beau on Ledbury Road take kids’ cuts very seriously. Not only did my son get some serious styling there, he did it sitting in a very fancy car chair watching Thomas on an iPad. A day in the life of the rich and famous indeed!
- Visit the London Transport Museum: Even though London has many beautiful free museums, I would definitely recommend a visit to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden to experience the London tube simulator, pose as the driver of a double decker bus, or check out the history of transport from man-drawn carriages to how we do it now!
- Eat! Although cuisine is not the UK’s most prominent contribution to the world, you can find some of the best ethnic cuisines in London: Indian, Lebanese and Chinese in particular. You will also find much innovation in the London restaurant scene so if you are a foodie, do your research before heading over to see what’s new and hot. A lot of good restaurants welcome children but it’s best to call and ask. It’s also fun to experience a pub lunch, and you will find that even these staunch London institutions are shaking it up these days. The Churchill Arms, for instance, is known for its amazing Thai food!
Want more? Check out Momaboard’s Ultimate Guide to London with Kids.