7 Child-Friendly Activities In London: Include Them in the Planning

October 10, 2018

While riding the open top bus on his recent London trip, Thomas Moore III noticed a family with two young children that stood out to him. As founder of London Connection vacation apartments, he has traveled to London hundreds of times. In fact, he bought his first London flat to accommodate traveling with his family.

So what was it about this family on the bus that caught his attention? These children had been prepared in advance for what they would be seeing. They delighted as they passed each site they had learned about while still at home. When approaching the Tower of London, they squealed with anticipation, “Look, it’s the Tower where we will see the jewels!”

Yes, the Moore family traveled to London, and now Thomas Moore IV is taking his children (one at a time) to see the fabulous sites he also loves. It’s no wonder this family business has continued for over 35 years and now offers almost 50 flats to their London guests.  Here they are, the next generation!

Creating memories as a family is one of the best investments you will ever make. Yes, the planning will increase and some of the activities may be limited. But when you travel with children, you have the opportunity to see London in a whole new way. As you point out items in a museum to a child, you will find their excitement is contagious.

If you will have more than one child traveling with you, they will most likely be different ages. You need to have a plan that will accommodate the interests of each one. London has such a range of fabulous family activities. With some thought ahead of time, everyone will be able to LOVE THIS ADVENTURE.

Ages 2 – 12

  • Hackney City Farm: Imagine the chance to help plant a crop or to feed the baby chicks while you are in the heart of London. Well, this is the place for that to become a reality.
  • Diana Memorial Playground: Built with the Peter Pan theme, the sand and sun-filled playground is designed for children of all physical abilities to romp side by side. The wooden pirate ship and the teepees provide endless possibilities for creative adventures. Because of its popularity, there is often a queue during peak times that can be a 15 minutes to 1 hour wait to enter this FREE park next to Kensington Palace.

Ages 12+

  • Thames River High-Speed Cruise: All you need to do is read the reviews, and you know your teens would love this adventure. What an opportunity to combine the historical places such as Tower Bridge with the thrill of a high speed inflatable boat as you race up the River Thames.
  • Warner Bros. Making Of Harry Potter Tour: Seeing actual sets, props, and costumes is such an eye-opening experience. Hogwarts and the Forbidden Forest come alive. This tour is a must-see for Harry Potter fans.
  • Bunker 51: Has your teen ever wanted to step inside a video game? This might be their opportunity. Airsoft, laser, or paintball options inside an abandoned nuclear bunker — there is even a Zombie SWAT training option! Located in North Greenwich, about an hour tube and bus ride east of Covent Garden. Combine this with a day at the Greenwich observatory equals FUN AS A FAMILY.  

All Ages

  • Museums: Most of the museums in London are free, and very family-friendly. As you arrive, ask about their children’s programs or look in advance online. Some favorites are The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, British Museum — directly north of Covent Garden, Science Museum or Victoria and Albert or Natural History— all in South Kensington.
  • Parks: London is filled with green spaces or beautiful squares in every neighborhood. You can’t go wrong with one of the Royal Parks where you can bike, jog, ride horses, stroll, picnic, or even rollerblade.

Hyde Park playground

Half of the fun of any vacation is in the planning. Don’t forget to involve the children in this part of the process. When each of my children chose which crop to oversee in our family garden, they felt ownership and took pride in their produce. They planted, weeded, and picked their row. One daughter chose to sell the pumpkins she grew door-to-door from her little red wagon, and made a tidy sum (especially for a 7-year-old). The same principle applies to family travel.

Give your children a chance to research, plan, and choose at least one activity of which they will be “in charge.” The chance will increase that they will have a more vested interest in the entire trip. We have a suggested Family-Friendly Itinerary that will give them a place to start. The possibilities are endless! You might even be surprised how when it is time for their chosen activity, they will ask you to put away your smart phone and give your full attention — REALLY!

London Connection property, 3-12 West Street

And of course, you will enjoy one of the London Connection vacation apartments that will welcome your family. You will have your own kitchen, separate bedrooms and baths. No hotel hallways separating you from your children. You will sleep soundly at night, knowing they are safely under your same roof.

London Apartment Rentals that work well for families or groups

(the first number in the property code signifies the number of bedrooms)

We hope to see your children next time we are on the open top bus, pointing and delighting in the views of London. Have a wonderful trip and feel free to contact our office with any questions. +1 (801) 393-9120  or SheilaF@LondonConnection.com