While free activities are nice, some of the best paid attractions in London are worth spending some time and money to visit.
We spend a lot of time recommending free London attractions because there are so many amazing things to do in London that won’t cost a dime. Those free options are the perfect way to create a fun itinerary that remains within your travel budget, but there are some paid London attractions that are worth every penny of the admission fee.
If you’re visiting London with kids, we have a list that will grab your attention. It includes the best paid attractions in London that are great value for families with children. You can’t go wrong adding a few of these to your travel plans, even if they do eat up some of your budget.
The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
London is one big playground for fans of Harry Potter. You can walk yourself through some of the most noteworthy spots that made an appearance in the books and films, but the Warner Bros. Studio Making of Harry Potter Tour is worth the money.
The tour takes you through the Forbidden Forest, Great Hall, and Diagon Alley. You get to browse and play with an extensive collection of props that were used to bring the books to life on film. There are even authentic Harry Potter costumes that fans of all ages love exploring.
Individual prices start at £47.00 for adults and £38.00 for kids aged 5 to 15. A family of four may also pay £150.00 for a family ticket to one of the best Harry Potter experiences in London. Those are current prices as of the time of this writing, but they may change over time so check with the studio when you’re ready to book tickets.
ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide & Abseil
Prices for this slide start at just £10.95, making it one of the more affordable London attractions for families. It’s well-known as the highest and longest tunnel slide in the world, and you’ll find it at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
If you choose to jump rather than slide, you’ll experience a rapid fall from the highest freefall abseil in the UK. The abseil prices start at £85. You may opt to include GoPro footage of your fall for an additional £15.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a dramatic piece of artwork that doubles as an observation deck looking out over the city. The abseil drop is 80 meters, and the slide is nearly 115 meters tall. The slide goes through curves, drops, and a corkscrew pattern while lapping around the artistic structure 12 times. Both activities will get your heart racing.
The minimum age limit for abseiling is 14. Kids under the age of 18 will need a signed parental consent form before jumping. The minimum age for the slide is 8, and all riders must be at least 1.3 meters tall.
One of the best paid attractions in London, the O2 is a London entertainment complex that offers something for kids and adults of all ages. You can catch a live musical concert at the arena or go for a musical, comedy show, or boxing match at the Indigo.
Then there are the physical activities, which include:
· Up at the O2 – Climb over the entertainment venue and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding city. You can even have a meal at the top.
· See what it’s like to fly at Oxygen Freejumping.
· Watch a movie at Cineworld.
· Knock down pins at Hollywood Bowl.
· Boost your social media game at the Selfie Factory.
· Step into a new world at an ImmotionVR event.
There are also special events held at the O2 throughout the year. Prices and age limits vary, depending on what activities you select.
Kidzania is a city built just for kids and operated by kids. Your little ones can explore a variety of career fields through play. The city includes a bank, aviation academy, cleaning company, fashion studio, hospital, hotel, rescue squad, and radio station. From the police department to the supermarket and even a university, kids are exposed to a wide range of potential career fields.
All activities in the play city are suitable for kids between the ages of 4 and 14. Kids under the age of 4 are not permitted to play. Adults are permitted to watch from the sidelines, and all play areas are visible from the waiting areas.
Tickets can go up to £38 per child during peak hours. Scheduling in advance is the best way to get the best rate and ensure there is room in the city for your children.
Thorpe Park Resort
While this is not actually in the city, this is about a 30 minute drive to some great family fun. This theme park offers standard day tickets for guests who want to ride roller coasters, eat fair food, and play games, plus special event tickets. Some of the most popular events include Fright Nights during the Halloween season and overnight stays in the Thorpe Shark Cabins.
Thorpe Park offers a mix of adrenaline-rushing roller coasters and family-friendly water rides. You can get wet and enjoy a day in the pool or whip through daring twists, turns, and loops on amazing rides. There are rides for all ages plus games and many options for food and refreshments.
You can save 20% on tickets when you book online in advance of your visit. A one-day ticket starts at £39.00 online or £50.000 at the door. You’ll pay about £70.00 per person for overnight tickets to stay in the cabins.
If you’re going to pay even a few bucks to see one of the best paid attractions in London, you want to make sure every family member enjoys the experience as much as possible. We have some tips that will help you make the right picks for your family.
· Book tickets online in advance even if it’s not required. If it’s an option, it’s a good idea because it ensures you have access to the attraction at a time of day that is convenient for your family. That’s important when you’re traveling with young children who are accustomed to a schedule back home.
· If you have the option of buying tickets that allow you to skip the line and go straight inside an attraction, do it. The most popular London attractions can have lines that stretch out for hours. That’s not only a waste of time, but it’s a potential disaster if you have young children forced to wait a long time in the hot sun or a brisk chill.
· Make sure you know if you have the option to reschedule your attraction tickets. You never know what the weather is going to do in London once you arrive, and you don’t want to get stuck at an outdoor attraction in the pouring rain or extremely cold weather. You may also just want to change your itinerary a bit once you arrive.
· Take advantage of attraction bundles, but make sure each included attraction is of interest to your family and isn’t covered by the London Pass or other discount programs. You can save a lot of money on select entertainment venues by purchasing tickets in bundles, and it saves you time.
The best paid attractions in London for your family are the ones that fit the personal interests of your family members. Discuss our list of paid attractions with other members of your family to see what interests them most. Your itinerary should reflect the interests and quirks of your group.