Before you think Central London sightseeing is going to be boring for your kids, you might want to think again.
While Central London is the hotspot for major attractions, many of those points of interest really aren’t very interesting to children. Adults may enjoy browsing museums and large collections of artwork, but the little ones need something to keep their attention and get them excited.
That’s where the following central London kid-friendly attractions come into play. Don’t assume that your kids can’t get excited about history or science until you give them an experience that makes it fun and entertaining.
Kid-Friendly Central London Sightseeing Favorites:
Changing of the Guard
This historic event occurs daily at the Buckingham Palace and is sure to grab the attention of the whole family. You’ll hear a loud marching band playing through the streets while uniformed guards march by with horses. Even if your kids don’t understand the historical significance of what’s happening, they will come to life in the parade-like environment.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours
These bus tours are unique because they allow you to get on and off at any stop all day long. That puts the day in your hands as you cruise through a set route and make your way through the attractions in any order you like.
You can see the bus routes online and make a plan in advance or simply get on and off as you see fit once you arrive in London. Many bus tours allow you to bundle tickets to other attractions for savings up to 25%.
Dino Snores – A Night to Remember
The Natural History Museum gives kids between the ages of 7 and 11 the chance to sleepover in one of the museum’s galleries. The exhibits come to life when the doors are locked and the torches come out from hiding. Educational activities are presented, and kids have the chance to make their own t-shirts.
The museum now holds Dino Snores sleepovers for adults as well. Check the museum’s website for dates, prices, and other detailed information.
Princess Diana Memorial Playground
If you plan on touring Kensington Palace and Gardens, make sure to stop off at this amazing playground. It features a giant wooden ship that sparks creativity for children of all ages. It’s also a great place to let the kids burn off some energy or to enjoy a family picnic. It’s always free!
Free Harry Potter Walking Tour
Strawberry Tours offers a free walking tour that traces JK Rowling’s inspiration and reveals the neighborhoods, buildings, and streets that made an appearance in the Harry Potter books and films. It lasts for about two hours, so make sure your children are old enough and physically able to handle that activity level. There are paid bus tours available for younger Potterheads.
This Central London sightseeing tour will take you by some of London’s biggest attractions, including the London Theatre and Trafalgar Square. You’ll venture to the Ministry of Magic and Great Scotland Yard while you’re at it.
London’s O2 is a unique entertainment venue that has something to offer kids of all ages. You can climb to the top and enjoy 360-degree views of the London skyline or keep your feet on the ground for live events. The venue is home to a massive cinema, bowling alley, freejumping site, and a variety of restaurants, bars, and outlet stores. They even have a selfie factory.
Thames River Sightseeing Cruise
Bus tours are great, but would a boat cruise hold your child’s interest a bit longer? Many kids find the River Thames cruises exciting even if they don’t understand the historical significance of the attractions floating by in the distance.
This is a great way to get off your feet for a bit and take in views of the city from a new angle. You may even pick up some new facts and interesting stories if you take a Central London sightseeing adventure on a narrated cruise.
Ride a Double-Decker Bus
You can’t walk through central London without seeing those bright red double-decker buses cruising through the streets. You’ll need an Oyster Card to board the bus, but they’re a great way to get from one attraction to another. Kids of all ages enjoy climbing to the top and watching the streets from up high.
Catch a Show
Live theatrical performances are among the best parts of a Central London sightseeing vacation. The theatre district is lively in the center of the city, and there are always kid-friendly titles hitting the stage. Check out the London Theatreland Map online to find theatres convenient to your hotel or attractions that you want to visit.
Most theatres list their upcoming shows online and allow you to purchase advance tickets. That’s the best way to ensure your family has tickets to the hottest shows when you arrive in London.
The Kid-Friendly Side of London
When creating your Central London sightseeing itinerary for a family vacation, try to strike a balance between kid-friendly activities and the attractions favored by adults. You can also try turning museums and historic attractions into entertaining events by signing up for guided tours with live storytellers. Some museums, art galleries, and palaces also offer activities that make history more hands-on for the little ones.
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