Don’t limit your itinerary to the big attractions in London. There are many interactive activities and exhibitions for kids in London scattered throughout the city, and many were designed just for the little ones. Others are family-friendly and offer something fun or interesting for kids of varying ages.
Even if you don’t think your kids are interested in art or science, sprinkling a few exhibitions into your travel plan is a great way to expose them to new ideas and possibly trigger new interests.
Exhibitions are always changing at London’s most popular art galleries and museums. We do our best to suggest exhibitions and activities that are long-lasting, but we may not know when changes occur at all recommended venues. The recommendations on this page will introduce you to some of the best London art galleries and museums for kids. Check them to see what exhibitions are on display at the time of your trip.
The good news is that every exhibition that ends brings on something new. You may like the replacement just as much, so explore these venues to see what they have to offer at the time you visit London with kids.
Dulwich Picture Gallery
This gallery contains more than 600 European paintings plus beautiful gardens and a café serving refreshments. Kids under the age of 18 are always admitted free, though they do recommend calling ahead to reserve space. The gallery hosts a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year, and there are often exhibitions designed with kids in mind.
Once it’s deemed safe for London museums to reopen after the pandemic, the Dulwich Picture Gallery will hopefully resume their Family Sunday events. You can bring the family for hands-on exhibitions and activities that allow even the littlest family members to make art for themselves. There are other family-friendly events held throughout the year, so check the gallery’s website to see what’s available during your upcoming trip to London.
This is a hands-on museum that regularly runs exhibitions for kids in London. The property includes beautiful gardens that are perfect for outdoor enjoyment, including a butterfly garden. You can explore the current exhibitions and then grab a bite to eat from the café while exploring the outdoor green space.
We recommend the Horniman Museum because they offer a lot of workshops and interactive exhibitions that are perfect for children.
Museum of London
We recommend the Museum of London for families traveling with kids because it’s free and there are workshops hosted throughout the year. The museum explores the city’s history, so it’s a great way to teach kids of all ages about the significance of the city they’re visiting.
The Museum of London is also dedicated to creating exhibitions for families and children. Some of their self-declared family favorites include the following:
You can also ask for activity bags to continue the explorations after you leave the museum.
The National Gallery
The National Gallery is one of the best attractions for kid-friendly educational exhibitions in London. Not only is the collection interesting to people of all ages, but there are a variety of art workshops and other interactive exhibitions and events hosted throughout the year. You can even find kids’ workshops that allow children to approach art from an understandable viewpoint.
In response to the pandemic in 2020, the National Gallery started presenting online events, including many pre-recorded exhibitions and activities for kids and teens. Some are for members only while others are open to the public, but you do need to reserve space in advance. Watching the website for upcoming virtual events will ensure your kids get in on the best sessions.
You’ll find the Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
When approaching an exhibition, try to give kids the freedom to enjoy the experience at their own level and in their own way. It isn’t a bad thing if they aren’t into every topic explored while on vacation. What’s important is that they have the chance to learn something new and experience something interesting to discover what gets them excited about life.
It’s not unusual for kids to develop deep interests in particular topics while exploring the world with their families. You never know what your kids will get into when you expose them to interactive exhibitions throughout London. Many only take a few minutes of your time, so stop off between attractions or add more cultural destinations to your London travel plan.