There are so many kid-friendly places in London, but where do you go when traveling on a tight budget?
Start by filling your itinerary with some of the city’s amazing parks, courts, and other green spaces. The kids will have a blast exploring playgrounds, nature trails, historical statues, fountains, and splash pads. You can even walk along the River Thames in the evening for spectacular views that won’t cost a dime.
If you’re going with the London Pass or another discount attraction pass, the next step is to see what attractions are included for free. You’ll get into some of the most popular museums and historical attractions for free or at a reduced rate.
If you still have space on your itinerary, we have more suggestions for free or low-cost attractions in London. Keep reading to learn about the most cost-effective kid-friendly places in London.
Budget-Friendly Kid-Friendly Places in London:
Alexandra Palace is one of the kid-friendly places in London that is an entertainment complex located on the edge of Alexandra Park. You can visit the expansive park for free, and the Alexandra Palace Farmer’s Market is on the southern tip of the park. The Palace features a variety of kid-friendly activities at affordable prices, including:
- Ice skating rink
- Garden center
- Kid’s play area
- Skate park
- Big Tree climbing experience
- Pitch & Putt
You can also book tickets online to see live theatre performances at the Palace. Prices vary, but you can often score standing tickets at reasonable prices. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, simply exploring the park or ice skating on the rink will entertain all members of the family.
Horniman Museum and Gardens
This unique museum is surrounded by a host of free or low-cost activities suitable for kids of all ages, including:
- Horniman Play Park
- Tarleton Gardens
- Horniman Nature Trail
- Horniman Sunken Gardens
- Horniman Butterfly Garden
- Horniman Market
You may also want to stop off at Plonk Crazy Golf, which is a low-cost miniature golf course located north of the museum. The outdoor gardens are perfect for an afternoon lunch, or you can stop off at the museum’s convenient café for lunch or dinner.
The museum itself is one of a kind with an aquarium and a hands-on exhibit that allows kids to test out a variety of interesting museum artefacts. The collections and exhibits grab the interest of adults and kids alike by touching on everything from anthropology and natural history to music.
Entry into the museum and gardens is free. You may need to pay for some special exhibits and events.
London Aquatics Center
You’ll find this aquatic center on the eastern edge of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The park itself is a great place to spend some family time, but stopping off for a swim is even more fun. You can book online family swim time or one of the following activities:
- Ice skating
- Soft play
- Splash pad
While this isn’t a free activity, it doesn’t cost much to go in for a family swim or stimulate your toddler with a soft play session. Membership is not required to book activities online.
Scenes in the Square Trail
If you want a different one of the kid-friendly places in London, head to Leicester Square and find the Scenes in the Square Trail. Of course, Harry Potter is included, but you’ll also run into Paddington Bear, Mary Poppins, and superheroes like Wonder Woman and Batman. Statues of loveable characters from film are placed in entertaining poses along the trail, so your kids can pose with their favorites while you snap pictures free of charge.
When you arrive, go to the flowerbeds across from Burger King to locate the interactive character map. Hold your phone up to a small disc to receive a popup that gives you access to a free walking tour of the trail. The entertaining narration coordinates with your journey through the Scenes in the Square Trail. You can also just peruse the trail at your own pace.
Transportation that Serves as Entertainment
We have one last tip that will help you get around London while having a blast even on at tight budget.
Have you heard about hop-on, hop-off bus tours in London? You can do the same thing with a Family River Roamer ticket from the Thames Clippers Uber Boat. For £35.60, a family of up to five can hop on and off the boat all day long. The boats are a lot more exciting for kids than buses or the tube, and you can get to most destinations throughout central London with this method of transportation for the best kid-friendly places in London.
The Uber Boat is even more affordable if your children are under the age of 16. Kids 15 and under ride for 50% off, and kids under four always ride free. Baby changing stations are available in the restrooms, and you can use the onboard café for fast, affordable snacks.
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