Want kid-friendly London attractions in the evening hours? Here are some top ideas for London sightseeing at night with kids.
Another fun day in London has come to a close. The sun is slipping lower in the sky, but your little ones are rambunctious and nowhere near ready for bed. Where do you go with kids after 5 p.m. in London?
Dinner may seem like a great choice, and we have covered many of the best kid-friendly restaurants in London right here on this site. But what can you do after 5 p.m. in London with kids once those little bellies are filled? We have some great suggestions that will give every member of the family something to rave about back home.
Ride the London Eye
The London Eye is spectacular in the evening, especially if you can go right after nightfall or even catch the sunset. It’s only open until 6 p.m. most nights, but you may find that there are fewer people in line during that last hour. There are some nights that it stays open a bit later, so check the schedule online if you want to take the 30-minute ride after 5 p.m.
If you start before 5 p.m., you can stop off at this London attraction while enjoying a walk between the bridges of South Bank. We’ll discuss that idea next.
Walk the South Bank Bridges
If you’re up for a little evening stroll, go to Westminster Bridge on the South Bank and walk to the Millennium Bridge. The River Walk will even take you further to London Bridge if you’re really up for the challenge. You’ll pass many leading South Bank attractions along the way, including:
You’ll also catch some great views of the River Thames while chatting with your family and enjoying the evening weather.
Head Off for a Show
The theatre scene in London is among the best in the world. There are so many theatres that you may struggle to settle for just one live performance during your vacation. The good news is many shows hit the stage after 5 p.m. and are located near restaurants that offer pre- and post-show meals, drinks, and snacks.
How do you find the best shows in London during your trip? Websites like Theatre Monkey and What’s On Stage will give you the most comprehensive view of the theatre scene at any given time. You can also look up the website for specific theatres and book tickets directly.
Keep in mind that tickets to the best shows at popular London theatres will book fast, and you may need to grab your tickets online in advance.
Hit the Museums
Most London museums offer free admission and are open after 5 p.m. at least one night a week. Many are also located near gardens, parks, or large circles with opportunities for shopping, dining, and simply relaxing in Mother Nature.
Consider going to your favorite museum and then enjoying a picnic dinner in a nearby green space. A nice stroll through the surrounding streets can wear the little ones out, preparing everyone for a solid night of rest.
Get the Views from the Shard
The Shard is an incredible London skyscraper that offers a viewing deck with amazing views of the city that stretch out for up to 40 miles for amazing London sightseeing at night. The views are caught on floors 68, 69, and 72.
You need to book tickets for the view online, but they allow you to spend as much time on the viewing decks as you like. There are restaurants in the building as well, but you will need to book reservations well in advance if you want to dine there after 5 p.m. Also make sure a fine dining experience is in your budget.
Cruise the River Thames
City Cruises offers an evening cruise that includes live entertainment and snacks. It’s suitable for kids at least 13 years of age and includes a soft drink or glass of sparkling wine plus cold canapés. It’s not the snack food all children prefer, but older kids should enjoy the nighttime views plus the atmosphere with live performers and time with the family.
If you receive a voucher for a free river cruise when you book tickets for one of London’s family-friendly attractions, see if they have options after 5 p.m. Those free cruises are great opportunities to fill an evening with off-land adventures and amazing London sightseeing at night.
Explore London Dungeons
If you’re going to get creepy, why not do it after 5 p.m.? London Dungeons is one of the best kid-friendly attractions in London, and you can book your tickets and timeslots online. This is a popular attraction that can fill up quickly, so try to grab your tickets as soon as you have your itinerary or travel dates set in stone.
The Dungeon is located on London’s South Bank near the London Eye and many other attractions. That makes it easy to walk between attractions, enjoying them all plus a walk along the river in a single evening.
Take a Jack the Ripper Ghost Tour
Jack the Ripper is one of the more interesting stories of London’s past. Many adults are interested in walking the streets to see where he once hung out and committed his crimes, but it’s not a topic that is suitable for young children.
In general, the tours are recommended for kids at least 15 years of age. We encourage parents to consider the age, maturity, and personal interests of each child before going with this recommendation. No one knows your child better than you!
That said, some older children and teenagers find Jack the Ripper tours interesting and fun, even if it is a bit creepy or unsettling. The Aldgate East Jack the Ripper Walk starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until about 9 p.m. The guide stops frequently to tell stories about Jack and point out spots of interest, but it is a long walk. There is no age restriction, but the tour guides do not tone down adult content regardless of the audience and recommend it for kids at least 14 years old.
There are a lot of cabaret bars and other London venues that clearly cater to the adult crowd, but that doesn’t mean families are left to wander the streets in boredom. For starters, London is never boring even if you do just walk the streets for London sightseeing at night. The right neighborhood will deliver street art, live performances, and shops that don’t cut the lights after dark, so start walking and explore.
You can also schedule many tours and cruises after dark. Some may feature alcohol and live music with an adult audience in mind, so read the details to see exactly what you’re getting and to check for age restrictions. Those restrictions are always a big clue as to whether an event is kid friendly.
Finally, check out your hotel and the surrounding area. Many large hotels have swimming pools, cafes, fitness centers, and other areas where guests are easily entertained after 5 p.m. The surrounding area may also lead to small shops and entertainment venues that provide tons of fun with a quick walk back to your room.