If you are visting with really little ones, you may want to add these top London attractions for toddlers to your travel plans.
There are so many things to do in London that adults and even teenagers could get lost for weeks without getting bored. The problem for families is often finding suitable activities for toddlers. While they want to have fun and even learn just as much as every other member of the family, their ability to sit still, pay attention, and process many London attractions falls short of the grownups and teens.
The good news is that there are some great entertainment options and top London attractions for toddlers. We’ve touched on some of them elsewhere on this website, but we wanted to round them all up in one place to make planning your trip a lot easier and faster.
Without further ado…a list of fun, toddler-proof activities and attractions in London.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
The London Zoo is a good place for children of all ages, but the children’s zoo at Battersea Park is slightly better for the littlest members of the family. It’s a smaller zoo that requires less walking around between attractions, and there are plenty of places for toddlers to interact with animals and watch them in their natural habitats.
This zoo also includes play areas, each oriented toward children within a different age group. Families can sit down for a picnic lunch or eat at the Lemon Tree Café. There’s also a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs or perhaps a toy for your toddler.
This is a seven-acre playground in London that only allows adults when they’re attending to a child. There’s a sandpit and a section with live animals like sheep and goats, but what parents of toddlers need to know about is the drop-in option for children under age 5.
Drop-ins allow children to enjoy a soft-play session with an experienced childcare practitioner present. The play room includes a zone that sparks creativity and a zone for reading, among other options. Toddlers are stimulated and allowed to explore a variety of toys in a safe environment.
The outdoor play facilities are great for families with children in multiple age groups. There are safe play areas for kids of all ages, including those toddlers outside of drop-in hours.
Discover Children’s Story Centre
This unique children’s center is split into unique play areas that are all designed to mimic a storybook world. You can book your children for two-hour play sessions online, choosing which story worlds they get to play in each time. The activities and play equipment in each world varies, so you can choose the ones that will appeal to your child’s age, skill, and interests.
Play sessions fill up quickly at this center, so try to book your child’s space as early as possible. The lead time is often a month out, so it’s never really too early to start planning your trip and reserving that space for your little one.
Museum of London Docklands
Wait, why would we recommend you take your toddler to a museum in London? It’s all about the Mudlarks attraction. It’s a play area that divides kids by age, providing age-appropriate play equipment tied to the London history theme. There’s a play area for children under 5, so toddlers can burn off some steam and play with others around their age.
This is a free museum, but you should reserve tickets online. The earlier you reserve, the more likely you are to get tickets on the day you want to visit for your upcoming vacation.
Diana Memorial Playground
The Diana Memorial Playground features a massive pirate ship that kids of all ages enjoy playing on, but that isn’t the only option for the wee ones. Get your toddler out to the sensory trail and take him on a walk. Take him to the beach and allow him to throw some sand around. Even just walking around the play ground and running off some energy is great in the middle of a long sightseeing day in London.
Tumbling Bay Playground
Are you up for another playground that has some great features for toddlers? If so, head to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and find this amazing playground. Then go to the stadium and look for a series of colorful water fountains that are guaranteed to grab the attention of kids of all ages.
This playground utilizes elements of the natural environment to create play spaces for toddlers as well as older children. Slides and swings rest alongside wobbling bridges and treehouses, creating a fun environment that allows children to think creatively and have fun with natural resources.
V&A Museum of Childhood
This amazing childhood museum in London has undergone a massive renovation and now offers spectacular play areas for kids of all ages. The new design places some items at the child’s level, making the museum more accessible even to toddlers. Children can enjoy exhibitions that encourage creativity while stimulating little minds with education as well.
The Museum of Childhood also offers workshops, courses, talks, and a variety of free events that are family friendly. These opportunities allow you to immerse your child in educational material while having a little fun with you.
There are many tours of London that allow you to relax while learning some interesting facts about the city’s top London attractions for toddlers and points of interest. Bus tours and boat cruises are great options for families with toddlers because they often provide lively narration and an opportunity to get off your feet and out of the sunshine.
Toddlers often enjoy the experience of riding a double-decker bus or open-top bus, so it’s okay even if they aren’t intrigued by the narration or live guide. If you schedule it at the right time, some toddlers will take a nap while the rest of the family enjoys the tour.
If nothing else, go for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Allow your toddler to look out the window and help select points of interest to get off and explore. When they’re in charge of the attractions for the day, they ‘re more likely to take an interest in whatever you find in London.
You can have a great time in London with toddlers as long as you do some planning in advance. Rather than striking any attractions that your toddler won’t enjoy off your itinerary, come up with ways to make those attractions or activities more acceptable to every member of the family.
For instance, you may tour a museum that would bore your toddler to tears while the toddler is napping in the stroller. Simply schedule that museum for the approximate time your toddler usually naps, and then do everything possible to maintain the sleep schedule your child is already accustomed to following.
You may also ask for activity books at many museums and other attractions oriented mostly to adults. These books are free and will give your toddler something to do during a dull event, even if all they do is scribble on the pages with a crayon.
London is a great place to expose young children to a variety of experiences and new cultures. It’s always a good idea to give kids exposure to a broad range of things because you never know what they may take an interest in. Babies may even enjoy staring at artwork in a gallery if the colors are bright, the shapes interesting, and the overall environment safe.