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101 things to do in London with kids, kids 101

101 things to do in London with kids: the full list

See the complete rundown of the 101 best things to do in London with kids of all ages. How many have you done?

By Laura Lee Davies
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For completists, and those of you looking to measure how much of London you’ve explored, here is the full list. As they’re so varied, the entries are in no particular order. If you’re looking for a themed way in, look to our categories and age splits. Then go forth and explore!

CHECK THIS OUT: 101 things to do in London with kids

Things to do with kids in London

FOOD_ChinChin_credit_RobGreig_TOpic.jpg
© Rob Greig

1. Let a mad scientist make you an ice cream at Chin Chin Labs

Restaurants Vegetarian Camden Market

Next time the kids beg for a 99 Flake cone, wow them with a trip to the fabulously fun Chin Chin Labs in Camden Market. Flavours vary weekly and might include ingredients to suit adult tastes (blue cheese, Guinness, tobacco) but there are also sweet treats for all. The ice cream is frozen in front of you in a cloud of liquid nitrogen-generated steam, and you can adorn your tubs with all kinds of strange sprinkles and sauces.

Prices vary.

All ages

2. Bounce around inside a work of art at The Idol soft play centre

Sport and fitness Leisure centres Barking

Tired of the usual bright and tacky indoor playgrounds near you? Then head over to Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking and set the kids free to jump and roll and slide around a work of art. Turner Prize-nominated, multimedia artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd has created an incredible black-and-white play complex inspired by Greek mythology and science fiction. Brilliantly bonkers.

£5.50, £4.50 under-3s, £1.50 under-1s (one adult per child, £1.60 each additional adult)

All ages

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Crystal Palace Park dinosaur
© Chris Waywell

3. Square up to a stegosaurus in Crystal Palace Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Crystal Palace

Carefully positioned in the landscape at the Thicket Road end of Crystal Palace Park, vast models of extinct animals and dinosaurs stand just as they did when they were first unveiled in 1854. The Victorians were obsessed with palaeontology, and the ‘Dinosaur Court’ was a huge hit. Fully restored in 2002, the models still fascinate young children (no climbing!) even though any modern-day, dino-obsessed preschooler can tell you that their quaint shapes are anatomically inaccurate.

Free

All ages

4. Be dazzled by a neon wonderland at God's Own Junk Yard

Art Galleries Walthamstow

Artist Chris Bracey created incredible works for art projects and movie sets for nearly 40 years until his death late last year. His God’s Own Junk Yard space in Walthamstow is a studio where you can see his work – a combination of recycled urban debris and electric light in a gallery of wonderful colour. Still a working neon sign business, it’s open to the public Friday to Sunday, and its Rolling Scones Café is open all week.

Free

All ages 

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5. Stock up on horrible goodies at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Shopping Bookshops Hoxton

Take your darling little one’s mind off picking and eating bogies by taking him or her along to this wonderfully fun emporium – a place that would happily sit on Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Rows of edible treats from ‘Bah! Humbugs’ to ‘Cubed Earwax’ sound way more disgusting than they taste (thank goodness). Along with scary T-shirts and spooky stationery, they make brilliant birthday gifts.

Prices vary

Ages 5+

6. Dodge the water jets in Granary Square

Attractions Public spaces King’s Cross

The area behind King’s Cross is gradually turning into a charming piazza between the station and the nearby arts venues and college buildings. Already there are some lovely features, including rows of ground-level fountains that rise and fall unpredictably. Try to stay dry or just run straight in and get soaking wet as you play. Bring a towel!

Free

All ages

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Free Range Urban Kids
© Jorn Tomter

7. Go really wild with Free Range Urban Kids

Celebrating the great outdoors at all times of the year, Free Range Urban Kids encourages young children to play and learn through nature. Den building, mini-beast spotting and foraging are typical of the alfresco diversions on offer at this ‘Forest School’ playgroup and holiday club based at South Millfields Park. Everything has been thought about, including a discreet outdoor potty area, and a professional and friendly team runs drop-off sessions.

£18, £16 each for six sessions, £35 Holiday Club (ages 3-8; 4 hours, lunch included)

Ages 2-5 (ages 2-3 parents stay for the session)

Various London venues

8. Throw some shapes with Big Fish Little Fish

This family-friendly disco crew references the rave culture of the early ’90s, but happily their events around London and at festivals are thoroughly wholesome affairs. Suitable for babies and children of all ages, Big Fish Little Fish daytime gigs give parents a chance to enjoy good music in a setting that the whole family can enjoy, complete with activities like synthesizer workshops and hulahoop demonstrations. Check their website for upcoming dates.

Prices vary

All ages

Various London venues


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9. Learn how the grown-up world works at KidZania

Attractions Theme parks Shepherd’s Bush

KidZania at Westfield White City is a slick attraction – a whole city built for child play. Kids can dress up and role-play with hands-on activities, becoming anything from a heroic firefighter or a chocolatier to a glamorous pop star or a dentist – testing themselves at a variety of life skills. Just pray they don’t come home thinking a ‘makery’ is what we call a workshop.

£16.50, from £28 under-15s, £10 under-4s, free under-1s.

All ages

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© Jonathan Perugia

10. Become a knight in shining armour at the Wallace Collection

Museums History Marylebone

This free-to-visit museum is a wonderful old house filled with fine art, furniture, porcelain and gold boxes. The galleries include famous masterpieces such as ‘The Laughing Cavalier’, and curiosities – the staircase decorated with gold coins was originally made for the Royal Bank of France. The Arms and Armour collection fascinates pint-sized warriors and can be explored during the regular free family activity sessions at weekends.

Free

All ages

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