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London Aquatics Centre Aqua Splash
Photograph: London Aquatics Centre

The best indoor activities in London for kids

Even when it’s raining, there are tons of great things to do with kids in London

Sarah Cohen
Written by
Time Out London editors
&
Sarah Cohen
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It rains in London. Fact. Even in the summer. So it’s always worth having some wet-weather ideas up your sleeve to keep the kids entertained. Of course, there are always museums, theatres and cinemas to visit, but the capital is full of other indoor activities for children of all ages.

Whether you’ve got a story-lover, aspiring climber or would-be circus performer on your hands, there’s more than enough to keep little ones (and bigger ones) occupied. Rainy days just got a whole lot more appealing... 

RECOMMENDED: 101 fantastic things to do in London with kids.

BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park
  • Sport and fitness
  • Ladbroke Grove

The Westway provides cover for this community-rooted skate park. It offers all-level events for skaters and BMXers aged seven and above, including drop-in beginners’ sessions and group lessons, with equipment available to hire.

Various prices.

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Bunker 51
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Charlton

Bunker 51 is an old south London war shelter that’s been turned into a LaserTag and paintball arena. It has a chilling military vibe but kids young as eight can go paintballing here. Not only is it a seriously fun day out, but if a nuclear apocalypse happens while you’re there, you’ll be safe as houses.

Various prices. Booking essential.

 

Clip ’n’ Climb Chelsea
  • Sport and fitness
  • Climbing
  • Fulham

Climbers aged four-plus can scale the walls at this brightly coloured arena. It’s designed to appeal to all ages and levels of experience, and equipment is provided.

£19.50 adult, £17.50 child (age four-15), £5.50 under-fours.

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  • Things to do
  • Caledonian Road

Great for kids who love online challenge games, ClueQuest is one of a growing number of experiences offering adventurers a similar challenge in real life. Teams of two to six players get locked in a room and have 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries in order to escape.

Prices from £25 per person.

Discover Children’s Story Centre
  • Art
  • Arts centres
  • Stratford

Discover is a magical world where children up to the age of 11 can embark on an indoor story trail, aided and abetted by fantastic characters whose role is to help kids invent their own stories. There’s also a café and a shop that sells cool picture books and pocket-money toys.  

£7.50, £6.50 concs, £25 family of four.

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Flip Out
  • Things to do
  • Cricklewood

These indoor trampoline parks host ‘Mini Flippers’ sessions for under-fives and parents to jump together. The East Ham branch also offers a Ninja Warrior course for older kids, plus indoor caving, a laser maze and loads more. There are also venues in Wandsworth, Croydon and Brent Cross.

Various prices. 

  • Sport and fitness
  • Olympic Park

Young swimmers must try the breathtaking pools at The London Aquatics Centre. It’s a cathedral to water sports, with 50-metre pools and amazing diving facilities. What you really want to check out, though, is Aqua Splash, a 40-metre assault course, where you get to run, jump and do all the other things they don’t let you do in normal swimming pools. It’s available during the school holidays for children aged eight and over.

Aqua Splash £7.50 adult, £5 child.

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Brick Lane

There are four nine-hole courses to choose from at this neon-splatted venue in Hackney. Those aged under 18 years are welcome Sunday to Wednesday before 6pm (accompanied by an adult) and can chow down on hot dogs, nachos and pick ’n’ mix for a mid-round snack.

£11-£13.

National Centre for Circus Arts
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Hoxton

Let your little ones run away with the circus! Kids aged eight to 16 can try their hand at skills including tightwire walking, diabolo and trapeze, all under expert guidance, in these three-hour Saturday afternoon workshops.

£58.

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  • Attractions
  • Bermondsey

These indoor tracks, located in Docklands, Edmonton, Acton and Mitcham, let racers aged eight to 12 take the wheel of a Cadet Kart. Not to leave the grown-ups out, there are adult karts available for those aged 13 and over.

Various prices.

Looking for more things to do with little ones?

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