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Discover London off-peak this summer with your family

Got a pint-sized posse to entertain over the holidays? TfL’s off-peak fares and discounts for kids make it the perfect time to set off across the city on a family adventure

Time Out in association with Transport for London

No school, no problem. Whatever your kids are into, London can supply it in spades: art, science, really big gleaming steam trains. Ditch the car, round up the clan and head on an off-peak family adventure with your Oyster or contactless card now. 

Remember to check TfL Journey Planner before you travel.
When the British summer is at its best, remember to carry a bottle of water with you while you make your journey, and use sunscreen with high SPF for kids!

Note: all events referred to in this feature have now passed. 



Off-peak family adventures

A big day out on the DLR...

A big day out on the DLR...

Take an expedition into the Docklands and Greenwich using east London’s iconic transport system. Begin your adventure with DLR Discovery – a tour-guided DLR journey from Tower Gateway to Cutty Sark. Families can explore the area’s iconic landmarks along the way, including Billingsgate Market and Limehouse Basin. Jump off in Greenwich’s beautiful historic centre for a walking tour around this famous Thamesside World Heritage Site.
Weekends Aug 4-Sep 9. £8 (concs and family rates available). Book now at
Getting there: DLR to Tower Gateway.
Local bus routes: RV1, 15, 42, 78, 100. 

... followed by a trip to the jungle at Greenwich Theatre
Photograph: Disney

... followed by a trip to the jungle at Greenwich Theatre

Then journey into the jungle, as Mowgli, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther take over Greenwich Theatre for its new production of ‘The Jungle Book’. Explosive percussion, creative puppetry and colourful characters will bring Kipling’s classic tale to life in a vibrant all-ages stage show.
Aug 15-26. £18.50, £13.50 concs, £9.75 child. DLR Discovery customers get 25 percent off. 
Getting there: DLR to Cutty Sark. 
Local bus routes: 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 386. 

  • Museums
  • Transport
  • Covent Garden

Get busy with steam cannons, electric circuits and wind-up buses at the London Transport Museum’s The Great British Summer of Engineering. From getting the handle on 150-yearold steam trains to helping solve the engineering problems of the future, there’s a wealth of amazing interactive challenges for tots. Even big kids will be totally enthralled.
Jul 21-Sep 3. £16, under-18s free.
Getting there: Piccadilly line to Covent Garden.
Local bus routes: RV1, 6, 9, 11, 15, 23, 87, 91, 139, 176.

For mad scientists
  • Things to do
  • Forest Hill

Kids (and kidults) love exploring the wonderfully bizarre Horniman Museum. Marvel at the natural history section, see how colour works through interactive exhibitions, join nature trails, explore the gorgeous butterfly house and get a summer buzz at the museum’s beehives.
Free, some events are ticketed.
Getting there: Overground to Forest Hill.
Local bus routes: P4, 176, 185, 197, 356.

For mini-Monets
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Dulwich

Little hands constantly playing with crayons will love the gorgeous Dulwich Picture Gallery. While big kids can check out the Edward Bawden exhibition and his wonderful animal drawings, tots can colour their own fantastic beasts in a crafty workshops for children of all ages.
£9, free under-18s. Workshops are ticketed.
Getting there: Victoria line to Brixton then P4 bus.
Other local bus routes: 3, P13.

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Crouch End

Literary little ’uns should get their noses stuck into charming bookshop Pickled Pepper Books. Adults can hang out in the seating area while the kids browse the packed bookshelves, or join one of its engaging workshops. Look out for Roald Dahl- and Harry Potter-themed science and illustration sessions this summer.
Various dates Jul-Aug. £20-£25.
Getting there: Northern line to Archway then bus 41.
Other local bus routes: W5, W7, 91.

Get there for just £1.50
David Potter

Get there for just £1.50

Yep, TfL’s off-peak fares mean travelling in the summer holidays doesn’t have to break the bank.


Off-peak fares apply on weekdays before 6.30am, between 9.30am and 3.59pm, and after 7pm, plus all day at weekends and bank holidays. Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey not going via Zone 1 on Tube, DLR and most London Overground services. Always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare. To check your fare, search TfL Single Fare Finder.

And let's not forget the bus or tram! The Hopper Fare lets you take unlimited bus or tram journeys anytime, anywhere within one hour for just £1.50.


Got kids? 
Children under five travel free. With a Zip Oyster photocard, five- to ten-year-olds can travel free on all TfL services, while 11- to 15-year-olds can travel free on buses and trams and travel at half the adult rate on all other TfL services.
Apply for a Zip Oyster photocard today by going to

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