So you plan to visit London but unsure on the things you can do with the kids on your next weekend break or family holiday? Not a problem. In this article, I am going to help you find the best child friendly activities, the most appropriate shows to attend with children and also reveal the best outdoor attractions.

With over 9 million inhabitants, London is the second most populated city in Europe. It is also very large with 32 boroughs, commonly known as districts. You won’t have the time to visit them all but for sure you will read and hear about Mayfair, City of Westminster, Camden or Kensington and Chelsea.

No wonder why London is one the richest capital when it comes down to culture. Theatres, museums, art galleries or cinemas: you could easily spend a whole week visiting different venues. But what’s suitable for your kids? What are the essential things to do with your kids when visiting London?

So let’s find out. Let’s go!

1. Introduce your kids to Contemporary Art at Tate Modern

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What We Love

  • lower ground floor where kids can go wild
  • shop has a lot of colouring and art books dedicated to children
  • top floor offers an amazing view of London

“Tate Modern is always a fun museum to explore with my children. Big spaces, big artworks and definitely some interesting conversations going on between us”
Emily, mother of 2 children

Never underestimate the curiosity of kids, especially when it comes to the arts. The Tate Modern offers a wide range of art galleries and displays, including three-dimensional pieces, and installations incorporating modern visual and audio media. You might just end up igniting a creative passion in one of the kids.

Price: FREE for Permanent Exhibitions

Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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BabyBreaks Tip: make sure to check private or small group tours with the company The Little Grand Tour for children 6+

Source: Tate Modern / Rikard Österlund

2. HMS Belfast

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s so exciting about being to get on and explore an actual warship. You and the kids can explore all nine decks of the HMS Belfast, seeing a host of displays about what life on the ship would have been like during the war. One of the most powerful ways to hear stories from life in the Second World War, without a doubt. One of the most original things to do in London with your kids for sure.

Price: £ (FREE for children under 5)

Address: The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2JH

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Source: @v_on_sea / Instagram

3. National History Museum

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What We Love

  • the Dinosaurs trail which the animatronic T.Rex
  • spending time at the Creepy Crawlies gallery and check how ants work together
  • entering the Vault with the world’s largest collection of coloured diamonds

Children have an affinity for stories about dinosaurs and what the world was like before our time is practically a given nowadays. The Natural History Museum has plenty of displays on not just that. There are constant events and displays on human evolution, space, local wildlife, and much more. They might even get interested in the program to become a Naturenaut and help the museum with its research from home.

Price: FREE for Permanent Exhibitions

Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

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BabyBreaks Tip: did you know that the venue organises sleepovers through the year. Have a look at their future dates for Dino Snores for Kids

Source: National History Museum London

4. Tower of London

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What We Love

  • being able to see the Crown Jewels is something quite special
  • meeting these famous ravens and learnt they had little chicks last Spring
  • the shop has some interesting Medieval artefacts replica

Perhaps the most storied building in all of London. A fortress defending from invaders, the royal residence of kings past, and a prison that has been part of countless stories. Children can see the living history of power in Britain, from the Crown Jewels to tours of the dungeons where even kings and queens have been held in the past.

Price: ££ (FREE for children under 5)

Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB

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5. Madame Tussauds

A London favourite and an international institution, everyone should have the chance to see the life-life creations of celebrities and famous historical figures at Madame Tussauds. The waxworks are, undoubtedly, the number one reason to visit, but they’re not the only ones. Theatrical walk-through adventures like the Sherlock Holmes experience and the thrilling Alien: Escape sequence can make the trip feel like a lot more than just a chance to see some wax statues.

Price: £££ (FREE for children under 3)

Address: Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR

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Source: GetYourGuide

6. London Transport Museum

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The city is well known for its trains, so it should be no surprise they have a huge collection of vintage transport at the London Transport Museum. There is a wide range of interactive displays here, and always a range of events going. For instance, you can explore some of the Underground’s disused and abandoned stations, or look at posters from over 100 years ago, giving you insight into what the stations might have looked like way back when.

Price: £ (FREE for children)

Address: Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB

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7. Postal Museum

Do you have any kids who are Postman Pat fans? Then they might like to see how their hero works up close. The Postal Museum looks as far back into the postal service of the UK as it can. For instance, you can see artifacts from the Victorian era, and join in a host of period activities and workshops. We love this play area as well which makes this venue a top choice of things to do in London with your kids.

Price: ££ (FREE for children under 3)

Address: 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA

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Things to Do in London with Kids
Source: Postal Museum

8. The Clink Prison Museum

Ever heard of the phrase “being sent to the Clink?” It all comes from his historic and notorious prison. First built in 1144, the Clink is now a museum that offers a fantastic look into prison life throughout the centuries. Scandalous tales, archaeological treasures, and some questionable prison implements are all included. It’s a fully interactive trip, with sights, sounds, and themes that can be chilling, so be sure your kids can handle it.

Price: £

Address: 1 Clink St, London SE1 9DG

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Source: BabyBreaks

9. V& A Museum of Childhood

A true collection of childhood, with over 26,000 objects from over 400 years, including toys, puzzles, and board games from just about every period one could look into. The collection of playthings, clothings, photos, and more could be perfect for whisking your kids away to another time, helping them imagine what life might have been like had they been born into a different age.

Price: FREE

Address: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA

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Source: V&A Museum of Childhood

10. Science Museum

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What We Love

  • the Transports room where you can see trains, planes and more
  • workshops are Wonderlab are fun ways to get your kids interested by science
  • the interactive space The Garden for young children located on Level -1

Science Museum is one of London favourite museums for boys and girls who like to experience themselves all the different science areas, have fun and learn. You can spend a whole afternoon there and why not ending the visit with a movie at the IMAX theatre.

Price: FREE for Permanent Exhibitions

Address: Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD, UK

Opening Times: Daily from 10am until 6pm Closed on 24, 25 and 26 December

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Still thinking what to do in London with children…we have 20 more activities…

11. Sea Life London Aquarium

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Get ready to come face-to-face with sharks, octopus, penguins and rays. Sea Life London will take you on a fascinating journey meeting with oceans creatures just like if you were cousins with them. There are some live feeding times you could check once inside the venue. Finally don’t forget to visit the SeaHorse Kingdom. Even though entries don’t come cheap, this aquarium has a lot to offer to families which makes one of the great things to do with kids in London.

Price: £££ (FREE for children under 3)

Opening Times: Weekdays: from 10am until 6pm  Weekends: from 930am until 7pm

Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK

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BabyBreaks Tip: It is recommended to pre-book your tickets online

12. Play Base at National Army Museum

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You might think why should I go to the Army Museum with my young kids. Fear not, it has one of the greatest play area called Play Base for kids under 8 years old. Make sure you book online in advance to avoid disappointments. A lovely soft play area among our things to do in London with young kids for sure.

Price: £ (FREE for children under 1)

Opening Times for Play Base at National Army Museum: Daily: 9.40am – 5.20pm
Last admission: 4.20pm

Address: Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT, UK

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BabyBreaks Tip: Play Base could be very popular on the weekends and only 5 tickets are free per session for kids under 1 so make sure you book your session far in advance here

13. Gambado Chelsea

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What We Love

  • seeing your kids having a blast with other children
  • knowing your children can’t escape the place (gate security check)
  • coffee place for parents

Gambado Chelsea offers young children a great large indoor play area where they will explore, play, party and have fun together in a secured environment. Parents can watch their kids having fun whilst sipping a cup of coffee and some cookies of course. This is a great venue that you could visit in the morning or just before dinner time to ensure your kids will fall asleep  quickly in the evening.

Price: £ (FREE for children under 1)

Opening Times: Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm & Weekends until 6.30pm

Address: 7, Station Court, Townmead Rd, Chelsea, London SW6 2PY, UK

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14. KidZania

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What We Love

  • discovering our kids having interests towards specific careers and jobs
  • staff is very friendly and patient with a busy and exciting crowd
  • kids 8+ can be left on their own so you can do some shopping at Westfield

KidZania is an interactive city made for children from 4 years old until 14 that combines inspiration, fun and learning through realistic role-play. This attraction company is one of the fastest growing global learning and entertainment brands in the world.

Kids can independently explore a scaled indoor city of over 7,000 square meters with more than 100 exciting careers that they can try. Your child will learn how to be a Pilot, a Vet or a Dancer.

This unique attraction will take your kids in their own world for 4 hours. So prepare yourself for a great indoor adventure. No wonder why this venue has become more and more popular when parents are looking for things to do in London with their kids during holidays.

Price: ££

Address: Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, White City, London W12 7GA, UK

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BabyBreaks Tip: we find that sessions in the morning are less crowded because they clash with lunch time. But don’t worry you can have lunch inside KidZania between jobs too!

We are halfway through our list of things to do in London with your Kids…hold on…

16. Opera Dots at Royal Opera House

At BabyBreaks, we are big fans of activities around Music in general so when we heard about Opera Dots at the famous Royal Opera House, we were enchanted by the idea of introducing Opera to young listeners under 5. Royal Opera House organises a 45min workshop throughout the year. The venue expect parents and their children to participate as much as they can too!

Please note you need to book in advance the session and sessions get sold out quickly

Price: £

Address: Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD

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Source: Royal Opera House

17. the Design Museum

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What We Love

  • on the 1st floor, you can play with different speakers and hear your voice in echo
  • lots of interactive screens to play with whilst exploring different designs
  • the exhibition Moving to Mars is mind blowing and fun to do with kids 5+

The Design Museum is one of the recent museums that opened in London. The museum was funded by one of the most iconic designer in the UK Sir Terence Coran. The new museum in the Kensington area has opened in 2016 and already won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2018. Permanent exhibition allow you to discover the evolution of objects such as the Apple Mac or how humans have listened to music through Technology (remember the CD player or the famous Sony Walkman).

Price: FREE for Permanent Exhibitions

Address: 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG 

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Source: BabyBreaks

18. Kensington Gardens

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What We Love

  • the huge boat that will entertain your kids for a while
  • sensory trail where you can play hide and seek
  • discover the gardens in Spring with huge collection of flowers

Hyde Park is of course very well known among London visitors but you can also visit Kensington Gardens and discover Kensington Palace where part of the Royal Family lives.

This park also offers a popular playground close to Kensington Palace with a huge sand beach with a pirate ship that will keep your children occupied for a long time. You would also find plenty of space and seating area for you while your supervise your children having fun. Your kids might even play Cowboys and Indians while hiding underneath teepees. No wonder why this attraction is one of the most popular among kids days out in London.

Price: FREE

Address: Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground, Broad Walk, London W2 4RU, UK

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19. Battersea Park with Children Zoo

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What We Love

  • this small zoo makes it more accessible for children under 5
  • fun playground with a huge sandpit
  • enjoying feeding time with merkats and otters (among others) 

Battersea Park is an underrated park with fantastic views over the Thames river and one hidden secret is that it has a Children’s Zoo which is a great alternative to the over populated Regent’s Park London Zoo (now called ZSL London Zoo). This zoo will make your kids discover all kinds of animals from Ferrets to Meer Kats or Chipmunks. After your visit to the zoo, head over the Children playground, which has everything for toddlers up to juniors.

Price: £

Address: Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ, UK

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20. London Wetland Centre

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What We Love

  • be surrounded by wild nature and birds in London 
  • feeding time with otters
  • spotting birds hidden in wooden cabins

Who knew that London has a wildlife conservation centre where you can observe birds, otters in total freedom. This activity is located on the South West side of London between Putney and Barnes. This neighborhood had been cherished by Londoners for many years because the feeling is very different to live there compared to the city centre. Barnes also has different grounds to play rugby, cricket and more. Don’t forget to check out our favourite family pubs in London because one of them is in Barnes.

Price: £

Address: Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT, UK

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21. Borough Market

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What We Love

  • I took the children on a day out in London and we made a lunch break at Borough Market and sit down by the church nearby to enjoy super fresh and tasty focaccias (thick Italian sandwiches)
  • Kids also love to see all the different fishes and seafood at the fishmonger stall
  • You can’t resist take back home some amazing cheese

If food exploration is something you would like to take with the kids, Borough Market will excite you as soon as you enter the London oldest market. You will taste International cooking with great quality food stalls. There are also different places where you can have lunch. A little tip, try to be there before 12pm on Saturday as the venue can be crowded in the afternoon.

Price: FREE (but you need to buy food!)

Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK

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Source: BabyBreaks

22. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a sporting complex built for the 2012 London Olympics and the 2012 London Paralympics, situated to the east of the city adjacent to the Stratford City.

In the north of the Park, children of all age will enjoy the Tumbling Bay playground featuring rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about.

The Tumbling Bay sits alongside the Timber Lodge community centre and café, where parents and kids can relax with a range of fresh, home-cooked food and drink.

Price: FREE

Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST, UK

24. Churchill War Rooms

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What We Love

  • the huge interactive digital tables where you can learn about the Winston Churchill long life
  • the war rooms with sounds effects that make you feel you are living World War 2 in the secrets of Churchill’s headquarters
  • Audio guides that explain every corner of the rooms so you can learn whilst walking around the different exhibitions

If there are underrated museums in London, Churchill War Rooms is one of them. I didn’t have high expectations when we went there with my daughter aged 5 years old at that time. We were super captivated by the whole museum, especially the recreated war rooms where Churchill used to live and work during World War 2. Highly recommended even if army stuff is not your cup of tea as we say in English!

Price: ££ (FREE for children under 5)

Address: Clive Steps, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ 

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Churchill War Rooms in London
Source: David Wilson / Flickr

25. Museum of Brands

In our Western world, brands are everywhere so it is quite a challenge for our children not to be exposed to the famous fizzy drinks, crisps or cosmetics. So why not opening a museum dedicated to brands which takes you on two centuries of consumer culture. The question is which brands your kids will remember, recognise and why?

Price: £ 

Address: 111-117 Lancaster Rd, London W11 1QT

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Museum of Brands - things to do in London with children
Source: Museum of Brands / Facebook

5 More Things to Do to discover in London with your Kids and we are done…

26. Kyoto Garden at Holland Park

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What We Love

  • going there for each season so you can capture different colours with flowers and tree leaves
  • walk through the bridge and check out the Koi fishes

Kyoto Gardens is a well kept secret in London that not many family travellers know about. So if you are around the Kensington area, I highly recommend to go to Holland Park and check out one of the best child play areas in London and stop by Kyoto Gardens. Weekends can be a bit busy but you won’t have to wait to long to walk around the path.

Price: FREE

Address: Holland Park, Holland Park Ave, London W11 4UA

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Source: Ewan Munro / Flickr

27. ClueQuest Escape Room

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What We Love

  • we found the host super friendly with our kids and made sure everyone was comfortable and understood the rules
  • the room was very clean and wasn’t tired at all despite the popularity of escape rooms these days
  • the booking system on their website is very easy to use

With growing up kids, we tend to look out what could be the family friendly escape rooms available in London. ClueQuest is one of the venues we have experienced recently with a small group of 4 children aged 8 and 9 and 2 adults. The experience lasts about 1  1/2 hour and as you know you have 1 hour to find clues to escape the room. We actually exited the room in 56 min and the game was medium level (Plan 52 was the room we booked).

Price: £££

Address: 169-171 Caledonian Rd, London N1 0SL

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kids friendly escape room in London
Source: ClueQuest

28. Commute on the Thames river with Uber Boat

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What We Love

  • Uber Boat is very modern and comfy whether you sit outside or inside
  • the operators offers an unlimited family ticket all day with 2 adults and up to 3 children for £36.70

Buses and the London Underground are easy commutes to get around London. I bet your kids will ask while entering the double decker bus ‘can we sit upstairs please?”. Another way to navigate around the British capital is to take Uber Boat by Thames Clippers that takes you in different pier locations from Putney in South West London to Woolwich in South East side of London. On a sunny day, it is great to go to London Bridge and stop by the Tate Modern or Borough Market.

Price: ££ (FREE for children under 5)

Address: 23 piers to hop on and off between Woolwich and Putney (some piers don’t operate during weekends)

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fun way to travel around London by boat
Source: BabyBreaks

29. LEGO® store in Leicester Square

We agree with you that visiting a LEGO® store might not be the most cultural activity of the day on your family holiday in London. However, this LEGO® is the biggest store in Europe and feels more like a museum than a shop with different themes like Harry Potter or a huge reproduction of Big Ben. No wonder why visitors might have to patiently wait outside waiting for their turn to visit the flagship store of LEGO®.

Price: FREE entrance (but your kid(s) might ask you to pay for a LEGO® box)

Address: 3 Swiss Ct, London W1D 6AP

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fun things to do with kids in London
Source: Martin Pettitt / Flickr

30. Catch the deers at Richmond Park

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What We Love

  • the huge interactive digital tables where you can learn about the Winston Churchill long life
  • the war rooms with sounds effects that make you feel you are living World War 2 in the secrets of Churchill’s headquarters

Part of the Royal Parks, Richmond Park is the famous place where you can spot deers in the wild. Yes, that’s right. If visiting a zoo is not your thing, you and your children will be mesmerised by the beauty of Richmond park and its official deer residents. With 2,500 acres of land, Richmond Park a perfect place for a day out in the wild in the South West of London that can be easily reached by the London Underground on the green District Line. Apparently, Richmond Park is home to over 600 deers. How many will you spot on your visit?

Price: FREE 

Address: Richmond

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Deers At Richmond Park
Source: BabyBreaks

BONUS 1: musicals and plays – which are the family friendly shows not to miss in London

Finding the right musical or play in London could be tricky. So imagine with children. We have seen quite a few shows in the past 10 years and very rarely we made a mistake by picking these 5 following performances. Make sure you pre-book your theatre tickets, especially on weekends or use the famous theatre box called TKTS In Leicester Square that sell on the day performance last minute tickets at a discount.

  • Matilda at Cambridge Theatre
  • Mary Poppins the Musical at Prince Edward Theatre
  • Cinderella at The Gillian Lynne Theatre
  • Wicked at The Apollo Victoria Theatre
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Palace Theatre

BONUS 2: Spend a day at Hampton Court Palace

If you have been a few times in London and look at something to do for the whole day with the family, I highly recommend to visit Hampton Court Palace. Home of Henry VIII, this listed Grade 1 Royal palace is a beautiful building that has over 500 years of history. Gardens are absolutely stunning during all seasons. We love the fact that you will meet real life characters that you can chat to during your visit. It makes the whole visit so much more interesting and interactive.

CONCLUSION

So there you have it. I hope you found my selection of the best things to in London with your kids useful for your next holiday in London. In this article, I have highlighted obvious activities such as the National History Museum but also off the beaten track attractions like Churchill War Rooms.

Greater London has also so many parks and gardens to discover during all seasons. Your children won’t be bored with the diversity of playgrounds and adventure trails available in the English city.

If you are still unsure about where to stay in London, don’t hesitate to look at our best kids friendly hotels and homes in London. Lots of different options available to you at different budget prices.

Happy Family Travel!

30 Fun Things to Do in London with Kids

1. Tate Modern
2. HMS Belfast
3. National History Museum
4. Tower of London
5. Madame Tussauds
6. London Transport Museum
7. Postal Museum
8. The Clink Prison Museum
9. V&A Museum of Childhood
10. Science Museum
11. SeaLife London Aquarium
12. Play Base at National Army Museum
13. Gambado Chelsea
14. Kidzania
15. The Making of Harry Potter
16. Opera Dots at Royal Opera House
17. The Design Museum
18. Kensington Gardens
19. Battersea Park and Battersea Zoo
20. London Wetland Centre
21. Borough Market
22. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
23. Chiswick House & Gardens
24. Churchill War Rooms
25. Museum of Brands
26. Kyoto Gardens at Holland Park
27. ClueQuest Escape Room
28. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers
29. LEGO® store in Leicester Square
30. Richmond Park
BONUS 1: Family Friendly Shows and Musicals in London
BONUS 2: Hampton Court Palace

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