There’s a meme making the rounds on social media at the moment that says something like “Week One of Summer Holidays: Trips to the zoo, beach, museums and art classes. Week Two: Wi-Fi is your mother now.” It’s easy to run out of ideas and steam when you’ve got six weeks with the kids. We’ve put together a bit of a cheat sheet to help if you’re struggling for ideas for activities with kids in London. Grab and go!
Activities to do with kids in London this summer
Pick your own
From strawberries to sweetcorn, food tastes better when you harvest it yourself at a pick-your-own farm. Here’s our guide to pick your own farms close to London.
Go for a swim
The heat comes in waves over the summer in London and when it strikes be ready with a plan to head to a lido (of course kids will splash about in almost any weather!). There are lots of lidos in London, just be sure to get there early to beat the crowds.
If the kids are bouncing off the walls at home take them to a trampoline park where they can do it properly, without making a mess! Flip Out trampoline parks are huge, clean, fun indoor play areas for kids of all ages (you too parents). Check out our review of Flip Out Brent Cross.
Kayak with sharks
Every weekend you can join a kayaking session with the Sharks (‘London’s premier wild water racing club’) at Osterley House. The cost is £7, just turn up and have a go or you can book online.
Tidy up the city together
Spend time in the great outdoors as a family, pitching in on a litter pick to help clean up London. Check out Thames21 to engage in some purposeful mud larking by joining in a clean-up of our mighty river. Surfers Against Sewage and Plastic Free Hackney are other amazing organisations that regularly organise clean-up days; families are welcome.
Learn where your food comes from
Bring the kids to Brentford for a family food exploration session – cuddle chickens, observe bee hives, and learn about where food comes from with Sara Ward at her urban smallholding (you may remember her from our article about her Hen Corner project).
Go to a new playground
When you just can’t handle the site of your local playground anymore it’s time to venture out and try a different one. We asked our readers what their favourite London playgrounds are and compiled the results.
Visit farm animals in the city
There are several city farms across London, small friendly spaces with a host of animals and activities. Entry is free, but donations welcome to keep them running.
Climb the walls
Spiderman fans, prospective mountain climbers, and kids with just way too much energy will love to climb the walls at Westway Sports and Fitness, The Castle Climbing Centre or Clip ’n Climb (check out our review of Clip ’n Climb) and let them do it for real.
Hanwell Zoo, known to locals as Bunny Park, in Ealing houses meerkats, prairie dogs, and porcupines, and, of course, rabbits. Plus there’s a playground, maze, and walks along the Brent River.
Cool down with a sweet treat
I scream, you scream, get everyone to stop screaming by taking them for ice cream. Here’s the scoop on London’s best ice cream shops.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Enjoy the playgrounds, fountains and riverside walks of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Kids just can’t get enough of dinosaurs and luckily there are plenty of dino-packed places in London to make young fans roar with joy.
The Horniman is at its best in the summer when the gardens are alive with flora, fauna and fun family activities. From pond dipping to mini golf to live music to nature trail hikes to food markets, there’s so much to do here. Inside, the popular Brick Wonders exhibition is still running, here’s our review.
Northala Fields hills
Climb up those conical earth mounds you see from the A40 for 360-degree views of Central London and Canary Wharf. This park features playgrounds, fishing lakes and wetlands.
Find an indoor play centre
Rainy days (or super hot ones) sometimes urgently call for indoor play options.
Discover 1,300 years of British history at the former summer home of the bishops of London. Fulham Palace also offers a cafe and weekly activities for kids.
We’re spoilt for chioce when it comes to family-friendly theatre options in London. Check out what’s on at: Watermans, Lyric, Little Angel Theatre, Jacksons Lane, Half Moon, Polka, arts depot and Southbank Centre.