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29 Fun Things To Do in London with Toddlers

I know it can be daunting to arrive in London and not know where to take your toddler to have a great time. 

Don't worry, I can tell you which of the major London tourist attractions are toddler-friendly and show you the best activities that are custom-made for families with toddlers.

Toddler-Friendly Tourist Attractions

Science Museum

© Science Museum Group

The Science Museum has always been one of my daughter's favourite destinations whenever we visit London. They have some really great areas specially designed for children and toddlers - the Wonderlab, the Pattern Pod and the Garden. 

The Pattern Pod is an area for under 9-year-olds where your toddler can use all of their senses to learn about science, with the use of touch screens, robot trails, textured walls and interactive exhibits. You'll find the Pattern Pod on the ground floor and it is free to enter.

The Garden is an interactive exhibit (for under 6-year-olds) where toddlers can find out about science through play. There are friendly science explainers on hand here to answer questions or just join in the games. The Garden is free and is in the museum basement.

© Science Museum Group

If you have an older child with you, I can recommend the Wonderlab (for ages 7 and up) with lots of interactive exhibits, shows and demonstrations. Your toddler will probably find things to explore and play with too. Our daughter has spent many hours in this area - there's so much to discover. The Wonderlab is on the 3rd Floor, and there is a charge for this exhibit.

It's also worth checking which films are showing in the Museum's Imax cinema - they often show animal and space films that your toddler could enjoy.


Natural History Museum

If your toddler is into dinosaurs and all things pre-historic, a trip to the Natural History Museum is a must!

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum London

They have a whole gallery dedicated to dinosaurs, which contains huge models of dinosaurs, some of which are re-created to look as they might have in pre-historic times, and others which are shown as skeletons. 

There is also a Volcano and Earthquake Gallery which will show your kids what the earth was like when the dinosaurs were around. Not forgetting the giant pre-historic fossils in the Fossil Marine Reptiles Gallery.

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum London

If you want to buy your toddler a memento of their visit you can visit the dino store(!) which has lots of dinosaur-related gifts including pocket-money toys.

If you get hungry at the museum, there is a restaurant and three cafes to choose from!


Watch the Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at Buckingham Palace at 11:00am.

Changing of the Guard © Wisebuys21 via Flickr

Your toddler will love the horses, the marching soldiers, and the music played by the military band. 

It can get very crowded at the front of Buckingham Palace, especially during the summer, so it might be better to watch the soldiers go by as they march to the ceremony from the Wellington Barracks, or as they leave the Palace afterwards.

The best places to watch from is at the Wellington Barracks from 10:15am (before the ceremony as the soldiers gather), or on The Mall where the soldiers pass after the ceremony from 11:30am.

Changing of the Guard © Ana Rey via Flickr

NB The ceremony can be cancelled at short notice in bad weather, especially if it's raining, so it's probably good to have a plan B! How about visiting the horses in the Household Cavalry Museum?


Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum is a great place to explore the world around us with your toddler. 

Horniman Museum © Jim Linwood via Flickr

In the museum itself, there are all sorts of fascinating exhibits from different cultures all around the world.

However, it is the gardens at the Horniman that your toddler will probably enjoy the most - providing the weather is cooperating of course!

There's the sound garden (with huge musical instruments to play), the bee garden where you can discover the plants loved by bees, the animal walk where you can get up close to the animals, and the prehistoric garden filled with the plants that were around at the time of the dinosaurs!

Horniman Museum © Neil Turner via Flickr

Even if it's raining, you'll still be able to visit the aquarium and butterfly house in the gardens (charges apply).


Young V&A

There are three sections in the purpose-designed Young V&A in Bethnal Green - Play, Imagine and Design.

Young V&A © David Parry courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum London

The Play and Imagine sections have all sorts of interesting interactive displays for your toddler and the Design section is aimed at older children.

Play has a special baby and toddler area with interactive displays that allow them to play with colours, textures and shapes - they are placed low down at "toddler-level".

Young V&A © David Parry courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum London

Imagine will encourage your toddlers to use their imaginations, with a performance and story-telling area, and lots of interesting items on display including the Joey the Warhorse puppet and an original Superman outfit. You must take a look at the famous Doll's House collection whilst you're here - parents and toddlers alike will love it.


London Eye

The London Eye is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in London, and well worth a visit with your toddler.

© London Eye

To a toddler, the London Eye is like a super-sized fairground Big Wheel, so it will be extra exciting if you've been to a fairground with them before.

Things that your toddler will love about the London Eye:

  • Going up high like a bird,
  • watching the boats travelling up and down the Thames,
  • spotting the bridges over the Thames,
  • watching the tiny people and cars on the ground.

© London Eye

Things you need to know about the London Eye:

  • It's cheaper to book in advance on the website;
  • pushchairs and buggies can be taken on the London Eye, but they must be folded up;
  • there may be a long queue at weekends and school holidays even if you pre-booked (you can buy fast-track tickets);
  • the ride lasts about 30 minutes;
  • the first and last rides of the day are generally quieter;
  • there's a great play park next door in Jubilee Gardens.


The South Bank

The area called the South Bank is a great place to wander with your toddler.

South Bank © Joe Passe via Flickr

There are lots of tourist attractions and fun activities along The Queen's Walk, along the bank of the Thames near Westminster Bridge. 

There are lots of street performers who will entertain you - you can even have your photo taken with them if you put some money in their hats.

The London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Thames River Cruises, Thames Clipper boats (Uber Boat) and the Royal Festival Hall are all within easy reach of the walkway beside the river.

South Bank © Garry Knight via Flickr

If you'd like a more traditional toddler activity, the playground in the Jubilee Gardens, next to the London Eye, has always been a favourite with our daughter. She found it easy to make friends from other countries here while having a blast on the adventure playground.


Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the biggest and best-known parks in Central London - it covers a huge 350 acres, so there are plenty of green spaces for your family to run around on!

The Serpentine in Hyde Park © Garry Knight via Flickr

There are many things to do in the park, so you have a lot of toddler-friendly activities to choose from. There's an adventure playground in the south of the park (between Rotten Row and South Carriage Drive), which also has a refreshment kiosk.

Not forgetting the Serpentine - the lovely boating lake where you can swim in the Lido in the summer, and hire a rowing boat or pedalo all year round.

Hyde Park © Domenico Convertini via Flickr

On a hot summer's day, your toddlers will love to paddle in the Diana Memorial Fountain. It is a fountain of shallow water, with textured tiles that the water flows over in a huge circle.

You'll love the fact that there are lots of cafes and refreshment kiosks in Hyde Park, so you're never far away from that essential snack or refreshing drink.


Granary Square Fountains

This is a great watery play area for toddlers in the King's Cross Development, next to the King's Cross station. There are over 1000 fountain jets set into the pavement which are constantly changing to make a fascinating display.

Granary Square © John Sturrock via King's Cross

The jets are lit with coloured lights so they make a lovely scene at dusk. 

In the summer, the area feels like a city-centre beach with kids and adults alike playing in the water to cool off.

You'll probably want to take some spare clothes and a towel - your toddler won't be able to resist getting wet in the fountains. 

Granary Square © Bex Walton via Flickr

There are toilets and changing facilities on-site in the Coal Drops Yard shopping area.

There's also a great canal walk nearby, and lots of restaurants and cafes. Also, you can visit the King's Cross Light Tunnel.


King's Cross Light Tunnel

This isn't a major attraction or anywhere that will take long to visit, but it's something that toddlers will find fascinating.

King's Cross Light Tunnel © Charcoal Soul via Flickr

It's a 90m long curved tunnel which goes from King's Cross and St Pancras stations to Granary Square. It has a feature "art wall" which is made up entirely of panels of LED lights. 

King's Cross Light Tunnel © David Skinner via Flickr

The panels are used to feature art installations and big blocks of changing colour, and are a great spectacle!


London Transport Museum

The curators at The London Transport Museum have really thought about how to entertain and educate toddlers and families - you'll have a great time here with your little one.

© London Transport Museum

The museum, in the heart of Covent Garden, has a huge area for kids called the All Aboard Playzone, and it's on the ground and first floors of the museum. 

There's a fleet of mini vehicles for your toddler to play on, a mini lost property office, and a pretend cafe and information desk - just like at a real station. 

There's also the special baby DLR - a fascinating interactive wall with building blocks for the littlest ones to play with.

© London Transport Museum

There are also free toddler singing and story sessions every week during term time, and special events during the school holidays - just check on their website for dates.

The rest of the museum has some great things for toddlers too, such as: jumping on the moving pictures in the London by Design Gallery, building a tunnel ring in the Digging Deeper Gallery, and listening to the horses chatter whilst they pull a tram on the top floor!


Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens has lots of great things for toddlers to explore, as well as plenty of space for them to run around and play in.

© Ines Stuart-Davidson / RBG Kew

The highlight is the Children's Garden, with Earth, Air, Sun and Water sections where your toddler can follow the windy paths, weave through a living bamboo tunnel, slide down "worm hole" tubes, and play on the stepping stones in the water feature.

© Ines Stuart-Davidson / RBG Kew

There are lots of other things to see with your toddler at Kew - a huge model of a beehive, a tall walkway where you find yourself among the tree-tops and the traditional temperate greenhouse where you can find lots of huge exotic and rare plants.


Crystal Palace Park

There are loads of things to do with your toddler at the 200-acre Crystal Palace Park in South London.

© Crystal Palace Park Trust

There's a farm with lots of animals to meet, a maze, a playground, lakes with lots of birds to feed, and, best of all, the famous full-size dinosaurs hidden on islands in the lakes!

The dinosaurs were installed in Victorian times, and have been entertaining toddlers (and grown-ups!) for over 150 years. You can spot them on islands in the lakes - there are around 30 of them!

© Crystal Palace Park Trust

The Brown and Green Life cafe in the park is open every day from 8:30 until 5:30, so it's a great place to stop for a pit stop. They serve all sorts of cooked breakfasts and lunches, along with a great selection of sandwiches and salads, vegetarian dishes, hot and cold drinks and even wine for the grown-ups.


National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum next to Greenwich Park has a special gallery for under 7-year-olds called the AHOY Children's Gallery that your toddler will absolutely love.

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

It is full of interactive activities with a nautical, exploration and pirate theme.

Your toddler can stoke the boiler of a steamship, play with the fish in the marketplace, join in with the interactive boatyard, explore the mock-up of a pirate ship, and lots more.

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

You can enter the gallery for a 45-minute session for free during the week in term-time, and £3 per child at weekends and during the school holidays.

You are advised to book online tickets for the whole family beforehand, even for the free term-time sessions, as the capacity of the gallery is limited. 


Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is the famous ancient ship which will allow your toddler to be a pirate, or a ship's captain, or an explorer to their heart's content. 

Cutty Sark © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

There are toddler sessions at the Cutty Sark once a week, where you can take your toddler to a 45-minute session of story-telling and free play in the area under the Cutty Sark (or sometimes in the ship itself). Your toddler session tickets include entry to the Cutty Sark, so you will be free to explore the ship once the session has ended. 

If you want to just explore the ship without a toddler session, three-year-olds and younger can enter the Cutty Sark for free (provided they are accompanied by a ticketed adult of course).

Cutty Sark © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

We visited with our daughter and she wanted to explore the whole ship from top to bottom - she really thought she was a pirate!

If you visit the Cutty Sark at the weekend or during the school holiday you will be able to meet one of the characters from the ship's history such as the Captain, the ship's cook or the ship's builder. 


Postal Museum

There are two really great reasons to visit the Postal Museum with your toddler - the Mail Rail and the play area called Sorted! The Postal Play Space.

© The Postal Museum

The Mail Rail is a great underground train adventure! You can ride on the converted mail trains that used to carry the post around underneath the city. 

The Mail Rail is included in the admission price for the museum. 

Sorted! The Postal Play Space is a great play area designed to entertain your toddler whilst learning about the world of mail!

© The Postal Museum

They will be able to follow the mail as it they take it round the mini-town, where the kids can use trollies, pullies, slides and chutes. There's a sorting office, a mini post office and of course those letters have to be delivered...

Sorted! is an add-on which you can book when you book your tickets for the Postal Museum. You can go to Sorted! without going to the museum, but then you would miss out on the Mail Rail!


Animal Attractions for Toddlers

London Zoo

Everyone who visits London with toddlers will want to take their children to London Zoo! There are hundreds of different animals to see, as you'd expect at a zoo.

© London Zoo

However, one of the best things about visiting London Zoo with a toddler is the children's area called Animal Adventure, which is purpose-designed with our youngsters in mind!

In Animal Adventure, the children's favourite animals such as meerkats, porcupines and llamas are shown in enclosures with extra low barriers, so that toddlers can clearly see the animals and really feel part of the action.

© London Zoo

There are also climbing frames with lots of slides and ladders and even a splash zone.

For the parents, there is a handy catering kiosk, called the Peckish Parrot Cafe, serving drinks and snacks so that everyone can refuel when they need to.


Mudchute Park & Farm

Mudchute Farm is right next to Canary Wharf and the financial district, so it is a truely City Farm.

© Louie Legon / Mudchute Farm Park

It has over 100 farm animals such as sheep, cows, pigs, geese, llamas, ducks and aviary birds that your toddlers can feed and pet (under the supervision of the expert farm hands).

The larger animals graze in the paddocks, and the smaller more cuddly animals live in the "Pets Corner" near the main courtyard.

© Louie Legon / Mudchute Farm Park

The Farm is an approved Rare Breeds Survival Trust's approved farm park, so you'll see unusual breeds here that you won't find anywhere else in London! 

The Mudchute Kitchen is an ideal place to take a break from all that stroking and feeding - they serve delicious home-cooked food which is cooked on-site. Located in the farm courtyard, you can watch the animals as you enjoy your brunch or lunch.


SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Most toddlers love an aquarium - with fish, sharks and other sea creatures to watch, they are fascinated by the undersea displays. 

© SEA LIFE Aquarium London

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium is more than your average aquarium - it has the usual aquarium tanks, but it also has an ocean tunnel to walk through, a rainforest adventure, rockpools to explore and a colony of gentoo penguins to admire.

SEA LIFE is right next door to the London Eye, and as Merlin Entertainments run both, you can visit them at a reduced price if you buy a combined ticket.

© SEA LIFE Aquarium London

You don't have to visit them both on the same day, and children under 2 are free.


Hackney City Farm

At Hackney City Farm, you and your toddler can experience real live farming in the heart of the city!

Hackney City Farm © Paul Joseph via Flickr

Your toddler can get up close to the favourite farmyard animals, such as goats, sheep, ducks and geese, pigs, donkeys and chickens.

There's a great garden with all sorts of vegetables, fruit and flowers growing, so your toddlers can see where their daily fruit and veg come from!

Hackney City Farm © Aryeh Alex via Flickr

The farm holds regular pottery classes for children, no booking required, so your toddler can join in if they fancy it.


Special Toddler Attractions

Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

This is the best way to see lots of the sights of London in one afternoon with your toddler - take afternoon tea on the Peppa Pig Bus Tour!

Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea © Brigits Bakery

You hop on a big red London bus at Somerset House and for the next 90 minutes you are taken past some of the most famous sights - London Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and more. 

Peppa Pig afternoon tea is included in your ticket, with food that will please both adults and children - freshly prepared savouries and mini home-baked cakes and tarts.

Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea © Brigits Bakery

I think one of the best features of this tour is that each table has a built-in tablet which shows an animation in which Peppa Pig guides you through London as you go along, with sing-along songs to join in with.  


Big Fish Little Fish

Big Fish Little Fish organise parties that are a cross between a rave and a festival for families with kids under the age of 8.

© Big Fish Little Fish

Each event is a celebration of dance and family fun - with dance floors, crafting areas and breakout rooms for the littlest ones, you'll have a brilliant time raving with your toddler. 

The music is carefully chosen so that the whole family can enjoy the dancing, and the volume is turned down so that sensitive young hearing is not damaged.

© Big Fish Little Fish

It's intentionally busy - there will be hundreds of toddlers and their families there having the time of their lives.

Big Fish Little Fish organise family raves all over, and you can check on their website for the London events that are on when you are in town.



Role2Play is an indoor role-playing town for toddlers - where your toddler can pretend to be whoever they want to be and have a ball interacting with others.

© Role 2 Play

Of course, they'll be learning as well as playing whilst they're at Role2Play. There are lots of different everyday scenarios to fire your toddler's imagination: the cafe, the supermarket, the medical centre, the construction site and much more.

Play sessions last for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and there are four sessions per day so you can choose which to book online.

© Role 2 Play

The in-house (real) cafe stays open for half an hour after the end of each play session, so you can refuel your toddler once they have finished playing.


Tumbling Bay Playground

Set in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this is the perfect place for your kids to let off steam, explore, and have adventures!

Tumbling Bay Playground © Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The playground is designed to resemble the natural landscape, so your toddler will find loads of rockpools, wobbly bridges, sand pits, slides and lots more in this nature-inspired haven.

Tumbling Bay Playground © Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

When everyone is exhausted and hungry, there's the Timber Lodge Cafe right next door where you can rest and refuel!


Princess Diana Memorial Playground

This is one of the most amazing playgrounds in London, set in one of the royal parks - Kensington Gardens. Our daughter wanted to stay the whole day when we visited!

Diana Memorial Playground © Matt Brown via Flickr

It has a nautical theme inspired by Peter Pan, with a huge pirate ship climbing frame at its centre. There are sand pit beaches, teepees, swinging boats, a sensory trail and lots of other play sculptures spread throughout the playground.

Diana Memorial Playground © Karen Bryan via Flickr

Next door to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground is the Broadwalk Cafe which serves hot and cold food (including stone-baked pizza and vegetarian meals), snacks and drinks so you can keep your family energised.


Apple Tree Children's Cafes

Apple Tree have two cafes in South East London, which are wonderful places for toddlers to explore, learn and have fun whilst their adults relax with a cup of coffee. Both cafes are set up so that you can see the specially designed play areas at all times from the cafe area.

© Apple Tree Cafe

The Herne Hill cafe has a role-play area, which is regularly changed, where your toddlers can act out everyday roles such as shopping at the flower shop or working at the fire station. 

The Peckham Rye cafe has a sensory room which will capture the imagination of the youngest guests. Both cafes have a ball pit, slides and climbing frames of course.

© Apple Tree Cafe

The menu in both cafes is carefully designed to cater for young kids and older ones, and they use local suppliers.

Once you have chosen which cafe to visit, you can book a 1.5 hour play session on the Apple Tree website. You can take up to 4 toddlers (under 5) and one extra adult.


Toddler Shows

Puppet Theatre Barge

Watching a show at the Puppet Theatre Barge is a great unique experience for both you and your toddler! It is the only floating puppet theatre in the UK. 

© Stan Middleton / Puppet Theatre Barge

The marionette shows, which usually last around an hour, are performed on a converted Thames River Barge. Don't worry - it is warm and comfortable, and has been beautifully restored with proper theatre seating and heating!

The barge is moored in Little Venice most of the year and in Richmond for a couple of months in the summer. 

© Alex Krook / Puppet Theatre Barge

Check on the Puppet Theatre Barge website for their current shows, as they often have shows for the 3-6 year-old age group. Booking is advised.


Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre is just around the corner from Tower Bridge, so it would be easy to combine a visit to the bridge with one of the amazing children's shows at the Unicorn.

© C Adams / Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre specialises in productions that encourage children to question the world around them.

The theatre has a year-round programme of shows for all different ages of children, some from 6 months up, so have a look at their website to see if there's anything your toddler would enjoy.

© Helen Murray / Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn wants their audiences to feel comfortable whilst watching their shows, so they actively encourage children to respond by laughing, clapping and cheering, and they don't mind if the kids are vocal or energetic!


Polka Theatre

Based in a custom-designed building in Wimbledon, Polka is more than just a children's theatre - it offers a lot more than just child-friendly shows.

© Hufton and Crow / Polka Theatre

If you live in the London area, there are weekly classes (book a term at a time) where your toddlers can use their imagination to explore stories through music and drama. 

Alternatively, there are 45-minute long one-off drop-in sessions you can join if you do not live in the area, featuring songs, sensory stories, sign language or story-telling.

© Hufton and Crow / Polka Theatre

There are, of course, lots of child-friendly productions to choose from if you want to take your toddler to a show. Just have a look at their website - the shows and workshops are each marked with the age group they are aimed at.


I hope this selection of things to do in London with your toddler has given you some helpful ideas, and reassured you that there are lots of great things to do there. London is a great city to enjoy for both toddlers and adults!

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