Attracting countless international visitors each year, London is host to an array of museums, galleries, historical buildings, theme parks and zoos. If you are travelling to the city with kids, knowing which of these exhibits to see can be tricky. Some, like the London Dungeon, are designed for more adult tastes, while others are designed with the younger generation in mind. To help you decide which to see we’ve cherry-picked three of our favourite attractions in the capital, based on the appeal of the exhibits to young minds, and the child-friendly facilities on offer.
Natural History Museum
Topping our list of London’s top attractions for kids is the Natural History Museum, located on Cromwell Road. Not only is this museum free to enter, but features many child-friendly exhibits which will engage your youngster’s attention for a fun but educational experience. Highlights include a life-sized Blue Whale, a 1,300 year old sequoia tree and dinosaur fossils. With such a large number of exhibits, the Natural History Museum offers enough variety to keep your kids interested for a good couple of hours, and is a superb choice on those days when the weather is a let down. As an added bonus the facilities at the museum are clearly created with the needs of parents in mind and include unisex baby-changing facilities, pushchair/bag storage and a selection of eateries, as well as a picnic area.
London Zoo is one of the capital’s best known attractions and is an excellent choice if you want to spend a whole day in one location, instead of trying to negotiate the city with your kids in tow. Although the entry fees could not be classed as a budget buy, the quality of the exhibits makes the cost well worthwhile. The award-winning zoo is home to an astounding array of species, from comical meerkats to delicate butterflies, so you are sure to find your child’s particular favourite. The exhibits also focus on education and conservation which means that your child will take more home from this visit than happy memories. To complement the animal displays, the zoo also run a daily schedule of events, allowing you to get closer to some of the less fearsome species which live there! Like the National History Museum, London Zoo is designed with families in mind with push-chair accessible exhibits and plenty of options for snacks and refreshments.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
As one of London’s quirkier attractions, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is far from being a dry and dusty museum. The general theme of the exhibits is weird and unbelievable objects, such as a confusing mirror maze and a Mini-Cooper car encrusted with crystals, and will appeal to the curious minds of kids. Some exhibits such as the shrunken heads may be frightening for small children, however you can avoid these if necessary, as there is plenty more to see. The building is pushchair friendly and the staff have a reputation for going out of their way to be helpful, which is always positive! Ripley’s is located in the West End area of London and is easy accessible, making this a good choice if you have a spare couple of hours before seeing a show or dining out.