Lockdown restrictions are set to lift slowly starting next month and while it's still some time before life looks anything like normal, we're thinking ahead to when we can hop on the Underground and explore all our fave hotspots around London. Here's where you'll find us, in no particular order, just as soon as COVID-19 has had its ugly butt kicked outta town.
1. Thames Rockets speedboat adventure
Number one on our things to do in London once lockdown is done is the super duper adventure to be had thanks to Thames Rockets: there's NO better way to celebrate your freedom than by whizzing down the Thames on a speedboat. Better still, use the discount code TRinsta20 and you'll bag yourself 20% off the total price. Discounts and freedom all in one hit: so much 'hell, yeah!'
Thames Rockets, Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Pier, SE1 7PB
2. London Dungeon
London Dungeon has been terrifying kids and adults alike for over 45 years with its amazing if a little (okay, a lot) gruesome retelling of London's rather dark past. Expect theatrical actors, special effects, cool staged scenes and even a couple of underground rides in this horribly fabulous adventure out that spans 1000 years of history packed into just one day.
London Dungeon, The Queen's Walk, Bishop's, London SE1 7PB
3. ALL the museums
From sleepovers at the British Museum to hanging out with dinos at the Natural History Museum, there are sooo many awesome museums to check out in London that we're putting them all on the list. Starting with these 10 museums that the kiddos love as much as we do! We can't wait for them all to throw their doors back open to us. Psst: check out the websites of your fave museums ahead of their reopening, as many of them are doing some cool, free virtual tours.
4. Tower of London
We won't give too much away, because half the fun of a day out to the Tower of London with kids is discovering the history and hearing the gory details for themselves, but in a nutshell, this impressive castle was built as a fortress in the 1070s by William the Conqueror, mostly to show off to his defeated London subjects. It's got a pretty hair raising history, and the kids will definitely have lots of fun finding out about its gruesome past: ghosts, beheadings and all! We've got a whole guide dedicated to the Tower of London for families, so dive on in to it before you head on over.
Tower of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
5. SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Ah, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, how we miss you and your cute residents. Did you know that stingrays are related to sharks? Or that the aquarium holds over 2 million gallons of water? There's so much to learn while having lots of splashtastic fun here, including getting involved with its conservation work, taking part in feeding time and hanging out with Nemo and friends. Expect demands for a fish tank before you even get home...
SEA LIFE London, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Bishop's, London SE1 7PB
6. ZSL London Zoo
Step into London’s only living rainforest where you'll get up close to an amazing variety of rainforest species including monkeys, sloth, bats and tamandua, and don't forget to head to ZSL London Zoo’s newest, roarsome exhibit, Land of the Lions. Here you'll take a trip from the heart of London to India’s vibrant Sasan Gir to see the mighty Asiatic lions. Don't worry if you can't get into London anytime soon though: the zoo has been hosting a whole heap of lovely online tours, available for free, so you can hang out with the animals virtually.
ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY
7. KidZania London
We don't know about you, but we've had quite enough of this adulting lark lately, so we're ready to hand over the reigns to the kids. Well, for the day anyway. Little ones will have a blast living their dream careers trying out everything from firefighters to cleaners, dentists to photographers. And let's not forget the adult-only Hut where you can hang out, kid-free, with a drink, a good book and no one to nag you for a few hours. Happy kids and happy parents. Win, win.
KidZania London, Westfield London Shopping Centre Ariel Way, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 7GA
8. Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
There's no news yet as to when Changing the Guard is going to be starting up again, but when it does it really is one of the highlights for kids when it comes to a day out in London. When things are less Covid crazy, you can catch the guards on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from August through to May and daily during June and July. The fun kicks off from 10.43am until 11.45am, and takes place between Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace (pictured top) and Wellington Barracks. Pomp and ceremony at its (free!) finest.
Changing the Guard, Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace and Wellington Barracks
9. Crystal Palace Park
Dinosaurs? Check. Skate park? Check. Maze? Check. Urban Farm, museum and lake? Check, check and check. This huge patch of green provides hours and hours of entertainment for the whole fam, so pack up a picnic and get over there, stat! We've got a whole guide to some other fantastic parks around London to explore too.
Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, London SE19 2GA
10. ArcelorMittal Orbit
German artist, Carsten Holler, took one look at architect Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit, and thought just what we had all been thinking since it went up for the London 2012 Olympics: it totally needed a whopping great slide put onto it! And that's just what he did in 2016: the world's tallest (76m) and longest (178m) slide is 40 seconds of pure exhilaration for kids from age 8 years and up. And if the slide isn't enough for the adrenaline junkies in the fam, there's also the option of abseiling down (minimum age 14 years). We might just stick to going up for the breathtaking views of London on the observation deck...
ArcelorMittal Orbit, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 5 Thornton St, London E20 2AD
11. Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground
Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the huge wooden pirate ship at the heart of the Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground is a guaranteed hit for all small adventure seekers. Located next to Kensington Palace, this gorgeous place is packed with a sensory trail, teepees, huge sandpit, play sculptures and a whole heap more. We also love that it has an area that's been created especially with less abled children in mind, a spot where ALL kids can play together and follow their imaginations. There's also plenty of seating for us grownup folk to relax in, and the whole playground is fenced to keep the little escape artists in!
Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens, Broad Walk, London W2 4RU
12. Wands and Wizard Exploratorium
Looking for a magical adventure in London with your little witches and wizards? Then you need to know about five floors of exploration and magic brought to life at the really rather awesome Wands and Wizard Exploratorium over on Greek Street. Check out our guide to this small but mighty adventure before jumping on your broom and whizzing on over.
Wands and Wizard Exploratorium, 26 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 5DE
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Top image credit: Tracy Tristram, London for Kidz