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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

25 things to do in London with kids for FREE

things to do in London with kids for free

There's no getting away from it, kids are expensive! And while we're happy to splash the cash when we can in the quest for family fun, we're also rather chuffed when we find an activity that ticks the affordable AND adventure wish list. So, if you're singing from the same song sheet as us, you'll probably want to check out these 25 FREE things to do in London with kids...

  1. For a magical free activity in London with kids, the Harry Potter filming spots around town, including the wall marked Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross and Leadenhall Market which was used for parts of Diagon Alley, make for a cracking adventure.

  2. If your child is more a pirate than a wizard, then head on over to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground to take command of the huge wooden pirate ship there, and then cool off with a splash in the rock pools.

  3. Mudchute Farm and Park, Kentish Town City Farm and Vauxhall City Farm are all fabulous, free farms to bring your little critters to for a fun day out. We have a whole guide to London city farms, so take a look and tick them all off (they're not all free, but they are all wonderful).

  4. Try a spot of mudlarking! Check tide tables before wading for treasure at Gabriel's Wharf, the City of London side of the Millennium Bridge, outside the Tate Modern on the South Bank or the areas around Southwark and Blackfriars bridges on the North Bank.

  5. Watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside His Maj's house, Buckingham Palace.

  6. Meander along the towpath through Little Venice snapping photos, scootering and soaking up the atmosphere. There are some lovely waterfront cafes in the area if you do decide to spend some pennies on refreshments.

  7. The clue is in the name, and if it’s the natural world your little ones get enthralled by, then it doesn't get much better than the ever-amazing and free-to-get-into Natural History Museum.

  8. There are free, daily tours happening everyday over at the Tate Modern. Kids are not only welcome but also encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas on the way round. Make sure you also check out Tate Kids before your visit, which has loads of great suggestions for families.

  9. Watch skateboarders performing mind-boggling tricks at the Southbank Centre.

  10. Head east and ramble around the parkland, playgrounds and the waterfront around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

  11. Go on a nature hunt and discover London's flora and fauna at one of London's country parks or forests.

  12. Try your hand at geocaching: London is a fun place to explore as part of this digital treasure hunt!

  13. Have a picnic in one of London's royal parks, which include Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park and stretch to 5,000 acres of free, green space amongst the 10 in total spots.

  14. One of our all-time fave days out, the British Museum never fails to keep the kids happy and engaged, and it's free to get in! Aside from the go-to ancient Egypt section, families with children of all ages can have a heap of fun with free downloadable gallery activities, that include everything from being a symbol detective to using a trail to discover ancient Greece.

  15. Visit neon wonderland God's Own Junkyard, and get the perfect 'gram amongst the largest collection of vintage neon signs in Europe.

  16. Break out your inner artist at the National Gallery and discover art by world famous masters of art such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner and Van Gogh.

  17. Got a thing for Roman history? Well London has, as it turns out, a fair bit of it including London Wall, the remnant of the Roman wall which was built in AD 200 and Roman ruins and artefacts at the ancient temple, London Mithraeum.

  18. From Jack the Ripper to ghost tours, Sherlock Holmes to James Bond tours, there's a free walking tour by Strawberry Tours for the whole family.

  19. Fancy a guided tour of the Supreme Court ? It’s free for children up to 16 (but there is a £10 charge for grownups), and takes place every Friday at 2pm.

  20. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is not only, we think, one of the best museums for kids in London, but it also happens to be the home of the world’s largest museum collection of decorative arts and design, with over 4.5 million objects to be found within its walls! And it's free to get in!

  21. Take an amble among the 35,000 monuments of Brompton Cemetery, including one of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, and learn some of the amazing stories of all the people buried there since the 1830s.

  22. Pickled brains, bones aplenty and over 68,000 zoological specimens? Head over to The Grant Museum of Zoology - home to one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK - for a fascinating journey around the animal kingdom through a heap of family activities: all for free!

  23. There are dinosaurs galore in London it turns out, and you can go see them for yourselves, for free, over at Crystal Palace Park. There's also a children's play area, a farm, a fishing lake and a maze.

  24. Put your kid's Zip Oyster Card to good use and jump on and off buses all day with no real plan other than to switch it up and discover new spots. With 700 routes and 19,000 bus stops across London, this is the adventure that keeps on giving, and it's FREE for the kids. Sadly, grownups have to pay but by using your contactless payment for your fare, it shouldn't break the bank.

  25. Nando’s has opened up a free-to-use music studio at its Frith Street branch in Soho which is sure to be a free, funny and fabulous top hit with the fam. Sessions are snapped up fast so keep an eye on the website for updates.

You're all set! Happy adventuring!

Other guides you might find useful for London adventures with the kids...

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