• Tracy Tristram

50 things to do in London with teenagers and tweens this summer


Teens: a hard crowd to please if ever there was one. And with the long summer holidays just around the corner, and having spent most of the past year in lockdown, you're going to need some fun things to do in London with teenagers and tweens to pull out of the entertainment bag. Our advice? Give them this list and let them get on with it.

  1. Hop on a Thames Rockets RIB speed boat tour for a high-speed adventure down the river that everyone will love.

  2. Swat up on Roman History at the London Mithraeum and check out real Roman ruins.

  3. While you're in a historical mood, walk the plank onto a Horrible Histories Live Onboard Terrible Thames Boat Tour. It opens on 17th July and we're sure it's going to make a big splash.

  4. Climb The O2. Probably not if you're scared of heights though.

  5. Teeter along the Tower Bridge Walkway glass floor. Also not perfect for anyone scared of heights.

  6. Head to the West End for a musical: most are reopening in the coming weeks. Woohoo!

  7. Take yourselves to Covent Garden to check out the street performers.

  8. Eat your way around London at the best dim sum restaurants.

  9. And then eat your way around again at the best burger joints.

  10. Head to a country park for a spot of Geocaching.

  11. Hurtle down the world's longest tunnel slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

  12. Pick up some vintage threads at all the cooler-than-cool independent shops around Camden and then explore Camden Market.

  13. Catch the Harry Potter Bus and Walking Tour with Brit Movie Tours. Magical.

  14. With cabaret, comedy (including the hilarious Daliso Chaponda live show), drag acts and family fun happening at this summer's Underbelly Festival, you're going to want to round up some mates and book your tix, stat.

  15. Scare yourselves silly at the London Dungeons.

  16. Head into the skies on the lastminute.com London Eye and if you still want more then check out its multi-sensory, special effect 4D Experience too.

  17. Soak up the history and check out the Crown Jewels at The Tower of London.

  18. Go ape at, well, Go Ape: there are three locations in London - Battersea, Cockfosters and Alexandra Palace.

  19. Get busy with your grinds and kicklips when you wheel over to a skate park: we love Southbank Skate Space or the Bay Sixty6 skate park.

  20. Swing into action with spot of adventure golf.

  21. Have a picnic in one of London's royal parks.

  22. Cast a spell and make your own wands at the Wands & Wizard Exploratorium.

  23. Volunteer at a London animal sanctuary or animal shelter.

  24. Shakespeare's Globe has reopened! Get thyself over for a show or tour, pronto, we say!

  25. Make a splash at SEA LIFE London aquarium by snorkelling with sharks.

  26. Calling all teens to the theatre: The Unicorn Theatre near Tower Bridge has plenty of cool performances aimed at a teenage audience happening this summer.

  27. Shop-until-you-drop in a pop-up shipping container at trendy Shoreditch's BOXPARK. Make sure to cool off with one of the best ice creams in town at Soft Serve Society.

  28. Try out a career as a pilot with an Emirates Aviation Experience.

  29. Get a month's worth of 'Grams at God's Own Junkyard.

  30. For poetry slams, performances, festivals and a whole heap more, check out Young Creatives at The Roundhouse for a summer of fun.

  31. Ride a cable car the London way on the Emirates Air Line (and get a discount if you have a Zip Oyster card).

  32. Jump on a Santander Cycle hire bike and get busy exploring parts of London you never knew existed. It's £2 to hire the bike and then another £2 for every additional 30 minutes you ride, but if you fancy making it a regular thing then you can get a membership key for £90 a year (or 25p a day), which is a pretty sweet deal, especially as if you're a student you can get 25% off that!

  33. Not feeling cycling? Then why not put your Zip Oyster Card to good use again 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.

  34. With shows including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Paradise (a new version of Philoctetes by Sophocles) coming up, take advantage of the National Theatre's fab deal right now offering tickets from just £5 a pop for 16-18 year olds, or £10 tickets if you're aged 19-25.

  35. Eat at all the street eats at Borough Market: make sure to swing by Mei Mei for a delish cup of Asian teh tarik on your way round. It's our fave!

  36. Discover all the street art around Brick Lane and the surrounds. This guide will give you a clue of where the best spots are to save you wandering aimlessly. Although wandering aimlessly is fun too!

  37. Buy some flowers for your mum/dad/gran/grandad/girlfriend/boyfriend/yourself at Columbia Road Flower Market. We love this vibrant pocket of town!

  38. Pick up a bargain or two at the second hand shops and antique shops around Portobello Road. There's stuff even older than us there, kids.

  39. It hasn't been confirmed yet, but the streets of West London come alive every August Bank Holiday with the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival. Mark it in your diaries, people!

  40. Get up close with your fave animals by becoming a Zookeeper for the day at ZSL London Zoo.

  41. Tick off all the cool museums in London, many of which are free and are running some rather spiffy programmes over the summer for families.

  42. Using Ripper-Vision - a new approach to this Jack the Ripper Walking Tour which uses handheld projectors to shine 5ft images on the dark streets and alleyways of Whitechapel - transport yourselves back to Victorian London and follow in Jack's silent footsteps around the East End. Kinda creepy but definitely cool.

  43. Keeping it dark and dingy, for a fascinating look at just how bad London's prisoners had it in bygone days, pay a visit to the rather gruesome but utterly awesome Clink Prison Museum.

  44. Sail down the Regent's Canal on a narrowboat with the London Waterbus Company. And don't forget, if you get the narrowboat bug then we've got a while guide to narrowboat holidays!

  45. If you're a bit - actually a lot - of an adrenaline junkie then book the ultimate daredevil experience in London: a bungee jump off the North Greenwich Arena.

  46. Now here's a surefire way to tire those legs out: climb the 311 steps to the top of The Monument!

  47. With locations at Southbank and Wandsworth, for the gaming fans amongst you why not give to step into an interactive digital room featuring projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and surround sound to enjoy a hyper-immersive 60 minute adventure at Electric Gamebox?

  48. Take a sticky beak around Her Maj's house and have a mooch around Buckingham Palace. Bonus points if you get one of her soldiers to smile... #impossible

  49. Treat yourself to a massage in Chinatown: Reflexology heaven.

  50. Walk the top-secret (but not very secret now) corridors of Churchill War Rooms and glimpse what life would have been like the Second World War.

You're all set, teens. Now go, go, go!


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