• Tracy Tristram

Adventure-packed outdoor activities in London for kids

outdoor activities in London for kids

We don't want to jinx the blue skies but we've got plans aplenty when it comes to outdoor activities in London with kids...

Whizz down the river with Thames Rockets

outdoor activities in London for kids
We had a blast with Thames Rockets! Photography Tracy Tristram, London for Kidz

There's no better way to celebrate the end of another lockdown than by whipping down the Thames on a speedboat with the famalam! Thames Rockets definitely knows how to pack an adventure punch, and it doesn't matter how many times we do it, it's always one of our fave things to do in London. Better still, use the discount code TRinsta20 and you'll bag yourself 20% off the total price. Discounts and freedom all in one hit: speed on over to make a booking, stat!

Thames Rockets, Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Pier, SE1 7PB

Magic up a Tour for Muggles

Now here's a magical outdoor activity in London the kids will definitely be on board with: a Harry Potter walking tour (leave the broomsticks at home for this one). Follow in the footsteps of The Boy Who Lived on this two-hour walking tour which will start from the beautiful Leadenhall Market and traverse the winding roads of the City of London before crossing the Thames over to the southside and ending near London Bridge, visiting Harry Potter-related spots around town that muggles of all ages will love.


Ramble around a country park

outdoor activities in London for kids
Climbing trees is always fun! Photography: Kerry O'Malley for London for Kidz

If the last lockdown taught us anything, it's that despite London being mostly city, there's also a fair few country parks and forests to ramble around. Check out our guide to the best green spots to hang out with the kids, and while you're at it have a look at our Geocaching for beginners guide too for an extra activity hit.

Unleash your inner detective on The City Treasure Hunt

Gather your small sleuths and try your hand at The City Treasure Hunt and head out on a trail around the Square Mile to find 14 clues, starting with your troops near St Paul's Cathedral and working your way East. You'll discover everything from a Roman Amphitheatre to magical ruins on your quest, and don't forget to schedule a pit stop at one of the two optional pub breaks along the way (or both...).

www.thesecret.city/trails/the-city; 1 Cheapside, London EC2V 6AA;

Enjoy a wheely good ScooTour

Choose from seven different options including the Sherlock Holmes, Hidden London and London Landmark tours, and hop on a ScooTour e-Scooter for a trip around London that's wheely quite different. This one is for over-18s only, so perfect for a day out with older, harder-to-please kids, but there's also the e-Bike tour option which is open to kids age 14 and over.


Have a blooming good adventure at Kew Gardens

outdoor activities in London for kids
A waterfall in London? So much YES! Photography: Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is the perfect place to explore when it comes to outdoor activities in London with kids. Highlights for families include the wild botanic garden, with 500 acres of woodland and the world's largest seed conservation project to discover, plus a dramatic rock garden, a treetop walkway and the newly opened Children's Garden: a fun, interactive space where little ones can climb, run, jump and investigate.

www.kew.org; Richmond, London TW9 3AQ

Get wild at 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. Keep an eye on seasonal events which are always rather roarsome.

ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY

Score an activity hole in one with crazy golf

Best outdoor activities in London for kids things to do in london with kids
Tee-riffic family fun. Photography: London for Kidz

Swing over to the London for Kidz guide to crazy golf in London and you'll find lots of outdoor picks that are well above par when it comes to outdoor adventures in town.


Tire out the fam at Holland Park

Round up the troops and hustle them over to Holland Park’s Adventure Playground for an aerial runway, mini climbing wall, climbing frames, 22 acres of recreation areas, gardens and more woodlands full of wildlife than you can shake a stick from said woods at. Tired kiddos guaranteed.

www.rbkc.gov.uk; Holland Park, London W8 6LU

Go ape at Go Ape

outdoor activities in London for kids
Kids will go bananas for this treetop adventures! Photography: Go Ape

Go Ape has three locations in London, at Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park and Cockfosters, and the family can navigate through ropes in tall trees, dangling bridges, zip lines and a whole heap more aerial fun. Minimum height restrictions are 1m, so check your small chimps are tall enough before getting there to save tears!


Flock over to a farm or animal sanctuary

outdoor activities in London for kids
Prepare for a serious case of the warm and fuzzies at Hopefield! Photography: Tracy Tristram, London for Kidz

Ewe definitely won't regret a day out at an urban farms or animal sanctuary when it comes to a top day out with your small creatures. There are plenty to pick from, many of which are our favourite word, free.


Try a spot of mudlarking

We can't guarantee that you'll find real treasure, but we can guarantee a treasure of an outdoor activity when it comes to mudlarking. Either join an organised tour with Thames Explorer Trust or go DIY by checking the Thames tide times ahead of your adventure. If you're going it alone then the best places to mudlark are under the Millennium Bridge outside the Tate Modern on the South Bank or move over on the North Bank near St. Paul's Cathedral.

Check out Barnard Park

Stretching for 9 acres across Islington and boasting top notch play and sports facilities this is definitely an outdoor activity in London to have on your radar. The huge children's adventure playground plus a seasonal water play feature with interactive sprays is always a hit, plus there's also a full size redgra surfaced football (free play) pitch to get busy on too!

www.islington.gov.uk; Copenhagen Street, London N1 0ER

Get your adrenalin rushing with Laser Tag

Best outdoor activities in London for kids
Photography: Adrenaline Rush

Head over to Chiswick where you'll find Adrenalin Rush, the home of Laser Tag or Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting at purpose built outdoor facilities where fun is the name of the combat game.

www.arush.co.uk; Chiswick Rugby Football Club, Dan Mason Drive, Chiswick, London W4 2SH

Like this story? Here are some more you might find useful:

How to ace the London underground with kids

Best museums in London

Kid-friendly restaurants we love in London

Family guide to the Tower of London

Things to do on a rainy day in London

25 things to do for free in London

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures and things to do in London with kids over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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