London on a budget: 10 things to do in London for less than a tenner
Every penny counts when it comes to the current financial crisis, so as well as all the cool FREE adventures we already know about when it comes to things to do in London with kids, we've been on the hunt for things to do for less than a tenner per person in London too. London on a budget if you will. Behold: the activities small in price and big on fun.
1. Ride The IFS Cloud Cable Cars
Dangle 90 metres above London The IFS Cloud Cable Car crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, and in the 10 minutes it takes you'll grab stunning views of the city and sights including St Paul's Cathedral, Thames Barrier, Maritime Greenwich and The Gherkin. Cost: One-way ticket £6 per adult and £3 per child. www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/london-cable-car/the-ifs-cloud-cable-car-experience
2. Discover London's past at The Clink Prison Museum
History comes to gory life in this interactive trip into medieval London at The Clink Prison Museum. Plenty of tales of torture, mayhem and grisly ends to keep the whole family entertained with. Cost: £8.50 per adult, £6.60 per child or £25.30 for a family of four.
3. Get your game on at Draughts Waterloo or Draughts Hackney
For £7 per person at either Draughts Waterloo or Draughts Hackney you’ll be able to explore London’s largest collection of board games and play as many as you want! Not only is this a super wallet friendly option, but kids under 12 are FREE and teens age 13-17 years play for half price. Admission is limited to three hours and you'll find literally every game known to man - and more - at this fun, friendly games cafe. Disclaimer: food and drink is extra but soft drinks start at £2.50 and a bowl of fries will cost you £4, so still do-able on a budget. Cost: £7 per adult, £3.50 for 13-17 year olds, FREE for 12s and under www.draughtslondon.com
4. Hang out at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary
Slightly out of town but still within easy reach of the city you'll find Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood. With over 500 animals from 100 species, ALL rescued, this is a wonderful day out for pocket money prices. It's got lots of fun events happening over the summer - many of which are included in your standard admission price - so this is the budget-friendly adventure that's well worth a few trips. The kids will love having selfies with the likes Chewie the Alpaca and Chip the cow, and learning about the importance of caring for our furry, feathered and scaly friends. There's a picnic ground on site so you can bring your own food and drink to help keep costs down, and there is a wonderful plant-based cafe to get a reasonably priced coffee and slice of cake from. Cost: £7 for adults, £6 for kids, £6 for concessions and £24 for a family ticket. www.hopefield.org.uk
5. Watch a London-team football match
Tickets for the big London team matches are eye wateringly expensive but you CAN see London teams like Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge, AFC Hornchurch, AFC Wimbledon and Queens Park Rangers for as little as £4 per person. Many clubs have family stands, and with them being smaller it's also a good way to introduce littler fans to footie matches. If it is the big teams you're set on, they all have amazing women's teams and tickets to these matches are a fraction of the cost of the men's games. Pick a team and check its website. Cost: From £4 per person
6. Check out The Tower Bridge experience
Did you know there is a whole experience waiting to happen on one of - if not the most - iconic bridges of the world, Tower Bridge? Since 1982, visitors have been able to see inside Tower Bridge and discover the history of the Bridge and why it came into existence through a fascinating exhibition. Visitors can also test their nerve by trying out the Glass Floors before checking out spectacular panoramic views from the high-level Walkway. There's also the Victorian Engine Rooms to see which house the steam engines that once powered the bridge lifts.
Cost: While it comes in over budget at £11.40 per adult, a family ticket will drastically reduce the price per person and it comes in at a steal. Various family ticket options start at £22.20 (1 adult, 2 kids) and go up to £38.90 (2 adults, 3 kids). Also, if you happen to live in Tower Hamlets, Southwark or City of London boroughs and you can prove it, admission is just £1 per person!
7. Hop on an Uber Boat
While there are a fair few truly awesome boat trips on the Thames that we can't recommend enough, there's also a more cost effective option: Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. Boats stop at 24 piers along the Thames between Barking Riverside Pier in the East and Putney Pier in the West so you'll get the full Thames views and experience with your little sailors without shelling out too many £££s. Cost: Grab an unlimited hop on / hop off ticket for a family of up to two adults and three kids for £22.60 for East zone, or £40 for all zones. Single tickets start at £5.20.
8. Try a Brick Lane beigel
Whether you plump for traditional salt beef, go classic with smoked salmon and cream cheese or go cray with a rainbow number, whatever beigel you choose it is guaranteed to not only be delicious, but budget friendly too. Once you're done stuffing your faces explore all the street art in the area and meander amongst the eclectic and fun market stalls and shops. Always a winner of a day out with the London for Kidz kids. It's also a short stroll to Columbia Road Flower Market where you can definitely pick up some gorgeous blooms for less than a tenner. Cost: Beigels cost from around £3 each.
9. Visit London's oldest operating theatre
Housed in the attic of an early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital, The Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients’ medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was added. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe and well worth a visit. It's currently closed for essential works, but will be re-opening in April. Cost: £7.50 for adults, £4.50 for kids age 6-16, FREE for 5s and under, family ticket (2 adults, 2 kids) for £18 (£1 per extra child). www.oldoperatingtheatre.com
10. Take a spin around Ally Pally ice rink
Ice skating is always an activity hit and the rink at Alexandra Palace provides plenty of fun at affordable prices. Weekday sessions are two-hours long, and weekends are 1.5 hours which means plenty of time to perfect those spins (or let go of the sides even). Cost: From £9.50 per adult, from £8.50 for kids (age 6-16), from £6.50 for kids under 5. www.alexandrapalace.com/
Top image: Tower Bridge Experience by London for Kidz
All prices correct at time of publishing.
Other guides you might find useful for things to do in London with kids:
Where to adopt a pet in London
Family guide to London museums
Fam-friendly restaurants in London
25 things to do in London for free
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.