Things to do in London with kids when it's raining
While here at London for Kidz we can guarantee tons of fun-packed ideas for things to do in London with kids, what we can't guarantee is the British weather. Thankfully there are plenty of options for adventures and activities in London when it's raining that will keep the family happy (and dry).
This 'new activity in London kid on the block' over at Westfield London will transport you out of the rain and into prehistoric settings that will blow your VR mind. Suitable for kids age-7 and up, we recently checked it out for ourselves and unanimously declared it a huge fun-packed success.
You'll not only escape the bad weather but also your reality as you're transported to a virtual world where you'll become the hero of the story. In this unique-to-London immersive experience you'll not only come face to face with a lifesized T-rex, but thanks modern hardware and a 150 m2 arena you'll get to experience the adventure with all your senses. Roarsome stuff. Use the discount code TRACY15 when you book for a cool 15% discount.
DIVR Labs, Westfield London Shopping Centre Ariel Way, Ground Floor, London W12 7GF
Whilst there is some on deck, exposed to the weather parts to HMS Belfast, there's more going on inside than out which makes it a great pick for a rainy day in London. We recently spent a happy afternoon there checking out all the interactive bits and bobs, learning about its fascinating history and generally having a marvellous time. Read all about it in our guide to HMS Belfast and then set sail for your own mission.
HMS Belfast, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2JH
The Tower Bridge Experience
From the high-level Walkways, take in panoramic views and check out London life from the Glass Floor (above as modelled by our little roving reporter) of one of London's most iconic spots, Tower Bridge. You'll also get busy uncovering the stories of the unsung heroes of Tower Bridge from bygone days as well as exploring the rather cool Victorian Engine Rooms.
The Tower Bridge Experience, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP
Madame Tussauds London
Rub shoulders with the stars and hang out with the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, take to the stage with Taylor Swift and then join the Royal Family for a photo opp. Oh, and don't forget the out-of-this-world Star Wars universe (pictured top)! With over 150 wax models and experiences, there's something - or someone - for the whole fam at Madam Tussauds.
Madame Tussauds London, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR
One thing London has in spades is top notch museums that the whole family will love. From dinos to mummies (the ancient type, kids, not us), fighter jets to teddy bear workshops, there are loads of expeditions to be had at our fave museums for kids in London. Hop into our guide for the lowdown on the 10 museums we love as a family.
Afternoon tea is a fab way to spend time with the kids on a rainy day. Probably best suited to older kids, we especially love the Children's Afternoon Tea at The Oxo Tower, the beautiful sci-fi themed Ampersand’s Science Afternoon Tea (video above) and the Children's Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason. Psst: we've also got a great guide to takeaway afternoon teas if you fancy a sweet treat at home instead.
An old London cold war nuclear shelter that's been turned into a paintball, airsoft and LaserTag arena, you say? So much 'hell, yeah!'. LaserTag is suitable for kiddos age 6 and up, paintball from age 8, and airsoft from age 12, so grab your team and head over to South London for some serious fun that the rain can't ruin.
Bunker 51, 3 Herringham Road, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE7 8NJ
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Okay, so it's a wee bit out of town, (it's 20 miles from central London) but this magical day out is well worth the journey. Booking in advance before you walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter is essential and even if it is raining in London it just doesn't matter as you'll be busy exploring the wonders of the wizarding world, checking out the sets and props, and having a thoroughly mystical day.
WB Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR
The London Dungeon
The London Dungeon brings 1000 years of dark and dingy London history to life with a mix of live actors, special effects and a fair few surprises along the way. Visit plague-ridden streets, witness Guy Fawkes’ dramatic plot to blow up Parliament, travel back to Jack the Ripper’s bleak Whitechapel and walk beneath London’s foreboding medieval gates in a rainy day pick that's sure to be a hit.
The London Dungeon, Riverside Building County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
There's so much to learn while having lots of aquatic fun at the London Aquarium, including getting involved with its conservation work, taking part in feeding time and hanging out with sharks, turtles and, of course, Nemo. 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
The kids will be jumping for joy when you tell them they're off to one of the four Flip Out trampoline parks dotted around London. If you have little ones under 5, then Mini Flippers is a great session for parents and kids to jump together, while many of the branches offer indoor caving, a laser maze and Ninja Warrior courses for older kids (as well, of course, as all those trampolines). Check your local Flip Out website to see what's on offer.
Flip Out, Brent Cross, Wandsworth, East Ham and West Thurrock locations.
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 fire fighting to cleaning, dentistry to photography. 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
Discover Children's Story Centre
Discover Children's Story Centre is a magical world where children up to the age of 11 can find fantastical adventures on an indoor story trail. Kids' imaginations will go wild while they invent their own stories over two floors of magical Story Worlds, plus they'll have a blast in the Story Garden: immersive, exploratory play spaces where children can creep through caves, find hidden ships and perform in a puppet castle. We want to be kids again!
Discover Children's Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, London E15 4QZ
Shrek's Adventure! London
Once upon a time (well, in 2015 to be precise), in a land far, far away (on London’s South Bank, actually) a magical tourist attraction was created where characters from Shrek were brought to life. Yep, Shrek’s Adventure is a pretty cool kinda 'walk-and-ride' place where the famalam can meet Shrek, Fiona, Donkey et al while checking out hilarious shows, a 4D ride and a tour where kids have to crack a code to help Shrek get back to his swamp.
Shrek's Adventure! London, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Bishop's, London SE1 7PB
Clip 'n Climb Chelsea
Test your courage and ramp up the fitness levels across 21 exhilarating climbing challenges at Clip 'n Climb Chelsea for a fun-packed Spidey-type adventure the whole fam will love!
Clip 'n Climb Chelsea, 19 Michael Road, London, SW6 2ER
Brick Lane Vintage Market
This HUGE treasure trove of an indoor rainy day idea is the perfect spot for older kids and teens in tow and you'll easy spend a couple of hours or more checking out everything from 80s shell suits to one-of-a-kind independent fashion, candle stalls to accessory emporiums: you'll find boutiques selling clothes from as far back as the 1920s right through every decade up to the 90s! There's also an awesome food hall selling international goodies for a refuel. It's only a short stroll from Spitalfields Market, which is also under cover, if you want to continue putting dents in your wallet.
Brick Lane Vintage Market, 85 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
West End Shows
There are tons of family-friendly shows happening right now which make for a perfect rainy day in London. Check out our reviews for Frozen, Life of Pi, Back to the Future and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but also pop Stick Man, Matilda, Lion King and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe on your radar. For older kids we can highly recommend &Juliet (review coming soon). There are also a fair few festive shows and pantos happening into the New Year so check out our guide on just that right here.
Clink Prison Museum
If it's a day out with a difference you're after when it comes to things to do in London with kids, then Clink Prison Museum is exactly the kinda gruesomely good adventure you're after. Read our review for the full gory lowdown and then get yourselves over there on the next rainy day.
Clink Prison Museum, 1 Clink Street, London SE1 9DG
Whether you plump for the Romford or Croydon Kidspace, either way your kids will have an epic time throwing them around this award-winning soft play adventure zone. From oceanariums to interactive sand boxes, imagination playgrounds to traditional soft play structures, there's something for every child at this rainy day winner.
Kidspace, The Brewery, Waterloo Road, Romford RM1 1AU and Kidspace, The Colonnades, 619 Purley Way, Croydon CR0 4RQ
God's Own Junkyard
If you like your activities big, bright and 'grammable then you need God’s Own Junkyard on your rainy day, neon radar. Expect a huge and eclectic collection (the largest in Europe in fact) of vintage neon signs to dazzle your eyeballs with and then pop into its onsite eatery, The Rolling Scones Café, for a dazzling array of snacks and drinks.
God's Own Junkyard, Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, London E17 9HQ
Located in the heart of London, Monopoly Lifesized is an immersive, on-your-feet version of the world’s favourite family game brand played on a 15m x 15m lifesized Monopoly board! Try the Junior Monopoly Board to find out who is going to be Monopoly Champ on this race against the clock to solve a mystery, crack some codes and, of course, buy some of London's most iconic buildings. No umbrellas required.
Monopoly Lifesized, 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PS
For kids age 7 and older a rainy day in London doesn't get more thrilling than a whiz around an indoor go-karting arena. With 1050 metres of professionally designed race track waiting to be put to the test, Capital Karts boasts the UK’s longest indoor go karting track for unbeatable racing adventures.
Capital Karts, Capital Karts, Unit 1 Rippleside, London IG11 0RJ
Creative Biscuit Art Café
Creative Biscuit is more than just a family friendly restaurant in London, it's also a paint your own ceramics café! Located on the east of town in South Woodford the whole fam can get busy painting pottery and unleashing that inner creative genius whatever the weather.
Creative Biscuit Ceramics Café, 61 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1JJ
The Selfie Factory
The UK's first Instagram inspired funhouse happens to be in London and makes for a different rainy day in London idea. With every kind of kitsch scenes from a pink replica tube train to a doughnut wall, and even a pink supermarket, this is a teenager's dream day out in London, rain or shine!
The Selfie Factory, ICON Outlet The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10
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