5 Ways to Have a Family Fun Trip to London
There's an awful lot to do in London with children, but knowing what's worth doing is another matter altogether. Here are a few ideas of things you might like to get up to, including some free entertainment, educational activities and plenty of exercise.
1. Play in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
If free entertainment is on your list of things to do, head straight to the playground in the north of the Olympic Park. It features sand pits, rock pools and tree houses to keep the little ones entertained, and grown ups will be pleased to know there's a cafe if you need a little respite from the climbing frames. For something bigger, try Brockwell Park in South London: it has zip wires and tunnels, as well as a paddling pool with water jets. One for the summer months, perhaps!
2. See a Show
London is a great place to visit for so many reasons, but chief among them is the fact it's home to the West End. So, make the most of being in the city by booking tickets to see a show the whole family will enjoy, such as the School of Rock. Expect guitar shredding and foot stomping as you watch your little ones marvel open-mouthed at the young performers rocking their way across the stage. Even those who claim not to be fans of musicals can't help but love this one, with kids and adults of all ages giving it five star reviews and declaring it the best show they've ever seen.
3. See the Dinosaurs
For something more outdoorsy again (and free, too) take a walk through Crystal Palace to see if you can spot any dinosaurs. These carved dinosaurs are peeping, prowling and poking through the tree tops, providing plenty of entertainment for children who want to track them down. And to see real dinosaurs? Pay a visit to the Natural History Museum - you'll get to see the first ever fossil discovered of a T Rex, as well as an iguanodon, a triceratops and many more.
4. Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter
If you and your children love all things Harry Potter, make the most of your trip to London by stopping off at some significant places. Your children will be delighted to see platform 9Â¾ in real life (you'll find it at Kings Cross station), and they're bound to enjoy spending their pocket money in the Harry Potter shop.
Warner Bros studio is close to London if you fancy taking a trip out of the city (it's where they shot the Harry Potter films), or you can also take part in a free Harry Potter tour in the city courtesy of Strawberry Tours. This tour is led by a knowledgeable guide and it doesn't cost a penny, but it's good form to leave a tip - 10% of it goes to charity. Finally, there's a free Harry Potter exhibition at the House of MiniLima, created by the designers of the movie artwork. Four floors of the house are covered in artwork from the films, and it's bursting with props from the movies tooâ€¦ just don't expect to leave without paying a visit to the gift shop - your little ones will want to buy a souvenir for sure!
5. Tuck into dinner at the Rainforest Cafe
After all that sightseeing, you might be wondering where to go for dinner with your children. For something memorable and totally out of the ordinary, consider taking them for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. The interior of the restaurant resembles an exotic jungle (complete with special sound effects and animatronics), and the menu serves both American and international cuisine. As a result, it's completely family-friendly and unlike anything you have available back home. Just read up on these tips for eating out in restaurants with young children if you're at all concerned about their behaviour.
So, will you and your family plan to do any of these things when you visit London?
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