Things To Do and See in London with Kids

I remember coming to London the first time as a child and being overawed by the hustle and bustle of the city for the first time. The people, the smells, the sights – it can be quite something for an adult, let alone a 10-year-old from the sticks.

 

While other cities around the world are almost no-go zones for children, London is practically a playground! This winter, London is as child friendly as ever, so let’s look at the best things to do this winter if you’ve got kids and you’re heading to England’s capital…

1)   Free Travel
Children up to the age of ten can travel free (if accompanied) on buses and the London Underground, and children between 11 and 15 can travel and child rate with a special Oyster Card, which can be purchased at most newsagents and all Tube stations.

Travel in London isn’t cheap, so this really is helping out families – and if you get yourself an Oyster Card, you can get reduced prices on the Tube yourself.

2)   London with Little Princesses
There’s no escaping Disney these days, so why not visit the Disney Store on Oxford Street, where six Disney Princesses appear throughout the day to tell their own short stories. After that, you can see the Matinee Performance ofShrek the Musical at Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. This popular musical is based on the film, and has proved a huge hit with fans young and old.

The National Portrait Gallery is equally popular with children, with portraits of Princess Diana among others. What’s more – it’s free, so you won’t feel that you have to stay for several hours just to get your money’s worth!

3)   London with The Boys
A recent television adaptation of Sherlock Holmes in the UK has really captured the imagination – and a visit to Baker Street itself will capture theimagination of your little lads.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is located on Baker Street – although not exactly at 221b, but between 237 and 241. The Museum is great fun for Sherlock Holmes fans, and you can visit his study.

There’s another Sherlock Holmes study at the Sherlock Holmes Pub, near Charing Cross Tube. Kids are welcome at pubs, of course, so treat the boys to some Sherlock-themed dishes before heading off to the British Museum, a favourite haunt of Holmes. This amazing place still has the old circular library, which was equally frequented by the likes of Karl Marx, and an amazing new roof.

4)   Kids in the Park
Regent’s Park is enormous, and has its own zoo, with over 15,000 animals. You can surprise the kids by hitching a ride on the London Waterbus Company’s canal service from Camden Lock or Little Venice. So, if you’re lucky enough to get some good weather during your stay in London, Regent’s Park is sure to delight the kids.

There’s a lake where you can go boating, and there are regular performances in the summer.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, don’t worry – Madame Tussauds is nearby, so you can take the kids to go and meet David Beckham, James Bond and The Queen, all under one roof.

5)   Musical London
We’ve already seen Shrek, but what about My First Sleeping Beauty, which will be taking place this April, where children will be encouraged to try some of the ballet moves themselves.

If ballet’s not their thing, then Wicked, the story about the witches from the Wizard of Oz, is on until at least October 2012. Wicked is an award-winningmusical that has been playing to packed-out audiences for several years.

In fact, there are musicals all over London – just get yourself over to Leicester Square and check out the ticket stands, as you will be able to get yourself reduced prices for a variety of shows. The official stand is in Leicester Square itself, although you can find tickets on the roads leading up to the Square.

So, this winter, or in fact, at any time of year, London is a fantastic place for the family. As one of the most child-friendly cities in the world, it’s a place kids want to visit time and time again, for its museums, its theatres, its parks, and all of those child-friendly restaurants.

About the Author:

Gareth Cartman works for BB Belgravia, a London Bed and Breakfast: http://www.bb-belgravia.com

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