If you're looking for fun days out with the kids on a shoe string here are some tips for quality family time on the cheap in north west London.
There are two sections of the Parkland Walk — to the north it goes between Cranley Gardens and Muswell Hill, while the southern section provides a scenic route between Highgate and Finsbury Park. The walk follows an old Victorian railway, which ran from the suburbs north of London from 1862 until it was cut back to Mill Hill in the 1960s. To enhance the trip, there's a downloadable map with fun facts about the local flora and fauna and a suggested route between the two sections.
Parkland Walk, Florence Road N4, N4 3EY
The Jewish Museum's hands-on interactive displays are perfect for kids who don't do 'don't touch' — they can even try on costumes during the visit. The collection of Jewish social history artefacts includes ceremonial art, prints, drawings and objects reflecting home and working life. Look out for special family events too — kids sometimes have the chance to dress up.
Jewish Museum, Raymond Burton House 129-131 Albert Street, NW1 7NB. 10am-5pm. Family ticket £18 (£4.50 per person for two adults and two children) or adults £7.50, kids £3.50, Under 5s free.
Set in Hendon's former aerodrome, this free attraction tells the story of the Royal Air Force. and there is more than enough to fill up half a day, with over 100 aircraft including some very early designs. Look out for the world's only full scale model of a F-35 Joint Striker jet, as well as a Lancaster bomber. There's also wartime memorabilia, uniforms, a milestones of flight gallery and simulators. Even the most enthusiastic young pilots will be satisfied.
RAF Museum London, Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL. 10am-6pm (last entry 5.30pm) Free Admission.
Chiswick House and Garden
This 18th Century neo-palladian villa might have walked straight out of Italy into its leafy surroundings in Chiswick. The house's sumptuous interiors are home to the third Earl of Burlington's old masters art collection but you can opt to avoid the entry fee by just visiting the magnificently restored grounds instead. The birthplace of the English landscape movement, the gardens inspired schemes at Bleinheim Palace and NYC's Central Park. There's plenty to keep little ones exploring with hidden pathways, grand vistas, marble statues and rolling green lawns.
Chiswick House and Gardens, W4 2RP. Gardens open 7am until dusk, House 10am-6pm. House Adults £6.50, Children £3.80, free entry to the Gardens and Conservatory.
Kentish Town City Farm
Children will love meeting over 50 animals at Kentish Town City Farm, including goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, cows and pigs. Weekly activities include messy play and garden exploring for under 5s, and weekend pony rides for years 4+. There are also special events throughout the year.
Kentish Town City Farm, 1 Cressfield Close, off Grafton Road, NW4 5BN. Open daily 9-5pm. Free entry. Pony rides £2.
Ben Uri Gallery
The Ben Uri Gallery in St John's Wood puts on exhibitions drawn from the collection addressing the issues of migration and identity through the visual arts. There's historic and contemporary work spanning 120 years, 380 artists and 35 countries including major work by Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg and Mark Gertler. Each exhibition is accompanied by downloadable learning resources for families and occasional craft and storytelling drop-in events.
Ben Uri Gallery, 108A Boundary Road, NW8 0RH. Mondays 1pm 5.30pm / Tuesday-Friday 10am-5.30pm. On Saturday and Sunday open 11am-5pm. Admission free.
The birthplace of Romantic poet John Keats; the place where he wrote some of his most famous work is now a museum and literary centre. Families can explore his life and work at the regency villa with artefacts, manuscripts and films. Kids can dress up in period costume and make their own magnetic poem. Regular family free fun days happen on the third Sunday of every month offering craft, music and poetry activities.
Keats House, 10 Keats Grove Hampstead NW3 2RR. Open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-5pm between March and October; and Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am-5pm between November and February. Annual tickets can be used multiple times. Adults £6.50, children (under 17) free. Entry to family activities is free with no need to purchase an entry ticket.
The east side of Highgate's magnificent cemetery is free for families to roam among the plethora of graves and memorials which boast some of London's grandest funerary architecture. Opened in 1839 the cemetery is the final resting place of many famous 19th Century figures including Karl Marx and George Eliot. Originally owned by a private company it eventually became unprofitable and fell into disrepair before being rescued by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. Kids will love playing hide and seek in the spooky setting, while coming across everything from marble statues, and elaborate gravestones of all shapes and sizes.
Highgate Cemetery, Swain's Lane N6 6JP. 10am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm). Adults £4, Children (Under 18) Free.