Things To Do In London In The Summer Holidays 2019

Image: Shutterstock

Looking for things to do with children in London during the school holidays? Take a look at all this stuff going on across town. Plenty of these things to do are free or cheap — so keeping children happy needn't break the bank.

London events in July-September 2019

Speed over the capital at Zip Now London

SUMMER EVENTS: We've already rounded up the best things going on in London this summer, and while they're not all suitable for little ones, plenty of them are.

BEACHES: Once again, several urban beaches are bringing the sand to the city. Find your closest one here.

ZIP LINE: One for the adrenaline junkies — fancy riding the world's longest inner-city zip line? Zip Now London is back in Archbishop Park in Lambeth. Here's what happened when we had a go last year. Until 15 September 2019

Play crazy golf at Horniman Museum © Plonk Crazy Golf

PLONK GOLF: You can now tee off in the Horniman Museum gardens thank to Plonk Crazy Golf. The 9-hole course should take about 30 minutes to complete, and features hills, loop-the-loops, and a nod to the museum's famous overstuffed walrus. Until 27 October.

SUMMER OF SPACE: Science Museum marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landings with a whole Summer of Space. The programme includes plenty of family events such as theatre show Fly Me To The Moon. May-September 2019.

Mix your own potions at Cutter & Squidge

POTION ROOM: Calling all trainee witches and wizards. Soho bakery Cutter & Squidge's latest afternoon tea is on a Potion Room theme. We've tried it and, although we won't give too much away, we will say it's the best afternoon tea in London right now. Lots of dates are already sold out, so book quickly. Currently booking until December 2019

Family-friendly exhibitions in London: Summer 2019

Beasts of London at Museum of London

BEASTS OF LONDON: Museum of London's enchanting interactive experience Beasts of London tells the history of the capital through the animals that have lived here. Fleas, foxes and elephants are just some of the animals voiced by celebrities including Brian Blessed. Aimed at age 7+. Until January 2020

BRICK WONDERS: Egyptian pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef, Greek temples and the old London Bridge are just some of the landmarks, both historical and present day, that have been recreated in Lego bricks for this fantastic exhibition at Horniman Museum. Until 27 October

Made entirely from Lego. See it at Horniman Museum

TOP SECRET: Older kids might be interested in Science Museum's special exhibition Top Secret, which delves into the world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications. Look at gadgets and devices used to decode secrets, and hear about the work that staff at GCHQ do. 10 July 2019- February 2020

BANK OF ENGLAND: Bank of England celebrates its 325th anniversary with an exhibition focusing on 325 objects from its history. Although the exhibition itself isn't designed specifically for families, there are plenty of child-friendly activities running alongside it, including a family trail and make-your-own-moneybox crafts. 22 July-30 August

Family theatre shows in London: Summer 2019

See Alice in Wonderland at Kew Gardens

UNDERBELLY: The annual theatre festival on South Bank has plenty going on for kids, including comedy that's safe for younger ears, baby discos, and a fun introduction for politics for children. See the full line-up by filtering the 'Family' category here. Until 29 September 2019

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Catch an open-air production of Alice in Wonderland by the Australian Theatre Company at Kew Gardens. The usual suspects including the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and Humpty Dumpty all make an appearance. 20 July-26 August

PETER PAN: See JM Barrie's story of the boy who never grew up performed by National Theatre in west London. It's the first production in the new Troubadour Theatre White City, located on the site of the former BBC Media City. 20 July-27 October

Watch Peter Pan at Troubadour Theatre White City. Photo: Steve Tanner

Family days out in London: summer 2019

Bored of trudging round the same old museums and parks? Try one of these seven alternative family days out in London, featuring caves, windmills and more. Have you ever been to London's least-known castle?

Take a look a our map of where you can see animals in London — whatever the weather. Or grab your wellies and get muddy.

Severndroog Castle is worth a visit. Image: Shutterstock

Got troublesome teens to entertain? Here are our recommendations for things for teenagers to do in London.

Geeky kids who love exploring London's nerdy corners will love these suggestions, including dinosaur bones and architecture.

Cheap things to do with kids in London: summer 2019

On a budget? Try these budget-friendly alternatives to the big attractions — or find something closer to home with our guides to cheap family days out in south-west London (featuring windmills, crazy golf and a splash park), south-east London (a castle, dinosaurs and London's first airport) and north-west London (including the RAF Museum and a city farm).

Fun things to do at Wimbledon Splash Park

Things to do outside of zone 1

North east London: Pick from nature reserves, manor houses — and of course the Olympic Park.

South east London: Did you know about this castle, or the caves which stretch for miles beneath London?

North west London: Aeroplanes, a musical museum and Neasden Temple await you in north west London.

South west London: Have a picnic on Strawberry Hill or take a riverside stroll.

Active days out with kids in London

Hampton Court's Magic Garden playground

Looking for indoor energy burners, ideal for rainy and chilly days?  

There's an indoor trampoline park in West Acton, or why not tee off at the dinosaur mini-golf? Kids can let off steam at Hampton Court's Magic Garden playground, and the whole family can get involved with white water rafting on the Olympic course. New for 2019 is the Children's Garden at Kew Gardens, a naturally designed play space aimed at 2-12 year olds.

To see a bit more of London, pump up the tyres and try one of these cycle routes, or for a slower pace, follow one of our leisurely London walk routes.

Where to eat with children in London

Keep a wet wipe or two handy. Image: Shutterstock

Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more options that just burger and chips.

The pub may seem like an inappropriate suggestion, but bear with us — we've rounded up the best family-friendly pubs in London. See if your local made the list.

Alternatively, keep things cool with London's best ice cream, London's best gelato and London' best sundaes.

Cultural things to do in London with kids

Image: Shutterstock

You may think art galleries and theatres are a no-go when you’ve got little ones in tow, but these London theatres are great for kids' shows.

Plus, these family-friendly art galleries will keep children happy — and have plenty for mum and dad too.

Day trips from London

What about a trip to Tonbridge in Kent?

Looking to go somewhere a bit further afield? We've got plenty of suggestions for places to visit in a day out of London, from quaint villages and fascinating museums to farms and towns. Take a look at the full list (and map).