Answers from Our Experts (1)
Although it’s a bustling metropolis, London is a wonderful destination for families with children of any age. From free museums to colossal toyshops, here are five perfect ways to spend a day:
1. Visit the animals in the zoo. London Zoo was founded in 1828 and was the first zoological park in the world. Almost 200 years later it is still one of the best, housing more than 750 different species (that’s close to 17,000 individuals!) and with enough interactive games and activities to entertain the family all day.
2. Take your pick of museums. The second best thing about London is its enormous variety of child-friendly museums—the first best thing is that they’re all free. From the Natural History Museum to the Horniman, the Science Museum to the National Gallery, you could fill two weeks with everything on offer.
3. Have some farmyard fun. You wouldn’t think it from the looking at a postcard of the sprawling metropolis, but London is home to several working ‘city farms’ that welcome visitors for free (although they’ll be glad to receive a donation). Our picks are Hackney Farm in northeast London, with its cute pigs and sheep, and Mudchute Park in East London’s Isle of Dogs, which has horse-riding and a lovely tea shop.
4. Let them loose in Hamleys. Who said taking kids shopping is a chore? Witness your children’s eyes light up by taking them to Hamleys on Regent Street, the world’s largest toy store. With seven levels covering 54,000 square feet, it has more childhood playthings – old and new – than you could possibly afford.
5. Choose an annual event. The British love a family-friendly party, which means there’s always something interesting — and suitable — going on in the capital. From February’s Pancake Day Races to August’s Notting Hill Carnival Children's Day to November’s Bonfire Night, simply take a look at the social calendar.