Activities for the whole family in London this summer

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Activities for the whole family in London this summer

The summer holidays have arrived!

With weeks of fun to fill, it can feel like a daunting endeavour to keep your little angels amused during the stretch of summer, so we’ve put together a list of activities to keep everyone entertained for some of these days and get a break away from handheld screens.

 

Best in the sunshine

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the home of champions and you and your family can enjoy walking in their footsteps this summer by exploring all the different venues of the London 2012 Olympics.

Some of these venues, including the 50m Olympic pool, are still open to the public although be sure to check online before arriving to see what is scheduled and ensure your place is secure. The kids will especially enjoy the Aqua Splash inflatable assault course sessions that take place over the summer.

The Olympic Park isn’t just limited to the stadiums its houses, there are also a wide range of activities you can get involved in including experiencing the worlds longest tunnel slide on the ArcelorMittal Orbit, running free in playgrounds, and having a go at the climbing wall. You can also cruise the water on a Swan Pedalo or jump on a guided boat tour along the river running through the park.

https://www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/

 

Any of the major London parks

Green spaces in London are in slightly shorter supply compared to much of the country however the spaces that are available are well protected and roomy enough for all. So, if you want to break out of your home space, there is some nice areas for you and your family to enjoy when the weather is fine.

From deer spotting in the expansive Richmond Park, peddle boats on the serpentine in Hyde Park or run around trains in Brockwell Park, there’s plenty to keep you all entertained across each of these spaces. You won’t be short on ways to fill the time if you pack a delicious picnic and take some games to play whilst you’re enjoying time out on the grass, especially if the sunshine is kind to you.

https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/londons-major-parks

 

Hampton Court palace

Hampton court is a fantastic option for a family day out. Located right on the Thames in East Molesey, this historical palace is home to stunning monuments and gardens to explore and take a step back in time to King Henry’s Tudor era and the history of British royalty. Many events take place at Hampton Court including the upcoming Food Festival from 28-30 August and the summer Maze which opens at the end of this week.

The palace is easily accessible from the A3 and there are parking facilities in the area if driving or a 5-minute walk from Hampton Court train station. If you’re not ready to head home after your hours of fun at the Palace and Gardens, it’s a short trip over the bridge into Kingston to wonder around the shops and head for some food or you’re just next door to Bushy Park another grassy deer filled fresh air spot.  

https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/#gs.7kkl4l

 

Educational

Work your little one’s minds by exploring some of the educational opportunities scattered across London offering a mixture of fun and creative learning to fill the summer days and potentially inspire their minds in something less explored by them previously.

 

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most visited attractions thanks to its collection of information, artifacts and varying exhibits relating to our natural history. With new exhibits exploring the wonder of our natural world and its inhabitants opening up regularly, you can pre-book tickets to each of the learning opportunities and inspire young minds to not only discover more about the world around them but also learn how small changes can help mould the future of the earth and its species.

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/

WWT Wetlands centre

The London Wetlands Centre is home to an array of bird and fish species and is a great educational opportunity for the family to learn about a variety of species and enjoy the green spaces on offer. The wetlands centre is a great place for budding zoologists to discover animals that would often disappear into the background of London’s busy cityscape or that are not native to the country or area. The centre can be enjoyed during the day or on special night-time bat walks to see these fascinating winged mammals come alive in the dark.  

Just a short walk from beautiful Barnes, if you have time you can wonder into this wonderful area to see the stunning riverside pubs and restaurants and if you manage to tie into the weekend you may even come across some lovely farmers markets too.

https://www.wwt.org.uk/

 

British Museum

Found on Great Russell Street, the British Museum is a comprehensive collection of exhibits dedicated to human history, arts and worldwide cultures collected over a span of many years, mostly during the era of the British Empire. Explore upcoming exhibits and events on their website before attending as there is always something new to discover.

The scale of this vast building is deceptive but there is plenty to explore and great places to eat and drink either in the museum or around the surrounding area.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/

 

London’s Roman Amphitheatre

After many years of searching, in 1988 archaeologists discovered the remnants of the only Roman Amphitheatre under Guildhall. After it became abandoned, much of the amphitheatre and its materials were dismantled and repurposed for other buildings and structures which made it exceptionally difficult to find as very little remained. There is now a dedicated protected space for the amphitheatre remains for the public to visit and explore.

Guildhall has many interesting rooms and also hosts private events so be sure to take this into account ahead of your trip to learn more about the previous Roman inhabitants of this space.

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Londons-Roman-Amphitheatre/

 

Tate Britain  

Tate Britain is the free to visit national collection of British art and plays host to some of the most beautiful works in the world, including some loaned to the gallery by private owners.

Immerse yourself in some of the most creative still visual spectacles in the world and encourage a shared appreciation for art. No matter the age of visitors, you will always be able to find something to inspire. The gallery also hosts an array of free events for children and families including workshops which are certainly worth checking out.

Though entry is free, pre-booked timed tickets are required ahead of your visit, especially if you would be looking to attend a workshop or event.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain

 

Entertainment

Harry Potter World

Located up in Watford, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is an opportunity to browse around various elements of the creation of the infamous Harry Potter films. Whether you and your children are full blown fans of the franchise or just enjoy curling up to watch them around Christmas time, you will enjoy learning about all of the various departments that went into making such a ground-breaking book series adaptation – bringing imagined visuals from words on a page to life. Covering set design, costumes, props, and special effects, you’ll learn everything about how this inspiring story came to our screens.  

https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/

 

 

Take a trip to an outdoor cinema

During the summer months, numerous outdoor cinemas are set up around London giving the opportunity to watch both new releases and some of your favourite classic films in a fresh air setting. These pop-up cinemas often have family friendly viewing in the afternoon of children’s films suitable for all making for a fun family afternoon out. With so many dotted around, we recommend doing your research ahead of time to see which venues are close by and what films are on offer for the days you would like to go.    

 

Bowling and arcades

Bowling has always been considered the ultimate family fun activity and there’s plenty of places across London to enjoy this activity. Some dedicated businesses even house a multitude of similar activities all under the same roof, so you won’t be short on things to do if you wanted to extend your day out beyond the bowling game. Many alleys also have special glow in the dark set ups to add something unique to the game. The popularity of this activity during the summer holidays means it is best to book ahead of time, so you are not left waiting on arrival.

 

Theatre

There are plenty of family theatre shows that can be experienced in London’s West End and this summer might be the perfect opportunity to introduce your little ones to the undisputed talent on display in live theatre shows. If you choose the right performance, you should be able to find something that will be an ideal choice for everyone in the family to appreciate… and you obviously can’t beat ice cream at the interval!  

https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/whats-on

 

Something different

Kidzania

Kidzania is a children’s adult life playground, the ultimate game of “this is what I want to be when I’m older”. Aimed at ages 4-14, Kidzania is a miniature city designed to inspire your children with interactive role play in a series of jobs from Pilots to TV presenters. Visitors get the opportunity to replicate real life by earning replica ‘Kidzos’ currency for work they carry out which can be spent in the department store or be saved up for their next visit.

Kidzos can also be used by these practice adults used to open up a bank account with their very own credit card if they manage to save up 75 or more.

Located in Westfields Shepherds Bush, once your kids are finished up spending their Kidzo’s in the replica department store with their mock credit card, you can head into the real thing with yours and treat yourself to some grown up treats!

https://kidzania.co.uk/

 

 

Adrenaline pumping

Go Ape Battersea

Battersea Park is home to one of the renowned Go Ape courses – take to the treetops to tackle a variety of pulse raising stages across the raised assault course as you ‘monkey’ around and try not to look down. Not suitable for those who have a fear of heights unless you feel like conquering your anxiety, in which case you might decide to spectate form the ground or have a wonder around all the other fabulous facilities on offer in Battersea.

https://goape.co.uk/locations/battersea-park

 

Legoland

Found in the lovely Windsor area, Legoland is the embodiment of a great family day out for younger families and taps into fun and imagination in all the best ways. With a combination of rides and attractions targeted to children, but many that the whole family will enjoy too, a day at Legoland will be the burst of excitement you all need. There are hotels in and around the complex for you to enjoy if you decided to make a weekend of it, or alternatively links from central London are quick and easy so you can be right where the Lego action is happening in a flash.

https://www.legoland.co.uk/

 

Thorpe Park

Another theme park, Thorpe Park is aimed towards adults and bigger kids with a dedicated area for younger children’s fun. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping on some bigger, faster, and scarier rides then you might decide to pay a visit to this amusement Park for the day – feel the wind in your hair and get that blood pumping. A few selections to enjoy include testing your stomach on Nemesis Inferno, getting soaked on Tidal Wave, feeling your need for speed on Stealth which reaches 0-80 seconds in under 2 seconds and experiencing the first ever live Black Mirror experience, Labyrinth.  

https://www.thorpepark.com/

 

Plan your own sports day

When the sunshine is scheduled to show itself, a great low maintenance way to make the most of the fine weather is to plan your own family sports day. Get your egg and spoons, three-legged race, and other activities ready to go for a day of healthy competition and fun as you and the family take on a range of activities throughout the day and see if you can climb up the leader board.

You may even decide to motivate participants by having a trophy to be won by the sportsperson that reigns supreme!

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