Guides London Best Free Things To Do in London with Family and Kids

Best Free Things To Do in London with Family and Kids

City Guide September 19, 2023


London can be an expensive city. It's not an opinion. It's a fact. The cost of living and the cost of lifestyle far exceeds other countries. But oh man, is it beautiful and such a worthwhile experience? The great thing about travel is that you can make it work for you, not vice versa. While London can be very expensive, especially if you're visiting London with kids, there are many free things in London.

In this guide, we'll be your compass through London's cost-free wonderland, showing you the best free things to do in London when you're visiting with family and kids. From exploring world-class museums that captivate the young and young-at-heart alike to wandering through picturesque parks where imaginations run wild, London's no-cost offerings ensure that adults and children can revel in the city's magic without straining their purse strings.

Speaking of not pulling purse strings, have you heard of Nannybag? It's a budget-friendly, 24/7 luggage storage service around London. For only £6 per bag, per day (any size), you can securely store your luggage at one of Nannybag's many locations, making it convenient! Download the app, book the location, drop off, and enjoy your day in London. No gimmicks, just sweet, sweet freedom— from your bags! Now, onto what to do with kids in London**.**



The British Library

The British Library offers so many activities and events for kids that we have trouble keeping up with all of them— it's truly one of those crown jewels. For starters, The British Library regularly hosts exhibitions that cater to all age groups. These exhibitions often feature interactive displays, multimedia elements, and engaging narratives, making learning exciting for kids. From exploring the history of literature to delving into fascinating historical artifacts, these exhibitions provide a well-rounded educational experience for the whole family.

Aside from that, the library hosts specific events just for kids. These events include treasure hunts and activity trails that encourage kids to explore. In these storytelling sessions, professional storytellers captivate young audiences with tales from around the world and occasional workshops and craft activities designed for kids and families. The library believes in nurturing creativity through its programming. Imagine creating your dictionary with nonsense words or starring in your fairytale— no need, you can do it all here.

To see the programming, click here.

Address: 96 Euston Rd., London NW1 2DB



National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is a fantastic place for families to explore the history and significance of maritime culture. The museum's exhibits are designed to be engaging and educational for visitors of all ages. Interactive displays, models of ships, and multimedia installations help children learn about the maritime world in a hands-on manner.

Make sure to visit the Ahoy! Children's Gallery is a gallery that is specifically designed for children aged 0-7. It offers a safe and stimulating environment where young children can play and pretend they're the captains. Entrance is free, but if you visit during a school holiday or a weekend, it's a small fee of £3. Book ahead of time because it gets booked!

Address: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF


British Museum

The British Museum offers family-friendly audio guides that provide engaging commentary and activities tailored to different age groups; gotta love the differentiation! Suppose you visit on a Friday. In that case, special events take place on select Fridays, including various hands-on activities, workshops, performances, and storytelling sessions that bring the museum's exhibits to life for families.

One of the most incredible things, however, is the trails! The British Museum provides themed family trails that encourage kids to explore specific sections of the museum and complete fun tasks along the way. And if you're traveling with little ones, fear not; under 5s and their carers are invited to join in with the Museum's Little Feet program.

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG


Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a contemporary art gallery that offers a range of family-friendly experiences. Families are welcomed with a dedicated Family Resource Area with art materials and interactive activities. Engage in hands-on creation during Family Workshops led by artists and let contemporary masterpieces spark conversations.

The whole family can participate in Tate Draw, where you can see your drawings come to life using our digital sketch pads at Tate Modern. The Tate promotes family visits through its programming, and if you'd like more info, click here.

Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG



Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Parks and outdoor spaces are a fantastic way to explore Central London. These areas provide ample room for kids to run, play, and explore while parents can relax and enjoy the open air.

Sky Garden

Welcome to a unique oasis nestled in the heart of London's skyline. Despite its central location, it's an unexpected treasure for families seeking free experiences. Just make sure to reserve with enough anticipation because tickets run out! Sky Garden offers breathtaking city views, making it a great spot to capture memories.

While the sky-high views might make it seem exclusive, Sky Garden's free entry policy makes it an accessible choice for families. 

Address: 1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF


Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a London icon and offers families an expansive natural playground in the city's heart. The large size means endless opportunities for play, sports, and relaxation. Kids can run, cycle, or play ball games in a safe place. The park boasts multiple playgrounds, including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, designed to stimulate kids' imagination— remember, this park is trendy!

Beyond that, Hyde Park hosts various free events, from concerts to open-air theater, enriching families' experiences throughout the year. Make sure to check their events calendar to see if anything sticks. And, of course, Hyde Park is the perfect place to have a family-friendly picnic, but you should check out some of the markets before to get some yummy snacks.

Address: Hyde Park, London



Now, onto what is probably our favorite thing about London— the markets. London's vibrant markets offer a captivating blend of culture, cuisine, and creativity, making them excellent destinations for families seeking free and diverse activities. The markets give everyone in the family a chance to discover what they truly like— or, at the very least, not fuss over what you'll be having for lunch because there's something for everyone.

Borough Market

Borough Market is a culinary haven that satisfies the taste buds and lights up the senses for families of all sizes. From fresh produce to international delicacies, Borough Market has it all. The vendors at the market are extremely friendly and passionate about their work, so if you have the time, ask them some questions and turn the visit into a fun and educational experience.

Address: London SE1 9AL


Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market is a treasure trove of vintage finds, antiques, and artistic delights and, honestly, a treasure hunt for families, where kids can scour for unique trinkets, vintage toys, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The whole area is very quirky and colorful and an overall treat.

Address: London W11 1LJ


Brick Lane Market

Like the last markets, this is all about art and vintage fashion. Discover captivating murals and graffiti and let everyone's imaginations go wild. Here, you can browse vintage clothing stalls and creative designs and introduce kids to unique styles and trends.

Address: Brick Ln, London E1 6QR



Free Tours

Let's face it: transportation around the city can add up, and if you take the tube everywhere, those oyster cards will rack up some dough. You could opt for a hop-on-hop-off situation, but we're talking free here. London offers many free walking tours; they're all themed differently, so you'll find one that appeases the entire family. Here are some of our picks:

Free Tour of London

A knowledgeable local guide lets you explore Buckingham Palace, where King Charles III resides, and catch glimpses of St James's Palace and Westminster Abbey. Get a peek into the lives of Princes William and Harry. But it's not just modern royals – you'll also learn about past kings and queens.

London's history goes beyond royalty. Your guide shares tales of Winston Churchill at the Churchill War Rooms, Guy Fawkes near the Houses of Parliament, and Admiral Nelson by the Nelson Column. From Covent Garden to Big Ben, you'll see renowned sites on this free walking tour.

To book this tour, click here.


Free Harry Potter Tour

This free London tour is designed for wizards and witches of all ages and any Harry Potter fans! Embark on a magical journey through the streets inspired by Diagon Alley, snap a pic with Hedwig in Knockturn Alley, and uncover connections to the Leaky Cauldron at a historic pub.

Capture the best Ministry of Magic photo, find Harry Potter's home and the Cursed Child, and discover unique memorabilia and spell books. Guided by a passionate Harry Potter expert, this free tour fills your day with trivia based on the Harry Potter films, secrets, and fun games. Enjoy an exclusive discount for official Harry Potter souvenirs at the tour's end.

There is no need for a Harry Potter studio tour when the whole city is the studio!

To book this tour, click here.


Jack the Ripper Free Tour: Discover the haunting secrets of Whitechapel

Okay, this one is a bit dark, so we'd only recommend it if your family consists of older children because it can get spooky. Step into the eerie world of Jack the Ripper on a tour you will remember. Walk through the old streets of Whitechapel and learn about the spooky history of Victorian London. From the creepy Ten Bells Pub to the mysterious Tower Hill sundial, discover the story of the world's most famous mysterious killer.

During the tour, you'll visit some historic landmarks but see them from a different, more eerie point of view.

To book this tour, click here.

These tours operate on a gratuity-based model, meaning you can support the most valuable tours. It ensures the tour meets your expectations while fitting your budget. Enjoy London's highlights without worrying about fixed fees.



Historic Landmarks & Ceremonies

St. Paul's Cathedral

At this cathedral, kids can marvel at the impressive dome, climb to the top for panoramic views, and explore the intricate details of the interior. The Whispering Gallery, where whispers can be heard across the dome, adds an element of fun.

Address: St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD


The Monument to the Great Fire of London

Climbing the spiral staircase to the top provides a unique view of the city and encourages physical activity. The monument's informative panels educate kids about the Great Fire's impact on London's architecture and city planning. Climbing up isn't free, but it won't break the bank at £6 for adults and £3 for kids.

Address: Fish St Hill, London EC3R 8AH



Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a family-friendly spectacle that showcases British tradition and pageantry. Kids can witness the impressive uniformed guards, marching bands, and the lively atmosphere of the ceremony. The event is captivating; kids will learn something new, even if they don't want to.

Address: Birdcage Walk, Westminster Abbey, London SW1E 6HQ

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