Museums and galleries in central london

Bank of England Museum

Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH

The Bank of England is responsible for maintaining monetary and financial stability but the Museum is about much more than money. Children can learn the history of the Bank, its buildings, and the people who have shaped it over more than 300 years. They'll enjoy the events taking place in the Museum during school holidays, from treasure hunts to storytelling.

The Barbican Centre

Silk Street London, EC2Y 8DS

The Barbican Centre is a world-class arts and learning organisation that pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts.

Budding musicians, directors, thespians, dancers and poets can develop their skills via a wide range of collectives, Saturday and summer courses.

The Cartoon Museum

35 Little Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1A 2HH

Relatively new to London – it opened in 2006 – the museum has a library of over 5,000 books and 4,000 comics. They run drawing classes for children and school holiday workshops.

Charles Dickens Museum

48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

Visit the home (now a museum) where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby. A visit to the Museum includes a free family trail for each child (best suited to children between 4 and 12 years) which takes them on a journey of discovery through No. 48 Doughty Street, where Dickens once lived with his wife and young family. 

Kids can explore the basement and its Victorian kitchen, full of period and replica items they can interact with, dress up and experience life in the kitchen and attic, try their hand at grinding coffee and put on their own play in a beautiful Victorian toy theatre.

London Transport Museum

Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB

London Transport Museum explores the story of London and its transport system over the last 200 years. Every school holiday parents, carers and children can make-and-take in craft workshops, and join their story time tales.

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world and offers free entrance 361 days a year. Families can get involved in art workshops, story time, songs, walk and talk events, craft sessions and more.

National Portrait Gallery

St. Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE

The National Portrait Gallery was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856. There’s plenty for families to do including free weekend and school holiday events for kids aged 3 and over and their Family Activity Base and Sunday drop-in sessions.

Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) enjoys a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects. Its purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. Families can take part in free drop-in workshops, engaging Art Detective trails, and enjoy galleries full of colourful paintings and sculptures. Kids under 16 go free to all exhibitions.

Royal Institution of Great Britain

21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

The Royal Institution is an independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. It’s also home to the Faraday Museum (entry is free) where you can explore over 200 years of history-making science. The RI holds family fun days, summer schools, theatre events, workshops and offers special membership to kids to encourage their love of STEM.