11 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON WITH A TODDLER (FOR UNDER £10)
By Rebecca Bingham
We know there are many factors to consider when taking young children out so we’ve put together a tried-and-tested guide on the best ways to spend a day in London with a toddler.
London is a veritable goldmine of entertainment for children and it doesn’t have to come at too great of a cost.
Children get to an age where they seem to need a lot more entertainment or stimulation and it can be difficult to keep finding fun, age - appropriate activities to do with them.
Sometimes the choice is so great we don’t know where to start, and other times we find ourselves in the rut of going to the same old places over and over again.
We love this here city so have put together our favourite 11 things to do in London with a toddler (for under £10):
How to Travel Around London With a Toddler
The great thing about exploring the capital with a toddler is that children under 5 years old go free on all London transport, there is also a ‘Step Free’ Tube map to help navigate the underground with a buggy or pram.
If you don’t fancy braving the city alone then The Original London Bus Tour offers a 45 minute tour for kids where you can see the iconic sites of London such as Big Ben and Trafalgar Square with a specially designed commentary just for young children all for £15 for adults.
Free Things to do in London with a Toddler
There is nothing like a free day out, especially when children cost us enough already!
These activities are completely free to children under 5 years old, whether it’s a full day of sensory activities or a day at the park there’s something for everyone whatever the weather forecast.
1. Natural History Museum
The perfect free day out for you and the children, there are great sensory and interactive activities to keep everyone occupied and interested throughout the day and who doesn’t love dinosaurs?
In addition to their standard offerings they also run free or low-cost additional activities every day, especially during school holidays.
2. London Transport Museum
Situated off the buzzing piazza of Covent Garden, kids go free at this award winning attraction although you do have to pay for any adults.
You can discover the history of London Transport whilst children enjoy many interactive points throughout the museum.
There is also a play zone for children aged 0-7 as well as dedicated events throughout the year specifically for children aged under 5.
3. Science Museum
Everyone goes free at the Science Museum, and there is so much to see and do.
There are some brilliant interactive points for small children including experiments with floating and sinking in the Garden and a flight simulator with Fly Kids - both open daily.
The museum also offers Experitots play sessions specifically for children aged 18 months to 3 years but check their website for times and dates available.
4. Diana Memorial Playground
This lovely park is located next to Princess Diana’s Kensington home, with a large wooden pirate ship at its centre the park offers many opportunities for fun and adventure.
There is a sensory trail, teepees, a sandy beach around the pirate ship and other toys and sculptures to enjoy.
5. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
There is plenty on offer for families at the Olympic Park, with wetlands, climbing walls, gardens and play areas you can fill your whole day with fun outdoor activities.
There is also the favoured waterworks fountain which will bring refreshing relief on summer days whilst the children navigate the snaking pathways of fountains and lights.
6. Coram’s Fields
Coram fields is located in Central London and has lots on offer for adventure seeking toddlers and older children alike.
There is a mixture of play equipment and large open green space for children to play. They also have a city farm and wildlife garden, meaning the children can learn and play all in one space.
Indoor Activities under £10
With such unpredictable weather here in the UK it’s good to have an indoor activity to turn to that still gets you out of the house and beats that cabin fever.
Here are some good indoor activities to take toddlers to that are either under £10 or completely free!
7. Discovery Planet
Located in Surrey Quays, this is a popular indoor soft play centre that won’t cost the earth to enjoy.
With Free Wi-Fi and free parking, they have catered for parents too to keep costs down and help you to relax whilst your children have lots of fun.
8. National Gallery
An iconic London attraction the National Gallery has a lot to offer for families looking for a bit of culture.
They also offer a free storytelling session every Sunday morning for under 5’s, it’s a fun interactive experience that is led by professional storytellers with a special musical edition once a month.
‘Welcome Wednesday’ sessions are aimed at children from 18 months to 5 years and offer arts and crafts, music, movement and story based activities for only £5.
9. Hamleys Toy Shop
As well as an abundance of toys to try out and discover, Hamleys often have in store events to entertain visiting children.
If you think you can survive a visit without spending a fortune, it’s a great way to entertain a toddler without spending a penny.
Events include meeting favourite superheroes, chances to win prizes or why not take a break and let the staff read to your children during daily story time.
Theatre and the Arts
10. The Barbican Centre
For the more theatrical loving little ones the Barbican has some wonderful activities on offer for families.
There is a free play area at the ‘Squish Space’ for under 5’s which is full of objects especially to encourage parents and children to explore through play.
At the Conservatory, which is the second biggest in London, you can explore the tropical oasis for free - perfect for families.
If you fancy treating yourself to a nice lunch then you’re in luck as kids under 12 eat free for every adult ordering a main meal.
11. Southbank Centre
A great place to visit during the summer months the Southbank Centre offers the pretty Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden and the cooling spray of the Jeppe Hein water fountains.
There are activities throughout the year for children and many are free of charge. During the summer they run Disco Loco, a free family party which offers an afternoon of DJing and performance to entertain the whole family.
Other Noteworthy Places To Take Toddlers in London
There are of course many other places to take a toddler in London but they may incur an entry fee over £10, for some this will only be for adults as many places are free for children under 3 years.
We think these spots are well worth a mention:
The Unicorn Theatre, situated near London Bridge has many shows and events for young children and costs from as little as £20 for a combined adult and child entry.
There are also show themed workshops on offer for children between the ages of 3 and 7.
The British Museum is another fabulous day out for families. They have activity trails, gallery backpacks which include free activities and art materials that can be borrowed to keep little ones occupied.
There are free family events throughout the year which include activities such as mini explorers, archaeology sensory experiences and looking at ancient civilisations.
Toddler Friendly Attractions
The London Eye is an iconic London attraction and children love to see the sights from this oversized ferris wheel.
There are often great deals which can include entry to another top attraction for a much lower cost.
Perfect if you are looking to tick off some of the big names off your list of things to see.
London Zoo is another top spot for many families, it can be pretty pricey for a whole family, although children under 3 do get free entry.
There is lots to enjoy including amazing animals, feeding time and daily events to entertain adults and children alike.
London Aquarium offers a fascinating insight into underwater life, you can get up close with sharks in the shark walk, discover the world’s first whale sanctuary or have a rainforest and polar adventure.
With the pretty fish and illuminated underwater menagerie, it is a real sensory experience for little ones.
Is London Toddler Friendly?
Although London is a large bustling city, there are havens that cater for small children, and sleep deprived adults searching for pockets of peace amongst the hustle and bustle.
Armed with knowledge of the most welcoming places and the aforementioned step free tube map, parents and guardians can plan a completely toddler friendly day in the capital with little to no stress at all.
So, pack a picnic and discover adventure without spending a fortune.
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