Best Things To Do In London With Kids In The Winter

11 January 2017 Activities & Destinations 0 Comments

 

Winter is a great season to visit London with kids.

And when we think of winter, we usually think “white winter”.

Of course, when the city is covered in snow, going to one of the many parks in London is probably the best thing to do. What child does not like to play in the snow?

But, not all winters are white in England. In fact, it rarely snows in London. But who needs snow to have fun in a city like that!

London has many entertaining activities and events to offer to families with children in winter.

From the best kid-friendly museums to the city’s iconic monuments to fun and educative hands-on workshops, we have listed the best things to do in London with kids in the winter.

 

1. Visit the city’s kid-friendly museums

The British Museum

London with kids - british museum

Just like Paris has the Louvre, New York has the Metropolitan and Saint Petersburg has the Hermitage, London’s iconic museum is the British Museum. It is your chance to discover the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts outside Egypt, including mummies and the world famous Rosetta Stone. But that’s not all! Wait until you see the impressive frescoes of the Parthenon of Ancient Greece. Other attractions include the gigantic winged bulls of Assyria, the marble sculptures and frescoes of the Parthenon of Ancient Greece, and many more fantastic historical relics.

And why not make the most of your visit with your children by booking the Mystery at the British Museum tour. You’ll be covering the highlights of the museum in just 2 hours, and your children will have loads of fun listening to the family-friendly guide and solving the riddles in the entertaining game booklet.

  • Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom
  • Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road (Central & Northern lines) or Holborn (Central & Piccadilly lines)
  • Price: Free for parents and children
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10 AM to 5:30 PM

 

The Natural History Museum

London with kids - natural history museum

Located in a beautiful building just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Royal Albert Hall, the Natural History Museum is a true fun and educational playground for children of all ages. Here, they will learn everything about the mysteries of our planet, from the time of the mighty dinosaurs to our modern era. It’s a great opportunity for you to refresh your memory as well! Highlights include skeletons of dinosaurs, a skeleton of a blue whale (the biggest creature that ever existed on earth) and even a Wildlife Garden. The Natural History Museum is truly one of the best things to do in London with kids in winter.

  • Address: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
  • Nearest tube station: South Kensington Station (Circle, District & Piccadilly lines)
  • Price: Free for parents and children
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10 AM to 5:30 PM

 

The Museum of London

London with kids - museum of london

How about learning more about the fascinating history of London? After all, this world famous city has a lot of interesting stories to be told. From the prehistoric times to the world we live in today, you and your children will know everything there is to know about the UK’s capital at the Museum of London.

Here, you will find a lot of exciting and intriguing things such as a Paleolithic bear skull, but there are also more classic (but still captivating) objects such as models, pictures, diagrams, and original artifacts in a series of chronological galleries. The interactive displays and activities will surely keep you and your children highly engaged!

Don’t miss this great museum, when traveling to London with kids in winter!

  • Address: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, United Kingdom
  • Nearest Tube station: Saint Paul’s Station (Central Line) or Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines)
  • Price: Free for parents and children
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10AM to 6PM

 

HMS Belfast

London with kids - HMS Belfast

Welcome aboard the HMS Belfast, Europe’s largest preserved World War II warship. This old Royal Navy light cruiser is a permanently moored museum ship on the River Thames. On board, you and your children will discover the fascinating life aboard such a ship, with wax statues giving life to all the different areas, such as the engine room, the kitchen and even the dorms.

  • Address: The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2JH
  • Nearest Tube station: London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern lines)
  • Price: £16 for adults, £8 for children (5-15), free for kids under 5. Family ticket (2 adults, up to 3 children) £42
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10 AM to 6 PM

 

The London Transport Museum

London with kids - Transport Museum London

If you are interested in the history of transport, then check out the London Transport Museum. After all, London was the first city in the world to have a subway network (the Tube). The museum is dedicated to the history of London’s transport system since 1800. Through approximately 80 vehicles (including a red London bus and the world’s first subway) and other interesting items, you and your children will understand the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London.

  • Address: Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB, United Kingdom
  • Nearest Tube station: Covent Garden (Piccadilly)
  • Price: £17 for adults and £14.50 for children
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10AM to 6PM except Friday (opens at 11AM)

 

The Science Museum

London with kids - science museum

Here’s a museum your whole family will want to warm up in when visiting London in winter: the Science Museum. Kids love science. It’s so fascinating! The museum is entirely dedicated to science and presents objects related to topics such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, time, light, technological and medical achievements in a family-friendly way. In other words, your children will learn as much as they have fun!

  • Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD
  • Nearest Tube station: South Kensington Station (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines)
  • Price: Entry is free, but you need to buy a ticket for the IMAX Theater, flight simulators and some special exhibitions.
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10AM to 6PM

 

Madame Tussauds

London with kids - Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is surely one of the world’s most famous wax museums. Although the entrance fee is on the expensive side, it is totally justified once you experience this exceptional place. Life-like wax statues of the most famous British and international people (real or fictional) will take you far away from reality. Madame Tussauds is one activity in London that your children will never forget!

  • Address: Marylebone Road, London, NW15LR
  • Nearest Tube station: Baker street Station (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan lines)
  • Price: £34 for adults and £29.50 for children (4-15) for on the day tickets. Cheaper tickets are sold online.
  • Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Weekends from 9:00 AM to 6 PM

 

2. Visit some of London’s iconic landmarks

Westminster Abbey in the snow

If you don’t mind the cold weather, there are some landmarks in London that should be visited! And to make it even better for children, we recommend to avoid “classic” ways to visit these highlights and chose something a lot more family friendly.

The highlights that should not be missed when visiting London with kids in winter are the Tower of London, the “Royal” area (from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace), the London Eye and a cruise down the Thames River for an original overview of the capital city.

You can chose to visit these areas on your own, but it would be a shame to be in London and not to combine fun and education when visiting these highlights.

Thanks to the fully trained professional guides and the entertaining game booklets, the Family Twist tours of these highlights will create family memories like never before.

Discover our Royal ExperienceCenturies of Secrets at the Tower of LondonLondon SightseeingAdventure on the Thames or Childhood in Kensington tours. These will enable you to spend quality time with your whole family and create unforgettable memories.

Check all these cultural activities and more on the Family Twist website.

 

3. Warm up with a hands-on workshops

All things chocolate

If you are not so much in the mood to embrace the cold winter in London, then why not warm up with a fun filled, hands-on workshop? After all, these curated private experience were especially designed for families, so might as well enjoy!

For example, why not become a detective for a couple of hours with our Detective for the Day activity. Animated by a real Scotland Yard detective, you and your children will learn how to solve a murder case using real techniques such as finger prints, foot prints, blood samples and much more! All this in the comfort of a private area.

Another great activity is our chocolate workshops All Things Chocolate. Let’s face it: winter is simply the perfect time to enjoy the warmth of a kitchen. And what better way to do that than to book a private, family friendly cooking class. And when it comes to chocolate, you can be sure your kids are going to love it!

Speaking of food, why not learn how to make the traditional Afternoon Tea? Get your hands deliciously dirty and make a true British afternoon tea with scones, sandwiches and other delightful snacks you will savor with the tea during our Tea Time workshop.

Oh, and if you really want to behave like a true lady or gentleman, how about experiencing our great Ladies & Gentlemen workshop. It’s fun and laughter (all in good manners) guaranteed!

 

 4. Theme parks and interactive attraction

The World of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studios

London with kids - universal studios

Are you a big Harry Potter fan? Then come explore the magical world of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studios in London. The studios are located roughly 20 miles outside of London, to the North West. Here, you will have the privilege to take a behind the scenes peek behind the Harry Potter films: the decors, the costumes, the objects and all the wizardry Harry Potter and his friends are famous for!

  • Address: Warner Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LP, United Kingdom
  • Nearest Tube station: Watford Junction Station + shuttle bus
  • Price: £35 for adults and £27 for children (5-15)
  • Opening Hours: opening hours vary a lot. Check the opening times of the Warner Bros Studio Tour here.

 

The London Eye

London with kids - London Eye

The London Eye is the iconic Ferris Wheel located opposite the Houses of Parliament, above the Thames River. From the large cabins, you will have a magnificent bird’s eye view over London. Have fun trying to spot the many iconic monuments of the city. Can you spot the Gherkin, the Shard, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben? A spin in the London Eye is a great introduction to the city when visiting London with kids. Make sure you go there on a sunny day though, otherwise there’s no real point in doing it!

  • Address: Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
  • Nearest Tube station: Waterloo Station (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines)
  • Price: between £29.45 and £34.95 for adults and £25.45 to 29.95 for children
  • Opening Hours: Weekdays from 11 AM to 6 PM. Closed in January for annual maintenance

 

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon Torture

Just opposite the London Eye is the famous London Dungeon. It’s one of the creepiest and most famous tourist attractions in London for kids. How exciting is that? With live actors, special effects and crazy rides, you will re-live some of the most macabre events of London’s history… Not for the faint hearted!

  • Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, City of London
  • Nearest Tube station: Waterloo Station (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines)
  • Price: between £29.50 and £32.00 for children (off season or peak) and £16.50 for adults
  • Opening Hours: Weekdays from 10 AM to 5 PM. Weekends from 10 AM to 6 PM

 

Kidzania

London with kids - kidzania

Kidzania is a unique interactive attraction that revolves exclusively around children. The concept is simple: a child size city run by children. The city is located in a 75,000 sq. ft. venue, and the kids become what they have always wanted to be: a fire-fighter, a nurse, a pilot, a film maker… Over 60 different roles that kids from 4 to 14 will enjoy.

  • Address: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
  • Nearest Tube station: Shepherd’s Bush (Central Line)
  • Price: between £29.50 and £32.00 for children (off season or peak) and £16.50 for adults
  • Opening Hours: Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10AM to 5PM

 

5. Holiday Season Activities

London with kids - Winter Wonderland

I would not be able to write something about London with kids in winter without mentioning something about Christmas and New Year’s. Those two essential holidays make winter so much fun for every family! And in a city like London, there are just too many things happening. There is simply not a good reason to miss any of the scheduled events!

For detailed information on what you can expect for Christmas and New Year’s, read these articles:

For Christmas, there are 3 markets that are really worth it:

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

For more than a month, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers more than just a Christmas market. It is a place of fun and entertainment, especially for children. Attractions here include an ice-skating rink, a giant Ferris wheel, a circus shows and last but not least… Santa’s very own house! When it comes to food, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is full of original restaurants such as the Ice bar, the Swiss chalet or even the Fire Pit Bar where you can roast marshmallows over a wood fire. For your Christmas gifts you will definitively find what you have always dreamed of inside one of the 200 wooden chalets.

  • When: From mid December to early January (closed on Christmas day)
  • Address: Hyde Park
  • Tube station: Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria, Jubilee lines)
  • Entrance: Free park entry, but paying attractions

 

Tate Modern Christmas market 

This traditional Christmas market is located between the Tate modern museum (London’s modern art museum) and the River Thames. Here, you will find traditional Christmas market products such as jewelry, Christmas decorations, wooden toys and much more. The Tate Modern Christmas market will enchant the whole family. And there is a good chance your children will want to hop on the merry-go-round. A great pick for a wonderful Christmas in London with kids.

  • When: From late november to December 24th
  • Address: Bankside at the Tate Modern
  • Tube station: Blackfriars (Circle and District lines)
  • Entrance: Free

 

London Bridge City Christmas Market

The particularity about the London Bridge City Christmas Market is the view. From there, you’ll be able to snap a great picture of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge with the market’s Christmas specialties and decorations in the front. Just like other Christmas markets though, you will find a lot of unique gifts and food from all over the world.

  • When: From early December to early January. Open from 10AM to 8PM
  • Address: London Bridge
  • Tube station: London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern lines)

 

6. Ice skating

London Ice Skating Rinks

A lot of pop up ice rinks appear in different parts of London in Winter. And this makes it paradise for children!

Here are some of the most popular and family friendly pop up ice skating rinks in London:

 

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

Once again, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park makes a remarkable appearance in the top ice skating rinks in London category. One of the main reasons is because it’s the largest open air ice rink in the UK. It’s also very welcoming and the beautiful lights and decorations make it a place You wouldn’t want to miss.

  • Address: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
  • Dates and Time: From mid November to early January from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £14.50 for adults, £9.50 for children, £38 for a family of 4

 

Eyeskate:

This outdoor ice skating rink is located right in front of the London Eye. Needless to say that the view on the famous Ferris wheel and the Houses of Parliament in the back, and the lovely animated ambiance are two great reasons to come here when spending Christmas in London with kids.

  • Address: The London Eye
  • Dates and Time: in December
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): to be confirmed

 

Somerset House Ice Rink:

Nicely located on the Edmond J. Sadra Fountain courtyard not too far away Covent Garden, the Somerset House ice rink offers two ambiances. During the day, it’s the perfect time for families and friends to glide on the ice. There is a skate school and a Polar Cub Club for children. But when the sun has set, on selected days (Club Nights) international DJs come warm up the ambiance!

  • Dates and Time: Open from mid November to mid January from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £14 for adults, £7.50 for kids of 12 and under.

 

Canary Wharf Ice Rink:

This very nice ice rink is one of the largest in London and for those who don’t like being on skates, there is a large heated outdoor viewing terrace where you will be able to view the more adventurous family members!

  • Address: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB
  • Dates and Time: Open from early November end of February from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £16.95 for adults, £10.95 for children and £46.50 for families (2+2 or 1+3)

 

Broadgate Ice Rink:

Located in Exchange Square, just a stone’s throw away from Liverpool Street Station, Broadgate ice rink is the perfect place for skaters of all ages and levels.

Address: Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ

Dates and Time: Open from mid-November to end of February from 10AM to 10PM

Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £13 for adults, £9 for kids between the ages of 4 and 13, £35 for families (2+2 or 1+3)

 

 

7. Catch a show or musical in London’s West End

London's West End shows

London is also very famous for its plethora of shows, plays and musicals. Just like Broadway in New York, the entertainment offered in London’s West End (the theater district of London) will please the entire family and is a great way to keep away from cold and rainy days. In London, you will find a lot of the big international hits such as the Lion King, Wicked, Mathilda, but also more genuine theatrical plays (generally for older children).

Head out to the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre if you want to see a great performance of a classic Shakespearian play.

You’ll find all the shows, the information and the prices here.

 

 

8. Visit the London Aquarium or the London Zoo

If you don’t mind being outdoors, head out to the London Zoo, but if you prefer to be in a warm interior, then the London Aquarium is your best bet.

The London Zoo

london with kids - London Zoo

Located in Regent’s Park, the London Zoo (also called Regent’s Zoo) is one of the best things to do in London with kids. Historically, it is the world’s oldest scientific zoo (1828), originally intended for scientific study but later on opened to the public (1847). Today, it houses 756 species (over 17,480 animals). You and your children will be able to see fascinating animals such as lions, tigers, gorillas, komodo dragons, penguins, reptiles and many more! In winter though, some animals might not be visible.

  • Address: Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK
  • Nearest Tube station: Camden Town (Northern Line)
  • Price: £21.50 for adults and £17.25 for children between 3 and 15. Online tickets are a bit cheaper.
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 10AM to 4PM

 

The London Aquarium

london with kids - Sealife Aquarium

Located a stone’s throw away from the London Eye, opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Aquarium (Sea Life London Aquarium) opened in 1997 and is now the largest aquarium in London. You and your children will be able to enjoy walking through the glass tunnel and see different kinds of sharks, or discover the ray lagoon, the penguin point, the crocodile pool and even Nemo’s kingdom among other fascinating highlights. Needless to say that this is a great activity to entertain your children in London on New Year’s Eve.

  • Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
  • Nearest Tube station: Westminster Station (Circle, District & Jubilee lines)
  • Price: £21.50 for adults and £17.25 for children between 3 and 15. Online tickets are a bit cheaper.
  • Opening Hours: Open every day from 9AM to 6PM

 

Have an afternoon tea with the kids

Charlie and the Chesterfield afternoon tea @ chesterfield hotel

The Afternoon Tea is a very British custom, and anyone that spends a family vacation in London, should at least experience the afternoon tea once, if not even make your own!

This light snack eaten between 4PM and 6PM is not only about tea. There are also many delicious goodies such as scones, cakes, pastries and the traditional cucumber sandwich that are part of the whole experience.

Today the afternoon tea is often served in hotels or tea shops, and some areas have made it their trademark.

Treat yourself and your children to a delicious and magical and oh so British culinary experience. Here are the 9 best kid-friendly afternoon teas in London.

 

For a more hands-on experience, you can always book Family Twist’s Tea Time hands-on activity. A perfect way to learn how to make the perfect afternoon tea and enjoy it in the end!

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