Things to Do in London with Kids: 5 MUSEUMS They’ll LOVE!

Hi folks, welcome to my series on London, United Kingdom! Having lived as a student in London from 2011-12 and visited it multiple times, I’m sharing my knowledge of this wonderful city. I plan to post content every week. The content will largely focus on my recent trip there in June-July 2018, but there’ll also be some gems from the past. If you’d like to know more, please follow my blog.

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‘The Garden’ Exhibit at the Science Museum

Children and museums don’t always go hand in hand, right? At least that’s what I’ve always thought. This trip with my 2 year old proved me wrong! Some of the museums in London offer exhibits that are aimed at toddlers and younger children. The activities will keep them entertained for hours on end. Read on for more information.

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Posing with the birds at the Natural History Museum

  1. LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM, COVENT GARDEN:

This museum exhibits the history of public transportation in the city of London. Adults will be fascinated with the trivia and historic marvels presented here, and children will be enthralled by the life-size buses, trams, trains, taxis and cars.

This interactive museum is wonderful for young children as they’ll enjoy the open exhibits and attempting to drive them. There is a soft play area where children can move from a bus to the tube to a boat and even serve food to potential customers!

Entry Fee:

Children’s entry is free. Adults enter for 17.50 pounds.

A ticket allows access to this museum for a year. If you’re visiting for a short period, you should visit this museum at the beginning of your trip and then re-visit if you’d like.

You can park your stroller inside the museum or carry it with you, though it can restrict your activities.

Timings:

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Open Everyday

How to Get There:

The nearest tube (London Underground) stops are Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line, Holborn on the Central Line, and Embankment on the Circle, District, Bakerloo and Northern Lines.

Bus routes include RV1, 9, 13, 15, 23, 139, 153 and 24.

Taxis (Black cabs and Uber’s) are a good option but avoid driving yourself as parking is scarce.

Places to Eat Nearby:

The museum has a café with simple food.

Covent Garden is a hub of eateries and touristy shopping. You can try simple and popular options like ‘Le Pain Quotidien’ for sandwiches and pastas, or ‘Busaba’ for fantastic Thai food. Small vendors line the streets if you prefer hot dogs and ice-creams on the go.

Plan your visit here: www.ltmuseum.co.uk

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Playing in the life-size open exhibits at the London Transport Museum

  1. THE SCIENCE MUSEUM, SOUTH KENSINGTON:

The main exhibits of this wonderful museum are aimed at older children, but there are a couple of exhibits dedicated to young children.

‘The Pattern Pod’ on the ground floor is great to encourage exploration. This interactive section teaches kids about different textures, colours, sounds and lights.

‘The Garden’ in the basement is a glorified children’s play area with a room dedicated entirely to blocks, many interesting tunnels and toy areas, and an engaging water-play section.

‘The Secret Life of the Home’ located right next to the Garden is a hidden gem. My son loved exploring the old machines, opening and closing the first ever automatic door and looking at the evolution of equipment we use in our daily lives.

Entry Fee:

Free Entry but donations are encouraged to keep the museum going. Certain exhibitions require tickets to be bought.

Stroller parking is available outside the Pattern Pod exhibit.

Timings:

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Open Everyday

How to Get There:

Nearest tube stops are South Kensington and Gloucester Road, both on the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines.

Bus routes include 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430, C1, 9, 10, 52, 452 and 70.

Taxis are a good option but avoid driving as parking is scarce.

Places to Eat Nearby:

The museum has various cafés and dining options on each floor, so you can rest and refresh when needed.

The South Kensington area has many restaurants with varied cuisine options. We ate Lebanese at ‘Comptoir De Libanais’, and Indian at the ‘Khans of Kensington’ on different visits.

Plan your visit here: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

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The Pattern Pod’ at the Science Museum

  1. THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, CROMWELL ROAD, SOUTH KENSINGTON

Dinosaurs are the obvious attraction in this grand and stately museum, but there are plenty of other wildlife options to keep your children thoroughly entertained.

Currently the life size skeleton of a Dinosaur that adorns the ceiling of the museum’s main hall is on tour across the country, and has been replaced by a massive Blue Whale. The bird exhibits, insect exhibits, earthquake section and gemstones are quite exciting. The life-size animated Tyrannosaurus Rex was my son’s favorite attraction across all the museums. He just wanted to sit and stare at this wondrous creature!

Every year, the museum runs an international wildlife photography contest which culminates in the award-winning work being displayed. Though this exhibit is ticketed, it’s worth a visit. The talent is astonishing with some photographers being as young as 5 years.

Entry Fee:

Free Entry but donations are encouraged to keep the museum going. Certain exhibitions require tickets to be bought.

Stroller parking is available at cloak rooms at each entrance.

Timings:

10:00 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Open Everyday

How to Get There:

Nearest tube stops are South Kensington and Gloucester Road, both on the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines.

Bus routes include 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430, C1, 9, 10, 52, 452 and 70.

Taxis are a good option but avoid driving as parking is scarce.

Places to Eat Nearby:

The museum has various cafés and dining options on each floor, so you can rest and refresh when needed. We tried a delicious brownie and coffee near the Earthquake exhibit and were highly satisfied.

The South Kensington area has many restaurants with varied cuisine options. We ate Lebanese at ‘Comptoir De Libanais’, and Indian at the ‘Khans of Kensington’ on different visits.

Plan your visit here: www.nhm.ac.uk

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The life-size animated T-Rex at the Natural History Museum

  1. THE DESIGN MUSEUM, KENSINGTON HIGH STREET:

With a wonderful fountain and water play area at its Holland Park entrance, it’s a nice place to rest with the children in that area. The museum and its exhibits will provide entertainment if you need shelter from a sudden downpour. Conversely, the park will keep your children busy if you’d like to spend time at the museum looking at the beautiful gowns and dresses on display.

Entry Fee:

Prices of tickets vary according to the exhibit. You can buy discounted tickets in advance online.

Timings:

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

On the last Friday of the month, the museum is open till 8:00 p.m.

How to Get There:

Nearest tube stops are Kensington High Street on the District and Circle Lines, Holland Park on the Central Line, Earl’s Court and South Kensington both on the District and Piccadilly Lines.

Bus routes include 9, 10, 27, 28, 49, C1.

Taxis are a good option but avoid driving as parking is scarce.

Places to Eat Nearby:

The café at the museum is currently closed for renovations. Holland Park has a nice café, a short walk from the museum. Kensington High Street is full of eating options. I particularly recommend the eateries at High Street Kensington Tube Station. Wasabi located two shops away from there, serves good and filling Japanese food on the go.

Plan your visit here: www.designmuseum.org

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The Holland Park Entrance to the Design Museum

  1. THE TOWER OF LONDON MUSEUM:

Enjoy a piece of history by admiring the crown jewels with the Kohinoor diamond. This place has also served as a medieval prison for royal family members in the past.

Entry Fee:

Adult 22.70 pounds, Child 10.75 pounds when pre-booked online.

If you are so inclined, you can buy a London Pass that lasts 3 days and gives you access to over 80 attractions including the Tower of London. (Get London Pass here).

If you’re looking to save money only on certain attractions, you can sign up for the Groupon email newsletter which often gives incredible discounted deals on sightseeing. (Visit Groupon UK here)

Timings:

Tuesday-Saturday- 9:00 a.m. -5:30 p.m.
Sunday-Monday- 10:00 a.m. -5:30 p.m.

How to Get There:

Nearest tube stop is Tower Hill on the District and Circle Lines. Nearest Overground stops are Fenchurch Street and London Bridge.

Bus routes include 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1.

Places to Eat Nearby:

Four different restaurants offer four different experiences on the premises.

Plan your visit here: www.hrp.org.uk

That’s it for now folks, but there’s plenty more in store. Stay tuned!

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The building of the Natural History Museum is a treat in itself!

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The Blue Whale that currently adorns the ceiling of the Natural History Museum

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Checking out the world’s first vacuum cleaner at the ‘Secret Life of the Home’ Exhibit at the Science Museum

If you liked this post, you can check out my other London posts:

Review of Ivy Lettings: Apartment Rental Service in London

Budget Friendly Shopping in London

 

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