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London with Kids…Rain or Shine!

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London is a child-friendly, historical city with plenty to discover both indoors and out. As an American expat living in London, I’ll share with you some of my favorite spots as well as a few key points for visiting England’s capital. No matter if it’s raining or sunny, there’s much to explore and enjoy in London with kids.

London's Tate Modern Art Museum

London’s Tate Modern Art Museum

Budding artists will be inspired!

London is home to some of the most amazing art museums in the world. On the top of my list is the popular Tate Modern, located on the Southbank. It houses beautiful pieces of art, impressive sculptures and media, and it is located in one of the most prime areas of London, making it a convenient stop before or after a stroll along the Thames River. Kids enjoy visiting the museum’s open spaces and its Family Zone, suitable for kids aged five and older. In front of the building is a huge lawn on which you can have a picnic on a, sunny day. If it’s raining, there is a café and a restaurant inside the museum that offers a complimentary kid’s meal with a paying adult. What a treat!

Sund at The Paradise Pub

Sunday Roast at The Paradise Pub

Pubs are family-friendly!

Wherever you go in London rest assured that there’s a pub within walking distance and nearly all pubs welcome children of all ages. Pubs are used to catering to families since pub life is a huge part of London culture. While not all pubs have changing tables, most tend to have highchairs. Occasionally they’ll have a kid-friendly menu too.

Ciao Baby Cucina's Mummy Mornings

Ciao Baby Cucina’s Mummy Mornings

Shopping with kids is easy and fun!

London is filled with an array of shops, from high-end boutiques to stores like H&M and Harrod’s all located within Central and Greater London. Take a walk along Regent Street and visit the famous Hamley’s toy store, a seven-floor megastore that retails toys for kids of all ages and features a café.

If you’re looking for a one-stop shopping experience, then I highly suggest a trip to Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush. Inside you’ll find a cinema, food court, numerous cafes, restaurants, and stores selling anything from clothing to housewares and of course all things for kids! Check out the centre’s three family rooms where you can change diapers, nurse in a private room, and warm up food using their microwave. There’s even a miniature play area on the ground floor!

Marylebone Station

Marylebone Station

Public Transportation is plentiful!

All buses have a designated area for you to park your stroller and most cars on the train have them too. Children under age five travel for free when riding with a valid adult ticket holder. Travelling by tube is quick and convenient but bear in mind that not all stations have elevators or escalators. Most of the major stations now have restrooms and baby changing facilities but remember to always carry change for entry. You may check the Transport for London website for further information on fares, directions, maps and other transport news.  

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Beautiful green spaces abound!

Be sure to visit the children’s playground at Hyde Park. It is especially stunning at Christmastime when they host Winter Wonderland, which consists of an outdoor German market, rides such as a huge Ferris wheel and a haunted fun house, food stalls, and vendors selling a variety of gift options. Be sure to try a cup of mulled cider – an English winter season tradition!

My other favorite parks in or near Central London include: Regent’s Park (which offers the London Zoo and a puppet theatre), Coram’s Fields (in Bloomsbury with its pet’s corner, picnic area, and more), St. James’s Park (with a delightful playground), and Battersea Park (for its children’s zoo and adventure playground).

What is your favorite family-friendly London attraction or activity? Let us know in the comments!

Bridgette Shima lives in Southwest London with her husband and one-year-old son. She is a stay-at-home mom who writes about where to go with kids in Greater London as well as her personal experience as a new mom, an American expat, and a traveller on her blog Eat. Drink. Potty. Play.

  1. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Bridgette – Thanks for giving an insider’s perspective to London. My kids would go bonkers for that seven-story toy store! I’d love to check out Hyde Park and I think the hubs would be pleased to bring the kids to the pub! Thanks again for writing a guest post for Travel Mamas!

  2. Coolmumu says

    Thanks for sharing the experience in London. This definitely makes mums to be in London much more confident and happy.

  3. London hotels says

    Thanks for the great review. It’s always a pleasure to me to read about London. I know it’s not the most exotic place in the world but I love it.

  4. London Turist says

    Of all the sights in London, I really love Trocadero Funland in London the most. But otherwise I also visit Hyde Park when I go to london…

  5. Teresa caballero says

    Bridgette thank you for the great tour ! And the story !! I want to go at London !!
    For the moment I know a little more for you!

  6. Holidays from Hels says

    I love visiting London with kids. My favourite activities so far are visiting the National History Museum (seeing glow in the dark jewels and a real meteor), the glass floor at Tower Bridge and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. It’s great to get some new recommendations for parks to visit.


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