Take advantage of the many great free things to do with kids in London. With a bit of planning, you’ll be able to enjoy a huge range of activities completely free of charge. From world-class museums to amazing playgrounds and city farms, here are some of the best free attractions in London for families.
The Best Free Museums in London for Families
London is undoubtedly one of the most culturally diverse cities globally, home to an impressive range of world-class museums, art galleries, historic homes, and other cultural attractions. These are not just boring old relics from Victorian times – great efforts have been made to create interactive and engaging exhibitions suitable for all ages. And surprise, most museums in London are free!
Not only are many of the main museums completely free of charge, but they also offer picnic areas great for families bringing packed lunches. We particularly like the big picnic area in the Science Museum (next to Wonderlab) and the outside space at the Natural History Museum. So what are you waiting for?! Here we have compiled a list of the top free museums in London, perfect for cheap days out with the kids.
Great for: Roaring dinosaurs, mammals and rare gems
The Natural History Museum is an incredible institution. For generations of visitors to London representing a source of knowledge and inspiration of the natural world. While the roaring t-rex is the biggest hit in our book, we really enjoy the mammals’ section as well as the gemstone exhibition. There’s also a lovely garden and picnic area available for families in need of a break bringing packed lunch.
The free part of the Science Museum in London takes you through some of humankind’s most outstanding technical achievements with real-life copies of the Wright brothers’ plane to the Apollo program’s Eagle lander. There’s a big picnic area as well as interactive galleries for toddlers on the lower ground floor. But if you want the best interactive learning gallery in town, head to the paid Wonderlab gallery located on the 4th floor.
Great for: Old-school Victorian age museum with large collection of taxidermied animals
London’s most enormous walrus and a funny looking dodo are among the kids’ favourites in the Horniman Museum. Located in Forrest Hill, this free museum in South East London is a family favourite with several things to do. The museum is surrounded by a lovely garden with a great view towards Central London and even a small petting zoo with animals like rabbits and llamas.
Great for: Young explorers interested in ships, pirates and cannonfire
The Maritime Museum is beautifully located right next to the main entrance of Greenwich Park. With several interactive and hands-on displays for toddlers and older school-children, it’s a museum where parents can relax and let the kids play. And when the kids have enough, you can exit right into the park and have a picnic in beautiful surroundings.
Bloomsbury, Central London
Great for: School children learning about the ancient cicilisations
The British Museum is an incredible institution and should be on your bucket list if you’re visiting London with school-age children. With bucketloads of ancient Persian, Greek, Egyptian and Roman artefacts, the British Museum is one of the best places in the world to get a sense of how the human civilisation evolved through the centuries. Unfortunately for toddlers, it’s not too much going on when it comes to interactive displays and play areas.
Free Playgrounds in London
London has a big range of wonderful free playgrounds to choose from. Here are some of our favourites:
- Diana Memorial Playground: Let your kids loose climbing up the huge pirate-ship!
- Peckham Rye Playground: You’ll find exciting tree-houses in this South-East London playground.
- Burgess Park Playground: Great wooden climbing structures and a looong zip-line!
- Greenwich Park Playground: Sand and water play area is a favourite among the little ones!
- Holland Park Playground: Challenging modern climbing strucures in natural materials.
- Southwark Park Playground: Enjoy safe and solid playground equipment in Rotherhithe!
- St James Playground: Take a break while in Central London and enjoy St James Park
Free Markets in London
Experience the fabric of London in one of these great markets:
- Borough Market: The number one destination for London’s foodies.
- Spitalfields Market: Lots of exciting independent stores in this covered market.
- Brick Lane Market: Don’t forget to taste the delicious bagels at the Beigel Bake!
Greenwich Market: Check out the high quality arts and crafts traders in this covered market. Camden Market: Perhaps the most colourful market in London, with lot’s of delicious street-food! Portobello Road Market: So many curious things to explore in this market.
Columbia Road Flower Market: Get a feel for the real East London with lots of friendly banter. Leadenhall Market: A popular spot for Harry Potter fans in London.
Free Park Life in London
Take a break from the city life and relax in one of the many free parks in London:
- Greenwich Park: Go for a pincic and enjoy some of the best views of London.
- Coram’s Fields: No entry for adults unless arriving with a child!
Kensington Gardens: One of the most royalisic parks in London! Regent’s Park: Don’t miss out on the beautiful Rose Garden. Vicky Park: East London’s popular Victoria Park is a great place for families to relax Hampstead Heath: You’ll feel like far outside of London in the country when hiking through the woodlands on the Heath
Free City-Farms in London
Do you have a child that loves animals? Check out these charming city-farms: