London, the capital of England, is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. It has a reputation of being a rather busy and expensive city and probably not the place you'd most likely choose for a family vacation. Don't let this deter you. London is a great place for a family vacation and many activities that can be enjoyed by children don't cost all that much. Let this guide help you to plan your getaway
- Catch the bus instead of the tube: London has a fantastic public transport network combining both the tube (subway) and London buses. Whilst the tube is faster, when you are traveling with children, the bus is a great option. Kids will love the iconic double-decker buses and it also means that for the whole journey, there will be something interesting to look at. Another plus is that the buses are cheaper than the subway, which means you also save money. A free transport option is walking. In maps and guidebooks, the destinations can sometimes appear to be a great distance from each other when usually they are a comfortable walking distance. Walking is of course dependent on the age of your children--younger children will tire easily, which may leave them tired and grumpy.
- Visit Madame Tussauds Wax Works Museum: Madame Tussauds has been one of London's most popular tourist attractions for a good century. Here you can view and pose for photos with dozens upon dozens of wax statutes replicating everyone from royalty, famous faces from history and also icons of modern day pop culture like Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, Michael Jackson and Angelina Jolie. The museum also houses a planetarium. It's best to arrive early, as there are often long queues, especially during school holidays. The Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, with child entry costing from $37. Book online for discounted tickets.
- Have some fun at Coram's Fields: Coram's Fields is a 7-acre park that is dedicated entirely to small children. In fact, adults are not allowed entry without a child! The park boasts several play areas, a paddling pool, a small petting zoo and grazing farm animals. The best part about Coram's Fields is that entry is completely free. The park is open daily and is located near the Charles Dickens’ Museum.
- Spend a day at the Natural History Museum: This delightful museum really is a children's paradise. The collection was started with pieces collected by Charles Darwin and botanist Joseph Banks. Check out the earthquake simulator, the gemstone collections, the meteorites and the impressive dinosaur collection. The museum is free and is open from 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. There are also restaurants and cafes available for meals or snacks.
Aside from these few activities that are suitable for children there are dozens more attractions in London that can be enjoyed by families. Feel free to check out my other London articles for great ideas on visiting parks, museums and galleries and also royal residences.