Day Out with the Kids: 10 free places to visit in London!

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Updated January 2023

If funds are low and the kids are bored, why not have a day out in London? There are LOADS of places to entertain kiddies of all ages, and so many are completely free! With free travel for children aged 10 and under too (for travel via the tube, DLR, Overground and TfL rail services) it can be great fun exploring the capital!

Here are ten things to do in London that won’t break the bank…

1. Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground

Cost: Free

There are lots of brilliant play spaces in London, so pack a picnic and entertain the kids for free! The Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground is just one them – most of the action takes place around the enormous Peter Pan-inspired pirate ship and surrounding beach, but there’s also a sensory trail, teepees and plenty of seating for parents to rest their weary legs!

Details: royalparks.org.uk

london, Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground

 

2. The Natural History Museum

Cost: Free

The whole family will love exploring the Natural History Museum – thanks to their huge dinosaur exhibit. The kids will love getting up close and personal with the creatures which used to roam the Earth – we’ve been a few times!

Details: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

london, natural history museum, dinosaur, frugal mum children

 

3. Coram’s Fields

Cost: Free

This is a great place for the kiddies to let off some steam if you’re in central London – seven acres dedicated entirely to children! There’s an adventure playground with an aerial slide plus sand pits, a paddling pool (perfect for the summer months) and a small farm.

Details: coramsfields.org

corams field animals, london

 

4. Changing of the Guard

Cost: Free

Head over to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard. It starts at 11am and lasts for around 45 minutes – arrive a little early to make sure that you don’t miss it, as it only happens once each day! My two absolutely adored watching it, and the bands were brilliant!

Before visiting check the schedule at the website below, but these are the typical days:

  • August – May: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays
  • June / July: Daily

Details: For all the info you need, check out my post on the Changing of the Guard.

london, changing of the guard, frugal mum children

 

5. The Science Museum

Cost: Free

Discover how the world works at the Science Museum. Budding young astronauts will adore the gallery dedicated to space exploration, featuring a full-sized model of the lander that put the first men on the moon!

If you’re happy to spend a little, the Wonderlab is a great hands-on experience for the kids – my kiddies thought it was brilliant!

Details: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

london, science museum, experiments

 

6. Imperial War Museum London

Cost: Free

The Imperial War Museum makes for a really interesting afternoon with older children. We visited when my children were learning about WW2, and it’s a big and engaging place to explore.

london, war museum

Details: https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

 

7. Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Cost: Free

Crystal Palace is a revelation for any dinosaur lovers! Wooden carved dinosaurs peep over the tree tops and can be climbed on in the play area. And, you can also make the most of the maze and lakes too.

Details: cpdinosaurs.org

Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, london, water

 

8. Golders Hill Park Zoo

Cost: Free

Golders Hill Park Zoo is a small zoo, and completely free to enter, with its rare species of birds and animals. Hampstead Heath, is a great place to visit, with swimming ponds and lido too, so there’s a lot to do in this part of London if you fancy a busy afternoon.

Details: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/hampstead-heath/where-to-go-at-hampstead-heath/golders-hill-park-zoo-1

Golders Hill Park Zoo london

 

9. The British Museum

Cost: Free

Children will love exploring history through statues of pharaohs and ancient board games – there is even a large, mummified bull. The British Museum holds artefacts from all over the world.

Details: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

The British Museum london

 

10. Sky Garden

Cost: Free

You’ll need to book your day / time slot in advance, but tickets to visit the Sky Garden are completely free. London’s highest public garden offers brilliant views over the city – without the expensive entry costs like other buildings such as the Shard.

Details: Check out my Sky Garden post for more info.

sky garden, london, view, frugal mum children

 

And an extra tip for some cheap sightseeing…

Ride the Routemaster

Cost: £1.65 for adults; children aged 10 and under travel free

This one is technically not free, as there is a small charge for adults, but the kids won’t cost a penny! The top deck of a real double-decker bus is good fun and a lot cheaper than a tourist bus. A good route is the No11; running from Fulham Town Hall to Liverpool Street, past the Houses of Parliament, Nelson’s Column, Westminster Abbey, Horse Guards Parade and St Paul’s Cathedral in about an hour.

Details: tfl.gov.uk/bus/route/11

 

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