Activities

Free Days Out in London Summer 2019

Written by Amy Hughes

There are so many fun things in London to see and do,
Take a look at this list and work your way through!
The best part is so many of the activities are free,
London really is the place to be!

The Natural History Museum, South Kensington

If you’ve got a budding Attenborough on your hands then they will love this museum! Gaze up at the moon in the Jerwood Gallery, join a Nature Live talk in Attenborough Studio or count flowers, birds or creepy crawlies in the wildlife garden. Don’t miss the Darwin Centre where you can discover the wonderful world of science in action! Find out more.

The Colour Palace, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday until 22nd September 2019

Credit: Dulwich Picture Gallery

Get a guaranteed dose of sunshine in Dulwich thanks to the Colour Palace. Each year, Dulwich Pavillion invited emerging architects to create an outdoor space in the picture gallery’s grounds. This year’s creation is inspired by the patterns and colours of Nigeria’s fabric markets. This space is free to explore, however, you will need to purchase tickets if you’d like to enter the picture gallery itself. Take a closer look.

London National Park City Festival, Various Locations

Saturday 20th – Sunday 28th July 2019

This year, London is becoming a National Park City and it’s time to celebrate. Take part in hundreds of events and activities across the week all celebrating the city’s green spaces, trees, waterways and natural environment. You’ll find anything including urban wildlife walks and talks, family activities, boat trips, bike rides, tree trails and more. There’ll even be parties on rooftops! To find events near you and learn what it means for London to become a National Park City, take a look here.

Covent Garden Street Performers

Since the 1660s Covent Garden has never missed a chance to put on a performance. The first record of Covent Garden street entertainment came in 1662 when Samuel Pepys’ diary notes that a marionette show featuring a character named Punch took place on the Piazza. Today, the custom continues. Take a closer look.

Royal Academy of Music Museum

Royal Academy of Music Museum | Free Things to Do in London

Love music? Why not take the whole family to the Royal Academy of Music Museum. You’ll discover a vast collection of musical instruments, manuscripts, objects and art from the 16th century to the present day. With temporary and permanent exhibitions, there is always something to see. Take a look.

Summer of Space, Science Museum, South Kensington

May – September 2019
©Science Museum London | Free Things to Do in London

©Science Museum London

This museum is a definite hit with children (and adults) of all ages and it’s clear to see why! This summer, marvel at the Summer of Space. Celebrate the history of human space exploration and looks at where future endeavours might take us. Created especially for younger visitors, a visit to The Garden is a must. Here they will be able to explore light and sound, as well as water and construction. Take a closer look

Greenwich Park

Greenwich is the oldest enclosed Royal Park and home to a small herd of deer. Take a stroll through the 183 acres of land and run around on the big open space at the bottom of the hill. Alternatively, climb the hill towards the Royal Observatory and take in breathtaking views of London, across the River Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond. Take a look.

Tate Britain and Tate Modern

The Tate Britain and Tate Modern | Free Things to Do in London

The Tate Britain in Pimlico houses a prestigious collection of British art from the 16th century to the present day. Its modern sister, the Tate Modern, is completely different with collections of 20th and 21st-century art. Both galleries are extremely family friendly, and to make your visit even more fun you can download apps before you visit and complete activities as you make your way around. Find out more.

Horniman Museum & Gardens

Horniman Museum | Free Things to Do in London

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

This family-friendly, fun anthropological museum is set in a 16 acre landscaped garden which you can explore and has extensive collections of natural history as well as a magical aquarium. Other highlights include the Animal Walk where you can see alpacas, sheep, goats, rabbits and much more up close. Every Saturday morning there is also the Farmers’ Market held in the gardens! Find out more.

The British Museum

 The British Museum | Free Things to Do in London

For a fascinating day out, the family will love The British Museum where you’ll see displays on different aspects of art, culture and history! It is great for school kids and could even help with their school projects! A real highlight for the children includes seeing the famous mummies from Ancient Egypt and the Rosetta Stone! Take a closer look.

Imperial War Museum, Lambeth

Imperial War Museum | Free Things to Do in London

Bring the family here to learn about all aspects of war, from seeing how families lived and coped during the war to the machines that helped in battles. There are sections on trench warfare, the Blitz, rationing and a whole area dedicated to the secrets of the war. Find out more.

The National Gallery
The National Gallery | Free Things to Do in London

This gallery is home to one of the greatest collections of Western European art in the world so you will definitely have a fascinating day out. Catering brilliantly for family visits, you can take part in a Walk & Talk where an expert will guide you through the museum bringing the paintings alive, keeping the kid’s attention. There are a host of family tours and also workshops and activities throughout the year. The National Portrait Gallery, on nearby St. Martin’s Place, is also free! Find out more.

London’s Street Markets

London's Street Markets | Free Things to Do in London

Even if you are not planning on doing any shopping, London’s street markets are great for wondering and seeing the huge selection of goods on offer. Visit the Borough Market and browse through high quality local and international foods, or go to Camden where the covered Camden Lock market is surrounded by street stalls, shops, cafes and bars. There are numerous markets all over the city selling everything from antiques through to delicious foods!

Museum of London Docklands

© Museum of London Docklands | Free Things to Do in London

© Museum of London Docklands

The family will have a great day out at the Museum of London Docklands where they will discover the fascinating history of London’s river, port and people! Inside the museum, you’ll also find the fantastic Mudlarks gallery where there are lots of interactive features for children to enjoy. Split into two different zones with a soft play area for the younger children and interactive features for the older children to help them learn about London’s Docklands. Take a look.

Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials

You might recognise the name as a famous healthy and beauty brand. But, tucked away in Seven Dials you’ll find one of the capital’s prettiest streets. Easy to miss, this colourful corner of London has a great offering of everything from pizza and wine to beauty clinics and hairdressers. Every business here is committed to sustainable and ethical commercial practices. Have a mooch around and enjoy the beautiful colours of this hidden gem.

East London’s Docklands

East London's Docklands | Free Things to Do in London

The east London neighbourhood that is now called Docklands was once the location for one of the world’s busiest ports. A quick walk around this area and you will see the transformation that has happened, there are riverside cafes, shops and restaurants, and you can walk to Canary Wharf from Tower Bridge along the Thames Path, or continue further towards Greenwich.

Urban Farms

Urban Farms | Free Things to Do in London

In and around London there are a number of farms that you can visit for free. You can meet an array of different animals, learn all about where your food comes from and enjoy being outdoors. Farms you can visit include Surrey Docks FarmSpitalfields City Farm, Vauxhall City Farm, and there are many more on our website too. Find out more.

Geffrye Museum

Credit: Geffrye Museum | Free Things to Do in London

Credit: Geffrye

Bring the children here to learn about how homes and gardens have changed over the last 400 years through exciting displays and interaction. Walk through period rooms from the 17th to 20th Centuries and learn how designs have adapted to the modern living of today. Check the website before you visit as they hold fab workshops for children which include rhyme time, craft, baking and storytelling! Find out more.

Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

A trip to the palace is a great family day out and kids will love seeing this royal building in all its glory. Watch the splendid spectacle of the new guard taking over duty. Dates and times vary so check the times before you go to avoid disappointment! Take a look here.

Diana Memorial Playground

Diana Memorial Playground | Free Things to Do in London

© Anne-Marie Briscombe

The children will love this outdoor adventure playground which was built in memorial to the late Diana Princess of Wales and was inspired by the stories of Peter Pan. The centrepiece is a magnificent and fun wooden pirate ship. There’s also a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the ship and a selection of sculptures and toys to keep the children occupied. Take a look.

Ragged School Museum

Ragged School Museum | Free Things to Do in London

© Ragged School Museum

Visit the Ragged School Museum to step back in time and experience life as a Victorian. There’s a Victorian classroom that has been restored as if it were the 1870’s and is equipped with authentic school desks, blackboards, easels, writing slates and even dunce hats! There’s also lots of information on housing, education and work in the East End from the 1800’s to 1900. Take a look.

Coram’s Fields

© Coram's Fields | Free Things to Do in London

© Coram’s Fields | Free Things to Do in London

One of the most child-friendly spaces in central London! You can only get through the gate if you have a child under 16 with you! At the park you will find a giant sandpit, an array of climbing frames to suit all ages, wheeled toys that can be borrowed, plus a city farm, all set within a walled garden! Find out more.

National Maritime Museum

© National Maritime Museum, London | Free Things to Do in London

© National Maritime Museum, London

Visit the worlds largest maritime museum which is filled to the brim with stories of adventure at sea. At the centre of the National Maritime Museum, there’s ‘The Giant Map’ which is a space where you can delve a little deeper into the collections or join in with activities and events. There are a number of fun games for the family to play including building bridges across continents. Take a closer look.

V&A  Museum of Childhood

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London | Free Things to Do in London

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The exhibitions within the Museum of Childhood will intrigue children and also take the grown-ups on a trip down memory lane! With artefacts dating from the 1600s to the present day, there’s so much to see from photography to fashion and childhood. There are also plenty of activities organised just for the little ones including art activities and getting messy in the sandpit! Find out more.

Regent’s Canal

Find an oasis of calm in the capital. Walk along the 8.6 mile stretch enjoying sights like the colourful narrowboats at Little Venice to London Zoo’s vast aviary which overlooks the canal. In Camden, pass the stalls and quirky shops of the famous market.

What have you been up to lately? We’d really love to know! Someone else might love it, and really want a go! If you’ve got ideas, suggestions or reviews, you can shout all about it on whatever channel you choose!

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