We all know that London is the home to some pretty great museums and galleries. From the National Picture Gallery to the Natural History and Science Museum, there is no shortage of things to do and see. With more than 200 museums to choose from, it is great to know that the majority of them are free and cater to kids with specific exhibits and interactive activities. I have rounded up five of the best London museums to visit with kids that are also not often on people’s must-see list.
Pro tip: We’ve also identified family friendly restaurants near each of these museums in our Traveling with Toddlers London Destination Guide.
Horniman Museum and Gardens
This is probably one of my favorite museums in the world. It was also the first museum I visited when I moved to London.
Located in Forest Hill (South East London,) the Horniman is a free anthropological museum with landscape gardens and nature trails, farm animals, and a hands-on base where kids can actually touch some of the objects housed in the museum.
In addition to the free exhibits, the museum also offers paid visits to its aquarium and butterfly house.
The Horniman also hosts special exhibitions, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.
Location: 100 London Road SE23,
Bank of England Museum
One of the best London museums to visit with kids if you are looking to teach them about money! This is another underrated museum that I think every kid (and adult!) should see at least once. Located inside the Bank of England, the museum tells the story of the nation’s central bank since its foundation in 1694.
The museum is incredibly organized when it comes to kids, with its ‘Monetary Policy Boat’ full of interactive games to help kids discover what the Bank actually does. Plus they get the opportunity to hold a real bar of gold and find out how much it really weighs.
Location: Threadneedle St, EC2R,
V&A Museum of Childhood
Although the museum is going through extensive renovations as we speak, make sure to add it to your bucket list, as once it reopens it will be the first UK museum to be designed both by and for young people. The V&A is actually working with children, educators, and caregivers to develop the new museum around imagination, play, and design.
As with many London museums, the entry will still be free, so I know for sure, I will be the first one in line when the doors reopen!
Location: Cambridge Heath Rd, E2,
London Transport Museum
One of the few paid entry museums, although the ticket will then gain you access for an entire year, so make sure to make the most of it. Paid entry is for adults-only as children still go free.
As per its name, the museum tells the story of the city’s transport, from rowing boats to the tube, with plenty of interactive activities for the whole family to take part in, including repairing a mini Tube train.
Location: Covent Garden WC2E,
Again, another paid entry ticket but like the one above, the ticket will be valid for an entire year! Children do pay entry at this museum.
Located inside the old mail depot, the visit to this museum includes a 15-minute train ride along the old mail route in the underground tunnels. There is also a fantastic space called ‘Sorted’ where kids can have a go at sorting mail and drive mail trolleys.
Location: 15-20 Phoenix Pl, WC1X,
Be sure to check out our Traveling with Toddlers London Destination Guide for tips on everything you need to know to plan your next family trip to London.
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