Every parent knows the difficulty of taking kids on vacation. On the one hand, exposing the little ones to other cultures is an invaluable experience for them. On the other hand, however, finding things that will interest them is a tricky task. This especially true if you are new to the city yourself.
So, to take the pressure of you we have put together a list of ten things and places in London that will be of interest to kids of varying ages. We even tell you the nearest tube stop to each kid tested attraction.
1# London Trocadero
The outside of the London Trocadero may just look like any other central London shop front but once inside kids will picking their jaws up off the ground. The star of the Trocadero is Funland an indoor entertainment centre featuring simulators, rides, high tech video games, dodgems, a bowling alley, a sports bar and a pool hall. However, that is by no means all that it has to offer. An internet cafe, a multi screen cinema, a shopping mall and restaurants including Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Cafe are all there under one roof. Particularly good if there is a storm brewing outside.
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2# London Zoo
The London Zoo is tucked inside the greenery of Regent’s Park. The zoo is fully or all sorts of animals and very much has conservation in mind. It is obvious throughout that Children are always thought of by the planners. Events are often planned especially for them. For example, recently they taught children about owls by holding Harry Potter theme events.
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3# Paddington Bear
Those who are familiar with the Paddington Bear stories will know that he was given his name because he was found on a platform at Paddington Station. The station has remembered this by putting up a rather cute Paddington Bear statue, complete with his suit cases. Paddington Station is the station that the Heathrow Express goes into so it is worth remembering for travel tired kiddies. Also, if you wander down Portobello Road you may find an antique shop like Mr. Gruber’s.
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4# London Transport Museum
London’s public transportation system is the oldest in the world. The London Transport Museum allows both children and adults to discover the history of the system. The museum features colourful displays and allows children to meet characters from the past or drive a bus or a Tube simulator. The exhibits are full of buzzing buttons, turning wheels and spinning signs. Even more can be found in the Kid Zones of the museum.
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5# The Science Museum
The Science Museum, located on Exhibition Road in the South Kensingtion area of London, is a surefire hit with most kids. One visit may not be enough time to see everything but make sure to head for the basement where there is tons of hands-on exhibits.
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6# The London Aquarium and The London Eye
The London Aquarium and the London Eye are both found the South Bank of the Thames The aquarium is hidden away in the building that was once the County Hall building and hosts a number of exhibits from coral reefs to rock pools. The Pacific Ocean exhibit is a particular favourite because it holds Britain’s only zebra shark.. It is open to debate wether the shark or the politicians that once inhabited the building are scarier.
The London Eye is often referred to as the Millennium Wheel as it was erected to celebrate our entry into the year 2000. The giant Ferris wheel is bound to get the attention of most children. A number of years on and the Eye is still very popular so booking is recommended.
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7# Pollock’s Toy Museum
Pollock’s Toy Museum is a magical place for children hidden just off Goodge Street on Scala Street. The museum is small but its scale works for keeping kids entertained but not daunted as they may be by the bigger museums. There are a lot of toys from the past, including doll houses, teddy bears, puppets and a selection of Victorian paper toy theatres. The Museum also has a shop where hand crafted toys can be purchased.
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8# Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
With nearly 6,000 objects on display spanning 400 years of childhood the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, located on Cambridge Heath Road, houses the UK’s national collection of toys and games. Together the collection of model railways, doll houses, children’s costume, nursery furniture and baby equipment forms one of the largest and oldest collections of childhood items in the world.
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9# The London Dungeon
Deep under London Bridge Station lurks one of the scariest experiences London has to offer. Behind the heavy doors you are taken back through the darker side of European history. Times when execution and torture were everyday occurrences are brought to life to both educated and frighten. The portrayals of pressing, boiling, beheading and drowning may be a bit too much for the younger children. However, those that like horror movies will give The London Dungeon top marks.
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10# Regent Street Toy Shops
Every kid loves a toy store and on Regent Street they are spoilt for choice. Not only does the street have large Disney and Warner Brother’s stores but it is also home to the world famous Hamely’s. Hamley’s is huge and has every possible toy that a child could want. Mixed in with the floors of toys are sweets shops and other displays to keep the young ones entertained. The large model railway department may keep some of the bigger kids entertained as well.
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