Best Museums in London for Kids

Top 10 Best Museums in London for Kids

London is home to countless cultural and historic destinations, the significant part of which is its inspiring museums. Packed with information about history, culture, art, and artefacts, London’s museums are outstanding in every aspect. But are they exciting enough for kids?

Well, kids aren’t history lovers in particular. But the diversity of London’s museums is surely going to bring the fun and excitement they always want. All this, combined with a slight touch of knowledge of history, culture, and art – a perfect day out for kids isn’t it?

With so many museums and so much to do out there, what are the best ones for your kids? We’ve listed the top 10 best museums in London for kids, most of which are free to enter. So, the only concern (an expensive ticket) is warded off right before we begin. Let’s get started now:

Recommendation: Top 10 Things to Do in London with Kids in 2024

1. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
  • Entry: Free (Requires prior booking)
  • Location: Museum Neighbourhood, South Kensington
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:50 PM

The Natural History Museum is your gateway to discovering life before the Sapiens (like us) evolved. The museum’s entrance itself is thrilling enough, as a giant blue whale model welcomes you.

That enormous T-rex we’ve seen in the Jurassic World might be fictional. But the dinosaur skeleton you would see at the dinosaur hall is the real deal. Most of its skeleton is made of fossils dating 3500 million into the past. It’s baffling to even imagine these incredible creatures once used to live on the planet before we evolved.

Your kids will learn the inspiring stories behind the evolution, existence, and extinction of dinosaurs. To make your fun-filled, visit the Earthquake Section and feel the frightening Kobe Earthquake (don’t worry, it’s a simulator).

The temporary exhibits include a Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (valid until June 2024). Several other kids-specific interactives are on display in temporary exhibition sections. But you’ll need a paid ticket to enter.

2. Science Museum

Science Museum
Science Museum
  • Entry: Free (Requires prior booking)
  • Location: Museum Neighbourhood, South Kensington
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Another part of the Museum Neighbourhood in Soth Kensington, the Science Museum is all about sparking curiosity in young minds. Fun activities like a flight simulator and a virtual space trip inspire elders and youngsters alike. 

The museum displays multiple interactives to learn about humankind’s course of history in science. From the industrial revolutions to the human’s first step in space, it’s a truly knowledgeable journey for youngsters.

As an exclusive part of the museum, the “Wonderlab” is a fun place to be for everyone, from your youngest toddler to the kid above 7. Engage in as many as 50 scientific activities. For kids below 5, the “pattern pods” help them interact with shapes and sounds for sensory experiments. Entry to the section is paid, but it’s worth a few dimes.

3. Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens
Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • Entry: Free (Entry to most exhibits and galleries are paid)
  • Location: 100 London Rd, Forest Hill
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Horniman Museum is one of the lesser-known museums in London, but that doesn’t take anything away from this inspiring attraction. Being a “hidden gem”, Horniman is less crowded, providing a more calm and riveting experience.

As the name suggests, the Horniman Museum and Gardens features a perfect combination of culture and nature. The best places to visit are the World Gallery, a large Aquarium, and Outdoor Spots (including the butterfly house, a conservatory, and an ornamental garden).

Horniman is free to enter, however, you’ll have to pay to visit its exclusive galleries and outdoor spots. If you want an entirely free-of-cost experience, the museum is pretty specious to just roam around and see a valuable collection of over 350,000 objects.

4. V&A Museum of Childhood (Now Called Young V&A)

V&A Museum of Childhood
VA Museum of Childhood
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, East London
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM

The good old V&A Museum of Childhood has now been fully renovated and reponed as the Young V&A Museum. It truly lives up to its as it inspires young minds to be creative.

Victoria and Albert (V&A) is already associated with art and culture. Consider that endless world of art and culture softened to the scale of toddlers’ and teenagers’ minds. That’s Young V&A.

The museum hosts art exhibitions to let creativity flow, inspiring every visitor with something fresh and contemporary. The museum has three different galleries where youngsters of every age can have relevant interactive experiences.

Entry and access to the most of the museum is free. Some temporary exhibition areas may charge an entry ticket.

5. London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum
  • Entry: £17.50 Ticket
  • Location: Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

London Transport Museum is a treasure trove of the 200 years of the capital’s transport history. It’s a true fun-filled place for kids to explore and like a heaven for vintage transport lovers. 

Love driving a carriage? Like being a sailor? Want to be the iconic red bus captain? The realistic simulations are there at the museum for every youngster. Children over 6 can ride every mode of transport used in the capital since the year 1800. You can also leave your toddlers (under 6) in the designated play sections.

The museum charges about £17 for an entry ticket, but it’s worth it, given there are so many exciting things to do.

6. National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: Royal Borough of Greenwich, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The National Maritime Museum is another family-friendly museum but is located slightly away from the City of London in Greenwich. The museum is all about ships and everything associated with them, precisely holding over 2 million items related to Britain’s sea history.

For children under 7, there’s a dedicated section called the “Children’s Gallery” holding interactives relevant to maritime. The gallery is free during the weekdays and requires a few pennies to enter during the weekends (check the website for exact pricing). Kids can indulge in creating small-scale model ships and vessels.

7. Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands
Museum of London Docklands
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Step into the history of the city of London which dates back to 450,000 BC. The Museum of London Docklands exhibits the history of this very region you’re roaming around! Full of fun for kids and families alike, the Museum of London Dockland reveals the haunting, fascinating, thrilling, and exciting stories about London’s past.

There are dedicated sections based on almost every era. Enter the glorious Victorian London, move to the port city of Roman London, and listen to the gripping stories of Medieval London. Don’t forget to attend family-specific events. Check out the museum’s site and schedule your tour around the famous “family walk” events organized by the museum.

8. Royal Air Force Museum

Royal Air Force Museum
Royal Air Force Museum
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: Grahame Park Way, Herdon Aerodrome
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

With the original 100 RAF planes on display, the RAF Museum exhibits the 100-year history of Britain’s Royal Air Force. The museum hosts the actual warplanes used in different battles over the years involving Britain.

The RAF Museum tour will fascinate the elderly members of the family. Every plane parked in the giant hangers would reveal a magical story the elder ones could easily recall. But there are children-specific play areas and exhibits as well.

The most notable of these is a light simulator best suited for teens. Entry to the museum is completely free, and ideally, a 4-hour journey is enough to view the entire museum.

9. The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: Clerkenwell, London, WC1
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Closed on Monday)

Explore the Postal History of London, aboard a vintage Royal Mail train! Children are surely going to love The Postal Museum for a lovely ride in an actual Mail Rail. It’s not a model train or a replica, but an authentic vintage trail used by Royal Mail until the 20th century.

At the museum, kids can become classic London postmen of the 19th century at the Sorted! Postal Play Space. For the youngsters, several exhibits reveal the capital’s postal history and its progress over the last two centuries.

10. Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Entry: Free
  • Location: Museum Neighbourhood, South Kensington
  • Opening and Closing Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM (10 AM to 10 PM on Friday)

Not just the young V&A, but the actual Victoria and Albert, the part of Museum Neighbourhood in South Kensington is equally interactive for kids. V&A is known for creativity in art and culture. The museum arranges multiple workshops for kids to spark their creativity.

Surrounded by appealing artwork, your toddler will engage in hands-on activities to craft some adorable art pieces. It’s a perfect spot for your kids to learn and get creative from a very young age. Be sure to look out for temporary exhibitions, which may charge you some pennies. But the entry to the museum is free.

FAQs

What are the best family-friendly attractions in London in 2024?

Primarily, London’s museums are the best for families with kids, as they combine learning, fun, and inspiration. Other places to visit with kids include Warner Bros. Studio, the National Gallery, the London Eye, and the Tower of London.

What is the best way to get around London with children?

London’s transport is child-friendly. Kids under 11 can travel for free on local transport buses, trams, London Underground, and some suburban transports like the Elizabeth Line. However, they must accompany an adult to travel. Children between 11-15 can get an “11-15 Zip Oyster card” to benefit from London’s inexpensive transport.

Are there any free attractions for kids in London?

9 out of 10 museums on our list have completely free entry. Other free attractions for kids include the London Zoo, Hyde Park, Millennium Bridge, and The National Gallery.

What are some good dining options for families in London?

Some good dining options for families with kids are:
• Heddon Street London (Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus)
• Nora Cafe (Afternoon Tea spot near Aldgate station)
• Inamo (Restaurant in Covent Garden)
• Andromeda Restaurant (Vietnamese restaurant; free for kids in August)
• Inamo (Pan-Asian Restaurants in Soho and Covent Garden)

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