Top 15 Best Outdoor Activities for Kids in London

London is packed with exciting activities for the little ones. Go on a stirring adventure like high rope and climbing games, or choose a more calming experience like a cruise tour or a cable car trip over the Thames. If you’re tired enough, book yourself a luxurious glass pod and rise 135m above the capital’s sky on the London Eye.

All in all, the capital has everything your kids would want for a fun time out. So, are you looking for a complete list of the best things to do with the family in London? Here are the 15 best outdoor activities for kids in London:

1) Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park

Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park
Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park

Built in memory of Britain’s late Princess Diana Spencer, this playground is part of London’s famous Hyde Park. Diana Memorial Playground is a thematic park featuring a giant pirate ship in the middle, a sandy beach around the boat, and small pounds, giving it the impression of a natural beach. The overall theme is based on “Peter Pan,” which significantly adds to the fun experience for the young ones.

In the park, you can also see some small wooden structures, like model huts. Your little ones would love to play around and do fun activities all day long in this park, which is located near Diana’s home in Kensington. The park opens at 10 AM and closes at 7:45 PM. It’s a dedicated park for kids up to 9 years of age so that no adult can enter it without a toddler.

2) London Zoo in Regent’s Park

London Zoo in Regent's Park
London Zoo in Regents Park

Zoos are old-school, go-to places for a day out with kids that remain equally popular. London’s Zoo is no exception. Located at Regent’s Park in northwest Inner London, this conservation zoo has over 20,000 different animals worldwide.

Visit different habitats at the Zoo with your toddler and interact with friendly animals in a unique up-close experience. The Zoo has several thematic areas for toddlers, such as:

  • Animal Adventure Play Area: Here, your kid closely interacts with animals like goats, alpacas, llamas, and meerkats.
  • The Rainforest Life: A dedicated area where kids can learn how a tropical rainforest works with a scaled-down model.
  • Underwater Penguin Viewing: Specialised habitat displaying coral life. Your kids can meet beautiful underwater creatures and penguins.
  • Habitats: Enter the walk-through habitats and see how the wildlife lives in this conservation zoo.

Entry tickets to the Zoo are around £27.00, which remains open from 10 AM to 6 PM.

3) Guided London Tours

Guided London Tours
Guided London Tours

How about booking the guided day tours in London for a perfect day out as a family? You can design these tours around a particular theme. For instance, create a theme of a historical day tour and book guided tours of Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. Likewise, you can go for Harry Potter-themed tours and visit the filming locations or the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden.

Here are your best options for guided tours with kids:

  • Tower of London: Kids will love meeting the seven “guardian” ravens, who have unique, intriguing stories. Also, take kids to the Jewel House and see the priceless possessions of the Royal Family, the Crown Jewels of England.
  • Windsor Castle: On a guided tour of Windsor Castle, the highlight of the trip would be Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, a working doll house that is, in fact, the biggest functional model ever. Visit the state apartments and see the Royal Collection of precious artworks and paintings.
  • Warner Bros. Studio: The junior fans of Harry Potter would certainly enjoy 4 hours of “magic”, where they can visit the actual filming locations, try out wizard robes, and buy wands apparel from the shop at the Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden.
  • Harry Potter Location: Apart from the studio tour, several guided taxi tours for families are themed around an itinerary that includes all the Harry Potter locations in London, from the Millennium Bridge to Leadenhall Market.

4) LEGOLAND Windsor

LEGOLAND Windsor
LEGOLAND Windsor

    We’ve subtly mentioned the Windsor Castle tour, but here comes the real deal for kids! An entire day of fun and excitement at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. Best for children up to age 12, this kids’ theme park has over 50 attractions, making it a perfect destination for a day tour with kids.

    From fun activities like Mini Golf to countless Joy Rides for pre-schoolers, the fun at LEGOLAND is never-ending. If you plan a sleepover at LEGOLAND, go for “The Ultimate Family Short Break”, which includes an overnight stay, breakfast, Adventure Golf, Entry to Rides, and more.

    Infants are free to enter, while a standard adult ticket costs around £68 when purchased on arrival. Apart from that, there are countless other packages for families and seasonal discounts. So, check out the website and pre-book to get the most out of this LEGOLAND adventure for your kid.

    5) Parliament Hill Playground and Paddling Pool

    Parliament Hill Playground and Paddling Pool
    Parliament Hill Playground and Paddling Pool

      Talk about an active and energetic play area for kids! Nothing stands closer to the Parliament Hill Playground. It’s a perfect place for your kids to engage in recreational activities independently. Your toddlers and kids can enjoy different manual rides and slides.

      The playground is a part of Hampstead Heath Park in the City of London. The highlight of the playground is its 60-metre long Paddling Pool, called Parliament Hill Lido. It’s open all year long and offers 3 hours of bathing and playing per session.

      Note: Although the playground is free to enter, the destination is subject to seasonal availability. So, get confirmation before planning your trip.

      6) Go Ape Trent Park Cockfosters

      Go Ape Trent Park Cockfosters
      Go Ape Trent Park Cockfosters

      It’s time to throw in some challenges for your little ones! The Go-Ape adventure is all about the thrill of doing the most challenging tasks and extracting the fun out of them. Suited for kids above 6, Go Ape activities at Trent Park, Crockfosters comes up with two high rope games:

      • Treetop Challenge: For kids approaching ten y/o, the treetop challenge calls up the courage in your young one. This challenge features various games of high-rope adventures, including tree-to-tree crossing, zip wire, and free-fall swings. Just make sure your energetic teen is above 1.4m in height.
      • Challenge Plus: As the name suggests, this is the advanced version of the essential Treetop Challenge for teenagers. The games are similar but in different locations, with more considerable distances, higher altitudes, and super-fast speeds. Let your teens engage in hours of fun and thrill.

      Go Ape activities are available at three different locations in London. The most stimulating ones, however, are at Trent Park, Crockfesters. The average ticket price is £21 for the Crockfosters location.

      7) Haunted London Tours

      Haunted London Tours
      Haunted London Tours

      See the haunted side of the capital with bus tours featuring scary themes with a slight touch of horror comedy. Your kids can board different kinds of haunted tours in London, two of which stand out for their themes and realistic take on the stories behind various destinations in London.

      These tour packages include sightseeing combined with horror, fun, learning, and subtle comedy. These are the two best haunted London tours for kids and teens:

      • The Ghost Bus Tour: Perfect for delighting teens and scaring little ones, the Ghost Bus Tour is a spooky-themed panoramic bus tour. You will board a refurbished 1960s Routemaster bus and sightsee real-life and fictional places. Costumed actors will be onboard to tell the creepy backstories behind every destination.
      • Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Bus Tour: This is another scary trip on a remastered classic 1960s bus, but open-air buses this time! The tour includes visiting three destinations: following the murderous trials of Jack the Ripper, walking through Smithfield Market to learn the stories of torture and executions, and finally stopping by Sherlock Holmes Pub to relax.

      8) Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

      Battersea Park Children's Zoo
      Battersea Park Childrens Zoo

      The Children’s Zoo at Battersea Park has many exotic animals your toddlers would love to interact with. Typical activities in the Zoo include:

      • Meeting and interacting with exotic animals and wildlife.
      • Having educational workshops to spark a love for nature.
      • Planning zoo-themed special birthday parties alongside guided tours of the Zoo.

      The Zoo is located on the South Bank of London in the Battersea Borough. Entry tickets for children under 16 are £11.95. The Zoo remains open from 10:00 AM to 05:30 PM during weekdays.

      9) Emirates Air Line Cable Car

      Emirates Air Line Cable Car
      Emirates Air Line Cable Car

      Being in London, sightseeing must be your go-to experience for tourism. But did you know? You can make this experience better than ever with an urban cable car that goes right over the River Thames.

      The “Emirate Air Line Cable Car” connects Newham to Greenwich via a cable car over the River Thames. Enjoy 10 minutes of the soothing sightseeing right from your cabin 90m above the Thames. This Cable Car experience is the best way to have panoramic views of the city, the highlight of which is the Canary Wharf skyline.

      As your cabin gradually moves along this 1.1 km-long cable, you can spot several other landmarks, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Thames Barrier, The Shard, Tower Bridge, The Gherkin, and countless more.

      • Ticket Price: £6 per person
      • Total Time: 30 minutes
      • Interval of Cabin’s Arrival: Every 30 seconds
      • Hours: 07:00 AM to 09:00 PM (Mon to Thu), 07:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Friday), 08:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Saturday), 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM (on Sundays and Holidays)

      10) Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours

      Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
      Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

      Enjoy flexible sightseeing in London with hop-on, hop-off bus tours. These are typically the day tours where you can buy a ticket to the double-decker tour bus that takes you to the city’s top attractions. The tour itinerary includes every main attraction of the capital. You can leave the bus wherever your toddler wants and get back on the bus from the nearby stop.

      These tours offer maximum flexibility for sightseeing, as you can fully customise your tour by leaving the bus at any stop. The buses usually arrive within a few minutes at every stop, so you won’t have to wait in queues. These tours are the best adventure pack for travelling and sightseeing with your family.

      11) Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park

      Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park
      Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park

      This lush green park has hundreds of deer, biking adventures, and strolling pathways. But the highlight of Richmond Park is Isabella Plantation, visible at full bloom during summer. Walk along the pathway between the beautiful azaleas that remain blooming all year round.

      This 40-acre garden has countless colourful flowers, exotic trees, and plantings. The Plantation is a natural habitat for amphibians and invertebrates due to its ponds and lakes. It’s a perfect way for your kids to admire the beauty of nature and learn botanical facts about exotic plants.

      12) The London Eye

      London Eye
      London Eye

      Off to the South Bank of Thames near Westminster Bridge, where you can see the iconic London Eye. It’s one of the most recognisable landmarks of London. Kids love this giant Ferris wheel for its modern structure, a slow ride 135 metres up in the capital’s sky, and 360-degree panoramic city views.

      A standard flight via its glass pod can be easily pre-booked for £30 per adult and £26 per child (2 to 15 years old). Infants (less than a year) can board for free, but a ticket is required. If you’re with a family, book an entire glass pod for a more exclusive and private experience.

      13) Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs

      Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs
      Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs

      This open-air sculpture museum offers an exciting take on dinosaurs and other extinct animals. You can locate several “distorted” and “inaccurate” versions of dinosaurs that modern science no longer represents. These dinosaur sculptures represent what the scientists and palaeontologists of the Victorian Era understood about them.

      Thirty sculptures of dinosaurs, extinct mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are displayed. Families with kids can have a walking tour of the park, where the local guides would educate them about how humankind’s understanding of Mesozoic Era animals has evolved over the years. The park is located at Crystal Palace in South London, and entry to the park and the sculpture museum is free for families.

      14) Thames River Cruise Tours

      Thames River Cruise Tours
      Thames River Cruise Tours

      Did you just run out of energy after all those energetic trips throughout the city? Why not plan a lovely, serene cruise tour over the Thames on a pleasant Sunday afternoon with your family? The Thames River Cruise Tour is a perfect family getaway for those who crave a calming afternoon. Choose from different cruise tour options:

      • A 90-minute speedboat tour from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge.
      • A gradual but luxurious cruise tour from Westminster to Greenwich.
      • An afternoon tea cruise tour where you can enjoy freshly brewed afternoon tea or coffee, scones, pastries, and snacks while relaxing with your family on the cruise deck.

      15) Up at The O2 Climbs

      Up at The O2 Climbs
      Up at The O2 Climbs

      Climbing the O2 Arena is one of the most thrilling adventures with kids. It’s a 90-minute roof climbing experience using ropes over the high-rising O2 arena. You’ll receive complete climbing gear, including a vest, shoes, hooks, and a safety kit. Upon reaching the top, you can have breathtaking views of the Canary Wharf skyline, Olympic Park, and other landmarks of Greenwich Borough.

      Choose between daytime, sunset, and twilight times based on the backdrop you love. O2 Arena also offers you the option to upgrade your experience with “Climb and Dine” and “Celebration Climb” options. Located at Peninsula Square in Greenwich Borough, O2 Arena Climb is suitable for 8y/o and above. The climb costs around £35 on weekdays and £40 on weekends.

      FAQs

      FAQs

      What are the best outdoor activities for kids in London?

      Teens should go on energetic and adventurous trips like Go Ape Treetop Challenges, O2 Arena Climb, and Haunted London Tours. Fun playgrounds like Diana Memorial Playground and Zoos are perfect for a nice day out for young ones and toddlers.

      Are there any outdoor playgrounds or parks suitable for young children in London?

      Parliament Hills Playground, Isabella Plantation, and Diana Memorial Playground are the best for toddlers and infants. These parks are generally themed around a children’s story and animated characters to engage the little ones.

      How can I find family-friendly outdoor attractions and activities in London?

      Please view our list of 15 family-friendly outdoor activities, including challenging rides and trips, interactions with wildlife via zoos, and various sightseeing adventures.

      What are some unique outdoor experiences for families to enjoy in London?

      Families can have an exclusive ride of the London Eye by booking an entire glass pod. For other sightseeing options, you can book a hop-on hop-off bus tour and the River Thames Cruise Tour, which are equally rewarding for adults, children, and entire families.

      Are there any outdoor activities in London that are suitable for all ages?

      London Eye, Emirates Air Line Cable Car, Thames River Cruise, and Hop-on Hop-off bus are tours packed with fun for the whole family, no matter their age.

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