There is so much to do in our wonderful capital city, but the price for children’s admission for many attractions is very often near enough the same as the adult cost.
Here are some of my ideas to make your money last longer on a day out with the family.
I don’t currently have children but I do have nieces and nephews and I understand how often kids change their mind. For instance, those beloved dinosaurs all of a sudden are scary and queues are boring. Therefore not spending a fortune on one activity where you may only spend 5 minutes isn’t the best option.
BUBELE – This app is perfect for planning activities for children of under 8 years old. The app is available on iTunes and free to download.
OBBA; This free app is available on itunes. Obba helps you find family friendly activities, classes and fun places in London:
WATERSTONES PUTNEY; Free creative fun every Sunday at 11.30am
Whether you travelled by train or not you can get 2-4-1 on attractions when you show a valid orange national rail train ticket with a downloaded voucher. Any national rail ticket is applicable, so even if you didn’t travel by train you can buy a cheap ticket and grab the discount. You need to download , pick your offers and print off the voucher to claim. This includes 2-4-1 on The London Eye, Tower of London, Madame Tussauds and The London Aquarium.
Discount London is a website that offers all things London at a discounted cost. Worth checking to see if they have discounted tickets or offers on your chosen London attractions. They sell attractions, river cruises and tours. There’s also sections on what there’s to do during school holidays and things to do with the kids.
There are a few farms in London where you can walk around and look at the animals for free. They also run other activities including making pottery and horse riding.
GOLDERS HILL PARK ZOO – Open at the same time the park is open with rare exotic birds and mammals
KENTISH TOWN CITY FARM; This farm is open daily. Your child can even volunteer for the whole day and learn about the farms. They do pony rides for £2 at the weekend.
MUDCHUTE PARK AND FARM; Free to visit farm with special activities organised over the holidays.
STEPNEY CITY FARM; This farm is free to visit and open 10-4pm Tuesday-Sunday. You can see the animals, watch the blacksmith, potters and woodworkers in their studios. You can visit the cafe and also buy fresh eggs.
Hackney play bus runs free play sessions in Walthamstow, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
KIDS EAT FREE
At some restaurants you can get a free kids meal when you purchase an adult meal.
SMOLLENSKYS; Every weekend kids can eat can eat of the kids menu for free ,when an adult buys a main meal. This offer is up until 7pm.
BENUGO; Benugo has restaurants next to some of the London Museums and you can get a free kids meal when you purchase an adults.
KUPP ; Kupp is a Scandinavian restaurant in Merchant Square, next to the canal. The bottomless brunch is available all weekend 12-5pm. The sitting lasts for 90 minutes and costs £30 for adults and 1 kid per adult eats free.
TOMS KITCHEN – Kids eat free at weekends at the Canary Wharf branch of Toms Kitchen. If that wasn’t enough there’s a playroom and also an entertainer between 12-2pm on Sundays.
This is a website for kids activities that are rated by kids themselves. As adults, we sadly forget our sense of adventure and get a little cynical which is why this website is invaluable. The kids still see the magic in certain activities. There are reviews and videos from kids but the parents are also allowed to have a say as well, as it’s usually their hard-earned cash that they’re spending.
Museums such as The Museum of London, Natural History Museum and The Science Museum are wonderful for kids and admission is also by optional donation.
One of the most outstanding and memorable museum for children must be the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, this was my main love anyway due to the film ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is missing’.
At weekends the kid friendly museums do get busy but many museums also hold extra events to keep the kids entertained. If you live in London there are also regular free events you can take the kids to.
MUSEUM OF LONDON ; Free weekly classes for babies with Mini Moles babies group
MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS; Free weekly classes with Mini Mudlarks babies group
NATIONAL GALLERY; Magic carpet story time happens every Sunday 10.30-11am and 11.30-12pm
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FREE LONDON FOR KIDS; Sign up to this newsletter to get a weekly round-up of free events for kids.
PARENT FORUMS AND GROUPS
There are some great online forums for parents in your local areas. You can read tips on local events and even swap or buy kids clothing and toys. There are also several discount schemes set up.
NORBURY MUMS A Facebook group and website for everything to do with children in Norbury.
GREENWICH MUMS; A local website for parents with local information and offers.
Parks are free to visit and many have loads to do including playgrounds, art galleries and wild life.
HOLLAND PARK; A lovely park with lots to do for everybody. For children there is a playground, a sports field to have a kick about and also a nature trail. There are birds around the park for children to spot, including peacocks
QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK ;This wonderful park in Stratford is brimming with things for all the family to do. It’s a wonderful legacy after the pride filled 2012 olympics which was housed here. You can now even go down a giant slide on the Accelor Mittal tower! There is the olympic swimming pools with affordable sessions. There are also play areas a plenty and climbing walls for the kids. It’s wonderful and there’s plenty to do for free. Read my blog here.
REGENTS PARK; A wonderful park that houses London Zoo. You can see the giraffes, birds and a few other animals from the park itself. I love having a stroll through the park and to take a look at the giraffes. If you walk along the canal and once you’re past the aviary head into the park and take a left and the giraffes are right there! There’s a bird walk and a wildlife garden as well as 4 playgrounds.
RESTAURANTS WITH FREE KIDS ENTERTAINMENT
GOAT CHELSEA; Every Sunday kids get entertained whilst you eat your Sunday Brunch between 12-3pm. Entertainment is provided by Froggle Parties and includes magic, balloon modelling and puppetry and is suitable for 2 years old and above. There will be no kids club from 7th August until 11th September 2016 during school holidays.
There’s something special about a good bookshop and children love books. Sit back and listen and watch your child’s imagination run wild at a free storytime. Most children’s book shops and libraries will have one.
WEST END LANE BOOKS – In West Hampstead on Mondays and Thursday at 4pm you can come along for a free storytime. No need to book, just turn up.
KIRKDALE BOOK SHOP – In Sydenham every Saturday there is story time for the under 4’s 10.30-11am
WATERSTONES ISLINGTON – Every Sunday there is storytime at noon. Parents can browse books whilst the kids are entertained.
SHOPPING CENTRE EVENTS
You can register for the free kids club, you will receive a goody bag on joining, discounts and advance notice of children’s events. They include free arts and crafts, face painting and shows
Regular free events for children, including easter egg hunts.
I hope you found some of these suggestions useful and you make some wonderful memories together. It’s the experiences we have, not the things we own, which we remember.