2 days in London with kids -- Family days out

Two days in London with kids: Best family days out?  Best places to visit with children?

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Two days in LondonIdea One

Day One – What you will see:The London Eye, the London Dungeon, London Aquarium, and meal at the Namco Centre

The London Eye is a great place to start your day, but remember to buy your tickets beforehand as the queues can get quite heavy.

Kids aren’t really into walking around and taking photos, so this will allow you to point out places like the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace from the wheel (allow for 30-45 minutes queuing, and 30 minutes on the wheel).

Important! You can save a lot of money by buying a combo ticket for the London Eye, which includes entry into the London Dungeon, London Aquarium and Madame Tussauds.

Take a 30-second stroll over to the London Dungeon, which has a good mix of costumed actors, scary rides and audience participation (allow for 90 mins). Note: The Dungeons are not recommend for under-8s, and there are height restrictions. Check the details here.

Then check out the Namco Funscape. It’s a bit like an indoor funfair with arcade games, bowling lanes, and even some dodgems. You will also find a McDonalds inside.

 

Next door is the London Aquarium. Highlights include a two-story shark tank, an underwater sea tunnel, and a walk-through arctic zone with a penguin pool (allow for 90-120 mins).

Now it’s time for a meal. You could try the Rainforest Café near Piccadilly Circus, or one of the many McDonalds/Burger King-type restaurants around Leicester Square.

A great way to finish the day is with a big movie in Leicester Square (allow for 3 hours).

Day Two – What you will see:The waxworks at Madame Tussauds, and animals at London Zoo

Take the train to Baker Street for Madame Tussauds.

You should definitely buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queues, which can grow pretty huge (allow for 60 mins queue time, and 90-120 mins for the visit).

They’ve got everything from Lady Ga Ga and Justin Timberlake, to One Direction and Rihanna. They’ll also love the Chamber of Horrors (must be 12-years and over).

You can also try the ‘Spirit of London’ ride, in which you’ll travel back in time in a black cab to witness some of the city’s history. Note: Height restrictions apply (see here for details).

If you have very energetic kids then you can take a long stroll through Regent’s Park to London Zoo. Otherwise you can catch the No.274 bus from Dorset Square to Primrose Hill (allow for 25 min ride, and 5-mins walking at either end)

London Zoo will take up the rest of your day, so allow for 3 to 4 hours. Highlights include the lions and tigers, Gorilla World, a rainforest enclosure, BUGS! exhibit, and Penguin beach. You can also check out the petting zoo, and big animal feeding times.

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London in two daysIdea Two

Day One – What you will see:Hamleys, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, Rainforest Caf
 Cinema in Leicester Square

If you want to treat your kid to some toys, then there’s only one place to go – Hamleys in Regent Street. This is the biggest toy store in London, and always has plenty of demonstrations and things to try.

The head down Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, where you can show your kid the famous neon lights and Eros statue (10 mins walk). Then it’s into Ripley’s Museum of Believe It Or Not! for a couple of hours.

This museum is filled with weird and wonderful things from around the world. Some of them are freaky – waxwork models of the world’s smallest and tallest man, the ugliest guy, and hairiest woman. Some of them are scary – they have a torture chamber filled with electric chairs and the rack. And some of them are just weird – a five-legged sheep and animatronic dinosaur.

After that it’s probably time for lunch. You could try the Rainforest Café nearby, or one of the many McDonalds/Burger King-type restaurants around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

A great way to finish the day is with a big blockbuster movie at the cinema. Three of London’s biggest cinemas can be found around Leicester Square (5 min walk from Piccadilly Circus).

Day Two – What you will see:Princess Di’s Memorial Playground, a boat on the Serpentine, and the Natural History Museum or Science Museum

Let’s start the day at the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (under-12s only), in the north-western corner of Kensington Gardens.

This Peter Pan-themed playground has got a huge wooden pirate ship. There are also plenty of swings and slides and a sand-pit beach (allow for 60-90 mins).

A short walk across Kensington Gardens will take you to the Serpentine Lake. On the north shore you will find some boats for hire (Easter to the end of October only). The little peddle boats can carry up to 6 people each (allow for 1 hour).

Once you have finished peddling you can try the little restaurant on the south side of the lake (it also has toilets).

The rest of the day can be spent at one of the following two museums – choose one. Both of them can be found on the south side of Kensington Gardens, a short walk down Exhibition Road.

 

If your kid likes dinosaurs then he’ll love the Natural History Museum – they’ve got a full-size Diplodocus in the entrance Hall. They’ve also got a mechanical T. Rex which moves around and roars, and a whole zoo of dead animals (allow for 2-3 hours).

The Science Museum covers everything from the earliest steam trains to the Apollo 11 moon landings. There are plenty of push-button and interactive displays for kids, and they’ve also got a 3D IMAX cinema (allow for 2-3 hours).

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