England’s capital is full of amazing parks, historical sights, museums, shops and spots to eat that your entire family can enjoy. Who wants to sit around bored after you have journeyed so far? Not me that’s for sure. London was the perfect fit for the whole family with plenty for all of us to enjoy.
Outdoor spaces are a parent’s best friend when it comes to travel. London is bursting with parks to let your children run around in and explore. Hyde Park offers up boat rides, a killer playground, a statue of Peter Pan, fountains and cafes to just sit and watch the other families go by. Drag the whole family into Kensington Palace and gardens for a tour of how royalty lives it up in England. You might just sneak a little culture and history into your children’s minds.
Before the Olympics, bike stations were set up around the city. For a small fee you can rent a bicycle and go off and explore in one of the world’s flatter urban terrains. Just be warned that the bikes are only for older children; there are no toddler seats or child-sized bikes to rent, only adult.
Many of London’s museums are free making it an easy and budget-friendly stop for families with children of all ages. While kids will love the Science Museum, they may not be too thrilled to spend hours at the National Gallery or Victoria and Albert Museum watching their parents soak up the works of some of the best artists and designers in the world. Mom and dad can still sneak an hour in before the kids meltdown screaming for a space that they can actually take their hands out of their pockets and touch everything in their path.
Pubs are an easy and delicious way to introduce your family to some of England’s popular treats like meat pies and a traditional roast, but international cuisine has taken over the streets and neighborhoods as the locals bite into a bit of the world in their own backyard. If you want to get adventurous bring the kids to Brick Lane to dive into Indian Cuisine or pop into one of the varied spots in the Bayswater neighborhood, which includes numerous Mediterranean restaurants and Asian food shops. For those with a much more “delicate” palate you can always pull up a chair at any Pizza Express, a budget-friendly chain that serves up decent pizza.
I can’t help but check out the local markets whenever we travel and London does not disappoint. Portobello Road is a must for any family visiting the city. Your children will be delighted with the eclectic displays, cheap goods and street performers. Mom and dad will love checking out the latest street fashions, antiques and a bite from one of the bakery tables set up just to tempt you off your diet. Not to be outdone, the shops and vendors of Covent Garden and the Jubilee Market are a bit more upscale but still worth a visit, especially on a rainy day. Buy a print or piece of jewelry from a local artist before heading downstairs to the toy shop and to grab a little lunch at the Batterseas Pie Station or Crème de la Crepe.
No matter how you mix up your stay between attractions, parks and edible exploration you will find something that everyone in the family can appreciate, and yes, all at the same time. Just keep it loose and have an open mind. London will surprise you with just how much you can do together.