If you are following me on Instagram or have read my recent blog post, you’ll know we went to London a few weeks ago. We went as a family, so I really had to keep the kids in mind while planning the trip. Check out some of the stuff we did while we were there and add them to your list of things to do in London with kids in winter.
Before I did any planning, I went over to Maheen is Going Places and pored over her posts about London. She is the QUEEN of family travel and has so many great tips for destinations and how to travel with family. I also followed up with ridiculous questions she was more than happy to answer.
This is a post about things to do in London with kids in winter, yet you won’t see any pictures of my kids. Rest assured they were with me and I wasn’t just partaking in child-like activities without them.
How to Get Around London
We primarily used the Underground to get places since stayed in Chelsea, which is a bit further away from central London. Plus it was too cold to walk too much. However, I would highly recommend riding a double decker bus and a black cab if you have the opportunity. We found all forms of transportation to be clean and safe.
Hamley’s Toy Store
The highlight of the kids’ trip was a visit to Hamley’s on Regent Street. The store opening is quite theatrical, and I highly recommend it. It was our son’s birthday while we were there so they sang Happy Birthday to him and he got to ring the bell to open the store! The store is seven floors of pure heaven for kids, I would plan to spend at least 2-3 hours there.
The Tower of London
I was very hesitant to pay admission fees for anything in London, especially when basically all of their museums are free. Tower of London is well worth the price. The Tower of London was a living history lesson, actors included, and the kids (and I) really enjoyed it. Tip: buy your ticket online! You will save a few pounds per person. I did it right outside the entrance.
Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station
So, I’m a Harry Potter fan. Nothing crazy, but I’ve read all the books, seen all the movies, and basically begged my eldest to read the series. Lucky for me he did, so now I can use him as an excuse to live out my Harry Potter dreams. We didn’t do the studio tour since the younger two haven’t read it yet, but we did visit Leadenhall Market and Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. I would skip Leadenhall Market as it doesn’t really resemble Diagon Alley, but I would make the trek to King’s Cross Station – mostly for the photo op, but also to see St. Pancras Station.
Benjamin Pollack’s at Covent Garden
Covent Garden in and of itself is a beautiful place to wander around. It has cafes and shops, and beautiful floral displays all over. If you are there, you must visit Benjamin Pollack’s Toy Shop. It is the most fantastically whimsical place and I was tempted to buy books and toys for myself.
Coppa Club at Tower Bridge Igloos
If you are able to secure a highly coveted reservation in one of Coppa Club at Tower Bridge igloo’s I would highly recommend it. Reservations get booked up 6 months ahead of time, but I found a little trick: reservations must be canceled 48 hours ahead of time, otherwise there is a penalty. So, while in London I would randomly check to see if any tables popped up and I found one! The restaurant has a great kids menu and the rest is very reasonably priced.
Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel
I went back and forth about doing an afternoon tea with the kids. Most are pretty expensive, including this one. But since we saved on other parts of our trip, we decided to splurge on the science afternoon tea at the Ampersand Hotel. I will say this, my kids very much enjoyed the experience – it was probably the most unique dining experience we have had. However, their unrefined palates did not enjoy the food as much I would have liked.
Free Museums in London
It was just very cold while we were there, so that’s why my list of things to do with kids in London in winter has so many indoor activities. In addition to these ones, we visited the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, and the British Museum. All indoor, and all free. They all offered respite from the cold, and we didn’t mind only spending an hour or two there since admission was free.