Are you planning a day out in London with your kids this autumn? There are loads of things for families to do in the capital and many of them free. Here are some of the many family-friendly things to do in London right now.
The Art of the Brick
This is one for LEGO fans. Artist Nathan Sawaya used more than a million LEGO bricks to create the sculptures in this amazing exhibition. There are more than 80 sculptures on display ranging from replicas of well-known works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, to more conceptual pieces, such as a torso splitting in two. There’s also an interactive area where you can have a go at building LEGO sculptures yourself. The Art of the Brick exhibition runs until January 4th, 2015 at the Old Truman Brewery, a five minute walk from Shoreditch High Street underground station.
Cost: From £14.50 for adults, from £8.00 for children age 3-12 years.
Tower of London
To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War the Tower of London is hosting a major art installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. The installation consists of 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British fatality during the war, which are gradually filling the Tower’s moat. The work was designed by artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper.
Cost: Free to see the installation. You can buy one of the hand-made poppies used in the installation for £25 + P&P. The money raised will be shared between six service charities.
Play the gamelan
The gamelan is a collection of Javanese percussion instruments played by many people at the same time. The sound produced is said to be sonorous and mesmerising. You don’t need any musical experience in order to play the gamelan and the Southbank Centre is offering gamelan taster sessions for families on various dates until 21st February 2015.
Imperial War Museum
A transformed Imperial War Museum reopened this summer and offers a major new interactive exhibition for families. Horrible Histories: Spies is based on a book from the popular series by Terry Deary and reveals the tricks and traps used by spies during World War II. In the new First World War Galleries you can learn about the history of WWI through interactive displays. More than 1,300 objects are on display and there’s a Life at the Front section where children can explore a reconstruction of a trench.
Cost: Entrance to the museum is free. Entrance to the Spies exhibition costs £6.20 for adults and £3.30 for children aged 4-15 years old. There’s a 10% discount if you book online.
London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum is in the heart of Covent Garden and is a great place for a family trip. The museum now has a Family Station where children between the ages of three and 12 years can choose activities to do as they explore the museum. The museum shows the development of transport in the capital including Sedan chairs, the Underground, double-decker buses and the Emirates cable car.
Cost: Free for children aged 17 and under, £15 for adults (including unlimited admission for 12 months).
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London’s newest park covers 560 acres of parklands, play areas, gardens and sports facilities from the 2012 Olympics. To help you to make the most of your visit to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park you can pick up free trail guides, including a children’s guide, from the information points at the park or you can download the guides from the website. The UK’s tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, is in the park and you can visit the viewing area at the top for a great view across London. Right next to the park is Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest shopping malls in Europe.
Cost: Free to enter the park. Entrance to the ArcelorMittal Orbit is £15 for adults, £7 for children from three to 16 years old.
The National Trust is encouraging children and their parents to get outside and get close to nature. The charity has published a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 to help families with ideas on how to do this. There are 50 things activities on offer at National Trust properties across the country including London. How about den-bulding at Ham House, a 17th century stately home in Richmond?
Cost: Varies – check the website for details.
If you travel to London by train you can get two-for-one entry via the Days Out Guide website at a host of attractions including the London transport Museum, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and many more. Simply download vouchers from the website and then show them with your valid train ticket to receive the discount before you pay for entrance to the attraction.
Over to you
Do you have any to add? What are your favourite things to do in London with kids at this time of year?