As the summer holidays approach and more and more families choose to spend their precious time in this country, rather than go abroad, days out are becoming evermore popular instead of the traditional week away. As the capital of the UK, you would expect London to have many attractions for the typical tourist but you may be surprised at how many are children friendly, with some actively encouraging kids and others specifically designed for your little ones. So whether you have toddlers or teenagers, check out our family guide to days out in London and you’ll be sure to find something or both kids and adults to enjoy.
First up, Dinosaurs Unleashed at the O2 Stadium. This amazing production will have you and your children running for the safety of the stalls as the UK’s largest animatronic dinosaurs gives you a unique chance to experience some of the most iconic and awe-inspiring creatures. The exhibition show features 25 life-size dinosaurs, a prehistoric aquarium (CGI), holographic video presentations by wildlife expert Chris Packham, real and replica fossils, inter-actives galore and more than 40 educational interpretation panels. Developed to appeal to both children and adults, it is a fascinating glimpse back into our past and will be of special interest to all young palaeontologists. Tickets cost around £14 for adults and £11 for children or buy a family ticket from £42.50. The exhibition runs from February until 31st December this year.
The London Dungeon has long been a favourite of both children and adults and is the best place to explore part of the capital’s darker side of history. Open since 1975, it has been entertaining visitors with terrifying re-enactments of the cities most gruesome crimes and ghostly stories. The Dungeon now has a new terror to behold, a horror ride of 5D proportions. The ride ‘Vengeance’ is based around a séance started by Florence Cook, a Victorian medium and includes three ghostly figures, all who lived at a famous haunted house on Berkeley Square in London. The three ghosts all meet with a grisly death after visiting a ‘darkened room’. The 5D ride is so called because it has 3D movie effects, motion seats and you have to protect yourself from the ghosts by shooting laser guns. Kids and adults will love it! Not suitable for children under 1.1m and tickets cost from £15 for adults and £12 for children, available from the-dungeons.co.uk.
Fancy having Tea with a Tiger in London? It’s not quite what you think. Children’s novelist Judith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923. Her family fled Nazi Germany in 1933, later settling in London. This inspired her to write semi-autobiographical novels, including When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. She later went on to write children’s books, one of which is The Tiger Who Came to Tea. This exciting show includes original artwork, notes and sketches as well as the chance for children to dive into some of their favourite scenes from the books and they can actually step into Sophie’s kitchen and have tea with a life-sized tiger. Located at the V&A Museum of Childhood, tickets are free and the exhibition runs from 28th May to 4th September 2011.