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Best Toddler-Friendly London Attractions

These are the best places to take your toddler when visiting London

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Bringing your toddler to London? These London attractions will keep your under 5 year olds entertained and the adults are sure to enjoy these London attractions as well.

1. Mudlarks at the Museum of London Docklands

Mudlarks DLR, Museum in Docklands, London
© Laura Porter
The Museum of London Docklands has a lot for children and my favorite area is Mudlarks. This is an informative and interactive play area for the under 12s, with a soft play section for under 5s. Everything is themed around life in the London docks so the big kids can weigh cargo or load a tea clipper while the small kids get to crawl around with large foam bananas and a London bus, plus they can pretend to drive a DLR train.

2. Kid's Zone at the National Army Museum

National Army Museum - Kid's Zone
© NAM

Kid's Zone is a fantastic play area for children under ten years old, within the National Army Museum. This place is cool! Its all about discovery and the kids can go wild in a safe environment. Just ask at the information desk for a timed ticket and you'll get over an hour of free play time. Kids can dress up in soldier's uniforms, scale the rock climbing wall, crawl through tunnels, and whiz down slides. There's loads to do. Adults can get a coffee from the cafe next door and bring it in and have a sit down while the kids tire themselves out.

2011 Update: There's now a small charge for over 1 year olds but this place is still fab.

3. London Zoo

Giraffe, London Zoo
© Laura Porter

What small child doesn't love animals? Children under 3 go free at London Zoo so take them when they're really young for the best value. If your family is older you'll need to check out the ways to save money on London Zoo tickets.

Tag Your Tot: You can 'tag your tot' with a wristband at the entrance. This is well worth doing as children can get a bit over zealous around the animals and it's hard to always hold on to them.

Live Events: You can see birds and monkeys out of their cages at the daily live events. Check the Day Planner when you arrive for the schedule.

You can book Skip the Line London Zoo tickets through Viator.

4. Coram's Fields

Coram's Fields, London
© Laura Porter
Coram's Fields is a unique seven acre playground and park for children in central London. It is free to use and provides a safe and stimulating environment where children can play freely. Adults are only permitted with a child and there is always staff available to ensure all is well. Pet's Corner is always popular with its goats and sheep, and the sandpit gets busy in the summer.

Coram's Fields is close to the British Museum and other attractions such as the Foundling Museum which is always free for children.

5. Kew Gardens

Climbers and Creepers, Kew Gardens, London
© RBG Kew
Children under 17 always go free at Kew Gardens which makes it a great family day out. The paths around the gardens are smooth for buggies and most of the buildings have ramped access.

There's some useful information on the Kew Gardens website to help you plan your visit but all you really need to know about is Climbers and Creepers - Kew's interactive play area for under 9 year olds. Just remember to explore the Gardens first as once the kids get in there they won't want to leave! See more advice on visiting Kew Gardens with children.

You can buy Kew Gardens tickets through Viator.

6. London Eye

London Eye City Seaside Summer 2008
© Hills & Knowlton

The London Eye is 135 meters high which makes it the world's tallest observation wheel. Small buggies are allowed on board but if you have a larger buggy ask at the Information Desk and they can store it for you. Each capsule is enclosed for the ride so it's safe for children to walk around. The capsule walls are glass down to the floor so children can sit of the floor and still get great views.

The London Eye has lots of extra fun on throughout the year, especially in the summer, and the staff are excellent with children.

You can buy Skip the Line London Eye tickets through Viator.

7. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
© visitlondonimages/ britainonview
The Natural History Museum is one of the big three museums in South Kensington. It is a wonderful Victorian building housing the weird and wonderful of the natural world. The Natural History Museum is world famous for its dinosaur skeletons. When do kids start getting that dinosaur fixation? My daughter had it by 18 months so I visit here regularly. There are moving and roaring dinosaur models for the kids to roar back at. The enormous blue whale is also a hit with my family.

8. Tate Modern

Couple reading a guidebook at the Tate Modern art gallery
© visitlondonimages/ britainonview
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 onwards. It's housed in a renovated power station which means there's a huge Turbine Hall on the lowest floor. This space has regular art installations but there's always space for the young ones to have a run around.

The main shop, also on Level 1, sells excellent children's books, and the Cafe on Level 2 is fantastically child-friendly. As well as the kid's menu there's a buggy park, plenty of highchairs, plus crayons and coloring sheets.

9. Museum of Childhood

Rocking horses, Museum of Childhood, London
Photo: © Laura Porter

The Museum of Childhood is a great free museum in east London. There's a free buggy park in the lobby and there's always staff at the entrance/exit so the children can't escape.

Expect to find dressing up clothes and other toys available. Beautiful rocking horses have a queue of excited children waiting in line for their turn. The indoor sandpit and funny mirrors are always fun, as is the designated soft play area for the under 3s.

The cafe is superb and has lovely tea. There are lots of highchairs and booster seats and the tables are large so you can sit with lots of friends. There are hot and cold meals as well as cakes and snacks.

10. London Aquarium

London Aquarium
© Laura Porter
The London Aquarium is free for unders 3s. If you visit in the afternoon you can watch the sharks being fed which is always good to see. The shark's tank can be viewed from two levels so there's plenty of space.

You can book Skip The Line London Aquarium tickets through Viator.

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