With the cost of living creeping up, finding activities for kids during summer is even more challenging.
There’s good news: summer fun doesn’t have to mean expensive tickets.
Visiting London with kids can be incredibly fun, but it can also be expensive, especially if you visit all the top paid attractions like the London Eye and the Tower of London. Fortunately, there are also plenty of fun things to do in London with kids on a budget.
I’m sure you’re wondering what free things there are to do in London with kids, right? You could spend days walking around the most iconic London sights and discovering the prettiest streets in London since it’s free, but you’re not here for that.
Here are our favorite things to do with kids in London for those looking for great days out with kids on a budget or on a UK staycation.
Take a London bus
The great thing about London is that you can see a lot of the iconic London sights from the top deck of the good old London bus on certain routes.
Children love riding up the front of double-decker buses where they can see the best views.
When accompanied by an adult, children under 11 travel free. This is a much more affordable alternative to open-top bus tours. Make sure you have your guidebook with you when you take your DIY London bus tour.
With so much to see, this is one of the best things to do in London with children on a budget.
Visit a Farmer’s Market
Every borough or neighboring borough has a farmer’s market during the week. It is generally inexpensive to purchase items here. Often, they are held near a fun park or feature live entertainment. Try getting some local produce with a minimum budget, you could £20 with you.
The majority of museums offer special activities during the holidays that are either free or add a bit of value to admission.
Children can sniff out clues on a new trail in the Brunel Museum in London, which tells the stinky story of the Thames Tunnel. A family ticket covers two adults and four children for £10.
To cool off in high temperatures, check out public pools, splash pads, fountains, and paddling pools. You can find these on the website of your local council.
For the summer, some temporary water attractions will be set up, such as Kid’s Summer Splash at London’s Royal Docks, which will see a large lido built between 1 and 21 August on the Royal Victoria Dock.
Try something new
In recognition of National Fishing Month, the organisers are encouraging families to take up fishing during the summer holidays. The whole month of August is packed with free or low-cost opportunities for aspiring anglers around England. Visit anglingtrust.net/getfishing/events to find out what’s happening near you.
Similarly, if your children have been inspired by Wimbledon to play tennis, Tennis for Free offers free sessions in parks across the country. Most sessions are for children ages 12 and up, with parent-child, beginner, and intermediate levels. Visit tennisforfree.com to see their locations
Have a Bake Off
Cooking with the family is a great way to spend time together, and the only cost is the ingredients. Try a cooking challenge to make cooking more fun. Organize the family into teams and purchase enough ingredients so that each team can make their own batch of cookies. Find out which team is the best in the kitchen.
Harry Potter Platform 9 ¾
It should be on your London bucket list for families if you’re a Harry Potter fan visiting London’s Platform 9 3/4.
In Kings Cross station, you can visit Platform 9 3/4 and queue outside the Harry Potter shop to take a photo with your chosen Hogwarts house scarf.
If you want to purchase a professional photo, it will cost you, but you can also take your own.
Visiting the Harry Potter studio tour is a great day trip from London if you are a giant Harry Potter fan. A Harry Potter experience like this is hard to beat in the UK. As this is a very popular attraction, there is a cost and it must be booked in advance.