What to do with children in London this summer © Archikids

What to do with children in London this summer

From an urban riding school on a farm to a puppet show floating on the Thames and geodesic dome designing at the top of the Gherkin, there are adventures galore for the little ones in London this summer

The school holidays are well and truly upon British school children and in the cities it can often be difficult to plan days out for weeks on end. Luckily many museums, exhibitions and parks in London have special events for children to keep them entertained until September. Here's our pick of the best activities this summer.

Harry Potter London Tour

harry-potter-londonMuggle Tours

Throughout July and August (except Mondays), Muggle Tours will be hosting two-and-a-half hour Harry Potter walking tours taking in some of the film’s most famous locations, iconic landmarks and places that inspired J.K Rowling. The tour begins at London Bridge and ends at Leicester Square, taking in one tube journey. www.muggletours.co.uk

Coram’s Fields, Bloomsbury

Corams fieldsCoram's Fields

This huge children’s park slap bang in the middle of London, between King’s Cross and Holborn, is the perfect spot for keeping the kids entertained when in central London. As well as plenty of grass for them to run off energy (and ride-ons for the little ones), there is also a large adventure playground for the older ones, climbing frames, sandpits, a paddling pool and even a mini farm including goats, chickens, rabbits and a menagerie. Mum and dad can sit back in the Pistachios in the Park coffee shop while the kids run riot. (Open daily from 9am – dusk) www.coramsfields.org

Little Creatures Family Festival, London Zoo

Little Creatures Festival© London Zoo

London Zoo is a great day out any day of the year, but from 31st July – 2nd August, the zoo hosts its free annual family festival, which means even more entertainment to keep the little ones smiling. There will be animal talks, feeds and demonstrations in the tiger, penguin and bird enclosures, arts and crafts workshops and fun Jungle Jukebox shows four times a day, with children’s TV presenter Andy Day hosting puppet shows, dancing and sing-alongs. (Tickets must be reserved online in advance) www.zsl.org


AK Shadow-skylineArchikids

For something a little more unusual, why not give your little ones a head start in the world of design and take part in Archikids, London’s free festival of architecture for children. This weekend festival held on 25th and 26th July, aimed at 5-11 year olds, will host workshops and activities in some of London’s most iconic and architecturally impressive buildings across London’s Square Mile. www.archikids.org.uk

Nature Explorers, WWT London Wetlands Centre

London Wetlands: Sustainable Garden by  RossPaxton © WWT

London Wetlands: Sustainable Garden by  RossPaxton © WWT

Help your little ones make the most of the great British outdoors and get up close and personal with nature at the WWT London Wetlands Centre in Barnes. From 25th July – 30th August your children can earn their wildlife passports and become Nature Explorers, by taking part in eight wildlife themed activities such as pond dipping and animal tracks investigating. Wwwt.org.uk

The Puppet Theatre Barge, Richmond

puppet-theatre-three-pigsThree Little Pigs on the Puppet Barge

For a puppet show with a difference, head to Richmond’s riverside where the red and yellow Puppet barge is moored for a summer of enchanting and magical puppet theatre. From 25th July – 9th August the marionettes will perform The Three Pigs and the Wolf, which is suitable for even the really little ones, and from 12th August – 27th September they will perform farmyard adventure, Fowl Play (suitable for three years and above). www.puppetbarge.com

Deen City Farm


Deen City Farm

Horse and animal lovers needn’t miss out just because they’re in the city, as Deen City Farm near Wimbledon is home to over 200 animals. Entry is free and as well as the farm favourites cows, chickens, rabbits and an owl named Edna, there is a also a riding school with around 12 ponies. Group and private riding lessons, pony rides and Pony Club activities are all available. www.deencityfarm.co.uk

1 Harry Potter Tours
2 Coram's Fields
3 London Zoo
4 ArchiKids
5 London Wetland Centre
6 Deen City Farm