Many of London’s museums offer loads for children to discover and do, with interactive exhibits, activities and workshops and even dedicated play areas for babies and toddlers. Since many museums throughout the city are also free to enter, visiting the museums make for a great day out for families, whether you are visiting or live locally.

Here are some of our favorite family friendly museums that we have enjoyed bringing Little T to around London;

Science Museum

There’s tons to see and do at the Science Museum across seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits. Our favorite sections are the Exploring Space gallery, featuring rockets and spacecraft, and the Making the Modern Age gallery that showcases iconic items in science and technology from the past 250 years.

Family Friendly London Museums - Science Museum
Making the Modern Age gallery at the Science Museum, London

For young children, there’s a fantastic play area called the Garden in the basement that has a water play table, tree house with pulleys, stacking blocks and multi-sensory room.

Family Friendly London Museums - Science Museum
Water play table in the Science Museum’s Garden, an interactive space for young children

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD

Free admission. Tickets required for IMAX Theatre, flight simulators and some special exhibitions.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is an old favorite and you’ll usually find us at the Dinosaur exhibit. The Red Zone is another fascinating area to explore, with a gallery on volcanoes and earthquakes and a collection of gems, minerals and moon rock.

Family Friendly London Museums - Natural History Museum
The world’s most complete skeleton of a stegosaurus, Natural History Museum

In addition to fascinating fossils and skeletons, the dinosaur exhibit also features a roaring animatronic model of a Tyrannosaurus rex, three-quarters the size of a life-size one.

Family Friendly London Museums - Natural History Museum
Animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex at the Natural History Museum, London

While all other museum galleries are open as usual, Hintze Hall is currently closed for redevelopment until summer 2017, and the diplocodus skeleton that was displayed until recently will be replaced with a blue whale skeleton and new exhibits.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5B

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions.

National Maritime Museum

Greenwich is one of my favorite areas in London, and the National Maritime Museum – the world’s largest maritime museum – is an excellent place to visit with children. The museum is free to enter and houses a vast collection that spans thousands of objects including a wide array of artwork, maps and charts, and memorabilia.

Family-Friendly London Museums - National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London

There are two well-designed galleries for children at the museum (check website for gallery opening hours). The Ahoy! gallery, located on the ground floor, has been especially designed for babies and children aged up to seven, with themed zones that include a vast model of the deck and cabins of a ship and a fresh fish shop for weighing mussels and lobsters.

On the second floor, is the All Hands interactive gallery for ages 7 to 12, where older children can test their skills defending against a pirate attack, use maritime technology and load a cargo ship before it sets sail. If it’s not busy, I’d recommend the area for preschoolers too as there are some activities they can get involved in, like maneuvering this crane below to load ship cargo.

Family-Friendly London Museums - National Maritime Museum
The All Hands children’s gallery at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

National Maritime MuseumPark Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions.

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is a fun experience for the whole family, featuring exhibitions on 200+ years of history and examples of buses, trains, taxis and tube carriages, from the 19th century to present day.

Family-Friendly London Museums - London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden

There’s a fantastic play zone over two floors, called All Aboard, where little ones can enjoy repairing a tube train, sitting in the driver’s seat of a bus and helping customers at a mini information desk using the magnetic message board, maps and clocks. The play zone has been designed for children 0 to 7 years old and includes an area specifically for infants, with soft building blocks and an interactive wall.

Family-Friendly London Museums - London Transport Museum
At the All Aboard play zone, London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB

Tickets: Adults £17.50 (or purchase online for £16); FREE entry for children and young people under 18. Tickets allow unlimited daytime entry to all museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year.

Horniman Museum & Gardens

The Horniman Museum, located in South London, features a natural history gallery with a large collection of taxidermy, a musical instrument gallery, an aquarium with 15 exhibits (with ticket purchase) and a calendar of special exhibitions and events. There’s a room just off the taxidermy gallery with activities for children and plenty of hand-on displays and exhibits throughout the museum.

Family-Friendly London Museums - Horniman Museum
The famous Horniman walrus at the Horniman Museum, South London

The gardens are lovely to explore and includes a Nature Trail, a Sound Garden inspired by the museum’s collection of instruments and an Animal Walk where little ones can meet alpacas, sheep, goats and more.

Family-Friendly London Museums - Horniman Museum
The Sound Garden at the Horniman Museum, London

Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to the aquarium [£4 for adults; £2 for children 3+] and special exhibitions.

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark ship museum is another fun family experience in Greenwich, with the opportunity to climb aboard the 19th century tea clipper and learn about her impressive history sailing around the world. Throughout the ship are interactive displays offering a hands-on learning experience for young ones.

Family-Friendly London Museums - Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark ship museum in Greenwich

The Tween Deck offers a variety of entertaining activities, exhibits and displays for visitors to learn more about Cutty Sark‘s trading history and life aboard the ship. I’ve shared more about our visit in the Activities Aboard Cutty Sark post.

Family-Friendly London Museums - Cutty Sark
Shape sorting on the Cutty Sark ship museum, Greenwich

Cutty Sark Clipper Ship, King William Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9HT

Tickets: Adult tickets are £13.50; children 5+ tickets are £7.00, children under 5 years go free.

Family-Friendly Museums in London

Those are our favourite family-friendly museums in London, and we have so many more we look forward to visiting in the city. Have you visited any of these museums? And what is your favourite museum to bring children that you’ve discovered at home or on your travels? Let us know in the comments!

PIN IT FOR LATER

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

MummyTravels
the Pigeon Pair and Me

22 thoughts on “6 Family-Friendly London Museums”

  1. The Natural History Museum has always been a firm favourite in our family, not hard to see why, DINOSAURS (!), buts its interesting to see how much there is out there that everyone may enjoy, the Science Museum seems like it could be the next one for us to visit! x

  2. Still two of these to tick off – London does have some truly amazing museums, and all the more amazing that so many are free. They really make an effort to appeal to kids as well, even little ones. My daughter still loves the Garden whenever we go to the Science Museum. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  3. Such amazing museums – we have only visited the NH Museum from your list so I feel another London trip coming on! It’s not a museum but my little ones really enjoyed the Sky Garden and it’s free 🙂 #citytripping

  4. I love the Natural History Museum, but haven’t been since they announced plans to change the dinosaur in the main hall. I must admit I’m a bit sad about that. Definitely putting Greenwich on my list for our next visit! #citytripping

  5. Great list! We really loved our recent trip to the London Transport museum and the Science Museum and Cutty Sark are on my list for this year. I’m not very familiar with the others so thanks for flagging them up! #citytripping

  6. I’d agree that these are all perfect places to take the kids – except I still haven’t taken mine to the Cutty Sark! Need to change that soon. We love the Maritime Museum though. I hadn’t realised it was the largest in the world. Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids – great post.

    1. We’re lucky living in London to have so many great museums to visit! Cutty Sark is definitely one I hope to bring Little T back to again, especially now that he’s a bit older I think he’ll enjoy it even more.

  7. Great list, I’m definitely going to take my kids to Greenwich during the Easter hols, didn’t realise the Maritime Museum had a kids’ section. Anyone who likes London Transport Museum should also try the White Webbs Museum of Transport near Enfield. It’s not as big or impressive but it’s always empty when we visit. #culturedkids

    1. Enjoy your time in Greenwich! I love that area. The kids’ areas at the Maritime Museum are really great and I’m sure during Easter they’ll have plenty of activities going on at all the museums in the area. I’ll have a look at the White Webbs Museum – sounds interesting! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I think I have been to all of these – but never with my kids! As an adult without children, I don’t think I ever really noticed the play areas – next time we visit I look forward to exploring some of these again with my two. #culturedkids

  9. We’ve only been to London once, pre-kids, but loved it. Unfortunately, the Cutty Sark was closed for renovation while we were there (quite a few years ago already). I really think we need to visit London again with our toddler. Our little one would love the Transport Museum! #CulturedKids

  10. Thanks for this list. Mondays are our ‘girls day out’ for my 4 year-old daughter and me, so we are visiting London’s museums. The museum of Childhood (Bethnal green) was one of her favorites. I had visited it years ago without children and had not been particularly impressed. With her, it was fantastic. Lots of areas to play, especially on the 1st floor. Even a sand pit! And free story telling + coloring early afternoon by friendly staff. The only thing we did not enjoy so much was the food at the café but there is a big picnic area in the basement and a Parc nearby so next time we’ll take a pack lunch.
    Science Museum,Natural history museum, maritime museum (ahoy gallery is supposed to close for a few days in May/June) are also great as you said. Even if efforts are being made (with a family trail), the V&A is not so child friendly. We’ll try the museum recommended in Enfield by one of your readers (Annabel)
    Thanks! #culturedkids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *