The Best London Museums for Kids

Best London Museums for Kids

Many of the world-class London museums offer plenty of things to do for families, including interactive exhibits, activities and workshops, explorer trails and even dedicated play areas for babies and toddlers. Since most are also free to enter, visiting the museums make for a great family day out in London, whether you are visiting or live locally. In this post, discover more about the best London museums for kids, that are interactive, fun and fascinating to visit.

Science Museum

The Science Museum in South Kensington is one of the top museums for kids in London, and our top choice for interactive exhibits and amazing educational experiences. There are seven floors of exhibits across award-winning exhibitions and permanent galleries. With so much to do, visiting the Science Museum is also one of the best free things to do in London with kids.

Best London Museums for Kids Science Muesum

Highlights for kids include 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, including the Apollo 10 command module.

Apollo 10 London Science Museum

The Science Museum is one of the best London museums for toddlers. There are two main free interactive areas: the multi-sensory Pattern Pod on the ground floor and the Garden in the basement where under 5s can discover science through play. The Garden has a fun water play table, a treehouse with pulleys and a multi-sensory room.

Related: Things to Do this May Half Term in London with Kids

Science Museum London

At an extra charge and geared towards older children, there are the 3D and 4D flight and space simulators on the top floor, along with an IMAX 3D cinema.

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

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

Book your free ticket in advance at:

Wonderlab at the Science Museum

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery is located on the top floor of the Science Museum and has 50+ exhibits, shows and demos, with plenty for kids to get hands on and learn about science. 

Wonderlab at the Science Museum London

Highlights at the Wonderlab Science Museum gallery include playing with forces on the giant slides, watching demonstrations at the Chemistry Bar, using problem-solving skills to build electric circuits and experimenting with the properties of light and sound.

Wonderlab Science Museum

Read more about Wonderlab: Wonderlab Science Museum London review

Visiting Wonderlab requires booking a free Science Museum ticket in addition to purchasing a day or annual pass and booking a time slot (details below).

Tickets: Day pass: £12 / Annual pass (unlimited access for a year): £18; Children 3 and under enter free. Family discounts available.

Book your free ticket in advance at:

To visit the Wonderlab, purchase your day or annual pass and book a time slot at

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of the best London museums for children. Located on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the Natural History Museum is one of London’s most iconic and impressive buildings.

Dino Snores for Kids sleepover at NHM London

The Natural History Museum cares for more than 80 million objects spanning billions of years. One of London’s most popular attractions, this family friendly museum welcomes more than five million visitors annually.

What to See at Natural History Museum London with Kids

The museum is home to life and earth science specimens within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. Must-see galleries and exhibits for families include Hope – the 25 metre long blue whale skeleton in Hintze Hall (shown below), the Fossil Marine Reptile gallery and the Earthquake simulator in the Red Zone.

London Museums for Kids Natural History Museum

Families will especially enjoy seeing the world famous Dinosaurs gallery at the Natural History Museum, which in addition to displaying fascinating fossils and skeletons, features a roaring animatronic model of a Tyrannosaurus rex, three-quarters the size of a life-size one.

Related: Dino Snores for Kids at the Natural History Museum London

T-Rex Natural History Museum London

Some of the fascinating items you will find on display at the Natural History Museum include the first T. Rex fossil ever discovered, the Wold Cottage meteorite (4.6 billion years old), a collection of gems, minerals and moon rock and the most complete Stegosaurus skeleton ever found.

Stegasaurus Skeleton London Natural History Museum

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

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions. 

Book your free ticket in advance at

Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a brilliant London museum for kids located in Forest Hill, South London. This museum 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.

Horniman Museum World Gallery

There are plenty of hands-on displays and exhibitions throughout the museum and wonderful gardens to explore, which is why the Horniman Museum is also one of the best London museums for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Horniman Museum London

The Natural History Gallery features a large collection of taxidermy, skeletons and fossils – and the famous Horniman walrus which has been on display for over a century.

Please note that the Natural History Gallery is closed until 2026 for refurbishment.

The Horniman gardens include a Nature Trail, a Sound Garden inspired by the museum’s collection of instruments and an Animal Walk where you can see alpacas, sheep, goats and more. 

Read more about the Horniman: Visiting the Horniman Museum and Gardens with Kids

Best London Museums for Kids

Visitors can also book to visit the Butterfly House and the Aquarium. To control capacity, all visitors, including Members, must book a ticket in advance online for the Butterfly House and/or Aquarium on the Horniman Museum Ticket Information webpage

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

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to the Butterfly House [£9 for adults and £6 for children; under 3’s go free], Aquarium [£6 for adults and £3 for children, under 3s go free] and special exhibitions.

Book your ticket in advance at Horniman Museum and Gardens

London Transport Museum

Located in Covent Garden, the London Transport Museum is one of the top London museums for kids and a fun experience for the whole family. Discover over 200 years of London’s transport history, examples of buses, trains, taxis and tube carriages, from the 19th century to present day.

Top museums in London for kids - London Transport Museum

All Aboard Play Area

There’s a fantastic play zone for children 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.

Related: Visiting the London Transport Museum with Kids

All Aboard play area London Transport Museum

There is also a Future Engineers tube train simulator, and several bus, tram and train vehicles that you can step onto. The London Transport Museum regularly organises family activities and events throughout the year, and is one of the best places to visit at Christmas in London with kids

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

Tickets: Tickets allow unlimited daytime entry to all museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year. Adult tickets cost £24.50; FREE entry for children and young people under 18.

Buy an annual pass and/or book your timed entry slot at

Royal Air Force Museum

Discover the history of aviation and explore the story of the Royal Air Force at the free RAF Museum London, with six hangars full of aircraft and vehicles from WWI to modern day.

Royal Air Force Museum London with Kids

Top things to do at the Royal Air Force Museum London with kids include hands-on exhibits and digital experiences, the fantastic outdoor playground, a look at the Sunderland flying boat interior, the Typhoon flight simulator and the opportunity to sit in a Spitfire.

Read more: Royal Air Force Museum London with kids

Miniature RAF Sea King for young children

One of our top London museums for kids, the RAF Museum regularly runs pre-school sessions, Little Swifts, during term time and fun family activities and events during half term and school holidays.

Sunderland Flying Boat Royal Air Force Museum London

The Royal Force Museum London also has family trails and activities available at the entrance to each hangar, along with free family backpacks, created for children aged 3 to 8 years old available to borrow.

Childrens Playground RAF Museum London

Royal Air Force Museum London, Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions. Parking costs £7.50 for up to 3 hours, £10 for up to 6 hours 

Book your free tickets at

Museum of London Docklands

The Museum of London Docklands explores the history of the River Thames, the port of London and the people from the arrival of the Romans to the construction of Canary Wharf.

Museum of London Docklands

Mudlarks Play Area

The Museum of London Docklands is a fantastic museum to visit with young children. There are hands on exhibits and activities for kids throughout the galleries. Mudlarks, the museums’ interactive play area, is excellent for under 8s.

Related: Things to Do in the Summer Holidays in London with Kids

Mudlarks at Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands, No1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions. Bookings for the Mudlarks play area open at 10am for the following day and include general museum admission.

Book your free tickets at

Book tickets for the Mudlarks play area at the Museum of London Docklands

British Museum

Founded in 1753, the British Museum houses a vast collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures, spanning two million years of human history. World-famous objects children will be fascinated to see on display include the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies.

British Museum, London

With so much to see, their free Museum Explorer activity trails are a great way to narrow down the focus when visiting the British Museum with children. There are seven Museum Explorer trails to choose from and you can also download a copy ahead of your visit.

British Museum London with Kids

Limited paper copies are available at the Information Desk in the Great Court during term time or at the Families Desk, located across from the Information Desk. The Families Desk is open over the weekends and school holidays.

Tips for visiting British Museum London with kids

Along with the explorer trails, you can also borrow free activity backpacks filled with activities when the Families desk is open during the weekends and school holidays. You will just need to leave a £10 deposit to borrow a backpack for 90 minutes.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions.

Book your free tickets and read more about what to expect at

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is the world’s largest maritime museum. It is free to visit and one of the best London museums for kids, featuring two children’s galleries and hands-on activities. The museum houses a vast collection that spans thousands of objects including a wide array of artwork, maps and charts, and memorabilia.

National Maritime Museum

Sea Things Gallery

One of the top exhibits to visit at the National Maritime Museum with kids is the Sea Things Gallery. Visitors can experience a visual spectacle of over 600 objects and participate in hands-on activities. Many of the objects are on open display, meaning that you can get up close and touch them.

Exhibits at Greenwich Maritime Museum

Read more: National Maritime Museum Day Out

The Cove Playground

The National Maritime Museum now also has a great outdoor playground, right next to the Parkside Café. The Cove features an epic multi-levelled ship with slide, a giant Kraken’s tentacles to scramble through and a Cutty Shark to explore with a secret den.

All Hands Interactive Gallery

The All Hands interactive gallery located on the second floor is recommended for ages 7 to 12. Children can test their skills defending against a pirate attack and load a cargo ship before it sets sail.

All Hands Gallery London Maritime Museum

The AHOY! Children’s Gallery

The Ahoy! Gallery is one of the best London museum play areas for young children. This fun play area has been designed for babies and children aged up to seven. The gallery is divided into themed zones that include cabins of a ship and a fresh fish shop for weighing mussels and lobsters.

Please note that the AHOY! Children’s Gallery will be closed until Summer 2025 due to renovation works. 

London Museums for Kids National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum recommends booking tickets online in advance to guarantee entry. Tickets on the day will be subject to availability.

National Maritime Museum Greenwich London

National Maritime MuseumPark Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

Free admission. Tickets required for entry to special exhibitions.

Book your free tickets in advance at

Florence Nightingale Museum

Located next to St Thomas’ Hospital, the Florence Nightingale Museum celebrates the life and work of the best known figure in nursing history. This small and family friendly museum is full of artefacts relating to the life, work and legacy of the Lady with the Lamp.

London museums for kids Florence Nightingale Museum

The free museum family trail is a great way to explore the displays and find out about the life of Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Alexis Soyer and the Crimean War. 

The Florence Nightingale Museum regularly runs interactive family activities over the half term and summer holidays. In August 2024, “Meet Miss Nightingale” performances will be running on select Fridays at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.

Florence Nightingale Museum London with Kids

Florence Nightingale Museum, St Thomas’ Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EP

Opening Times: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Closed Mondays.

Tickets: Museum tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for children ages 16 and under. Children 4 and under enter free. Full priced entry tickets are now annual passes, valid for entry for next 12 months.

Book your tickets in advance at

London Museum of Water and Steam

Free to visit for children under 16 years old, London Museum of Water and Steam is a great museum for kids with plenty to see and do. The Museum of Water and Steam is located at the site of the former Kew Bridge Waterworks in Brentford and tells the story of London’s water supply and houses the world’s largest collection of stationary steam engines.

Water Museum London for families

Families will enjoy learning about the story of London’s water supply through interactive displays and informational boards throughout the museum. One of the highlights at the London Water Steam Museum is seeing the amazing pumping engines that helped to make London the great city it is today and discovering how they work through hands-on exhibits.

London Museum of Water and Steam with children

In addition, the Water and Steam Museum has great outdoor activities, with Splash Zone water play tables and a new Wild Play Garden. The London Museum of Water and Steam regularly organises family activities and events throughout the year. The Museum also runs storytelling and play sessions for toddlers and preschoolers during term time.

Read more: London Museum of Water and Steam with Kids

London Museum of Water and Steam with Kids

London Museum of Water and Steam, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, London, TW8 0EN

Opening Times: Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Closed Monday to Wednesday. The Museum and Café will be open everyday during half terms.

Summer Holidays: 25 July to 30 August 2024 – The Museum and Café will be open Wednesday to Sunday, plus Bank Holiday Monday, during the summer holidays.

Tickets: Free for children 4 and under. Tickets cost £11.50 for adults and £4 for children ages 5 to 16.

Book tickets to visit the London Water and Steam Museum

Cutty Sark

Visiting Cutty Sark ship museum offers a fun family day out in Greenwich, with the opportunity to climb aboard the 19th century tea clipper and learn about her impressive history sailing around the world. There are many interactive displays throughout the ship museum, with a real effort put into creating immersive activities through discovery and exploring.

Cutty Sark with Kids

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. Family activities at Cutty Sark include craft workshops, shanty singing and character actors. The ship museum also runs storytelling and play sessions for toddlers and preschoolers during term time.

Read more: Cutty Sark London with Kids

Cutty Sark with Kids

Free family trails are available from the admissions desk for your visit to Cutty Sark with kids. The Ship Keeper’s Kit, suitable for ages 5+, are backpacks families can borrow from the welcome desk and use to explore the techniques and skills needed to keep Cutty Sark safe for future visitors.

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

Tickets: Adult tickets start from £20; children 4+ tickets start from £10, children under 4 years go free.

Book tickets to visit the Cutty Sark ship museum at

Museum of London

Update: The Museum of London’s location in the City is now closed and will be re-opening in 2026. 

The Museum of London documents the history of London, from prehistoric to modern times, offering the largest urban history collection in the world with more than six million objects. 

Visiting the Museum of London with kids was a fascinating experience learning about the the prehistoric beasts that once roamed London, seeing what life was like during Roman times and walking along a Victorian street.

Read the latest updates about the 2026 re-opening at

Best London Museums for Kids

I hope this Best London Museums for Kids guide has been helpful for inspiration! While most museums are free to visit, you may need to book a ticket or time slot. Book well in advance for busy periods such as weekends or school holidays. Do check the museum website before visiting to check the latest guidance.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What is your favourite London museum to visit with kids? 

This post was updated on 21 May 2024 with additional photos and updated ticket price information.

PIN FOR LATER – Best London Museums for Kids

Best Museums for Kids in London

  1. This is a great round up. We seem to return to the same London museums, when there are loads we still haven’t explored. We’ll have to spread our wings a bit and try some new ones! #CulturedKids

  2. Life has definitely been duller without museums, I cannot wait for them to reopen. Excellent list, I love that you included the gem that is The Horniman! #culturedkids

  3. These all look so good! I have only been to the Natural History Museum, but I am really keen to take my daughter to the London Transport Museum. #CulturedKids

  4. Wow, what an amazing list! You did a great job consolidating these… quite impressive. We were supposed to do a big London trip in 2020 but of course, that didn’t happen. ONE day, we WILL get to do our big London trip and this is SO helpful!

  5. Fab post, so comprehensive. London has such amazing museums. We love the Science Museum, the Wonderlab (which is well worth the ticket and a day out on its own), the Natural History Museum and the Museum of London.

  6. So many of our favourites on here – great round up! We really are spoilt for choice in London for family friendly museums. Thanks for joining in with #CulturedKids

Comments are closed.