The National Portrait Gallery has the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, housing over 200,000 portraits of historically important and famous British people from the 16th century to present day, with around 1,400 portraits on display at any one time.
Victorian, Edwardian and 20th Century portraits are on the 1st floor, which also features the Statesmen’s Gallery – a long hallway lined with portraits and white marble busts of statesmen from the Victorian period.
National Portrait Gallery London with Kids
The National Portrait Gallery is a family-friendly place to visit, offering access to free resources and drawing materials, along with a calendar of family workshops and holiday activities. When visiting the National Portrait Gallery London with kids, make sure to stop by the Family Activity Base desk or the Information Desk.
Free resources available at the Family Activity Base desk, which is open during the weekend and school holidays, include family trails, sketch books, colouring pencils, pop-up 3D galleries and 3D portrait heads.
On our visit, Little T chose to make a 3D gallery to draw his own exhibition while we had a look around the collection before going to the School of Noise workshop, the Sound of Art.
Find out more about the latest resources available on their National Portrait Gallery Family Activity Base webpage. Family events and more free family resources can be found on the National Portrait Gallery Families webpage.
Related: The Best London Museums for Kids
What’s On at the National Portrait Gallery
First Look Family Day
24 June and 1 July 2023
Get to know the new faces and spaces at the National Portrait Gallery after it reopens later this month!
Join in on free creative workshops, storytelling, activity trails and more during the First Look Family Days. All events are free and drop in (capacity limited) and will be running from 11am to 4pm.
Discover the gallery’s new photography studio, have a go at drawing your own self portrait or create your own playful family portrait.
Plan your visit to the National Portrait Gallery
Summer Family Festival
31 July – 4 August and 7 – 11 August 2023
Visit the National Portrait Gallery for its Summer Family Festival, featuring a programme of events and activities inspired by their Collection.
Free activities will run between 11am to 4pm and will include photography, painting, storytelling and crafts. Full programme to be announced soon.
Read the latest details at the National Portrait Gallery
Find more inspiration for things to do during the school holidays: Summer Holidays in London with Kids 2023
National Portrait Gallery Address
The National Portrait Gallery is currently closed for refurbishment and due to reopen on 22 June 2023.
Address: St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE
Opening Hours: Open daily 10:30-18:00, Friday and Saturday until 21:00
Closest Tube Stations: Charing Cross [Bakerloo, Northern lines], Leicester Square [Piccadilly, Northern lines], and Embankment [Bakerloo, Circle and District, Northern lines]
Tickets: Free admission to gallery. Some exhibitions require ticket purchase.
Family Resources: The National Portrait Gallery has four themed, specially recorded, tours for children aged 7-11. Tours include Faces of Fashion, Making Portraits, Famous Faces and We are Family and are available to hire for £6 (up to 5 audio players) or £4 for two audio players (one adult and one child)
Food and Drink: There are two options for food and drink. The Portrait Café offers sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, salads and cakes.
The rooftop Portrait Restaurant and Bar serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. The Portrait Restaurant and Bar overlooks Trafalgar Square with a great view towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
London Days Out with Kids
Read on for more family days out inspiration with our reviews on top museums in London for kids;
This post was updated on 13 June 2023 with latest information on the National Portrait Gallery re-opening and upcoming family events.