Free (or nearly) London for Kids

You couldn't be more wrong if you think that London is expensive or not a very child-friendly city. There is always something happnening in this tourist friendly city for children and families 

The cheapest way and the most interesting way is to see London is on foot. From Big Ben to the Tower, most of London's major tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Go and visit London for free:

Changing the Guard : No matter how many times you have seen the Changing of the Guards, this is a must for a display of grand ceremony outside Buckingham Palace. I've even seen it while raining, standing under an umbrella. This is where one member of the Queen's Guards exchanges duty with the old guard, dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.

You can wath it outside Buckingham Palace, at one of the gates, outside Green Park, from the Victoria Memorial or on The Mall.

Diana Memorial Playground

This large, safe, outdoor play area is one of the best places where the kids can let loose. The Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, the former home of Diana Princess of Wales,

This is a great children's playground for kids up to 12 years. It has a large pirate ship onto which children can climb all over. There is a sensory trail, areas for climbing and exploring as well as swings and slides. Everything here is natural; the paths are all bound gravel and the play areas are bark chip. Willow fences divide many of the play areas.

[Note: unless accompanied by young children, access is only betwee 9.30 and 10 am).

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Save money by visiting the family-friendly Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. Here, a family ticket costs £26, as opposed to the larger and more famous London Zoo (where family tickets cost around £70). Monkeys, otters, and lemurs are some of the animals on display. In the summer, the zoo is open from 10am to 5.30pm. The zoo closes one hour early at 4:30pm during the winter (starting November 1st).

Battersea Park Adventure Playground
Your kids will love climbing on, under, and through the equipment at Battersea Park Adventure Playground. Older kids can try the zip lines, tire swings, climbing walls, and giant slides. The adventure playground is open from 3:30pm on school days, and from 11am on the weekends and during school holidays.

 Battersea Park

DLR Driverless Trains
Pretend to be a train driver by taking a seat in the front carriage of the “driverless” Dockland Light Rail train, which operates from the city to East London.

Fares are charged at the same rate as on the regular Tube network, around £7 for adults and children aged 11 and older for a one-day Central London travel card. Children under the age of 11 travel free when accompanied by an adult.

London Cycle Hire

Through the London Cycle Hire, adults and children aged 14 and older can rent one of the street bikes available at docking stations located throughout Central London. Bikes can be rented at one self-serve location, then returned to another.

No advance booking is necessary. There’s a £1access fee for casual riders, and rides under 30 minutes are free, rising to £50 for the maximum hire period of 24 hours. Hang on to the bike for longer and you may face a £150 fine; if you don’t return it, it’s £300.

Payment can be made at the docking stations using either a credit or debit card.

Crystal Palace Park
Its a historic park ocated in south east London covering 200 acres

Gasp at life-size dinosaurs, get lost in the giant tea maze, visit the farm, or spend time on the boating lake. The dinosaurs caused a sensation when the Park was opened as they were designed and built before Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ was published. They were the first life sized replicas of the prehistoric reptiles ever built.

 Battersea Park

Kew Gardens

The best news is children under 17 go free to Kew Gardens and you can easily spend a day there so this is a great outdoors, cost-effective destination. Kids love to run around outdoors and there are great expanses here, as well as the Treetop High Walkway which offers wonderful views as do the high walkways inside the enormous greenhouses.

Climbers and Creepers is Kew's indoor interactive play area for 3-9 year olds and Treehouse Towers is for 3-11 year olds. Both are positioned next to a cafe and family shop. Explore the Gardens first as once the kids get here they won't want to leave!

For exploring, try the Kew's Big Tree book which is aimed at children but is an excellent introduction to the trees at Kew Gardens and trees in general.

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