With a few of London’s greatest household museums, plus a royal palace and parks close by, you’re actually not in need of issues to do in South Kensington with children.
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So when you may go to the realm to take a look at a single attraction, I’ve picked out extra concepts to assist fill in the future in South Kensington with children, together with issues to do close to the Pure Historical past Museum and Science Museum.
All are inside round a 20-minute stroll of the Pure Historical past Museum, though I’ve additionally added extra concepts close by round Holland Park and Sloane Sq., plus Kensington Excessive Road – all simple to achieve on the tube or by bus, so as to add to your loved ones time out in South Kensington.
Pure Historical past Museum
Not simply one of many greatest sights in South Kensington with children, the Pure Historical past Museum is among the greatest household sights in London. Fairly actually, in reality.
There are round 80 million gadgets within the assortment (though not all on show) protecting zoology, paleontology, botany, entomology and mineralogy, in one in all London’s most eye-catching museum buildings.
The dinosaurs are the most important draw, alongside Hope the blue whale within the Hintze Corridor, however it’s also possible to discover galleries on mammals and sea creatures, which is a good choice with littler ones who don’t fancy an encounter with a shifting T-Rex or the earth sciences of the Pink Zone, with volcano locator and earthquake simulator.
Plus common momentary exhibitions, which have ranged from the magic of Harry Potter and mammoths to extra dinosaurs. These should be prebooked, and it’s properly value reserving free entry tickets to the primary museum for busy occasions together with college holidays.
One other of the preferred locations to go to in South Kensington with children, the Science Museum is right if in case you have youngsters who wish to get fingers on.
And with collections protecting science and know-how from the oldest surviving steam locomotive to the mannequin of DNA and the forerunners of computer systems, this can be a museum that you can revisit time and again.
Together with the area and flight galleries, you possibly can comply with humanity’s technological advances, medical historical past, extra interactive shows and in addition the IMAX 3 cinema displaying documentaries.
There are areas geared toward youthful children too, together with The Backyard, that includes displays that make noise, a mini puppet theatre, areas to climb and play and the water characteristic (all the time an enormous favorite), in addition to the Sample Pod.
The favored Wonderlab additionally has science reveals and demonstrations (entry is further) which is able to enchantment most to high school age youngsters and older – value each penny, my daughter may spend hours right here. And the brand new (free) Technicians gallery is right for teenagers.
The world’s largest museum of ornamental arts and design will not be essentially the most clearly family-friendly of the South Kensington museums, however there’s much more to the Victoria & Albert museum for teenagers than you may anticipate.
You possibly can discover collections spanning 5,000 years of artwork, in addition to cultures from around the globe, so there’s an countless supply of inspiration – to not point out the momentary exhibitions, together with latest ones which featured Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland, in addition to one specializing in Korea, excellent for Okay-Pop obsessed teenagers.
The museum additionally has numerous interactive shows, household actions and kids’s exercise packs to find as properly.
Take a look at my assessment of a day on the V&A with a preschooler
Childhood dwelling of Queen Victoria, Kensington Palace was a favorite of George II and his court docket, and has additionally been dwelling to Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William and Harry.
With altering displays, together with a brand new exhibition on royal style, it’s also possible to see shows from Queen Victoria’s early years, from her tough relations along with her mom to her first assembly with future husband Prince Albert, in addition to tracing her path from a princess no-one thought could be Queen to her coronation.
Elsewhere within the palace you possibly can nonetheless play Georgian playing video games, spot a throne, marvel on the grand staircase and picture the balls held right here – plus the seedier aspect of the royal court docket with some horrible historical past positive to entertain children.
The palace’s personal gardens (together with in a ticket, however separate from the primary Kensington Gardens), embody the sunken backyard which is dwelling to a statue of Princess Diana.
Take a look at my assessment of a day at Kensington Palace with children
Surrounding ,Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens is among the metropolis’s royal parks, stretching for an
spectacular 265 acres.
The largest attraction is the Diana Memorial Playground, among the finest playgrounds within the metropolis (learn on for extra particulars), however exploring the park is ideal to mix with time on the museums, to burn off some power outside.
Youngsters will love feeding the inexperienced parakeets which flock across the park, particularly in a few of the timber close to the border with Hyde Park. Actually, you can stroll all the way in which again to Marble Arch or Hyde Park nook with out leaving the 2 royal parks, should you wished to.
In any other case, preserve an eye fixed out for the Peter Pan statue subsequent to the Lengthy Water, with squirrels, rabbits, mice and fairies climbing up in the direction of Peter himself, together with the bear fountain close to the Italian gardens within the north-east nook, and the Albert Memorial on the southern finish (scroll down for extra).
Older children might also benefit from the exhibitions on the Serpentine Galleries, normally centered on modern artwork.
Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground,
Maybe London’s best-known play space, you’ll discover the Diana Memorial Playground within the north-western nook of Kensington Gardens, with an enormous picket pirate ship as its centrepiece.
However that’s solely the beginning of the completely different play areas dotted round: you’ll discover a sensory path, play wigwams, sculptures, even a telescope to look out, and many extra. At busy occasions, there’s a one-in one-out queuing system, so it’s typically value getting there early, or be ready to attend a little bit on sunny days.
For extra nice playgrounds in London, take a look at my high picks
Subsequent door to Kensington Gardens, you possibly can stroll straight into the neighbouring royal park, Hyde Park – the second greatest of the royal parks in central London with 350 acres to discover.
In addition to its personal playground, it’s also possible to discover the Diana Memorial Fountain right here. Get pleasure from views of the water from any of the three bridges which cross it, in addition to dipping your ft on the edge on a scorching day.
There are additionally deckchairs to rent across the Serpentine, the lake which snakes by way of the park or check out Rotten Row. As soon as the hang-out of highwaymen, till the lengthy sandy bridleway was lined with streetlamps, you possibly can nonetheless rent horses to journey by way of the park.
Within the north-east nook close to Marble Arch, it’s also possible to discover Speaker’s Nook, historically the positioning the place anybody could make public speeches and debate, in addition to being the place to begin for protest marches and demonstrations.
Royal Albert Corridor
Greatest often known as the house for the Proms (formally the Promenade Live shows), which happen in the course of the summer season, the Royal Albert Corridor is among the most spectacular live performance venues in london.
Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, you’ll additionally discover lots for households, from performances geared toward children, together with the CBeebies Proms for youthful ones, to household movies with a reside orchestra enjoying the soundtrack, to not point out circus performances inside, together with dance, comedy, pop, rock, opera and classical music.
If you wish to do greater than peek on the exterior, there are guided excursions of the Royal Albert Corridor, plus a music-inspired afternoon tea.
Spot the Albert Memorial
Set on the southern fringe of Kensington Gardens, the Albert Memorial is one in all London’s most ornate monuments, devoted to Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert who died in 1861.
Unveiled 11 years later, the spectacular gothic creation was impressed partly by the thirteenth century Eleanor Crosses (a reconstruction of 1 stands exterior Charing Cross station), in addition to different Victorian gothic extravaganzas.
It’s designed to rejoice each Prince Albert’s pursuits in addition to Victorian achievements, from the Nice Exhibition to figures representing manufacture, commerce, agriculture and engineering.
Kensington Excessive Road
Stretching from the south-west nook of Kensington Gardens in the direction of Holland Park, Kensington Excessive Road has a mixture of outlets (each excessive road and better finish) and cafes to tempt teenagers specifically.
Higher recognized by its nickname of Excessive Road Ken (after the tube station Excessive Road Kensington which sits half-way alongside), you’ll discover outlets like City Outfitters, Zara and Cos in addition to extra discount choices together with H&M and TK Maxx.
There’s additionally a department of Entire Meals should you’re feeling wholesome, or a few of the greatest scorching chocolate in London at Knoops, with an enormous alternative of twenty-two completely different cocoa ranges – from creamy white proper as much as 100% darkish chocolate.
Realistically, most Londoners not often (if ever) set foot inside Harrods – however there’s no query the division retailer, with its blingy night-time illuminations containing 12,000 bulbs, is a London landmark in its personal proper.
Lower than a 15-minute stroll from the South Kensington Museums, the shop’s Latin motto is ‘Omnia Omnibus Distinctive’ – or ‘All Issues For All Folks’. In follow, that normally means all issues for individuals who have plenty of spare money.
Allegedly you should buy something your coronary heart wishes at Harrods (so long as you’re able to pay the invoice), from superb artwork to a gold bars, a yacht and a £1,000 stability bike.
After all, you don’t must lay our a fortune, there are souvenirs for £20 or much less, together with gentle toys if you would like a memento with out breaking the financial institution.
Maintain an eye fixed out for a few of the pop-up London sights in South Kensington for teenagers too should you’re on the lookout for extra concepts of enjoyable issues to do.
For instance, take a look at Dopamine Land – at present open to April 30 (though dates have been prolonged as soon as already).
The multisensory expertise combines media, know-how and play, with a sequence of vibrant installations to assist all ages get in contact with their interior youngster – and all designed to lift a smile on a gray day.
Take a look at a few of the newest occasions happening on the Fever website.
In the event you’re visiting London within the rain with children and fancy one other indoor choice to complete your loved ones time out in South Kensington, head south to the Fulham Street – round quarter-hour’ stroll from the Pure Historical past Museum – for a film on the Fulham Street Picturehouse cinema,
The six screens have common household movies, together with autism-friendly screenings, all tucked away contained in the Artwork Deco-style constructing.
Undoubtedly a world away from the typical sticky-floored multiplex, the Artwork Deco theme continues past the foyer and into the cafe, the place there’s some nice pizza on the menu.
Have afternoon tea
One other nice strategy to end a day in South Kensington with children is with afternoon tea, with loads of selections which can be excellent for households.
Together with the music-themed afternoon tea on the Royal Albert Corridor (scroll up for particulars), among the finest is well the themed afternoon teas on the Ampersand Resort, together with the Science afternoon tea and Jurassic Afternoon Tea – excellent to mix with a go to to the Pure Historical past Museum.
The latter has all the things from a volcanic eruption to dinosaur egg baskets (and a Dino Bitter cocktail on provide for folks), whereas the science themed tea, impressed by the Science Museum, comes with jam served in petri dishes, clouds of dry ice, dinosaur cookies and a mini science experiment as you combine up drinks.
There are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free variations, in addition to the child’s menu and commonplace grownup menu for every.
Extra issues to do close to South Kensington with children
When you received’t battle to fill a day in South Kensington with children, should you stroll one other 5-10 minutes (or hop on a bus), you’ll discover much more issues to do close to the Pure Historical past Museum – or close to sufficient to incorporate them simply.
The award-winning Design Museum, close to Holland Park, focuses on modern design in each kind, from graphic and architectural to style and industrial design.
And whereas it’s higher for older children with an curiosity in design, there are family-friendly methods to discover too, together with a free Explorer path geared toward children aged 5-11, together with drawing actions plus inventive trying and methods to get children pondering.
One other pretty park to discover with children, there’s an awesome journey playground right here – one other of the high playgrounds in London – plus loads of pure sights.
Maintain an eye fixed out for the peacocks which strut across the grounds, typically to be discovered close to the Japanese backyard, which can be a beautiful tranquil spot to discover.
House to the Victorian artist Frederic Leighton and a paintbrush’s throw from Holland Park, Leighton Home reopened in 2022 after an extended multimillion pound renovation.
The home now has been returned to the way in which it might have appeared when Leighton lived there – all opulent vibrant colors, stunning furnishings and a few great Arab and Islamic influences from his travels, within the Arab Room specifically.
There’s additionally new exhibition area below the home and studio, a carry making all of it newly accessible, trails for teenagers.
A visit to a cemetery may appear to be an odd factor to do in London with children, but it surely’s truly a captivating strategy to spend just a few hours – particularly if it’s one of many Magnificent Seven, the ring of seven personal graveyards constructed within the nineteenth century and impressed by the Père Lachaise in Paris.
One of the attention-grabbing cemeteries to go to in London with children is Brompton Cemetery. Beatrix Potter used to reside in close by South Kensington and supposedly the names on a few of the tombstones impressed characters in her tales.
Whereas strolling round, preserve an eye fixed out for the graves of Peter Rabbett, Jeremiah Fisher, Mr Nutkins, Mr Brock and Mr McGregor.
The Saatchi Gallery on the King’s Street in Chelsea is another choice that’s good for teenagers who take pleasure in artwork, internet hosting largely modern artwork exhibitions – together with road artwork.
Earlier exhibitions have additionally included one specializing in Tutankhamun, so it’s value testing the listing of what’s on to take a look at the family-friendly choices.
Royal Court docket Theatre, Sloane Sq.
The Royal Court docket Theatre‘s purpose is to advertise rising and undiscovered writers in addition to extra established voices, so should you’re on the lookout for one thing completely different to the standard West Finish reveals, there’s typically thought-provoking vary of performances.
One other uncommon choice should you’re visiting London with teenagers, together with writing workout routines on their web site if in case you have a budding playwright.
The place to eat in South Kensington with children
You’re spoiled for alternative with regards to locations to eat in South Kensington with children – you’ll discover chains galore should you’re on the lookout for one thing fast and straightforward close to the Pure Historical past Museum, in addition to just a few different family-friendly eating places and cafes.
Count on the standard espresso outlets, plus sandwiches at Pret close to South Kensington tube, plus Le Ache Quotidien and Paul. Or Leon has wraps, rice bins, and different wholesome gentle bites on the menu (plus seating upstairs although it could actually get busy).
Nando’s – nonetheless a lot spice you want, there’s rooster for everybody at this family-friendly chain, with a department close to Gloucester Street and one other on Kensington Excessive Road close to Holland Park.
Center Japanese – Comptoir Libanais on Exhibition Street has some pretty al fresco tables if the solar shines, or CERU, simply off Previous Brompton Street on Bute Road additionally has some gentle lunch choices that are good for households.
Burgers – there are branches of each Trustworthy Burgers (one in all my daughter’s favourites) and 5 Guys at South Kensington and Byron Burger on Previous Brompton Street, a brief stroll away.
Pizza/Italian – in addition to branches of Pizza Categorical and ASK Italian close to Gloucester Street tube, there’s additionally Franco Manca on Previous Brompton Street and Pappa Roma for a non-chain choice.
In the event you’re chasing pasta slightly than pizza, discover child-friendly menus at Bella Italia and Carluccio on Previous Brompton Street (or Spaghetti Home on the jap finish of Kensington Excessive Road).
Indian – share a few of the nice Indian dishes on the Kensington department of Dishoom, on the jap finish of Kensington Excessive Road. It’s value realizing you possibly can solely reserve tables till 5.45pm (apart from teams of 6 or extra) and in any other case there could also be a look ahead to walk-ins.
Pancakes – there are savoury and candy pancakes on the menu at The Kensington Creperie, on Exhibition Street, all conventional French crepes. Or head to Kensington Church Road, simply off the jap finish of Kensington Excessive Road, for a good greater vary of savoury flavours (and dessert choices) at My Previous Dutch.
Dessert – for a fast sugar hit, the cupcakes on the Hummingbird Bakery are a brief stroll from South Kensington tube or head to The Knot Churros on Bute Road, simply off Previous Brompton Street, for Instagrammable scorching chocolate topped with candyfloss and churros.
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