With a few of London’s greatest household museums, plus a royal palace and parks close by, you’re definitely not wanting issues to do in South Kensington with youngsters.
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So whilst you might go to the realm to take a look at a single attraction, I’ve picked out extra concepts to assist fill at some point in South Kensington with youngsters, 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 straightforward to succeed in 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 largest sights in South Kensington with youngsters, the Pure Historical past Museum is without doubt one of the largest household sights in London. Fairly actually, the truth is.
There are round 80 million objects within the assortment (though not all on show) masking zoology, paleontology, botany, entomology and mineralogy, in one in every of London’s most eye-catching museum buildings.
The dinosaurs are the largest draw, alongside Hope the blue whale within the Hintze Corridor, however you may also discover galleries on mammals and sea creatures, which is a good choice with littler ones who don’t fancy an encounter with a transferring T-Rex or the earth sciences of the Crimson Zone, with volcano locator and earthquake simulator.
Plus common non permanent exhibitions, which have ranged from the magic of Harry Potter and mammoths to extra dinosaurs. These have to be prebooked, and it’s effectively price reserving free entry tickets to the primary museum for busy occasions together with faculty holidays.
One other of the preferred locations to go to in South Kensington with youngsters, the Science Museum is good you probably have kids who prefer to get fingers on.
And with collections masking 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 would revisit again and again.
Together with the area and flight galleries, you’ll be able to comply with humanity’s technological advances, medical historical past, extra interactive shows and likewise the IMAX 3 cinema exhibiting documentaries.
There are areas aimed toward youthful youngsters too, together with The Backyard, that includes reveals that make noise, a mini puppet theatre, areas to climb and play and the water function (all the time an enormous favorite), in addition to the Sample Pod.
The favored Wonderlab additionally has science reveals and demonstrations (entry is additional) which can attraction most to highschool age kids and older – price each penny, my daughter might spend hours right here. And the brand new (free) Technicians gallery is good for teenagers.
The world’s largest museum of ornamental arts and design just isn’t 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 count on.
You may discover collections spanning 5,000 years of artwork, in addition to cultures from around the globe, so there’s an limitless supply of inspiration – to not point out the non permanent exhibitions, together with current 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 varied interactive shows, household actions and youngsters’s exercise packs to find as effectively.
Take a look at my evaluation of a day on the V&A with a preschooler
Childhood residence of Queen Victoria, Kensington Palace was a favorite of George II and his courtroom, and has additionally been residence to Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William and Harry.
With altering reveals, together with a brand new exhibition on royal vogue, you may also see shows from Queen Victoria’s early years, from her troublesome 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 can be Queen to her coronation.
Elsewhere within the palace you’ll be able to 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 courtroom with some horrible historical past certain to entertain youngsters.
The palace’s personal gardens (together with in a ticket, however separate from the primary Kensington Gardens), embody the sunken backyard which is residence to a statue of Princess Diana.
Take a look at my evaluation of a day at Kensington Palace with youngsters
Surrounding ,Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens is without doubt one of the metropolis’s royal parks, stretching for an
spectacular 265 acres.
The largest attraction is the Diana Memorial Playground, the most effective 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 open air.
Children 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. In truth, you would stroll all the best way again to Marble Arch or Hyde Park nook with out leaving the 2 royal parks, if you happen to needed to.
In any other case, hold an eye fixed out for the Peter Pan statue subsequent to the Lengthy Water, with squirrels, rabbits, mice and fairies climbing up in 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 youngsters may additionally benefit from the exhibitions on the Serpentine Galleries, normally targeted on up to date 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 wood pirate ship as its centrepiece.
However that’s solely the beginning of the totally different play areas dotted round: you’ll discover a sensory path, play wigwams, sculptures, even a telescope to look out, and lots extra. At busy occasions, there’s a one-in one-out queuing system, so it’s typically price getting there early, or be ready to attend a bit on sunny days.
For extra nice playgrounds in London, try my high picks
Subsequent door to Kensington Gardens, you’ll be able to stroll straight into the neighbouring royal park, Hyde Park – the second largest of the royal parks in central London with 350 acres to discover.
In addition to its personal playground, you may also 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 toes 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’ll be able to nonetheless rent horses to experience by way of the park.
Within the north-east nook close to Marble Arch, you may also discover Speaker’s Nook, historically the location 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 occur through the summer season, the Royal Albert Corridor is without doubt one of the most spectacular live performance venues in london.
Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, you’ll additionally discover a lot for households, from performances aimed toward youngsters, together with the CBeebies Proms for youthful ones, to household movies with a stay orchestra taking part in 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 every of 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 direction of Holland Park, Kensington Excessive Road has a mixture of retailers (each excessive avenue and better finish) and cafes to tempt teenagers particularly.
Higher recognized by its nickname of Excessive Road Ken (after the tube station Excessive Road Kensington which sits half-way alongside), you’ll discover retailers 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 Complete Meals if you happen to’re feeling wholesome, or a few of the greatest scorching chocolate in London at Knoops, with an enormous alternative of twenty-two totally different cocoa ranges – from creamy white proper as much as 100% darkish chocolate.
Realistically, most Londoners hardly ever (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 apply, that normally means all issues for individuals who have a whole lot of spare money.
Allegedly you should buy something your coronary heart needs at Harrods (so long as you’re able to pay the invoice), from effective artwork to a gold bars, a yacht and a £1,000 stability bike.
After all, you don’t need to lay our a fortune, there are souvenirs for £20 or much less, together with tender toys if you would like a memento with out breaking the financial institution.
Preserve an eye fixed out for a few of the pop-up London sights in South Kensington for teenagers too if you happen to’re in search of extra concepts of enjoyable issues to do.
For instance, try 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 collection of vibrant installations to assist all ages get in contact with their interior youngster – and all designed to boost a smile on a gray day.
Take a look at a few of the newest occasions going down on the Fever web site.
In the event you’re visiting London within the rain with youngsters and fancy one other indoor choice to complete your loved ones time out in South Kensington, head south to the Fulham Highway – round quarter-hour’ stroll from the Pure Historical past Museum – for a film on the Fulham Highway 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 solution to end a day in South Kensington with youngsters 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), the most effective 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 fogeys), 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 normal grownup menu for every.
Extra issues to do close to South Kensington with youngsters
When you received’t wrestle to fill a day in South Kensington with youngsters, if you happen to 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 up to date design in each kind, from graphic and architectural to vogue and industrial design.
And whereas it’s higher for older youngsters with an curiosity in design, there are family-friendly methods to discover too, together with a free Explorer path aimed toward youngsters aged 5-11, together with drawing actions plus artistic trying and methods to get youngsters considering.
One other beautiful park to discover with youngsters, there’s an excellent journey playground right here – one other of the high playgrounds in London – plus loads of pure sights.
Preserve 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 stunning 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 a protracted multimillion pound renovation.
The home now has been returned to the best way it might have seemed 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 particularly.
There’s additionally new exhibition area underneath the home and studio, a carry making all of it newly accessible, trails for teenagers.
A visit to a cemetery may appear to be a wierd factor to do in London with youngsters, but it surely’s really an interesting solution to spend just a few hours – particularly if it’s one of many Magnificent Seven, the ring of seven non-public graveyards constructed within the nineteenth century and impressed by the Père Lachaise in Paris.
Some of the attention-grabbing cemeteries to go to in London with youngsters is Brompton Cemetery. Beatrix Potter used to stay in close by South Kensington and supposedly the names on a few of the tombstones impressed characters in her tales.
Whereas strolling round, hold 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 Highway in Chelsea is another choice that’s good for teenagers who get pleasure from artwork, internet hosting largely up to date artwork exhibitions – together with avenue artwork.
Earlier exhibitions have additionally included one specializing in Tutankhamun, so it’s price trying out 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 goal is to advertise rising and undiscovered writers in addition to extra established voices, so if you happen to’re in search of one thing totally different to the standard West Finish reveals, there’s typically thought-provoking vary of performances.
One other uncommon choice if you happen to’re visiting London with teenagers, together with writing workout routines on their web site you probably have a budding playwright.
The place to eat in South Kensington with youngsters
You’re spoiled for alternative in terms of locations to eat in South Kensington with youngsters – you’ll discover chains galore if you happen to’re in search of 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.
Anticipate the standard espresso retailers, 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 will possibly get busy).
Nando’s – nevertheless a lot spice you want, there’s rooster for everybody at this family-friendly chain, with a department close to Gloucester Highway and one other on Kensington Excessive Road close to Holland Park.
Center Japanese – Comptoir Libanais on Exhibition Highway has some beautiful al fresco tables if the solar shines, or CERU, simply off Previous Brompton Highway on Bute Road additionally has some gentle lunch choices that are good for households.
Burgers – there are branches of each Trustworthy Burgers (one in every of my daughter’s favourites) and 5 Guys at South Kensington and Byron Burger on Previous Brompton Highway, a brief stroll away.
Pizza/Italian – in addition to branches of Pizza Categorical and ASK Italian close to Gloucester Highway tube, there’s additionally Franco Manca on Previous Brompton Highway and Pappa Roma for a non-chain choice.
In the event you’re chasing pasta reasonably than pizza, discover child-friendly menus at Bella Italia and Carluccio on Previous Brompton Highway (or Spaghetti Home on the japanese finish of Kensington Excessive Road).
Indian – share a few of the nice Indian dishes on the Kensington department of Dishoom, on the japanese finish of Kensington Excessive Road. It’s price realizing you’ll be able to solely reserve tables till 5.45pm (aside from teams of 6 or extra) and in any other case there could also be a watch for walk-ins.
Pancakes – there are savoury and candy pancakes on the menu at The Kensington Creperie, on Exhibition Highway, all conventional French crepes. Or head to Kensington Church Road, simply off the japanese finish of Kensington Excessive Road, for an excellent 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 Highway, for Instagrammable scorching chocolate topped with candyfloss and churros.
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