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Things to do during the school summer holidays 2021 in London

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Explore London all summer long. Credits: Shutterstock.
Find plenty of activities and attractions to keep children busy during the school summer holidays in London.


Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying interactive exhibitions, children’s theatre shows and kid-friendly museums.

Save money by grouping different activities together and choosing a Merlin Pass, London Pass or Explorer Pass depending on your plans.

There are lots of brilliant things to do in London during the kids’ school summer holidays. Whether you’ve got little ones or teenagers to keep entertained, we’ve rounded up summer holiday activities for all ages to enjoy below. 

Summer holiday events in London

  • Step inside the magical world of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, featuring special events during school holidays.
  • Visit the Queen’s London home, as Buckingham Palace opens its doors for the summer months.
  • Surprise the kids with spontaneous days out and check our picks of fun things to do today in London.
  • Make the most of traffic-free Regent Street with family activities, food and shopping offers during Summer Streets.
  • Saddle up and take to London streets for a day trip on a bicycle or take to traffic-free London streets with mass participation bike rides during Prudential RideLondon.
  • See a parade of young performers in colourful costumes dance and swirl through the streets on Notting Hill Carnival’s Children's Day.
  • Make every summer weekend count with quirky workshops, family festivals and fun outdoor activities listed in our weekend guide to London.
  • Squeeze the most out of your summer in London with unmissable events and experiences, which are perfect for lush summer days.

Find more exciting events the kids will love during July and August.

Things to do with teenagers in London

  • Sharpen up on your Roman history at London Mithraeum and Roman Amphitheatre this summer to impress your history teacher in autumn.
  • Embrace your inner adrenaline-junkie as you climb The O2 while taking in scenic views, with Up at The O2.
  • Feel your legs shake as you walk the crystal clear Tower Bridge Walkway – all in aid of the perfect shot for the 'gram.
  • Turn this summer into a season of self-care and pamper yourself at Covent Garden.
  • …then head to the West End for more shopping treats to rock this summer.
  • Scare yourself silly on the Drop Dead: Drop Ride at The London Dungeon
  • Check out authentic props used in James Bond movies at The London Film Museum.
  • Watch performances by world-class musicians and rising stars at a summer music festival in London.
  • Take a hair-raising ride down the world's longest tunnel slide with The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
  • Explore Churchill’s office at wartime underground bunker Churchill War Rooms.
  • Pick out some retro vintage threads at Camden’s independent shops.
  • And don’t forget to peruse through the numerous stalls of eye-catching accessories and treasures at Camden Market.

For more school holiday ideas, take a look at 101 things to do in London with teens.

Summer school holiday activities for young children

Family shows in London

  • Take your pick from London's top 10 musicals, including family favourites the Lion King and Wicked.
  • See a family show at the Underbelly Festival in South Bank.
  • Make use of the free child tickets offered with every adult ticket purchased, during Kids Week.
  • Soak up the outdoor theatre atmosphere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which hosts family-friendly shows throughout the summer months.

Keep the little ones entertained with more family theatre shows.

Outdoor adventures for the family

  • London’s picnic spots and leafy parks await your visit! Prep a hamper and head to your local patch of green.
  • Alfresco cinema? It’s a thing! Find out what’s on at your local drive-in or outdoor cinema in London, from cult classics to new releases.
  • Get the kids asking “Is that a real dinosaur?!” around every corner at Crystal Palace Park.
  • Wander through the vast gardens of the Horniman Museum. Try to spot the velociraptor in the Prehistoric Gardens, find wild landscapes in the Grasslands Garden and marvel at the flowers in the Sunken and Display Gardens.
  • The 19-acre (8-hectare) gardens of medieval Eltham Palace are a great place to explore with a moat, pools and water features to discover.
  • Take in the sunshine at Battersea Park, spotting fountains and the Peace Pagoda on the way. You can also greet the animals at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo.
  • You can easily spend a whole day at Kew Gardens – so mark your calendar and book in advance for a fantastic day out.
  • Bathe in tranquillity with just the sounds of birds for company at wildlife-rich London Wetland Centre, an 105-acre (42-hectare) oasis for nature lovers.
  • Spot wildlife on a day out at the Walthamstow Wetlands and Woodberry Wetlands.
  • See how many skyscrapers you can name from Parliament Hill, the high point of Hampstead Heath.
  • There's so much to explore at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park! Relax among the green spaces or pick up a racket and take in the 2012 Olympic spirit with a game on Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre’s outdoor tennis courts.
  • Spot the Chinese pagoda and have a leisurely stroll around the lakes on a day out at Victoria Park.

Family hotels and restaurants in London

For more inspiration this summer holiday, see what's on in London or take a look at our guide to London for kids, including best museums for children.

If you're in London now, check out activities for today and make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips.

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