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Things to do with toddlers in London

Find out how to ensure a fun and safe trip if you're visiting London with a baby or toddler in tow.

London is a wonderfully family-friendly city with loads of great parks and open spaces, as well as world-class attractions with toddler-friendly activities. Here's how to keep it a tantrum-free trip!

How to take buggies and strollers on public transport

Download TfL's step-free Tube map as it shows which stations have step-free access to the street (eg: there's escalators and/or lifts) and between Tube lines. Stations with steps are still an option of course: if you're travelling with two adults you can carry the buggy up the stairs, and most Londoners are happy to help out if you're on your own. Tube trains, local trains and buses all have designated areas for buggies.

Avoid peak travel times if possible when catching public transport as stations, trains and buses can get extremely crowded. Almost all other forms of London's public transport are also accessible.

Kids go free in London

Children under five-years-old travel free on all London public transport with a fare-paying adult. For more information and families with older children read our guide to children's travel in London

Many of London's top 10 attractions are free to enter for children and adults alike, while children under three generally get free entry to paid attractions, including the London Eye (free entry up to three years of age), Tower of London (free entry up to five years of age) and Madame Tussauds (free entry up to three years of age).

Breastfeeding and baby change facilities

It is legal and widely accepted for women to publicly breastfeed their babies anywhere in London.

If you're looking for dedicated facilities, you'll find parent rooms and baby change facilities in most of London's department stores and both Westfield Shopping Centres. Likewise most major museums and galleries have family rooms.

Try the NCT's Babychange app which shows baby change facilities near you.

Toddler-friendly dining

Rainforest Cafe family birthday party with a cake and candles. Image courtesy of Rainforest Cafe.
Rainforest Cafe family birthday party. Image courtesy of Rainforest Cafe.

You'll need to eat on your day out with toddlers, so take a look at family-friendly restaurants in London for venues which welcome children of all ages. Many London restaurants and pubs welcome families at lunchtime and may allow children in the evening too. Check with the venue in advance to find out whether kids are allowed.

Parks and playgrounds

Central London has lots of good parks and play areas for toddlers and children. Hyde Park has the South Carriage Drive Playground, neighbouring Kensington Gardens have the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, which is a firm favourite with kids. There's also Coram's Fields in Holborn, which you can only enter in the company of a child.

Other popular parks with good playgrounds include pretty Battersea Park, sprawling Greenwich Park, Stoke Newington's Clissold Park and Islington's Finsbury Park. Some commons such as Hampstead Heath in north London and Clapham Common in south London also have play areas. 

Step-free South Bank

A view from the balcony of the Southbank Centre, with the brutalist-style National Theatre on the right and the riverside walkway on the left.
The Southbank Centre and National Theatre © Antoine Buchet. Image courtesy of South Bank BID.

The South Bank is a great place to go with babies and toddlers. The whole area is step free so it's very buggy-friendly. You can enjoy boat-spotting on the river Thames (the banks are all protected by sturdy fences), public fountains for kids to frolic in, buskers and street performers.

Family-friendly attractions in the area include the SEA LIFE London aquarium (free entry for kids under three) and Tate Modern (free entry for all). The Southbank Centre hosts a varied programme of events, including family targeted shows and activities. There are also lots of kid-friendly restaurants here, including Giraffe, which offers high chairs, kids menus and baby-change facilities.

Animal attractions

Kids love animals and zoos are a great destination for parents of young (and not so young) children. ZSL London Zoo offers a brilliant day out with smooth paths and step-free access everywhere, baby change tables in all toilets, family-friendly dining options and a petting zoo with a kids play area, including water play.

For something smaller, Battersea Park Children's Zoo is a popular local zoo which has a heated mother and baby feeding room. You could also check out one of London's city farms, which mostly have on-site cafes and are often located near local parks.

Child-friendly shows

Four dancers leap across the stage in lion costumes in The Lion King.
See spectacular sets and costumes. Photo: Johan Persson. Image courtesy of Disney The Lion King.

London has some children's theatre shows; from hit shows such as The Lion King, to seasonal touring productions of popular work such as The Gruffalo, Peppa Pig, Stick Man and more. Various London venues have also embraced the growing trend for baby sisco, a place where you can get down on the dancefloor with young kids. Top spots for baby discos include Baby Loves Disco at Dalston Junction venue Arcola Theatre and Disco Loco at Hackney Showroom.

Find more family-friendly activities in London.