Fun Free Stuff To Do In London With Kids
Most of the time I’m with Dr Johnson, when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.
But you know what? If the Dr had had to battle London with kids in the school holidays even he would have wearied a little!!!!
Of course there’s great stuff to do.
There’s even lots of great free stuff to do, (we’ve got a big list of them right here).
It’s just that every other family in London is trying to do them all at the same time!
And there’s a hell of a lot of us in this old city of ours.
So in recent holidays we’ve tried to find things no else is up to and these are our five fab faves. They are all free and need no prep.
An awful lot of London life has ended up in the Thames over the years!
And every day the old river churns it up on the shores.
If you head to Blackfriars (by the Tate) at low tide you’ll find old fragments of china, clay pipes, ancient metal work, gruesome bones and more!
It only takes a few minutes to start finding things and then you start spotting stuff all around you.
After a good hour ‘larkin’ we ate our sandwiches by the river (there’s a handy Pizza Express just by the Globe) and then walked up to the Museum of London (15 minutes ish) to discover more about our finds.
2. Painting the River
There is something special about the Thames isn’t there?
And after our mudlarking expedition we got all excited about the idea of actually painting the river.
So for a bit of inspiration, we dived into Tate Britain to see Turner and Whistlers Thames paintings and checked out Monet’s Houses of Parliament series and the Thames Below Westminster (in the National Gallery).
Then just rocked up by the river with a pad of paper, our paints – these water colours have been a massive hit – and a jam jar of water and painted away.
3. History Hunt
So we all know London’s busting with history.
And has some beyond brilliant history museums which are totally amazing.
But every little bit of London’s got it’s own stories to tell which have left their traces as we discovered wandering our local streets in Brixton.
After leaving flowers for local boy David Bowie – and being wowed by the people from round the world doing the same! – we went looking for left behind signs of how things used to be, snapping pics as we went …
… old gas lamps, faded advertisements, fire stations and laundries now reincarnated as bars and supermarkets, Victorian post boxes, cattle troughs (yep in zone 2!) and our absolute fave, the stink pipes (!) along the route of the underground river Effra that stopped the sewer errupting! Pooey!!
And we rounded it all off with well earned ice creams in Brixton Village.
Just head out and see what you find!
4. Fruit Picking
So fruit picking’s not actually free – it’s better than that!
You actually save heaps of money on yummy fruit.
Plus you get a good afternoon outside and the chance to connect your little Londoners with where food actually comes from.
The season starts with strawberries in June and at the apple picking farms goes right through to the last coxes at the end of November!
(Apples BTW keep for months in a plastic bag at the bottom of the fridge!)
5. Going Wild In the Woods
I know we’ve gone on about London’s woods before.
But they do give London kids the most brilliant chance to run wild and burn off energy. And they so need that after being cooped up at school.
There’s loads of London woods to explore from the enormous Epping Forest to tiny local woods like Sydenham. For local suggestions check out this list.
We do hope you have some fun with these … and we would love to hear about your favourite free stuff to do in London with kids.
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