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100 Quirky Things to do in London

100 quirky london kidrated

London is overflowing with amazing places to see and visit, so we thought we would compile a list of some of the lesser-known, more unusual attractions in the city so you can discover even more.

 

 

Parks, Gardens & Playgrounds

 

1. Coram’s Fields

 

Coram's Fields reviews and family offers KidRated parkCoram’s Fields is a unique playground with so much to offer including a Youth Centre, a city farm, sandpits, football pitches… the list goes on. The park is open all year round from 9am and is free and open to children under the age of 16 – all adults must be accompanied by a child to enter. It’s situated in the heart of London and is close to many other central attractions.

* Bring a football and enjoy the astro-turf or basketball courts  

* Bring some change and get an ice cream

* Free entry – donations welcome 


 

2. Visit The Adventure Playground in Marble Hill Park

 

The Adventure Playground is an amazing way to occupy yourself in the holidays or at the weekend. There are massive wooden structures and climbing frames as well as rope swings and trampolines. Furthermore, it’s located in the beautiful grounds of Marble Hill, making it an enjoyable experience all round.

* Bring a packed lunch

* Special equipment for children with impaired mobility

* Borrow toys from the Toy Library


 

3. Holland Park Kyoto Garden 

 

Holland Park is the Royal Borough’s largest park and situated within the large areas of woodland is the picturesque Kyoto Garden: a beautiful Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991. It really makes you feel like you’re in Japan and there are also peacocks wandering around. Besides the Kyoto Garden, there is plenty more that the park has to offer from tennis and football facilities to a wildlife club for children.

* Bring a picnic

* Look up where it is before you go – can be tricky to find

* Look for the peacocks and take some pictures


 

4. Chelsea Physic Garden 

 

Chelsea Physic Garden contains almost 5000 species of plants from all around the world. It was created in a special location just on the banks of the Thames so there is a warmer climate and the exotic plants can survive the cold weather. They host family activity days, workshops, and the café is praised for their homemade cakes.

* Take a tour if offered

* Discover all the different medicinal herbs that help cure illnesses

* Have a picnic or try a homemade cake


 

5. The Garden of St Dustan in the East

 

The Garden of St Dustan in the East is a serene garden hidden within the walls of a Church that was bombed in 1941. With its twisting paths and beautiful fountain, it’s a great place to escape the busy city and slumber amongst the shrubbery.

* Close to Tower Bridge

* Explore the ruins of the Church

* Bring a picnic


 

6. Barbican Conservatory and Arboretum 

 

The Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London and is located in a two-storey glass atrium suspended above the Barbican Centre. The conservatory has over 2000 species of trees and plants, as well as exotic fish.

* Parking available but check website for tariffs

* Check the opening times 

* Explore the rest of the Barbican while there, and try the huge range of choice at the foodhall 


 

7. Chumleigh Gardens 

 

In the heart of Burgess Park is Chumleigh Gardens, a ‘multicultural garden’, a tribute to the area’s ethnic minorities. The gardens are full of a variety of aromatic herbs, flowers, and fruit trees from the Caribbean, Australia and the Mediterranean. With palm trees and beautifully tiled fountains, it’s a great place to go if you want to feel like you’re on holiday. It is also home to Art in the Park workshops, so look out for the sculptors working in the gardens.

* Grab a weekend tour

* Disabled toilet on site

* Check out what workshops are on


 

8. Palm House, Kew Gardens

 

Palm house at Kew Gardens

Palm House is an iconic part of Kew Gardens. It is considered to be the most important surviving Victorian iron and glass structure in the world. It is home to some very rare and unique plants and is like being in an indoor rainforest.

* Indoor and outdoor

* Wear light layers – it can get pretty humid

* Go downstairs to meet the fish in the aquarium

 


 

9. Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

 

This amazing playground in the middle of Kensington Gardens is easily the best place in the gardens for kids. Based on the story of Peter Pan, it has so many cool things to see like the sea monster sculpture, or the massive pirate ship that you can climb, in its sea of sand. There are cafés and toilets nearby so it’s easy to get distracted and stay here for hours on end!

* Some of the toilets have a fee so bring some change

* Bring a towel and a swimming costume so you can splash around

* Get there early to avoid queues. 


 

10. Belsize Park Observatory 

 

Within this park is a tiny observatory open to the public for viewings of the night sky. If you’re a fan of astronomy or just fancy gazing at the stars, planets and moon, this is a great place to go. It has a big, high quality telescope to help pin point the stars. However, it is only open on Friday and Saturday nights between September and April and only if the sky is clear. Definitely worth staying up late for.

* Free to all ages

* Only go if the sky is clear – check times on site

* Remember to wear layers


 

11. King Henry’s Mound, Richmond Park

 

Richmond quirky London

 

Go and watch the sunset in Richmond Park on this ancient burial site. King Henry’s Mound is the highest point of the park and overlooks a spectacular view of London, a breathtaking sight when paired with a setting sun. You can even look through the telescope and see St. Paul’s Cathedral from 10 miles away. Also, when the sun is setting all the little bunny rabbits come out to play so see if you can spot any hopping around!

* Loads of parking available but check what time the park gates close so you don’t get locked in

* Bring a camera and take some beautiful pictures of the wildlife


 

12. Little Dinosaurs, Alexandra Palace Park 

 

This is a great indoor play centre situated in Alexandra Palace Park, where the kids can let off steam while the adults relax and have a coffee. With loads of fun apparatus for you to play on, you’ll never get bored. There’s also a lovely garden enclosure if you fancy enjoying some sun.

* Café and toilet facilities

* 80 free parking spaces

* Suitable for children up to the age of 9

* Wear socks and ideally long sleeves and trousers


 

13. Ham House and Gardens

 

 

Ham House Weekend PicksHam House is one of Europe’s great 17th-century houses. You can explore the absolutely beautiful grounds, or the historic collection of textiles, furniture and paintings. The collection has been in the house for 400 years- a very long time. There are loads of events, from puppet shows, to outdoor theatre, to garden trails and storytelling. It is said that Ham House is one of the most haunted houses in Britain and you can discover the ghostly tales scattered through the history of Ham House by taking a ghost tour… Spooky!

* Open daily

* Free Parking

* Free family trail

* Beautiful café with craft activities for kids

 

 

Museums

 

 

14. The Musical Museum

 

If you’re interested in the history of instruments and fancy discovering some you would never have even thought existed, this is the place to go. The Musical Museum has an array of self-playing musical instruments, as well as weird and wacky inventions that failed to break into the commercial world. The tours are really informative and a great way to learn more about the different instruments that weren’t successful.

* Get a tour and watch the self-playing instruments

* Check if there are any concerts on 

* Stop for cake in the Tearoom


 

15. The Grant Museum Of Zoology

 

Grant Museum of Zoology QuirkyThe Grant Museum of Zoology is one of the oldest – and weirdest – natural history museums in Britain. It has around 67,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom. It’s full of different animal skeletons and animals preserved in fluid. Although a little creepy, it is very interesting as you can see species that are now extinct or endangered, like the Dodo.

* Free entry

* Keep an eye out for holiday workshops

* Look out for the brain collection and the rarest skeleton in the world!


 

16. The Wellcome Collection 

 

The Wellcome Collection always has something unusual and different to offer. It began as a collection of vast and curious implements relating to the medical trade. It now has a variety of things to offer, exploring the links between medicine, life and art in the present, past and future.

* Disabled access

* Free entry

* Great café and shop


 

17. The British Optical Association Museum 

 

The British Optical Association Museum is contained within the basement of a fine Georgian house, around the corner from Trafalgar Square. The collection holds over 20,000 objects relating to the human eye and visual aids – many items are very rare and unique. Why not go and have a look…?

* Around the corner from Trafalgar Square

* Have to make an appointment 


 

18. The British Dental Association Museum 

 

The British Dental Association Museum is a tiny little museum set up as an educational display. The collection of tools, teeth and other odontological artefacts are extremely interesting and the historical timeline of how dentistry has changed makes you extremely thankful for how efficient our dental system is today.

* Free to visit

* Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 to 4pm, or ring to visit at another time


 

19. Dr. Johnson’s House 

 

Dr. Johnson’s House is a beautiful little townhouse in the City of London. Samuel Johnson wrote the first English Dictionary and the museum showcases his research library, with restored interiors and a variety of the house’s original features. Visitors are able to try on Georgian costumes and explore the family trail or just relax in the library and soak up the 17th and 18th century architecture.

* Under 5s go free

* Opening times vary

* No wheelchair access


 

20. The Hunterian Museum 

 

Hunterian Museum reviews and family offers KidRated The Hunterian Museum is not for the faint-hearted. The Museum is a collection of gruesome anatomical, pathological, and zoological specimens. The collection has more than 3,500 items ranging from fossils and paintings to the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish Giant’.

* Find out where it is so you don’t get lost

* Allow a lot of time to explore the amazing collection


 

21. The Geffrye Museum 

 

Geffrye Museum ShoreditchThe Geffrye Museum exhibits a wide variety of the history of English interior design. The museum has many show rooms decorated in different textiles, paintings and furniture according to whichever period it is representing. They also hold a number of activities for kids and have a lovely café.

* Free 

* Indoor and outdoor  

* Always loads to do – but visit on Saturday or Sunday afternoons for extra kids activities


 

22. Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

 

If you fancy travelling back in time and seeing what some of your favourite toys, foods and drinks used to look like, the Museum of Brands is the best place to go! There are wireless radios, gramophones and a whole room dedicated to magazines. Go and discover how times have changed.

* Closed Mondays

* Just around the corner from Portobello Road Market 

* Metred parking available nearby 

* Look out for retro items in the shop


 

23. Westminster Abbey Undercroft

 

Westminster Abbey London KidRated reviews family days out

photo credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster

The Undercroft Museum is really worth a visit. Although most people only walk around the Abbey’s tombs and monuments, the Undercroft has some brilliantly odd articles on display, including the collection of royal effigies but also things like a corset, armour, paintings and beautiful panels of medieval glass.

* Open daily

* You need a ticket to Westminster Abbey to visit

* Free admission to the Abbey for accompanied under 11s and for wheelchair users


 

24. Garden Museum

 

This was the first ever Gardening museum in the world! The Garden Museum offers a vast collection of tools, paintings, ephemera and historical artefacts. The Museum itself is beautiful and set in a renovated ancient church with contemporary gallery spaces. They also host family workshops and jazz nights. Closed for renovations until early 2017.

* Disabled access 

* Under 16s go free

* Open daily 


 

25. London Museum of Water and Steam 

 

The London Museum of Water and Steam is the home of the world’s largest collection of working Cornish engines. There are loads of opportunities to explore London’s water story and there are new outdoor water fun areas, like the splash zone. As well as this, there are loads of interactive activities and a steam locomotive to ride each weekend.

* Loads of interactive activities and free trails

* Free car park for up to 20 cars

* Open 11am-4pm daily


 

26. The Horniman Museum

 

Issy Horniman Museum and Gardens London KidRated

Issy gives the Horniman a K-Rating of 10

The Horniman Museum has a wide variety of exhibitions, galleries and both living and taxidermy animals to explore. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this museum; from the aquarium to the music room filled with loads of different instruments.

* Visit when sunny to make the most of the gardens

* Download the kids trail before you go

* Open daily and entry is free, though bring some extra money for the aquarium

 

 


 

27. Guards Museum

 

The Guards Museum has loads of information and artefacts relating to the five regiments of Her Majesty’s Foot Guards. There is an educational museum trail for kids to fill in which follows the history of the regiments from the earliest times to the present day. There are also facilities to have your photo taken dressed in a real full dress jacket, bearskin and a present day combat helmet.

* Under 17s go free

* Open 10am-4pm daily

* Next to Horse Guards Parade and Buckingham Palace 


 

28. Ragged School Museum 

 

ragged school museum

Ragged School Museum via aboutlondon.com

The Ragged School Museum used to be the largest free school in London. The museum was founded to ensure that the social history of the Victorian East End was accessible. Every month the museum hosts a typical Victorian school lesson in their authentic Victorian classroom so children of any age can experience what school would have been like more than 100 years ago. There are always family activities on so it’s definitely worth a visit.

* Check the website for opening times

* Entry and all holiday activities are free

* Arrive early on Open Sundays – capacity for lessons is limited


 

29. Eltham Palace and Gardens

 

Eltham PalaceEltham Palace and Gardens is a magnificent mansion and an interesting blend of medieval and Art Deco design. It provides a great opportunity to explore period dress and decor. There are 19 acres of beautiful gardens to discover and there’s even a moat. There is also an outdoor play area and lots of activities for everyone to participate in so you can experience what life would have been like in the palace.

* Parking available 

* Open Sunday to Thursday 

* Interactive multimedia guides available for kids 


 

30. The Wallace Collection

 

Wallace Collection KidRated Reviews by kids family days outThe Wallace Collection is a beautiful museum hidden away from the chaos of Oxford Circus. With period rooms adorned with beautiful furniture and renaissance art, to the extravagant armoury for both knights and their worthy stallions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There is also a beautiful courtyard café where you can sit and relax after exploring the museum.

 

* Open daily 10am to 5pm and admission is free

* Take a free highlights tour and learn loads more about The Wallace Collection 

* Have high tea in the beautiful courtyard restaurant

* Look out for family activities, and make sure to try on some armour


 

31. The Natural History Museum Butterfly House

 

Natural History Museum Butterflies KidRated

This spectacular tropical enclosure allows visitors to explore hundreds of species of butterfly and watch them in their habitat. In this humid tent on the lawn next to The Natural History Museum, you can see a butterfly wriggling out of its chrysalis or stand still to see if they land on you. It’s a beautiful atmosphere and a great chance to learn about these glorious insects in close encounters.

* It’s warm inside the tent so wear layers you can take off easily 

* Visit at non-peak times to avoid the crowds

* Book in advance to secure a place


 

32. Charles Dickens Museum

 

Visit the house of one of the most famous authors of all time. The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most important collection of material relating to the novelist, with rare paintings, memorabilia and books. The museum holds regular events and drop-in sessions for families and children, and there is the opportunity to dress up and have a go with the Victorian toy theatre.

* The museum is closed on Mondays 

* Children under 6 go free 

* Pick up a free family trail


 

33. Cinema Museum

 

The Cinema Museum fully encompasses every aspect of going to the cinema. It has a vast collection of films, advertising, photographs, projectors and so much more. The museum offers guided tours which must be booked in advance.

* Within Congestion Charge Zone

* Limited parking

* You can only visit by booking a tour in advance

 


 

34. The Clink Prison Museum

 

Clink Prison Museum KidRated London Attraction reviews by kids

Lucas (9) gives the Clink a K-Rating of 10

 

The Clink Prison Museum is built upon the original grounds of the infamous Clink Prison, dating back to 1144. It was one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons. Visitors will learn all about London’s penal system past and present, hear tales of torment and misfortune from the inmates, and see archeological artefacts.

* Open daily

* Guided tours available

 

 

 


 

35. Pollock’s Toy Museum

 

Pollock’s Toy Museum is a delightful little museum/toy shop in London’s Fitzrovia. It has a large collection of unique Victorian toys, including board games, dolls and toy theatres.

* Open Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm

* Amazing toy shop! 


 

36. Cartoon Museum 

 

The Cartoon Museum shows the very best of British cartoon and comic art. There’s an exhibition on the history of cartoons, animation, caricatures and comics. The museum encourages you to laugh out loud at the comical artistry. There are a range of children’s workshops for the holidays from making a mini comic to learning how to draw superheroes! Check out the website and find something that will get your creative juices flowing.

* Closed on Mondays

* Under 18s go free

* Book kids workshops in advance


 

37. London Motor Museum

 

London Motor Museum is located in Hayes and has one of the largest collections of both classic and custom automobiles in Europe. It is home to over 200 of the finest collectables and boasts a wide range of unique vehicles and exhibitions.

* It’s cheaper to book tickets online

* Open daily 

* Look out for two different Batmobiles!


 

38. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

 

Operating Theatre

KidRated loves the Old Operating Theatre Museum

Known to be one of the most unusual museums in London, The Operating Theatre is the oldest in Europe and the only surviving 19th century operating theatre, complete with wooden operating table and observation stands where students and spectators would witness surgery performed before pain killers were introduced! The collection includes displays of surgical tools, pathological specimens and the history of herbal physic.

* Open daily

* Check for events and demonstrations – recommended for ages 12 and up


 

39. Firepower Royal Artillery Museum 

 

The Firepower Royal Artillery Museum explores the history and science of artillery, from slingshots to Superman! You can test your aiming skills on the soft ‘Firing Range’, watch archive footage and get up close to hundreds of unique weapons and collections of historic artillery, uniforms and books.

* Open Tuesday – Saturday

* Under 5s go free

* Special family ticket price

 

 

Monuments

 

40. Police Call Box 

 

For those who are Doctor Who fanatics and are familiar with the Tardis, there are a few of these mysterious time machines scattered around the streets of London, for example the one in St Martin Le Grand, EC1.


 

41. Ascent of The Monument 

 

Monument

 

The Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London. It contains an internal staircase of 311 steps leading up to a viewing balcony where you can look across London in all directions from a height of about 160 feet.

* Kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult 

* Lots of stairs 

* Incredible views of London


 

42. Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

 

The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are a series of sculptures of extinct animals – not just dinosaurs – in Crystal Palace Park. They were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world and although they are not completely accurate portrayals, they’re certainly interesting to look at.

* Go when the weather’s nice and enjoy the park

* Open daily 

* The statues are viewed from a slight distance – bring some binoculars for a closer look


 

43. Emirates Air Line Cable Car

 

Greenwich Emirates air line

The UK’s first urban cable car, Emirates Airline provides a crossing between terminals close to the Excel Centre at Royal Docks and the O2 Arena at Greenwich. The best thing about the cable car is the fantastic views of the City, Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier, The Shard, and the Olympic Park.

* Amazing views of London

* Goes quicker during rush hour, or go after 7 pm for a slower night-time ride

* No booking required, and you can pay by Oyster

 


 

44. Ascend into Orbit

 

ArcelorMittal OrbitThis distinctive looping sculpture of the ArcelorMittal Orbit is a celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the largest sculpture in Britain. Made from 2000 tonnes of steel, you can climb up the sculpture and view 20 miles across the capital from observation decks. You can also now abseil down it or helter-skelter from June 2016.

* Available for all the family to visit

* Book tickets online

* There’s a lift if you don’t want to climb the stairs


 

45. The Crystal

 

The Crystal is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings and is located in London’s Royal Victoria Docks. It is host to the world’s largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability and showcases the latest technology and issues surrounding climate change and urbanization. The exhibition features interactive activities, films and animations, all provoking visitors to explore a range of issues around the environment.

* Free entry for under 18s or Newham residents

* Café facilities

* Tours available

* Open Tuesday to Sunday


 

46. Cutty Sark 

 

London Cutty Sark KidRated reviews by kids family offers

Cutty Sark, an official K-Rated attraction © National Maritime Museum

Cutty Sark is a 19th-century ship, the fastest and greatest of its time and the last surviving tea clipper. You can explore below and above deck and put yourself in the shoes of the crew who would have sailed this famous ship. There’s a family adventure to participate in and so much more to explore so set sail and visit Cutty Sark.

* Open daily

* Buy tickets online

* Check when they have their next sleepover event

 

 


 

47. Royal Mews 

 

Buckingham Palace gatesDiscover the Royal Mews, this beautiful part of Buckingham Palace that houses the Queen’s vehicles and horses. Here you can witness the intimate details of daily life and learn about the history of the mews. See Buckingham Palace from a different perspective and see the horses that draw the Queen’s carriages! There are loads of family activities to do as well.

*Under 5s go free

*Admission includes audio tour – but why not catch a guided tour, included in the price?

* Check for special holiday activities


 

48. Tour Twickenham Rugby Stadium

 

twickenham stadiumTwickenham Rugby Stadium is the largest stadium in the world, devoted purely to rugby. The tour allows you to access some of the most exciting areas of the stadium, from the England dressing room to the Royal box! There’s so much to see in this iconic stadium and the ticket includes admission to the World Rugby Museum.

 

* Family tickets available

* Tours run Tuesday to Sunday


 

49. Queen’s Gallery

 

The Queen’s Gallery showcases over 500 years of Royal treasures, including jewellery, paintings and textiles. They have multiple exhibitions to offer, and offer multimedia tours as well as family activity bags to complete throughout your visit. How fun!

* Under 5s go free

* Located in Buckingham Palace

* Open daily

 

 

The Arts

 

50. Subway Gallery

 

The Subway Gallery is a transformed stainless steel kiosk that is now an underground art space, situated beneath the Marylebone flyover. Monthly exhibitions in the tiny cubicle feature up and coming artist’s work and also permanent fixtures by the founder himself – Robert Gordon McHarg III.

* Find out where it is first! 

* Closed on Sundays


 

51. Serpentine Gallery

 

Serpentine Sackler GalleryThe Serpentine Gallery is one of London’s most-loved contemporary art galleries, with exhibitions from Andy Warhol and many more. Every summer an internationally renowned architect builds a new pavilion that is open to the public from June and they are always spectacular.

* Some exhibitions are more child-friendly than others

* Inside Hyde Park so go on a sunny day and enjoy a nice stroll

* For modern art-lovers


 

52. Feliks Topolski’s Memoir of the Century’

 

TopolskiFeliks Topolski, a Polish expressionist painter, set up his studio in three railway arches tucked away near Waterloo Station. ‘Memoir of the Century’ is a unique work of art that exhibits a record of events and figures important in the 20th century. It is 600ft long and 20ft high and extraordinary to walk through.

* Really close to Waterloo Station

* Wander around Southbank afterwards 


 

53. National Theatre Backstage Tours

 

National TheatreThe National Theatre produces over 20 new productions every year and, fortunately for us, offer a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in their backstage tours! The tours allow you to experience the history of the institution and see what’s happening backstage today, handling props from productions and even trying on costumes!

* Do a specially tailored family tour during school holidays, suitable for kids aged 5 to 12 


 

54. BFI Mediatheque 

 

BFIThe BFI Mediatheque allows anyone to come into one of their 14 flat-screen viewing stations and access hundreds of hours of footage from the British Film Institute’s digital archive for free. You can explore the history of British animation and watch some ancient cartoons or just relax and watch something recent – the world is your oyster.

* Free 

* Café facilities and bar


 

55.  Graffiti Tours

 

Southbank GraffitiIf you’re a big fan of street art and want to explore the lesser-known examples of it, this is the best way to do it. Either journey through the streets of the East End with some friends scouting the best street art you can find, or book a 2 or 3 hour tour with an expert guide by searching ‘street art tours’ in Google.

* Primarily found in Shoreditch, Hoxton and Spitalfields


 

56. Longplayer 

 

Longplayer is a 1000 year-long composition of music hosted in London’s only lighthouse in Trinity Buoy Wharf. The musical installation was a celebration of the Millennium and lasts 1000 years, never producing the same sequence of sounds – until the next Millennium! It is a composition of Tibetan singing bowls and gongs, digitally remixed so it is never repeated. Why not go and have a listen?

* Free

* Open every weekend


 

57. Little Angel Theatre 

 

London Christmas Little Angel TheatreLittle Angel Theatre has been staging puppet shows since 1961. It is ideal for children and they produce a variety of shows, from re-workings of Shakespeare to operettas. The pews for seats and intimate stage create an atmospheric quality that all the family will enjoy. They also host an array of workshops to do with puppetry so you can give it a go yourself.

* Check online to see what’s on

* Join in with a holiday workshop or sign up to Saturday classes

* Easiest to get to via public transport


 

58. BBC Proms 

 

Royal Albert Hall KidRated

The Proms are a great opportunity to delve deeper into music. With family-specific events, regardless of whether you play an instrument or not, it’s a fantastic chance to explore the world of music and learn something new! The Proms are held every year over the summer, and there are a huge variety of concerts to choose from, from Classical classics to CBeebies!

* Check online for availability and events 

* There are regular Sunday matinee concerts with half-price tickets for under 18s

* Check the website for information about family workshops


 

59. The Scoop

 

The Scoop hosts a wide range of events such as live Theatre, Opera, Music, Dance and much more. All of the events are free and open to the public and no tickets are required so have a look to see what’s on.


 

60. Puppet Theatre Barge

 

The Puppet Theatre Barge puts on a wonderful array of old and new puppet shows, suitable for all ages. It’s old-style marionette puppetry where you can’t see the puppeteers. Located in Little Venice, once you step aboard the barge you’ll be enchanted and the puppetry skills are fantastic.

* Book tickets online or by phone

* On a boat!

* Children are given preference in the seating arrangements to ensure a good view


 

61. Hayward Gallery 

 

Hayward Gallery/Southbank CentreThe Hayward Gallery is located just next to the National Theatre and is part of the most vibrant arts centre in the country – the Southbank Centre. It always has cool exhibitions on and showcases some of the most impressive modern art installations. It’s also in the hub of Southbank so you’ll never be short of something to entertain you. Definitely worth a visit. Currently closed for refurbishment.

* Open daily

* Under 12s go free


 

62. Fashion and Textile Museum

 

Fashion and Textile Museum

 

The Fashion and Textile Museum is a hub of contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. The museum explores the history of 20th century art through textiles and includes works by famous artists such as Salvador Dali and Henri Matisse.

* Children under 12 go free

* Closed Mondays

* Café facilities


 

63. Rich Mix

 

Rich MixRich Mix is an independent arts venue in East London. The building has three cinemas, spaces for creative businesses and a multitude of flexible performance spaces. They host a range of events, from live music and spoken word to theatre performances, festivals, exhibitions and cinema showings. They have so much to offer, including activities for younger kids, so it’s definitely worth having a look.

* Family activities

* Baby changing facilities


 

64. Tales on Moon Lane

 

Tales on Moon Lane is a quaint little book shop in South East London that has a mixture of attractions to engage young children in stories and language. The bookshop hosts its own festival of events every half-term and even has book signings with children’s authors throughout the year.

* Open daily

* Book events in advance to ensure a space


 

65. Artsdepot

 

Artsdepot is a cultural hub of the arts and offers a massive range of activities for children. It’s based in Finchley, North London and provides an impressive programme of performances and exhibitions for all ages and also has classes and workshops to choose from.

* Open daily

* Café and soft play area

* All ages welcome – check handy age guidelines for each show


 

66. Battersea Arts Centre 

 

Battersea Arts Centre provides an intriguing mix of activities that aim to engage the entire community. The Centre gives visitors the opportunity to partake in innovative and engaging forms of theatre. They offer a wide range of activities and performances, discussions and home-made food! It also has an indoor playground and is open daily for everyone to use and explore.

* Open daily

* Indoor play area for under 5s

* Family Saturdays have free activities for under 12s

* Older kids can join the Beatbox Academy or Homegrown programme

* Café


 

67. Polka Theatre 

 

Polka Theatre specialises in theatre for audiences up to the age of 14 and is extremely popular! They have two theatres – the Main Theatre and the Adventure Theatre – where they host a range of funny family shows and child-centred dramas. They have an out-of-school programme of activities for children and families, a garden, a playground and book corner. They have quite a unique and impressive scheme of inclusion which focuses on performances with fully integrated sign language, touch tours of the stage and ‘relaxed performances’ for those with children on the autistic spectrum.

* Open Wednesday-Sunday

* Book online

* Check the website for details of workshops and performances


 

68. Little Hands Design

 

Little Hands Design lets those who are enthusiastic about fashion try their hands at all aspects of fashion designing, from designing clothes to planning and making their own clothes or accessories. They hold weekly after school and weekend classes as well as drop-in sessions during the holidays. All tools and fabrics are provided and you’ll gain a knowledge of basic skills so you can go home and develop your own designs and creations.

* Activities for all ages

* No experience necessary

* Wide range of courses


 

69. The Kids’ Cookery School

 

The Kids’ Cookery School introduces children to healthy recipes and the hands on classes equip kids with skills for the kitchen and also an understanding of how to live a balanced lifestyle. The workshops and classes are set up in special teaching kitchens in West London and are open to all children between the ages of 3 and 14. All the children come away with new talents, knowledge and food! Have a look at what workshops and classes are available for the holidays.

* Check availability for holiday courses

* Have a look at their website for their recipe of the month


 

70. National Centre for Circus Arts

 

The National Centre for Circus Arts has an exciting atmosphere and loads of challenging and different physical activities. The Centre offers Youth Circus Experience Days for those ages 8+ where you can try the trapeze, diabolo and tightwire as well as other circus skills.

* Book online

* Scholarships for training are available

 

 

Farms

 

 

71. Kentish Town City Farm

 

Kentish Town City Farm is a beautiful little farm full of things to explore. From the pond life to the farm animals, there’s always something new to discover. You are able to touch, feed and even name the animals and there are a wide range of activities throughout the year. So get a moo-ve on and go and visit.

* Open 7 days a week

* All ages welcome

* Free entry!

* Bring change for pony rides at the weekend


 

72. Spitalfields City Farm

 

Spitalfields City Farm

This atmospheric little farm promotes animal welfare and is host to an array of animals from pigs to ferrets. It’s free to visit, and they hold special events throughout the year such as ‘Donkey Day’ which includes donkey rides! Grab your wellies and go along.

* All ages welcome

* Free entry

* Closed on Mondays

* Visit on a Saturday with kids aged 4 to 12 for Wild Club activities


 

73. Vauxhall City Farm

 

Vauxhall City Farm is a fun day out. It’s a little piece of the countryside in the centre of London and has loads of animals to see. They have a wide range of kids clubs and family fun days, with everything from cooking sessions, to learning about animal awareness or growing food in a gardening club! You can learn to ride at their riding school too.

* Entry is free, though there is a charge for workshops

* All ages welcome

* Open Tuesday to Sunday all year round

 

 

Mazes and Puzzles

 

74. Escape Rooms 

 

Escape Rooms hosts live escape games where you have to focus on using teamwork and logic in order to solve puzzles before your time of 1 hour is up. It’s a really fun activity to take part in and definitely wakes up your brain. There are a couple of different themes to choose from and anyone is welcome to play. Usually it is advised to have teams of 3-6 as the more brains playing the more likely you are to get out on time!

* Book online

* Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult

* Puzzles might be difficult for under 12s


 

75. Cluequest

 

Similarly to Escape Rooms, Cluequest offers a live, indoor mystery-solving game for all the family to participate in. Build your team skills and help solve the puzzle before the time runs out in order to escape the room! Suitable for all the family it’s a great way to bond. There are two themes to choose from. Do you think you could do it in time?

* Book online

* No age limits, though under 9s could find it challenging

* It is advised that kids aged between 9 and 15 have at least one adult on the team


 

76. Escape Entertainment

 

Amy & Lin give Escape Entertainment 8/10

Amy & Lin K-Rated Escape Entertainment 8/10

 

Escape Entertainment offers a range of different themes to choose from and also different difficulties so you can choose which level you think is suitable for you and your team. Come and solve some mysteries before your luck runs out.

* Suitable for kids aged 10 and up with an accompanying adult

* Teams are advised to have between 2 and 6 players.

 

 


 

 

77. Hampton Court Palace Maze

 

Maze Hampton Court Palace KidRated Reviews by kids and family offers

Hampton Court Palace’s Maze, an official K-Rated attraction © Historic Royal Palaces

The Hampton Court Palace Maze is the most famous maze in the whole world. It is the oldest surviving hedge maze and was planted in 1700. It is known as a puzzle maze because there are endless twists and turns and dead ends intended to confuse you! It is open daily but only when you are visiting the Palace itself.

* Suitable for all ages

* Book tickets to Hampton Court Palace


 

78. Crystal Palace Park Maze

 

Probably the second most famous maze in London is the Crystal Palace Park Maze. It was originally planted in the 1870s and is the largest maze in London. There’s also loads more to see within the park like the dinosaur trail, so go on… lose yourself in Crystal Palace Park.

* Loads of facilities

* Free entry

* Car park


 

79. Brent Lodge Park Millennium Maze

 

Situated in the Brent River Park in Ealing, is this beautiful sample of the countryside hidden within urban surroundings. This short-hedged maze is large and fun for children to explore. There are loads of things to do in the park besides the maze and lots of facilities such as the animal centre, café and tennis courts. Head on down to Brent Lodge Park… it’s a-maze-ing!

* Loads of facilities

* Open 7 days a week

* Free!


 

80. Mirror Labyrinth, Chiswick Park

 

This beautiful art installation is a must see! It’s a labyrinth of mirrors and is deceivingly disorientating but utterly beautiful when the mirrors reflect the sun. Go and have a wander around and tell us what you think. Let’s hope you don’t get too lost!

* Go on a sunny day and enjoy the sun reflecting off the mirrors

* Bring a picnic 

 

 

Other

 

 

81. Vintage Shopping in Portobello

 

Portobello Road KidRated London Reviews by kids

Head down to Portobello Road on a Friday or Saturday and experience the world’s largest antiques market. There’s so much variety you never know what you’ll find. There are also loads of food stalls and cute cafés to pop into if you’ve had enough shopping.

* Get cash out before you go – there’s always a massive queue at the ATM and cards aren’t accepted on stalls 

* Try some of the street food

* Head there early or late to avoid large crowds


 

82. The Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham

 

Comfortably resting in a wooden cabinet in University College London is the preserved skeleton of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) a reformer, philosopher and jurist. He asked for his body to be preserved as an ‘auto-icon’ – it’s a bit like seeing a modern mummy.


 

83. London Silver Vaults 

 

The London Silver Vaults holds the world’s largest retail collection of beautiful antique silver. Dealers trade all sorts of silverware from candlesticks to goblets! It’s an amazing place to walk through and admire all the gleaming pieces of silver.


 

84. The Deadhouse 

 

Somerset House Courtauld Gallery

Somerset House is a very popular location in itself, hosting a range of exhibitions throughout the year as well as having an ice skating rink and cafés. However, there are hidden depths surrounding the beautiful courtyards. Enjoy the mysterious qualities of the Lightwells and Deadhouse and take a tour to discover more.

* Open daily, check website for varying times

* It is free to enter Somerset House, though there are additional charges for entrance to certain exhibitions

* Book a free guided tour around the hidden depths of Somerset House


 

85. Whitechapel Bell Foundry

 

This is the world’s most famous and oldest bell manufacturer. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is where Big Ben was built, the largest bell ever cast at Whitechapel. Tours are usually led by the Master Founder and are very detailed so that the mysteries of bell-making are revealed.

* Visit the museum displays and Foundry store from Monday to Friday

* Take a tour on a Saturday – ring to book in advance


 

86. Visit Harrods

 

Harrods Toy Kingdom, an official K-Rated attraction

Go for a look around this iconic department store.  Harrods‘  amazing pet department has sadly closed, but it’s still a great place to mooch about and check out how the other half live. The food halls look and smell awesome and you can try all manner of weird and wonderful delicacies.

* Go up to the kids’ department to see the huge stuffed animals

* Visit at Christmas for a magical vibe

* Try one of 30 eateries in store

* Unaccompanied children under 15 are not permitted


 

87. London Bridge Experience

 

The London Bridge Experience, an official K-Rated attraction

The London Bridge Experience, an official K-Rated attraction

 

Experience the gruesome history of London Bridge with this interactive journey that will take you back in time, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the world’s most famous and haunted bridge. You will be able to see, hear and even smell what it was like. The use of storytelling makes this historical and educational journey more fun although it is said to be very scary!

* Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult

* There are no age restrictions, but it is not recommended for younger children


 

88. Jack the Ripper Tour

 

For a spooky insight into one of the greatest mysteries in the history of crime,  take a tour through the streets of London and discover more about the historic murders. The tours are on daily and start from 7.30 pm. They are led by Jack the Ripper experts so you can explore all the evidence, suspects old and new and see if you can solve the crime.

* Book online

* Suitable for older children

* Don’t be late!


 

89. Hoxton Street Monster Supplies 

 

This weird and quirky shop supplies goods to all sorts of monsters, from vampires to little children! It sells a wide and wacky variety of produce ranging from tins of a “vague sense of unease” to cubed earwax. All goodies are available online but its definitely worth exploring in real life.

* Great for quirky gift ideas


 

90. Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

 

Twycross Zoo, Leiceistershire, zoo, animals, days out with kids, reviews by kids for you, kidrated, family, meerkatA much cheaper alternative to London Zoo, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo has a wide variety of animals to discover from otters, monkeys, donkeys and chinchillas to giant snails, snakes and bearded dragons. There are loads of events that provide opportunities to meet the animals so check the website before you go and see what’s on. It’s also within Battersea Park and has a fun playground so there’s loads to explore here.

* Open daily

* Café, shop, baby-changing facilities and adventure playground

* Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult


 

91. Brooklyn Bowl

 

Brooklyn Bowl is a unique bowling alley within the O2. As well as the standard 12 lanes and American-style food, the venue is home to a stage where live music acts can perform whilst you play. The restaurant offers kids menus and there are bowling aids and kids size bowling shoes.

* Book in advance 

* See what music events are on so you can bowl and listen at the same time

* Sometimes children are only allowed in the venue until 7pm – check show restrictions


 

92. Explore the Piazza in Covent Garden

 

 

London Covent Garden kidrated reviews and family offers kids

Covent Garden is one of the most lively corners of London and has an array of things to do. As well as being a prime shopping location, its beautiful courtyard and cobbled streets are adorned with antique stalls, food stalls, and street performers. So go down, do some shopping, get a bite to eat, and then explore the weird and wacky array of street performers.

* Get off the tube at Holborn, Leicester Square or Charing Cross to avoid lift queues at Covent Garden Station

* Beware of the human statues! 


 

93. WWT London Wetland Centre 

 

WWT London Wetland Centre

The WWT London Wetland Centre is an 105 acre oasis for wildlife with scenic walkways set amongst lakes, pools and gardens and is home to a variety of birds, water voles and amphibians. It’s open daily and has adventure playgrounds, zip wires, interactive games and climbing walls, as well as the chance to spot lots of animals. There are so many aspects of nature for children to explore so it is definitely worth a visit.

* All ages welcome

* Indoors and outdoors

* Book tickets online

* Bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!


 

94. Chin Chin Labs Ice Cream Parlour

 

chin chin labs ice cream blogHead down to Chin Chin Labs in Camden Lock for the most exciting ice cream you’ll ever experience. Chin Chin Labs take pride in creating a unique liquid nitrogen ice cream experience right in front of you. The ice cream is really fresh and deliciously smooth!

* Open daily

* Flavours change every week


 

95. Cereal Killer Cafe

 

Cereal Killer cafe

Head down to Brick Lane to the UK’s first speciality cereal cafe. The cafe has over 120 different types of cereal from all around the world. You can choose from 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings. Who knew cereal could be so fun?

* Explore Brick Lane and find some street art

 

 

Water Fun

 

96. Enjoy the Thames in Richmond

 

There are numerous companies that offer boat trips along the river in Richmond, a beautiful place to explore the River Thames. These trips give passengers the opportunity to witness the glory of London’s famous river and get a fresh perspective of the landmarks Richmond has to show. You can even rent little canoes to travel along the river in and there’s beautiful scenery on the banks surrounding.

*After sailing down the river explore the beautiful town and grab some lunch from one of the many restaurants

* There are loads of shops in Richmond


 

97. Pedalo in Regent’s Park

 

Regent's Park LondonThe lake in Regent’s Park is a beautiful part of the scenery. With pedalos available to rent, this is a fabulous way of soaking up some sun while floating around the lake. The boating lake is open daily between April and September so enjoy the sunshine, take a picnic, and do some pedalling. There is a separate children’s lake with specific child friendly pedalos to rent and this is open on school holidays, weekends and bank holidays depending on the weather.

* Go on a sunny day and bring a picnic to make the most of it


 

98. New River Walk

 

New River WalkHead for a stroll down one of the loveliest corners of London – Canonbury. The New River is a stream canopied by weeping willows and thriving shrubbery. This beautiful waterside nature trail is maintained by volunteers and is a habitat to lots of wildlife. It is a heavenly walk on a summer’s day.

* Make sure you know where you’re going so you don’t get too lost


 

99. Little Venice

 

Little Venice reviews and family offers KidRated river barge bridgeLittle Venice is an oasis of tranquility in the busy city. With loads of places to eat and drink, it’s a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle of London while admiring the beautiful canals – you could also catch a Narrowboat cruise to Camden Lock.

* Catch a narrowboat cruise to Camden and enjoy the views along the way 


 

100. Duck Tours

 

London Duck Tours KidRated reviews by kids and family offers

London Duck Tours, an official K-Rated attraction © London Duck Tours

Duck Tours are a fun and adventurous way to experience the sights of Central London by road and river. This is a great way to see the heart of London starting near Parliament and seeing all the main sights on land and then into the water to for a fresh perspective.

* Choose from a range of exciting tours

* Wear a waterproof coat and hold on! 

4 comments on “100 Quirky Things to do in London” | Add a comment

  1. Daniel

    Wow. Such a creative list! I find myself wanting to visit most of these as an adult! One attraction that I know kids LOVE that isn’t on your list is the Harry Potter Studio Tour. OK, it’s barely in London but kids love it, I’ve taken my young cousins and they were talking about it for days afterwards.

    1. Simon London

      Hi Daniel, Thanks for the comment and adding a link to your own site – very clever! We’ve covered the Harry Potter Tour in other guides and pages – we didn’t feel it was ‘quirky’ enough for this list. As you also have a similar website that covers this stuff we’d be interested to know what you think…

  2. Chris Hogg

    What an amazing list. I have done a few of these over the years with the kids, but as they grow up, so do the things that you do. So thanks, will bookmark.

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