Autumn is officially on its way. As it becomes chillier and the days become shorter, it can be tempting to stay inside, snuggled in a heap of blankets with the TV for company.
Alas, fresh air is good for all of us. And getting the kids out the house is especially important (you have to burn off that energy somehow).
So, we’ve collated the top 10 activities to do this Autumn in London. We’ve handily broken this list down into areas near you – so whether you’re in North, East, South or West London, we’ve got you covered. And, of course, we have indoor and outdoor adventures – the temperamental autumnal weather in London is not a force to be reckoned with.
The Sherriff Centre Hullabaloo Soft Play – West Hampstead, NW6
Goodbye warehouse-esque soft-play centres, hello gorgeous vaulted ceilings, delicious coffee and fabulous soft-play fun.
This indoor play area is perfect for kids to spend a few hours on twisty slides, bouncy blocks and climbing frames. Whilst the kids are busy, there’s a delicious cafe (appropriately named The Sanctuary) where you can try out their house-blend coffee to ward off the autumnal breeze. Plus, they have a ton of free-from options for kiddos with allergies, perfect for the after-play hangries. Win-win all round.
Prices: Infants aged 6 months to 2 years = £4.50 | Kids aged 18 months to 10 years = £6.50 (1hr session) – book online
Kentish Town City Farm – Hampstead, NW5
For those animal-loving-future-veterinarians, Kentish Town City Farm is not to be missed.
The farm has all your classic farm animals as well as some small animals like guinea pigs, so kids of all ages will find a best buddy and beg to return to see the animals again.
After an afternoon getting muddy and acquainted with the animals the farm has to offer, you could trek the 15-minute walk to Hampstead Heath for a picnic or stop off at one of the nearby pubs for a delicious meal.
Price: Free admission – call to book or just turn up.
Museum of London Docklands – Canary Wharf, E14
For the history buffs (AKA the Horrible History enthusiasts) the Museum of London Docklands is a must-see.
The fascinating story of River Thames is told using films, interactive displays and reconstructions with the opportunity to hunt for treasure and let off some steam in the soft play area in the Mudlarks Gallery. There’s loads of special events which happen year-round; check the museum’s website for details.
Price: Free admission – book online
Zap Space – Stratford, E15
This impressive indoor-trampolining space in Stratford boasts 3 floors of freestyle jumping, with Little Zapper sessions for 1 to 4 year olds and Freestyle Jump Sessions for kids 5+. They’re also sensory disability friendly with Zen SEN sessions.
If your little one isn’t quite up to the challenge of bouncing, there’s a soft-play area next to the cafe which serves pizzas for hungry, bounced-out kids and coffees for adults.
Price per 1 hour session (book online): £8 for 1 – 4 year olds and Zen SEN sessions | £12 for 5+ Freestyle Jumpers | Free soft-play
Morden Hall Park – Morden, SM4
For a fun, muddy adventure in a gorgeous National Trust site, Morden Hall Park is perfect.
There’s an amazing play area and pretty river running through the park which is perfect for Pooh-sticks. For more structured fun, the Park Explorers group for 5s and under is perfect to learn about the natural world around them (£5 per child).
With free parking on-site and loads of public transport nearby it’s super easy to get to. Don’t forget your four-legged family member; Modern Hall Park is dog friendly.
Price: Free entry to park, events/groups may have associated costs
Imperial War Museum – Lambeth, SE1
A good split of education plus interactive fun; children can play games that were released during the Imperial War or play-dress up by trying on helmets and jackets. Pushchair friendly, with a few cafes for snacks and hot-choc breaks.
If you want to explore more of London at the same time, the 453 bus from outside the museum makes a nice 10 minute trip over Westminster Bridge, passing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament for the full tourist experience.
Price: Free admission
The Design Museum – Kensington, W8
The museum is funky, fun and loud with tons of contemporary design in all its forms. There is a free Explorer Trail available which can be collected from the admission desks which provides a great way to explore the museum and discover design together.
Keep an eye out on the website for events catered for little creative minds.
Price: Free admission, with some paid exhibitions
Kidzania – Shepherds Bush, W12
Kidzania takes role-play to the next level. With a mini-sized town conveniently situated in Westfield, children up to 14 years old are able to try out different professions to earn ‘cash’ which they can then spend at the gift-shop.
The experience lasts for about 4-hours, and with over 35 fields of work to choose from, there’s loads for the kids to do. It has the perfect balance of structure and independence for children of all ages to enjoy.
Price: 4-14 year olds = from £26 [online] | Adults (15+) = from £16 [online]
Southbank Centre – Waterloo, SE1
A must-visit for kids (and adults) of all ages – with festivals, street performances, buskers, food stalls nearby, you can find everything you need at Southbank. Plus, there’s special children’s events and workshops in the Centre at select times – check the website to keep up to date.
Price: Free admission
London Eye and Shrek’s Adventure – Southbank, SE1
For a trip to Far Far Away, catch Shrek’s magical flying 4D bus, for an experience filled with immersive story line and interactive fun, great for children 5+. It’s good fun for all, with plenty of toilet humour to make the little ones giggle.
Might be worth buying a multi-attraction ticket with other experiences nearby, like Sea World or the London Eye to spend more time in the area and get more bang for your buck.
Price: From £24 (book online)