London has everything you could ever need but when you have little ones in tow it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve been working to bring together what we think are the very best things to do with the kids in South London, from family-friendly restaurants to family attractions to free hidden gems you’ll only find in this part of the city.
Not in South London? Then why not check out our Things to do with the Kids in North London blog here
Plus, Don’t Forget! With your LittleBird Family Pass you can enjoy year-round savings on family life including cinema, days out, restaurants and much more. We’ve handpicked each and every saving to save you time and money putting all your family savings in one place.
- We, of course, start our list at the Southbank Centre with such a bounty of things to do there, it’s a must-visit for all families. Pop into the Hayward Gallery for some of the best exhibitions in London. Be wowed by family theatre at Royal Festival Hall or Queen Elizabeth Hall or get creative with free activities and in the lobby. In the summer make sure to check out the Appearing Rooms fountain.
- Film and TV enthusiasts should head to the BFI Southbank Mediatheque and discover the free archives. Or enjoy some of the new releases in the cinema and IMAX screens. While you’re there looking for somewhere to feed the kids? Look no further! Kids eat free before 6pm every day at the Riverfront at the BFI!
- Want to survey the land before you start exploring? For the best views around check out The lastminute.com London Eye or The View from The Shard.
- As you’re by the river you’d be remiss for not checking out some of the boats. HMS Belfast and Golden Hinde are a journey into history that all ages will love.
- Then once you’re done with the boats, don’t get us started on the bridges! London Bridge and Tower Bridge are both experiences that won’t be forgotten.
- Speaking of history London Dungeons and Clink Prison Museum will take you through the darker side of the past.
- Step back into the contemporary with the Tate Modern. There’s the free collection, kids activities and also the paid-for exhibitions. Plus the ever-changing Turbine Hall nearly always has something fun that will get kids excited in the arts.
- If formal galleries aren’t your thing check out the Southbank Skate space for some of the best graffiti in London and you’ll also get to watch skateboarding talent in action. For more graffiti check out the ever-changing walls of Leake Street.
- From the painted arts to the theatrical one take the kids to discover all about Shakespeare at The Globe. Stop by for a show or take the guided tour and learn all about The Bard.
- Want to get interactive? Discover games galore at Electronic Theatre and Namco Funscape.
- Visit your favourite marine life at SEA LIFE London Aquarium and learn all about penguins, sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish and much more.
- Plus never too far far away is DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure! Where the family can go on a fairytale adventure with your favourite characters.
- A zoo especially designed with children in mind Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is beloved by everyone that visits don’t miss the daily feedings plus tones of activities throughout the year.
- Looking to add a fluffy companion to the family? Discover Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s events
- There are a number of wonderful city farms filled with animals for you and the kids to meet Vauxhall City Farm, Mudchute City Farm, Surrey Docks Farm and Deen City Farm are just a few!
- Forming part of the Forest Hill to New Cross Gate railway cutting Devonshire Road Nature Reserve is a natural paradise and is filled with protected habitats and kids activities.
Historically Great Days Out
- Kids interested in the military side of history, why not go recce the Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum or even the Old Royal Naval College
- Celebrated historic sailing ship and fastest of its time, the Cutty Sark is a must for anyone that is looking for a family day out that will have the kids learning too.
- Have you ever wanted to see a 100-year old 30ft stuffed walrus? Take the kids to the Horniman Museum to discover many curios of the natural world and beyond.
- Whether you follow the full tennis circuit or just like to watch the Wimbledon final the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour will give you an insight into this iconic place of sporting history.
- Visit a real-life Jurrasic Park (sort of) and go for a walk with the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs plus you can discover the remains of Crystal Palace Great Exhibition of 1851. Crystal Palace Park is also one of the largest parks in SE London – so there’s a maze, playground, a children’s farm and thank goodness a cafe too.
- Speaking of palaces (sort of) South London is a hotspot for historical houses Fulham Palace, Eltham Palace, Charlton House, Lambeth Palace and Winchester Palace.
- If you want to go even older with your historical dwellings take a trip to Crofton Roman Villa and discover how Londoner’s lived from AD 140 to 400.
- Journey underground in the Chislehurst Caves and learn all about Romans, Druids and Saxons, smuggling and murder, plus how they protected over 15000 people every night during the Blitz.
- South London also has a collection of hidden gem museums, some of our favourites are the Florence Nightingale Museum, the Garden Museum and Bethlem Museum of the Mind.
- Finally, for a slightly more weird and wonderful foray into history discover the strange charm of Severndroog Castle, the Historic Croydon Airport or the Wimbledon Windmill.
Off the Arts
- If there is one thing there is never a shortage of in this city it’s galleries and some of our favourites are in South London including the aptly named South London Gallery. Make sure to check out their free drop family activities.
- Dulwich Picture Gallery also runs a host of family activities for all ages plus admission is free for under 18s.
- For more modern art check out the White Cube Bermondsey and Newport Street Gallery who both regularly have cutting edge exhibitions that all ages will enjoy.
- For something different not go see an artist in action at one of the Gasworks open studios?
- Plus (because otherwise, we could go on forever) honourable mentions also need to go to The Sunday Painter, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, Knight Webb Gallery, GX Gallery, Gerald Moore Gallery, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art and NOW Gallery
- Are your kids future Alexander McQueen or Coco Chanels? Then take a trip to the Fashion and Textile Museum. Their exhibitions and workshops are sure to inspire visitors of any age into wanting to put together a runway show for London Fashion Week.
- Maybe it’s not fashion but film that inspires the kids? Then the Cinema Museum is well worth a visit. Winner of a Time Out Most Loved Local Culture Spot award it’s a treat for any budding cinephile.
- While it’s STILL being renovated the Battersea Power Station has a ton of great cultural content with the Pump House Gallery, Turbine Theatre and Archlight Cinema. Plus throughout the school holidays and some weekends, they run a ton of family activities in the Circus West Village to get the kids involved with.
- The UK’s leading theatre dedicated to producing inspiring new theatre for kids there is always something worth watching at the Unicorn Theatre.
- A South London treasure, the Polka Theatre has been creating world-class theatre for kids since the 70s. It’s one of the best places to introduce kids to the magic of theatre. (currently closed for renovation it will reopen in Autumn 2020)
- With The Bee’s Knees soft play, Heritage Trails, Family Saturdays and some of the best kids theatre around the Battersea Arts Centre is a must.
- Plus for something that’s a bit different check out the Merton Abbey Mills for food, shopping and at the Colour House Theatre family theatre.
- Kids have so much energy that sometimes just needs burning off and the best way to do that is jumping! Flip Out and Oxygen Freejumping offer wall to wall bounce-tastic fun.
- Let out your inner Tarzan and swing with Go Ape Battersea With lots to choose from including Tree Top Adventures, Park Adventures, Ziplines, Segways and more. Save on the LittleBird Family Pass today.
- The playground in Brockwell Park is a favourite, with its aerial slide, massive sandpit and sections for different age groups. The park also has a Miniature Railway, football pitches and regular events. Plus if you need some help cooling the kids off in the summer then drop by Brockwell Lido which is just next door.
- The classic family pastime bowling brings out the competitive side in everyone, so grab the family and challenge them to a game at Hollywood Bowl. You can even grab a bite to eat there afterwards!
- With gardens, a lake, skate park and children’s playground Belair Park is the perfect place for a run around no matter your age.
- An oasis at the heart of South London explore the woodlands, watch the water birds or just ride your bikes in the greenery of Wandsworth Common. Plus if you want to get a bit competitive you can challenge the family to a round of Putt in the Park.
- Speaking of golf , you can never go wrong with soft play and Gambados in Beckenham and Discovery Planet in Surrey Quays will keep the whole family occupied.
- For free water park fun, Wimbledon Sprinkler Park is sure to keep the kids entertained in the summer. With Six Paddling Pools and two interactive play areas its a fab family day out.
- Did you know that Bishops Park has an urban beach? Plus there are tons of playgrounds, sports facilities including a modern skate bowl, walks and even a seasonal splash pad.
- If the kids are into cycling get the kids involved in Cycling sessions at Herne Hill Velodrome.
- Take the Emirates Air Line across the river for great views and a great time. Did you know you can save money on your tickets if you use your Oyster card?
- For stunning panoramic views of London and as a great place to run around Greenwich Park is a LittleBird family favourite.
- For any budding astronomists, the Royal Observatory is an out of this world experience.
- Discover some hidden treasures or grab a bite to eat at Greenwich Market, it’s fun, colourful and packed with arts, crafts and tasty food.
- Spend a day on the riverside with spectacular views of the river and a chance to learn all about the importance of our beloved river at the Thames Barrier.
- Scale the iconic O2 with the Up at The O2 experience which takes you on a guided expedition up a specially made walkway 52m in the air.
- Then when you have your feet on the ground the O2 is filled with family fun including bowling, trampolining, cinema and interactive fun in the Sky Studios.
- Plus we’ve already mentioned the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, NOW Gallery and Old Royal Naval College above. The list of things to do in Greenwich really is endless.
- We all love going to our local cinema to see the latest animated adventure or blockbuster but for a bit more adventure in your trip Peckham Levels will add great street food options and independent creative shopping to your trip.
- Probably one for the teens Deptford Cinema is a great way to see some slightly more obscure films and documentaries on the silver screen.
- An icon of Brixton the Ritzy Picturehouse Cinema is a much-loved film destination. Save on the LittleBird Family Pass today.
- Backyard Cinema’s immersive cinema experience will change the way you and the kids watch films. Their themes change seasonally and it’s amazing to watch blockbusters and classics in winter forests, on a Miami beach or even in Space!
- Plus, don’t forget! With your LittleBird Family Pass, you can save up to 40% and make the most of cheap cinema tickets nationwide! Start your trial today.
- If you’re after a real crowd-pleasing meal, nothing beats pizza Pizza Pilgrims have a Nutella pizza that will drive the kids nuts. Plus the low prices and unbeatable sourdough pizzas of Franco Manca are a hit every time.
- While it might get a bit messy Bodean’s BBQ should please everyone.
- If you’re in the Tower Bridge area Pique-Nique have somewhere for the kids to run around while you tuck into some affordably-priced rotisserie chicken.
- Wahaca’s bright decor and affordable children’s menu is a must if when you need a break from the splendour of the Southbank.
- Pop into Ping Pong for delicious, hand-made and authentic Dim Sum, and chow down on some superb Chinese cuisine.
- And don’t forget the staple family favourites like Busaba, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner.
Wow! That’s a lot! Let us know if there’s anything you think we’ve forgotten that you like to do as a family in South London, we’d love to know what your favourites are too!
And don’t forget with the LittleBird Family Pass you can enjoy year-round savings on family life including cinema, days out, restaurants and much more. We’ve handpicked each and every saving to save you time and money putting all your family savings in one place.
Plus if you tag us on Facebook @LittleBird and Instagram @littlebirddeals when you’re out on your family day’s out you could have a chance to be featured on our socials!