“Last weekend we went to London. There are lots of famous and historical things to see and do in London, but we decided to go for cocktails and a slap up lunch instead.”
This made me laugh and remember that sometimes, the best days out are not full of sightseeing and museums but just relaxing and enjoying a city. So, here are my top 7 ways to relax and enjoy London with a toddler:
1. Watch buskers in Covent Garden
Covent Garden market square has always been one of my favourite places in London. There is so much going on and there is always a busker to watch or music group to listen to. The open air cafes are lovely in Summer and if the weather turns sour, toddlers will love the Transport Museum on the corner.
2. Ride the DLR
OK, so even I enjoy sitting at the front of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) but for a toddler it’s like a theme park ride! This overground portion of the tube runs out through Canary Wharf and East London with some lovely views. But the best part is that there are no drivers so you can sit right at the front and pretend to be in control.
In the summer the Diana Memorial Fountain in Kensington Gardens is always full of kids splashing around. The shallow waterway is crystal clear and perfect for paddling. It is a lovely atmosphere with lots of laughter and smiles and I am sure Princess Diana would be happy at how much families are able to enjoy it.
4. Take in a film or concert
There are loads of family and kids entertainment in London. Lots of cinemas offer Scream Screenings that you can take little ones too, Cadagon Hall does some great family concerts and The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank often has live music on for free at lunch times.
5. Stroll Columbia Flower market
I used to live in East London and my Sunday ritual was to wander down Columbia Flower Market, get a bagel on Brick Lane and then head to Spitalfields. Colmbia Flower Market is full of beautiful colours and smells and has so much to awaken your toddler’s senses.
Hampstead Heath gives you an amazing view of the city and is rugged and wild compared to most of London’s open spaces. You can swim in the pools, watch people with their remote control boats on the pond or just enjoy running up and down hills and in and out of trees.
7. Have a picnic in the park
The great thing about London is that there are loads of parks to break up the hustle and bustle of the city and give your toddler a chance to run around freely. Regent’s Park is great with the boating lake and a big sandpit but Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury is a hidden gem with a fabulous toddler playground.
For some more great ideas take a look at 100 things to do in London with a toddler on the London With a Toddler blog.
What are your favourite places to enjoy London with your toddler?