Top Kids' Attractions in London

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London Eye © Rui Matos | Dreamstime.com
A trip to London is a rite of passage for any child. From Big Ben to The Tower, the city's top attractions are part of our heritage, and their history lessons. Here we list our top ten favourites, some which may help with the curriculum, some may not...

Madame Tussauds
The celebrated home of life-sized wax figures depicting the most famous faces and talked about celebrities from the worlds of politics, sport, history and of course, entertainment. Pose with your favourite film star. Sing along with One Direction, or curtesy to the Queen. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm; Sat & Sun 9am-6pm. Adult £30; child £25.80. Joint tickets with the London Eye, London Dungeon and London Aquarium available. www.madametussauds.com/london. Marylebone Rd, NW1 5LR  0871 894 3000. 

Sea Life London Aquarium
London's amazing aquarium based in the former County Hall is home to over 500 different species of marine life in over two million litres of water. There are 14 themed zones here over three floors and you can interact with the animals at the public feeding sessions, diving displays and special touch pools. You can even snorkel with the sharks (book in advance £125). For the less adventurous there are awe-inspiring views from the walk-through tank tunnels and glass floors. A firm favourite. Open daily 10am-7pm. Adult £22.20; child £16.50. www.sealife.co.uk/london. 0871 663 1678

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
Explore this fascinating range of oddities over six floors, from shrunken heads to an albino alligator and the world’s tallest man. Home to 700 curious exhibits, galleries and interactive experiences including the intriguing Mirror Maze and the Black Hole, this is a real hit for all ages. Open daily 10am-midnight (last entry 10.30pm) Adult £26.95; child £19.95. www.ripleyslondon.com. 1 Piccadilly Circus, WC1 ODA 0203 238 0022. 

Changing The Guard
This historic display of pageantry takes place on alternate days outside Buckingham Palace, except in wet weather. Mounted guards change daily in Horse Guards Arch in Whitehall. Mon-Sat at 11am; Sun 10am. Try and arrive 30 mins early to get a good view and be warned – selfie sticks at the ready. Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA

The Coco-Cola London Eye
One of the world’s largest observation wheels, the Eye takes centre stage on the River Thames and gives you a fascinating bird's-eye view across London, and even more interestingly into Whitehall and the riverside buildings below. There are interactive screens in each pod to help you identify all the landmarks. Open daily 10.30am-8.30pm. www.londoneye.com 0871 781 3000

London Bridge Experience
Not just an exciting history lesson on the 1,700-year-old London Bridge site, more a spine-tingling scary attraction as you can also visit the  London Tombs here that are housed in a former plague pit. Hollywood-style wizadry and actors bring the experience to life. Expect to encounter spiders, snakes, ghosts and ghouls. The Guardian Angel Tour is suitable for children under 11. Sun-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-6pm. Adult £24; child £18. www.thelondonbridgeexperience.com. 0800 043 4666

The London Dungeon
This full-on interactive horror attraction, now in the underground vaults of County Hall, takes you on a terrifying tour of 1,000 years of gruesome history, with individual shows bringing to life grisly characters such as Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper. There are two underground rides, including the Drop Dead Drop Ride to Doom (there is a height restriction) a cast of 20 actors and lots of scary special effects. Not recommended for young children. Open Mon-Wed & Fri 10am-5pm; Thur 11am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-6pm. Adult £25.20; child £19.80. www.thedungeons.com 0871 423 2240

ZSL London Zoo
There are an unbelievable 750 species in this famous zoo, from mighty Sumatran tigers and gorillas, to Komodo dragons and the ever-popular and hugely entertaining penguins. The popular Indonesian-inspired Tiger Territory sees the zoo’s stripy residents treated to an enclosure, complete with custom-built pool and indoor dens. Meet the penguins at Penguin Beach Live or take part in the Keeper For A Day experience. Open daily 10am-4pm. Adult £20; child £15. www.zsl.org. 0207 722 3333

Best way to see London? The Big Bus Tours. The fleet open-top buses will take you to all the major sights and a multi-lingual commentary will keep you informed so you don't miss anything. www.bigbustours.com 0207 233 8722

Best advice? Book attractions in advance as they do get busy. Pre-booked tickets will cut down on your queuing time. 

Published in: March 2015

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