Guide to what’s on in London for families over the summer holidays 2015
As much as we love summer, the season also means one thing for frantic parents everywhere – how to keep their children occupied during the school holidays. Of course, my monthly what’s on guides includes many child and teen-friendly activities, but I’ve also done a round-up of attractions in the capital I’ve previously blogged about that would appeal to families, both free and ticketed, to give you some ideas.
For the August guide to what’s on in London, click here.
- Carsten Höller: Decision
Soar above the rooftops on a flying machine or whizz down a huge slide at this fun, interactive art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Runs until 6 September 2015. Tickets: Adults £13.50-£15, Concessiosn £11, Under 12s free. Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Serpentine Pavilion
Kids will find it an adventure going through the multi-coloured, multi-layered pavilion, which also includes a café so parents can put their feet up and enjoy a slice of cake. Open until 18 October 2015. Free to visit. Open 10am-6pm. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, Kensington, W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Alice’s Adventures Underground
Enjoy an immersive theatre experience with different shows available for varying age groups. Adventures In Wonderland for 5-10 years old and Alice’s Adventures Underground is for 11 plus and adults. Runs until 30 August 2015. Tickets for Adventures In Wonderland: Adults £18.50, Children £12.50. Tickets for Alice’s Adventures Underground: Tues, Wed and Sunday £35, Thurs £40-£47.50, Fri and Sat £47.50. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Alice’s Adventures Underground website. For Metro Girl’s review of Alice’s Adventures Underground, click here.
- London Dungeon
Maybe more suitable for older children, a journey through London’s more gruesome history, including rides for those daring enough. Tickets start from £17.50 for adults or £15.94 for children, cheaper if booked online in advance. Opening times vary. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube/train: Waterloo or Westminster. For more information and tickets, visit the official London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- London Eye
Enjoy some of the best views in London – and 360 degrees of it – from the big ferris wheel by the Thames. Opening times vary. Standard tickets (always cheaper online!) start from adults £19.35, children 4-15 years £13.95. Tickets can be bought from the Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.
- Cruise down the Thames
Pick one of the many tour companies cruising down the River Thames between Westminster and Greenwich, including City Cruises, Crown River Cruises, London Eye River Cruise and Thames River Services. If you have a one day travelcard, you may be entitled to a discount off your ticket. For Metro Girl’s review of City Cruises, click here.
- Zip-lining and tarzan swinging between the trees @ Go Ape
If you’ve got a head for heights, why not try zip-lining and tarzan swings at Go Ape. For over 10s only, 10-15 year olds must be supervised by an adult. Tickets: 16-17 yrs and Adults: £33, 10-15 yrs: £25. Go Ape, Trent Country Park, Cockfosters Road, Enfield, EN4 0PS. Nearest station: Cockfosters. For more information and booking, visit the Go Ape website. For Metro Girl’s review of Go Ape, click here.
- Climb over the roof of the O2
Another daring activity for those who aren’t afraid of heights – climb over the roof of the O2 for great views of London. For children aged 10 or over and 1.2 metres high or above. Under 18s must be with an adult. Prices starting from £28 pp, although there are discounts for O2 Priority Moments customers. Up At the O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For booking, visit the Up On The O2 website. For Metro Girl’s review of Up At The O2, click here.
- Alfresco drinking and dining by the Thames
If you happen to be in the capital visiting the Tower of London or HMS Belfast, why not make a pit-stop at the London Riviera pop-up for drinks and food? The temporary venue is located beside The Scoop, which will have free entertainment on all summer, including theatre, music and film screenings. Open daily 8am-10pm. London Riviera, Queen’s Walk, More London (next to City Hall), SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London Riviera website. For Metro Girl’s review of London Riviera, click here.
- Eltham Palace
Children with an interest in history – in particular Tudor times – will enjoy this historic house and gardens. Tickets: Adults £10.20, Children £6.10, English Heritage members free. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit the Eltham Palace website. For Metro Girl’s review of Eltham Palace, click here.
- Ride over the Thames on the Emirates Air Line
Perhaps something to combine with a climb over the O2 roof, ride the cable car between North Greenwich and Docklands. Tickets: Adult single £4.50 (£3.50 with Oyster/travelcard), Child single £2.30 (£1.70 with Oyster/travelcard). Board at North Greenwich Peninsula or Royal Victoria Docks near the ExCel Centre. Nearest tube: North Greenwich or Royal Victoria. For more information, visit the Emirates Air Line website. For Metro Girl’s review of the Air Line, click here.
For a guide to London’s open-air, pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.