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Top 5 free activities in London for kids

London, England

Converting Aussie dollars to pounds can be painful at the best of times, but there’s a long list of free activities to keep families busy in London. Here are five of our favourites.

1. Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground

The centrepiece of this amazing playground is a huge timber pirate ship sailing through a sea of sand. This alone could provide hours of entertainment but add to that a myriad of different play zones including water play, musical play, houses and tepees, swings, a sensory path, slides and forts and it truly is a wee one’s wonderland worth a visit.

Do note that entry is only open to parents supervising children under 12 so adults or older kids can’t go in by themselves.

Also of interest if you do want to splash out is the nearby Kensington Palace. We had a 2-4-1 voucher from using the Overground train to get into London so maybe this can also count as a budget activity. I thought this visit might go over Lucinda’s head, being only 14 months old, but it was amazing to see her excitement and interest as we entered each room. She looked around in awe at the Palace and her face lit up when she was allowed to play with some toys on display. We also had a lot of laughs from onlookers at all the, ‘ohhs’ and ‘wows’ that she exclaimed in a special side exhibition showcasing some of Princess Diana’s dresses.

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2. Science Museum

With free entry and interactive areas specifically catering to under fives, I knew the Science Museum would be a great spot for my toddler to stretch her legs and explore. Our first stop was The Garden, actually in the basement of the building. It was a bit overrun with kids so I had to keep a close eye on Lucy, but she just loved the experience. She touched, banged, poked and prodded; she hid, built, splashed and stared. I also think she enjoyed all the kids playing around her, sometimes just watching them. But hands down the water play area was her favourite.

Upstairs in the main museum we also discovered The Pattern Pod. The activities here were a bit beyond my one-year-old’s capabilities, but again she was mesmerised by it all and happily watched on, mouth agape.

3. The Natural History Museum

This is another must in my book. Kids generally are captivated by animals and it's pretty much like Noah's Ark in the Natural History Museum with nearly all animals accounted for.

We had moment of trepidation as T-Rex turned and growled, looking very lifelike, or when Lucinda look up at the enormous blue whale suspended from the ceiling, but generally we had a ball.

4. Spotting big red buses

Even riding them if you have a few quid or need to get somewhere. We found buses way more fun than the Tube and Lucy loved waving at the drivers who often waved back.

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5. Smelling the roses in the many gardens

There are so many gorgeous gardens to visit. London doesn’t have to be about all the big sights; sometimes just soaking up the sun (if you’re lucky enough to get some) in a park is pure joy.

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In a former life Amy Peel was a footloose and fancy-free TV Producer travelling Australia and abroad. Now with the addition of toddler Lucinda Louise into the mix, the adventures continues but life has well and truly changed. Follow the fun on Instagram @mumapeel or start Chasing Amy.

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