6 Free Things to do in London This Half Term

Big Ben

London is always a great place to take children during half-term. There is so much to do and so much to see, the only drawback is that once you take into account petrol and parking costs, or train fares, plus food and admission fees, it can quickly become a costly day out.

With so many families now on tight budgets most cannot afford to spend a small fortune on a day out in the capital. On the other hand, no parent wants their child to go without either, fortunately, there are lots of free things to do in London.

Many of the city’s most famous museums and galleries are free to enter, while places like Covent Garden and Hyde Park are great to just stroll through. As kids get bored easily it is a good idea to have some activities in mind instead of just aimlessly wondering through the city streets. To help you plan a fun and inexpensive day out in London, here are six free and child-friendly things to do:

Climb Big Ben

Three times a day from Monday to Friday there are tours that take visitors up the famous tower, providing an opportunity to visit the top of Big Ben. Not only will it offer children with a unique perspective of this historic tower, but it also provides a stunning view of London. As part of the tour children will learn about the history of Big Ben and how the clock, and famous chimes, work. Tours are free but need to be arranged through your local MP or a member of the House of Lords.

Family Arts Festival

Running from the 18 October – 3 November, the Family Arts Festival is a range of cultural events taking place around the city all of which are aimed at families. The Festival covers a wide variety of art forms including dance, theatre, film, circus, art and music. To find what events are taking place and where just check out the Family of Arts Festival website.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Alright the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace might be a tourist cliché, but it still doesn’t stop it from being fun for kids to watch and a good way of avoiding the crowds is watching the ceremony at St James’ Palace. This ceremony has been taking place for over 150 years and is a great way of introducing children to the history of London.

British Museum

We are fortunate that our capital has so many quality museums and galleries that are free to enter, but perhaps the best for children is the British Museum. For decades children have loved exploring the Egyptian exhibition and seeing real life mummies, while the Lindow Man has been fascinating young visitors for years. The museum also has child-friendly exhibitions running throughout the year and currently has Highlights from the world of Sutton Hoo, which will help bring Anglo-Saxon Britain to life.

Parliament Hill

If you head to the Parliament Hill area of Hampstead Heath you will not only be greeted with spectacular views of the city, but it is also the perfect spot for kite flying. Just make sure you have a dry, windy day and your kites ready for a day out in the capital your children will remember for years. As well as this, with it being in London there is of course a historic element to Parliament Hill. It is thought to be the place where Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators planned to watch the destruction of Parliament. The area also used to be known at Traitors’ Hill because during the English Civil War it was defended by those loyal to the Parliamentarians.


Who as a child did not dream of spending hours in a toy shop? So what better treat for your children than to take them to one of the world’s oldest and most famous toy shops, and with Christmas looming on the horizon and Christmas lists starting to be made, this is perhaps the best time to take your kids to Hamleys.

Featured post, written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger

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  • Paul Wilson October 23, 2013 7:53 pm

    Haven’t been to London for ages.

  • Dawn F October 23, 2013 9:01 pm

    There is always something to do in London, not so much outside of it. 🙁

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