100 things to do with a toddler in London

Note: a revised, updated and some would say improved version of this list is now available as an e-book! Click here to buy it!

Well, this is quite a moment. In case you hadn’t realised, this is my 100th post. Most blogs I’ve started have stalled around post#11, so this is quite an achievement. Thanks to everyone who’s come along for the ride so far. Last time I checked, you were from 85 different countries and 6 different continents, which means there must be someone out there that I don’t know reading this stuff. It’s just a co-incidence that the only people who ever comment are friends of mine.

So, how to celebrate? Well, I do love a list. People often ask me (well, they often ask Google. Same thing) “What can you do with a toddler in London?” To them I answer – I can think of 100 things. And here they are. Some are tenuous, some are repetitive, some are just filler. One is The Bends. But I hope you enjoy them anyway and if you do any of them, think of me. And be smug at how your toddler is so much better behaved than mine.

1) Play chess with peacocks in Holland Park

2) Build with giant lego blocks at the Science Museum

3) Splash in the Diana Memorial Fountain

4) Play in a play train, while waving to the real trains in Peddlars Park

5) Watch tree surgeons at work at St James Churchyard

6) Climb through a real aeroplane at the Imperial War Museum

7) Take a wander over Clapham Common

8) Tunnel with the meerkats at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

9) Paddle next to a train line in Ruskin Park

10) Fly a kite on Hampstead Heath

11) Go down the aerial runway at Coram’s Fields

12) Have an al fresco swim at Oasis Leisure Centre

13) Stroke the Shetland ponies at Vauxhall City Farm

14) Feel like Austin Powers at Battersea Park 1 o’clock club

15) Climb on tree trunks in Walthamstow

16) Eat sandwiches while you sing at That Place On The Corner

17) Spot rare ducks at the London Wetland Centre

18) Eat home-grown food at Lambeth Palace

19) Lose your toddler at Brixton Tough Play

20) Complete the assault course at Pasley Park

21) Take in a lunchtime concert at the Royal Festival Hall

22) Enjoy a cupcake in Crystal Palace

23) Drink coffee while they play at Latchmere Leisure Centre

24) Go for a ride on the wizard train (aka the DLR)

25) Let them loose on the play floor at Beanies, Croydon

26) Dress up at the William Morris Gallery

27) Play with sand and water in Herne Hill

28) Dive into the ball pool at Peckham Pulse

29) Go down a big yellow slide in New Cross

30) Visit the piranhas at Foyles

31) Go and watch a major sporting event (now the Olympics is over, why not go and watch a road race or wait for the London Marathon?)

32) Chase the pigeons in Soho Square

33) Watch the trains at Kings Cross

34) Meet an Octonaut at Westfield

35) Run through tunnels of water at Myatt’s Fields

36) Revisit your childhood in Bethnal Green

37) Visit the floating market at Mile End

38) Pretend to be a pirate at Archbishops Park

39) Drink pink milk in Vauxhall

40) Visit the world-famous Mick Darnalds

41) Admire the view at Greenwich Park

42) Put on a puppet show at the Discover Centre

43) Build an archway in Launchpad….and let your toddler knock it down

44) Buy a coffee from Magic Coffee Man

45) Feed the ducks at St James’ Park

46) Watch the boats on the South Bank

47) Get your free balloon and have a nice meal at Giraffe

48) See the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

49) See the slightly less accurate dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park

50) Wave your metal chicken around at Nandos

51) Share rizlas with the hipster dads of Hackney

52) Make your own pizza at Pizza Express

53) Pretend you’re in Spain when you’re actually in Pimlico

54) Get spooked out by the Pleasure Gardens at the Museum of London

55) Eat gyozas with cherry sauce at Wagamama

56) Visit an art-deco lido and have a smoothie at Brockwell Park

57) See the model village at Vauxhall Park

58) Look at the horsies at the National Army Museum

59) Play in a huge sandpit at Regents Park

60) Chill with Rastamouse in Brixton

61) Watch a kids film at the Ritzy

62) See the jellyfish at the Horniman Museum

63) Have a car chase at London Film Museum

64) Play in a sandpit village at Victoria Park

65) Discover the stuffed walrus of Forest Hill

66) Make a pearly king and see the taxidermed bear at the Cuming Museum

67) Drive the play bus at Kennington Park

68) Drive a real bus at London Transport Museum

69) Get on an even real-er bus and see the sights (we recommend the 159)

70) The Bends. I mean, go to Jelly Babies at Camberwell swimming pool.

71) Try on vintage fireman outfits at the Fire Brigade Museum

72) Sit on wooden animals in the Toddler Enclosure

73) Avoid the living statues on the South Bank

74) Visit the poetry library at the Royal Festival Hall

75) Discover what “Mexican street food” is at Wahaca

76) Ride on the toddler carousel at Winter Wonderland

77) Go shopping while you leave your husband and toddler in the play area (or with Iggle Piggle in the toilets)

78) Dance in the Pattern Pod at the Science Museum

79) Discuss “where babies come from” in front of the Walthamstow Tapestry

80) Slide down the elephant water slide at the Latchmere Leisure Centre

81) Wander through Soho back alleys

82) Get a train. From anywhere to anywhere. They aren’t fussy.

83) Fight schoolchildren in the indoor sandpit at the Museum of Childhood

84) Eat ice cream, limited only by your gag reflex at the Ben and Jerry’s festival

85) Whizz down the big-boy-slide of death

86) Walk over the Green Bridge

87) Rock out at the LolliBop Festival

88) Get lost in the woods

89) See what’s on at the Southbank Centre

90) Explore the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

91) Play and sing along at the Stow Festival

92) Plan military manoevures at Kids’ Zone

93) Clamber over a giant pirate ship at  the Diana Memorial Playground

94) Fire jets of water into the air at Lloyd Park

95) Find some toilets you’ve never been to before

96) Hunt for deer and scramble down hills at Richmond Park

97) Actually find some deer in Greenwich Park

98) Visit Ducky Park. I dare you. There will be a prize for anyone who sends me a photo of their child at Ducky Park

99) Check out the new playground at Brockwell Park

100) Find somewhere I haven’t blogged about and send me a guest post. There will be yet more prizes.

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21 Responses to 100 things to do with a toddler in London

  1. Pingback: A WordPress writing challenge – kids in adult-orientated places | London With a Toddler

  2. Amanda says:

    What a great list! I remember going to see the deer at Greenwich park and being so ticked off at the tiny glimpse we got!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Fantastic list! I will definitely be sharing this one….just a shame I don’t have toddlers anymore, although big kids can do these things too! Happy New Year 🙂

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  6. sophbakes says:

    I’m so grateful to have stumbled across your blog! Have bookmarked for those days when I’m feeling adventurous but lacking inspiration 🙂 thank you so much!

    Side note- my son is also called Reuben. It’s not a name we come across often!

  7. Jodie says:

    Gambados in Chelsea is really good. It’s a huge bal put with several floors and fab baby area and bumper cars…yes bumper cars. Quite pricey though but worth it for the kids

  8. Jodie says:

    *ball pit

  9. Sociavise says:

    This blog-post is all about the fun and entertinement activities,events etc.Its really too much enjoyable.Very nice post.Thank you so much..

  10. Zina says:

    Spitalfields or newham farm!

    • katese11 says:

      I haven’t actually been to those yet…shocking as I am an EastEnder now. Must rectify that!

  11. Sammi says:

    Snakes and Ladders in Brentford! Soft play for under 2s, and a separate one for older kids. They’ve just renovated and now have a model village. It’s a bit pricey but with the outdoor play area being built, it’s very worth it. My 16m old loves it, as do the older kids.

  12. Mark Rossiter-Smith says:

    Deen City Farm – near Wimbledon. Is free (although great to donate) and got a variety of animals to see.

  13. Anon says:

    1. Cable Car
    2. There is a city farm in Newham and one near by the waterfront near Rotherite
    3. Golders Green park had some sort of Zoo
    4. Ice Skating at Alexandra Palace or Lee Valley Ice Rink (they gave toddlers some sort of zimmer frame to use on the Ice Rink)
    5. In the summer, there is one of those water fountains from the ground at Thames Barrier Park (not too far from Cable Car)
    6. Watch the planes from London City Airport (before 12ish on Saturday or After 12ish on Sunday)
    7. M&M store in Leicester Square
    8. Watch the Squirrels in St. James Park (they are not scared of people!).

  14. Jane Leigh says:

    Playing in fountains in summer at southbank.
    Brilliant list.

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