kid-friendly London

The London Eye. Photo credit: Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan / International TravelingMo

Kid-friendly London? Yes. This city is often called the center of the world, not only because of its geographical location on the globe, but also because of its significance as a historical, cultural and commercial hub. But it’s also very kid-friendly.

When we moved here in January 2014, I was already familiar with London. My parents had owned a business and a home here when I was growing up, so summers until I was 15 were spent frolicking in Hyde Park and posing with the pigeons at Trafalgar Square.  But it was only when I lived here as a parent myself that I understood how kid-friendly London  really is.

Here’s why:

The Parks

London has some of the most beautiful public parks in the world, complete with playgrounds, cafes and wifi. Each park has its own character and special feature such as the Diana Memorial Fountain in Kensington Gardens or the Adventure Playground at Hamspstead Heath. Parks and other free or low-cost attractions make it easy to see London on a budget with kids.

The Museums

London is home to some of the most significant museums in the world, and many of them are free! In a city where you can pay up to 8 pounds for a cup of coffee, the fact that children have access to these amazing resources without worrying about the cost is mind-boggling and something London parents are very thankful for. What’s more – many of these museums such as the V & A have structured activities like trails and workshops also free of charge. Amazing!

kid-friendly London

One Direction vs. the Beatles! Photo credit: Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan / International TravelingMo

The Theater

It should be obvious that the homeland of Shakespeare should have a large theater culture. And London does not disappoint. Aside from main West End productions like “The Lion King,” “Billy Elliott” and “Matilda” that kids can attend once they turn 3, London offers specific productions for children, from age 0 up. Further, drama forms a major part of the school curriculum as well as extra-curriculars, which explains why England continues to produce some of the best actors in entertainment history.

The Diversity

As I walk down London’s streets, I hear Italian, French, German, Arabic, Hungarian, Russian, Hindi, and of course, English. London is a true melting pot, welcoming cultures from all over the world and encouraging them to set up home within the city. Children absorb this diversity on the playground, in their choice of cuisines and restaurants and in observing various lifestyles at play in London.

If that’s not enough, the whole of Europe is literally at your doorstep; a one-hour flight can take you to Germany, a two-hour flight to Italy, and a four-hour flight to Greece! Or you can simply take a short train ride to Paris or Brussels for the weekend.  In our first nine months here, my kids and I visited Switzerland, Morocco, Italy, Greece, France and Scotland. I even managed to squeeze in a girls’ trip to Istanbul!

Future King George

Everyone’s gaga over Prince George of Cambridge, the future King of England, now expecting a younger sibling.  The Royal Mint commemorated the birth of this little one with the issue of coins and he even had a lullaby composed just for him. No doubt, the Brits love their babies!

If that’s not enough, the whole of Europe is literally at your doorstep; a one-hour flight can take you to Germany, a two-hour flight to Italy, and a four-hour flight to Greece! Or you can simply take a short train ride to Paris or Brussels for the weekend.  In our first nine months here, my kids and I visited Switzerland, Morocco, Italy, Greece, France and Scotland. I even managed to squeeze in a girls’ trip to Istanbul!

If you get a chance, do stop over in London and enjoy the history, art and spectacular contemporary culture that this city offers. You won’t regret it.

For more, read:

Visiting London with Babies

Where to Eat with Kids in London

Momaboard’s Ultimate Guide to London with Kids