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10 Museums to Visit with Children in London
Many people dismiss museums as boring places, but they’re not. If you want to learn about the past or enjoy art and culture, and expand your mind, visit a museum. They have an extremely positive effect on people, especially children. People visit museums for different reasons. Some of those reasons are personal, while others are societal. In 2020, over 60.8% of children aged 5 to 10 years old and 55.6% of those aged 11 to 15 years visited a museum in the UK.
If you want to broaden your horizons and learn about your country and ancestors, join the museum loving fold.
In this post, we reveal the best London Museums for children.
1. The British Museum
- Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
- Opening Times: 10am – 5pm
Discover over 2 million years of human culture and history at the British Museum. You and your children can explore the earliest objects created by humankind and art by contemporary artists. You can also choose to explore collections from Egypt, the Americas, China, Africa, and much more.
There are more than 60 galleries at the British Museum. You can visit the galleries on the lower floor, ground floor, and upper floors of the museum. The lower floor has collections from Africa, while the ground floor houses Egyptian and Greek sculptures.
Entry at the British Museum is free, but we recommend booking a time slot in advance. This guarantees you entry. Walk-up visits are also available but depending on capacity, entry is usually not guaranteed.
Book your British Museum Tickets!
2. V&A Museum of Childhood
- Location: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA
- Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 5.45pm
The V&A Museum of Childhood is a much-prized East London’s first public museum. Founded in 1872, it’s one of the first UK museums designed for young people. It’s a place where they can learn, meet new people, and debate together.
At the time of writing, the museum was undergoing renovations and remodelling. When it reopens, you’ll have multi-sensory galleries with vibrant colours. There will be three new galleries – Imagine, Play and Design. They will showcase more than 2,000-star objects from the museum’s National Childhood Collection.
The Childhood Collection cares for over 33,000 objects and 61 archival collections from the 1600s to the present day. The collection includes the oldest rocking horses from Britain to toys and children’s clothing.
In the galleries, you’ll have objects displayed at toddler’s height to child-centred designs. They will foster the spirit of curiosity. There will be a new suite of learning studios for creative curriculum design. This will enable teachers to provide their students with an inspirational experience.
Entry is free but to gain entry into exhibitions, you need a separate ticket.
Get your V&A Museum of Childhood Tickets!
3. London Transport Museum
- Location: London Transport Museum 39 Wellington Street London WC2E 7BB
- Opening Times: 10am – 6pm
Want to discover over 200 years of London’s transport history? A visit to the London Transport Museum will enable you to learn about the secret wartime history of Down Street station. You’ll also learn about the abandoned tunnels of an underground station and explore the tram tunnels at Kingsway tram station.
Although the tunnels were closed nearly 70 years ago, they’ve plenty of fascinating history. Visitors can also book virtual group tours. Travel organizers and tour operators will transport you to a secret side of London where you can book a tour of a Tube station.
The virtual tour allows you to explore the subterranean world of forgotten and shadowy tunnels of the London Underground. After the tour, you can shop for a range of gifts. Each ticket entitles you to 10% off the merchandise.
To visit the museum, you need an annual pass and a timed ticket. You can use the museum unlimited times all year. Kids go free, and they do not need an annual pass.
Book your London Transport Museum Annual Pass!
4. Science Museum
- Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD
- Opening Times: 10am – 6pm
If you want to see Stephenson’s Rocket and Apollo 10 command module, visit the Science Museum. At Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery, you can have an interactive experience that will ignite your curiosity. You can enjoy live science demonstrations and shows as well as meet the museum’s explainers.
Visit the refurbished Imax: The Ronson Theatre and get a rare opportunity of viewing 3D educational films, and cinema classics.
The Science Museum has the Pattern Pod, a multi-sensory space for 5 to 8-year-olds. Here, children can learn more about the world. The museum also allows sleepovers for children where they stay all night and even take part in science shows.
Entry is free, but you must book your free Museum Admission ticket.
Pre-book your free Science Museum Ticket!
5. Horniman Museum and Gardens
Location: 100 London Road
Opening Times: 10am – 5.30pm Closed on Wednesdays
Explore natural wonders and global cultures at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Commissioned in 1898 and opened in 1901, it has a collection that includes Mexican and African masks. There are over 1,300 musical instruments, activity packs and trails. It has displays of natural history, anthropology and a large collection of taxidermied animals.
The museum also hosts a variety of concerts, shows, workshops, special exhibitions and festivals. As a South London treasure, you’ll love the new aquarium, beautiful gardens and overstuffed walrus. Entrance to the museum and gardens is free, but a charge is usually made for major exhibitions and the aquarium.
Horniman Museum is open daily except for 24th to 26th December when it’s closed.
Visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens!
6. Royal Air Force Museum
- Location: Grahame Park Way London, NW9 5L
- Opening Times: 10am – 5pm
The Royal Air Force Museum has three innovative galleries where you can explore the first 100 years of the Royal Air Force and its role. The rest of the museum has award-winning First World War, Bomber Command Hall and Historic Hangars. Open to all visitors, the whole collection comprises several objects ranging from lapel badges to aircraft.
You can find over 100 historic aircraft that include Lancasters, and even the English Electric Lightning. This was Britain’s first aircraft to reach twice the speed of sound.
They do have an interactive science gallery for kids where they can take the controls of a helicopter and test their vision and reaction times. The museum also has flight simulators, and if your child dreams of flying, this is a must-see museum.
Entry is free.
Book your Royal Air Force Museum Tickets!
7. Bank of England Museum
- Location: Bartholomew Lane London EC2R 8AH
- Opening Times : Open only weekdays up to 5pm
Find out the history of the Bank of England and banknotes at the Bank of England Museum. The museum has a collection of more than 40,000 items that span over 1,500 years of history. They include artworks, sculptures, coins, banknotes, decorative art, sculptures and more.
If you want to hold a genuine gold bar in your hands, you can do so at the Bank of England Museum. Children have the opportunity of boarding the Monetary Policy Boat and play interactive games.
The museum is open on weekdays, and admission is free.
8. Natural History Museum
- Location: Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD
- Opening Times: 10am – 5.50pm
The Natural History Museum is one of the best museums for children. It has over 80 million objects on display. A visit will enable you to uncover the stories behind the variety of specimens, meet the curators and collectors. The museum has an Earthquake Machine that allows you to feel the earth.
Children can play detective games and visit the Wildlife Garden to watch the growing cubs. The museum’s hands-on Science Centre has microscopes and other tools which kids can use to examine specimens. Like the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum also hosts regular sleepovers for children.
It’s open daily, and entry is free.
Book your Natural History Museum Tickets!
9. National Maritime Museum
Location: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF
Opening Times: 10am – 5pm
The National Maritime Museum hosts timekeeping collections that include watches, and clocks. You also have fine art, polar relics, historic photographs, sea charts and maps, ship models and plans.
It has the Great Map, a giant multi-sensory atlas where parents and children can play interactive games and set sail. In Ahoy!, children can stoke a steamship boiler, work together in the interactive boatyard and eat fish for dinner. The museum opens daily, and entry is free.
Book your National Maritime Museum Tickets!
10. The Clink Prison Museum
- Location: 1 Clink St, London SE1 9DG
- Opening Times: 10am – 6pm
The Clink Prison is one of England’s oldest prisons dating back to 1144. As a notorious prison, it operated between the 12th century until 1780. The prison housed a multitude of prisoners including drunkards, debtors and more.
Today, the site is home to the Clink Prison Museum and hosts archaeological artefacts, torture devices and more. At the museum, you can experience the sights and smells of the prison plus hear tales of Clink Prison inmates. Kindly note, the prison is not wheelchair friendly.
Book your Clink Prison Museum Ticket!