London is a rainy city at the best of times, but during fall, the gray clouds appear to take an almost permanent position above the British capital. Rain can start any time, quickly putting a pause on plans for outdoor activities. Luckily, London knows a thing or two about how to entertain families during inclement weather. Here are three of our favorite things to do with kids that are sure to distract from dreary weather.
Get interactive at a museum. London is full of fantastic, child-friendly museums, and the majority of them are free to enter. The Natural History Museum is packed with unique spots, including one of its stunning galleries, Treasures, that’s filled with 22 exhibits showcasing insects, fossils, an Emperor penguin egg, and even a meteorite. The Science Museum features various hands-on offerings at its Launchpad exhibit, where you can explore various demonstrations and shows relating to physics, or venture to lesser-known museums such as the Horniman (includes an aquarium and an exhibit on African worlds) and the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood for interactive storytelling and arts and crafts sessions.
Explore another world. Kids love to discover new worlds, and there are plenty of opportunities to do just that in London. Step inside the magical Harry Potter universe with scenic sets to detailed costumes on a Warner Bros. Studio Tour, learn about the gruesome history of the city at the London Dungeons, or enjoy an afternoon of glitz and glamour at Madame Tussauds with its plethora of life-size wax figures including Kate Winslet, the Royal Family, David Beckham, and One Direction. Young ones can also interact with (sheltered) animal and plant life at the London Zoo (tropical indoor exhibits include Butterfly Paradise and Rainforest Life) and Kew Gardens where everyone can explore 150-year-old trees in the Bonsai House.
Eat sweets and play with toys. What more could a child desire than a trip to a traditional English sweet shop? Put the dentist appointment on hold and spend a day or an afternoon browsing the shelves of sweet treats at Hope and Greenwood in Covent Garden, which is stuffed to the brim with fun finds such as candy floss (chocolate banana, apple and custard or strawberries and cream flavors), toffee bonbons and peanut butter fudge. Once you’ve had your fill, head to London’s most famous toy store, Hamleys on Regent Street (dating back to 1881), which provides seven floors of playthings ranging from train sets and jigsaw puzzles to telescopes and Barbie dolls.
Photo Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood