The Young Learner

Top 10 things to do in London with kids this summer

Every summer families from all over the world study English with Discovery Summer in London. We’re always asked for ideas to help entertain young children, teenagers and their parents. So here’s our top 10 things to do with kids in London this summer. As well as being fun they’re also a great way to use and improve your English.

  1. Visit the theatre. Did you know that London has 241 theatres? There are so many plays and musicals to choose from and luckily many are perfect family entertainment. 

For families studying with us at our Collingham summer school we arrange an optional weekly social programme. In 2024 there’ll be opportunities to see Lion King and Matilda in July and August. Tickets are very reasonably priced at £25-£40 and can be purchased on arrival.

If you fancy something a bit different why not visit the Polka theatre with shows for children aged 3-12. It’s in a newly renovated building complete with cafe, kid’s playground and gift shop just a short walk from Wimbledon Station. 

Older teens might enjoy a trip to the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre to see plays by England’s famous playwright in their traditional setting. You can also have back stage tours

  1. If your children enjoy museums, why not visit the Young V&A A creative, inspiring place designed specially for children. Entry to the main museum is free but tickets are needed for temporary exhibitions. Teens may also enjoy this year’s highlight for lovers of Japan is Myths to Manga (open until 8 September 2024).

Another favourite is the Postal Museum with hands-on exhibits about the history of the postal service and even mail train rides. Ideal for young learners, teenagers, parents and grandparents!

Don’t forget that a highlight for our Collingham junior students aged 7 and above are weekly study visits to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum or V&A in South Kensington. 

  1. Luckily London is a very green city so if your children want to run around in the open air there are plenty of open spaces. If you’re staying in central London a trip to Hyde Park and neighbouring Kensington Gardens is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. There are numerous playgrounds including the Diana Memorial Playground built in memory of the late princess. To work off a bit more energy you can also hire a boat or pedalo on the Serpentine.
  1. Another activity-packed outdoor space is Battersea Park located next to the Thames between the Albert Bridge and Chelsea Bridge. There’s a zoo for younger children, tree-top high ropes for more adventurous teens and even a Japanese peace pagoda

Teenagers on our Collingham full day programme also visit the park to try out mini-golf and ride a variety of fun bikes. 

  1. After a busy morning at summer camp, a boat ride along the river is always a relaxing way to see the sights. During July and August we arrange Thames River cruises from Westminster to Tower Bridge as part of our optional social programme for Collingham families. You can also extend the trip to Greenwich or explore a less-visited part of London by going west to Kew. 
  1. And talking of the river, why not visit the Golden Hinde – a reconstruction of a famous Elizabethan ship that sailed around the world in the 16th century. It’s now docked close to London Bridge and Borough Market. If you want to see a more modern ship visit HMS Belfast – a former warship now permanently moored on the Thames near Tower Bridge. There are lots of interactive displays and activities to keep kids aged 7+ amused – plus great views of the river. 
  1. Amazingly, many of the best places to visit in London are free! At the National Gallery you can see world famous works from Boticelli to Van Gogh. They even have an immersive app – The Keeper of the Paintings – to encourage children to explore and learn about paintings. Next door is the National Portrait Gallery – home to 220,000 works of art with paintings, photographs and sculptures dating from the 8th century to the present day. Explore the Tudor gallery to learn about Henry VIII or check out the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award 2024 for more contemporary images. It’s open from 11 July – 27 October 2024
  1. Just a short walk away is Waterstones – Europe’s largest bookshop with a whole floor devoted to children’s books in a beautiful six storey building that’s not to be missed. It’s a great place to pick up traditional stories, graded readers and Young Adult fiction to suit your child’s interests and English language ability. 
  1. For sports fans a trip to England isn’t complete without a football stadium tour. The Chelsea tour offers a chance to visit the players’ dressing room, players tunnel, press room and the trophies on display in the museum. On the other side of London is the Emirates Stadium home to Arsenal with audio tours available in 10 languages. 
  1. And finally, if you’re tired of the capital, hop on a train for a day trip to the stunning Hampton Court Palace which is less than 40 minutes from London Waterloo. Built for Henry VIII in the 16th century the palace offers a unique historical experience with beautiful riverside gardens, a maze and even a magical adventure playground for children to enjoy.  Young learners on our course for international students aged 8-13 at Marymount love it!

You can also join small group sightseeing tours organised by International Friends who offer day trips to Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and many more. 

To find out more about our family summer schools in London for adults, teens and young learners contact us today. We also have a great range of summer boarding courses for 8-17 year olds. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. 

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