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As any born-and-bred Londoner will tell you, the capital is simply the best place in the world to grow up. Packed with fabulous museums, interactive shows and a healthy scattering of charming petting zoos, the city has plenty to keep families entertained. In a city known for its penchant for the exclusive, many of the most engaging tot-friendly attractions are purse-friendly and open to all. Here are five of the best.

Free, fun and family-friendly activities in London

  • Natural History Museum

    Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD

    Experience the earthquake simulator, then creep past the animatronic T-rex, all for free.

  • Kensington Gardens

    W2 2UH

    Run riot in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, with its pirate-ship centrepiece.

  • National Maritime Museum

    Park Row, SE10 9NF

    Under-sevens love the free ‘Ahoy’ gallery, stoking boilers, fixing boats and steering an ice-breaker.

  • Mudchute Park and Farm

    Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, E14 3HP

    Entry’s free at this urban farm, whose residents run from rabbits to alpacas.

  • The South Bank

    Great for families, from the buskers and splashy fountains to the singing lift at the Royal Festival Hall.

Image credits: © Belinda Lawley; © Belinda Lawley; © Natural History Museum; © Kensington Gardens; © National Maritime Museum; © Mudchute Park & Farm; © Belinda Lawley