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

  • 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.

  • The slice of local life: Columbia Road Flower Market

    Columbia Road, E2 7RG

    On Sundays, Columbia Road is transformed into an open-air flower market, and buckets of blooms line the narrow street. It feels like a slice of the old East End, as stallholders shout out cut-price deals and banter with passing shoppers. The side-streets are full of bijou boutiques, cafés and old-school pubs, while buskers keep the crowds entertained (and occasionally get them dancing).

  • Hamleys

    188-196 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 5BT

    Station Oxford Circus. Ouvert du lundi au vendredi de 10h00 à 21h00, le samedi de 9h30 à 21h00 et le dimanche de 12h00 à 18h00.

Image credits: © Belinda Lawley; © Belinda Lawley; © National Maritime Museum; © Mudchute Park & Farm; © Belinda Lawley; © Sam Harris; © Angelina Dimitrova