London fun with the kids
Planning a trip to London this Summer? Here are 12 attractions in the capital you shouldn't miss.
■ Natural History Museum, London SW7 ■ now – 29 Feb 2018
Walk underneath the largest creature to have lived on earth in Hintze Hall – a gigantic 25.2m blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling called Hope, replacing Dippy the dinosaur. More than 100 enormous skeletons of whales, dolphins and porpoises from the Museum’s impressive research collection will be brought out from behind-the-scenes for the first time to show the secret underwater life of these animals in the museum’s summer family exhibition.
■ Zip World London, Arch Bishop’s Park, London SE1 ■ now until 1 October
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube anyway of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. It’s not cheap – adults pay £22.50 and children get to ride it for £16.50. If your nerves can stand it, you can have a second go for an extra tenner. Suitable from 8+, book online.
■ Sea Life London Aquarium, London SE1 ■ ongoing
The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!
■ London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB. visitsealife.com
Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail
■ Museum of London Docklands ■ until 3 Sept
I saw a preview of this exhibition on the telly and it looks amazing. It’s the most complete range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail to be displayed and has gone on display alongside the story of Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Over 10,000 artefacts shine a light on people in almost every important period of the Capital’s history from Mesolithic tool makers and inhabitants of Roman Londinium to those affected by the Great Plague of 1665. There are skeletons, tools, pottery, even makeshift ice skate blades fashioned from bones. Entry is free.
■ Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AL. museumoflondon.org.uk
■ Horniman Museum, London SE23 ■ until Sun 29 Oct
It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time. Tickets: Adults £7; Kids, £4.
■ The Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ. horniman.ac.uk
■ Westfield, London W12 ■ ongoing
Those who’ve been rave about this place at Westfield. A friend from overseas bought her sons for a rammed fortnight in London during which they saw pretty much every museum and attraction and this was their favourite. It’s a child-size ‘city’ where the kids are in charge (scary, no?). It provides real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. They can try more than 60 role-play activities (actor, doctor, police officer etc) with each experience crafted to teach kids essential life skills like team work and independence. Younger kids can hang out in the dedicated Early Years area. And you can, you know, go shopping.
■ KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GA. london.kidzania.com
■ Kensington, London ■ ongoing
The Sherlock Holmes Experience
■ Madame Tussaud’s ■ Mon 18 July – Fri 30 Sept
A departure for Madam Tussauds, this new Sherlock Holmes Experience (included in the normal ticket price) is live walk-through adventure. Journeying from 221B Baker Street to Dartmoor where a demon hound lurks, with plenty of stops along the way. You must help Dr. Watson find the missing Sherlock Holmes to reach a dramatic ‘watery’ conclusion. The experience is totally interactive with textured theatrical sets laden with detail, hidden clues and special effects. Bring your own deerstalker.
■ Madam Tussauds, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR. madametussauds.com
Star Wars Identies
■ O2 London ■ ends 3 Sept