Top 10 things to do in London with Teenagers
Even though my little adventurers are still young, we do lots of travelling with my older nieces and nephews, So I am always on the hunt for the best activities for children of all ages. If you are in London with kids, tweens, teens or a group of adults, the city has an immense amount of activities to choose from. London is a city we always visit as an extended family group so here are my top 10 things to do in London with teenagers.
The O2 is one of the most iconic buildings in London, but did you know you can walk to the top of the building? Like the walks in Sydney Harbour Bridge, visitors to London can walk along the top of the O2. The attraction is open for children over the age of 10 years old (note that you need 1 person over 18 for every 2 children under 18) and would be a different activity to do with children. My niece did the attraction this week and thought it was a great way to see London, and even though it wasn’t as high as other attractions, it was definitely one of the more unusual activities to do in London.
Harry Potter Studios London
So technically this is just outside of London but is easy enough to get to from Central London and will be a huge hit for any Potter fans. We have visited the studios twice, once with and once without the children. The studios are amazing and the attention to detail is impressive and I loved walking around the Great Hall, seeing how the magic was bought to life. We have compiled a guide full of top tips to make sure you make the most of your time in the studios.
London Bridge Experience and Tombs
Most teenagers love a good fright and one of the best horror experiences in London is the London Bridge Tombs. We have done the London Dungeons with the teens but the Tombs tour looks much more interactive and much more frightening. The attractions has been voted the scariest attraction for several years and the visit includes being chased, thrilled and frightened. What teen would refuse?
Cool and Quirky Desserts
Unlike me, my nieces and nephews have a flair and love for fancy food. They love trying everything that is new, cool or unique and we have put together a post of the Coolest Desserts in London. From Chin Chin Lab’s – Europe’s only retailer who sell liquid nitrogen ice creams, Chocolate chip shots with milk, Bubble Waffles at Nosteagia… we have them all covered off!
West End show
We love going to the theatre with the little adventurers, but with teens, the amount and type of shows you can watch is so much more varied. London’s West End is home to some of the best in the worlds theatre and I would love to watch one of these. I have been to London as a teen and watching one of these shows still remains one of the highlights of my visit. I also love the flexibility which travelling with teens offers, you are no longer clock watching and a west end show can easily be combined with a nice meal before or a lovely stroll through the city at night making it a fantastic evening out.
London is jam packed with some of the best museums that I have seen across from the globe and with many of them offering free entry. But there are lots of cool and quirky museums which aren’t that well known but would be a fun day out. My picks of more offbeat museums would be:
The Hunterian Museum (Free but some events are chargeable) which is based in the Royal College of Surgeons. The Hunterian Museum has lots of unique and cool collections and they even have events specifically aimed at families. They have special clinical skill events, where visitors can test how steady their hands are on the minimal access surgical trainers. Visitors can also see how Royal College of Surgeons helps to train current surgeons
The Grant Museum of Zoology (Free) is the only remaining university zoological museum in London. The Grant Museum houses around 68,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom. It is located in UCL and looks amazing. One of my nieces is anamazing artist, and visitors are able to ring up and have a table arranged so they can have space to draw the exhibits.
Olympic Park – Velodrome
The London Olympics were a huge success and many of the venues used through the games are now open to the general public. Many teenagers revel in sports and the London Velodrome looks a fantastic way to clear the cobwebs and work off some of the excess energy (or quieten down the teenage complaining. The center offers a range of experiences for the whole family, details of which can be found here. The actual track experiences are not that cheap but there are a few free activities in the Queen Elizabeth park and the nearby area which will lessen the cost of the experience.
View from the skies:
Seeing the London skyline from upon high never gets boring and below are four of the best views of the London skyline you can have. We love giving families the best value for their money and the first two are free so a great way to keep costs on a trip to London down.
Tate Modern viewing platform, the floor of the new Switch House is an open viewing terrace. You can see the River Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral, and as far as Canary Wharf and Wembley Stadium. Access is free, however you might have to queue during busy times.
Sky Garden: I think this remains one of London’s best kept secret. The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street is a unique public space that spans three storeys and offers 360 degree uninterrupted views across the City of London. Access to the Sky Garden is free of charge. Tickets are released three weeks in advance and can be booked up to one hour in advance. Tickets are only valid for the date and time stated on the ticket and have a time limit of 1.0 hrs from time of entry.
The View from the Shard: this is very high on my wishlist for our next visit. The Shard looks amazing ad the views look truly awesome. I know our teens are keen to visit.
London Eye: The London Eye needs little introduction. We have Merlin passes so get to use the Eye for free but the views on a clear day are amazing and it still remains one of the best places to view the city. There’s always lots going on in and around that area and its easy to pass an afternoon in the area.
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit Slide
The Arcelor Mittal slide was made as the feature sculpture for the 2012 Olympics and has now been turned into the world’s tallest, longest, fastest tunnel slide. It looks amazing and so much fun and definitely one of the experiences that any teen (and my crazy little adventurers but you need to be over 1.3m). The slide is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and like the Velodrome there is lots to do in the area.
Rib water experience
We did jet boating in Australia and it is definitely an adrenaline filled 40 minutes (and not for those who don’t like scary, fast rides, like me!). There are a number of companies who offer this across the Thames, but I loved the look of Thames Rib Experience. They are supposed to be the biggest, fastest and loudest on the Thames and if your are going to do something you may as well try the best. The company have four different locations across the Thames and look a great way to see the city whilst for the ultimate Thames Speed boat Rollercoaster Adrenalin Packed Experience!
Car spotting Harrods
Most families make a trip to Harrods and Knightsbridge and one thing our teenagers always loved was spotting the fancy cars which don the streets in and around the area. I am not a car buff but from the oooh and aaahhhs that I heard from our group, these cars were something to definitely appreciate. London can be expensive so this is a highlight, free activity which surprisingly passes quite a bit of time and leads to some very excited chatter (which is hard to achieve with teens normally).
So there you have it, there are so many things that could easily be added to the list as London really does house something for everyone. Have you got any fabulous suggestions? Let us know below!
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