Out & About | London for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are up next in our series of posts dedicated to specific ages groups and what there is to see and do in London for children aged 3-5 years. You can see our posts for babies here and toddlers here.

Pottery Cafe

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There are many pottery cafes all over London, but this is our favourite. They have a branch in Fulham and one in Battersea. Here you can paint Emma Bridgewater pottery.
They recommend booking to avoid disappointment as they can get quite busy especially during holidays and weekends. They have a small cafe but only for hot drinks, children’s juice cartons, cakes and cookies.
A great idea for gifts and keepsakes. It usually takes about a week for your pottery to be fired and ready for collection.

Open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday & 11am-6pm Sunday-Monday

 

Museum of childhood

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The V&A Museum of Childhood is situated in Bethnal Green. They offer different activities each day including storytelling and crafting, as well as different exhibitions throughout the year. They also offer family backpacks for different ages, including a pack for 3-5year olds. There is a Benugo cafe inside the museum that is very family friendly offering half portions on all their meals as well as healthy childrens lunch boxes. The museum is a ten minute walk to Victoria park which has fantastic playgrounds, is great for scooting, and has plenty of perfect picnic spots.

Open daily from 10am-5.45pm

Diana Memorial Playground

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This wonderful playground is by the Black Lion Gate of Kensington Gardens. It is a huge playground for children 12 and under, unaccompanied adults are not aloud and they have a person on the one gate which is kept locked between people entering and exiting.

Explore the giant shipwreck in the middle of a huge sandpit, a sensory trail, teepees, a climbing frame area, multiple slides and a music area. There are loos onsite and a cafe is situated just by the entrance. Expect it to be busy on sunny days.

Opening times
May-August 10am-7.45pm, April & September 10am-6.45pm,
March & early October 10am-5.45pm, February & late October 10am-4.45pm,
November-January 10am-3.45pm

Horniman Museum

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With a huge array of events and exhibitions throughout the year this is one museum not to miss in London with children. Unlike most museums your little ones can even get up close and handle certain objects. They have an aquarium, butterfly house and 16acres of gardens. The museum is located in Forest Hill. They have a lovely cafe which serves an array of hot and cold dishes for both children and adults.

Open daily from 10am-5.30am.
The aquarium opens from 10.30am.

London Zoo

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Situated at the north end of Regents Park, ZSL London Zoo is a great day out. See tigers, gorillas, giraffes, lions, penguins the list is endless. They also have playgrounds and a water play area in summer, so remember the children’s swim stuff and a towel. There is a family friendly restaurant, cafe and food kiosk within the zoo.

Open 7 days a week from 10am.

London Aquarium

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See sharks, jelly fish, turtles, crocodiles and even penguins when you visit the London Aquarium plus thousands more different sea creatures. Walk through the tunnel with sting ray, fish and sharks swimming over your heads. There is even a small touching pool, so little ones can feel what a star fish feels like.

If possible book your tickets online and use the print at home option as this will save you so much time, especially during school holidays (it’s also cheaper). There isn’t a cafe or anywhere to eat packed lunches here.

Opening times weekdays 10am-6pm weekends  9.30am-7pm

London Eye

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A trip on the London Eye takes about 30 minutes which gives littles ones plenty of time to spot everything down below but isn’t too long that they will begin to get restless. It is probably best to buy tickets in advance to avoid having to wait in two queues. if you print your tickets at home you can go straight into the boarding queue which will save you a lot of time.

Opening times vary throughout the year but typically it is open from 10am until between 6.30pm & 8.30pm.

Natural History Museum

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With rooms full of dinosaurs, creepy crawlies and life size animals you can spend hours here.  There are 5 cafes and restaurants that are all family friendly.

Open everyday (except 24,25,26th December) 10am-5.50pm

Admission is free apart from certain exhibitions.

Science Museum

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The garden, located in the basement of the museum is so much fun for children to explore and play in. A wonderful water play area, soft bricks and other blocks to build, areas to climb and a sensory area full of mirrors and buttons to press.
Up on the ground floor is the pattern pod which has an interactive pond projected onto the floor, a dance pod and interactive drawing pads amongst loads of other fun things.
On the very top floor is the aviation room with planes old and new.
There are 4 family friendly cafes and even a milkshake bar. There are also plenty of areas to eat packed lunches.

Open daily 10am-6pm (except 24,25, 26th December)

Admission is free apart from certain exhibitions.

 

City Farms

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There are over 16 city farms in London and they all great and very child friendly. Growing up in a city shouldn’t mean children only get to see wildlife when you leave London. See horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, rabbits and many more. Some farms also have lovely cafes and look out for special events during school holidays.

 

Battersea Children’s Zoo

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Watch the otters being fed and then run down the tunnel and pop out the bubble window into the middle of the meerkat enclosure. With monkeys, donkeys, emus and many many more animals to see and a fantastic playground complete with a real fire engine children can climb inside and a large sandpit. There is a small cafe within the zoo and plenty of picnic tables if you want to bring a picnic.

Open 7 days a week. Children under two go free, children over two cost £7.50 and adults cost £9.50.

Barnes Wetlands Centre

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Over 100 acres of land make up the Wetlands Centre in Barnes. See rare ducks, swans and geese, otters, butterflies, dragonflies and frogs. So much space for children to explore, including a large adventure playground, water playground (in summer) and an indoor discovery zone.

Open 7 days a week from 9.30am.

Flip Out

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Flip Out has three trampoline parks in London. One in east London near East Ham tube, one in Brent Cross and another in Wandsworth. They offer mini flipper sessions for under 5’s and their carers so you don’t need to worry about your little ones getting squished by over enthusiastic older children or teenagers. Check the website for mini flippers times as they vary between sites.

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