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How to Spend 2 Days in London with Kids in the Summer

How to Spend 2 Days in London with Kids in the Summer

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Planning a trip to London with kids and want a totally doable itinerary? Keep scrolling to check out my kid-friendly 2 days in London itinerary from my last trip to England!
This kid-friendly 2 days in London itinerary was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Every time I go to London, I realize that I like it more than I remember!

I first visited when I was in high school and it was the last stop on a 3-week trek around Europe and I was tired and grumpy, but I still remember being in awe of the Globe Theatre and the Tower of London.

A couple of years ago, I brought my kids for 4 days in London and we had a total blast! And last fall, I brought my BFF for whirlwind 1 day in London.

So, when my family decided on Scotland for our summer trip, it was a no-brainer to include a few days in London to catch a show and do a few tours!

Image of Marcie Cheung and her family at the Tower of London
I was so excited for my kids to see the Tower of London! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

What’s London Like in the Summer?

I’ve visited London 3 times during the summer (always in June) and the weather is pretty similar to Seattle at that time of year.

We usually pack layers and I’m always glad to have pants and sweaters as well as dresses and sandals. Of course, check the weather before you go.

I find London to be fairly crowded in the summer with tourists. Local kids are still in school during the month of June which is why we visit then. But be prepared for longer waits than if you went during the fall or spring.

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2 Days in London with Kids

Before I really get into the London in 2 days itinerary, I wanted to note that we did a red-eye flight from Seattle and landed in London in the late afternoon. I was so tired that I left my purse on the plane, which totally stressed me out.

It was just enough time to check into our hotel (the Radisson Blu Mercer Street) and grab some dinner at Rock and Soul before crashing. And we may have gone to the grocery store at 4 a.m. because we woke up starving. This itinerary starts the very next day.

DAY 1: TOWER OF LONDON

Breakfast

Our hotel offered free breakfast, so we took advantage of it. The buffet bar had a nice assortment of meats, cheeses, yogurt, pastries, and fruit, as well as items you could order.

Tower of London Opening Ceremony and Beefeater Tour

I really wanted to show the kids the Tower of London because at ages 7 and 10, I figured they were at a good age to appreciate some of it.

Find out whether or not it's worth visiting the Tower of London with kids with tips from top family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. Image of two boys watching the Opening Ceremony at the Tower of London
The opening ceremony was quite interesting to watch! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

I booked us a Tower of London Opening Ceremony and Beefeater Tour since we were visiting during the summer. It made sure we were some of the first people to enter the Tower of London and we didn’t have to wait at all to see the Crown Jewels.

Our tour guide Andy was pretty great and gave us a ton of information about the Tower of London, King Henry VIII, and the various queens. It was a full 2-hour tour but we were able to wander freely into certain areas during the tour. Read my full Tower of London review.

My kids were really impressed with the Crown Jewels. My youngest also liked seeing the ravens up close. And it was cool to see the changing of the guard in front of the King’s house.

Image of a boy looking at ravens and the Tower of London
My 7yo really liked meeting the ravens! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

But, the Beefeater part of the tour was just a short bit before the Opening Ceremony.

When I visited London last fall with my BFF, we did this Beefeater Tour and it was quite entertaining and we learned a LOT. If you’re visiting in the off-season, that’s the tour I’d recommend.

Lunch at Cheese Barge Sheldon Square

We saw an Instagram Reel that highlighted the Cheese Barge as a unique place to eat in London. My kids immediately said, “We like cheese!” and asked if we could go.

It took us about an hour to get there from the Tower of London using the Underground.

Image of a boy cutting cheese on a barge in London
The Cheese Barge was cute and tasty! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The food options were great and we really enjoyed ourselves! It was fun to try some new cheeses and my husband and I were stoked that they had salad. The garlic smashed potatoes were also quite tasty.

Victoria & Albert Museum

After lunch, we decided to find another activity to help us stay awake since jetlag was really getting to us.

So, we decided to head to the Victoria & Albert Museum because it’s one of the top free things to do in London. That way, we wouldn’t feel bad if we didn’t spend too long there.

We ended up focusing on seeing Michaelangelo’s David (we saw the original in Florence last summer), Rafael’s cartoons, and the fashion exhibit.

I’d also heard that they had a great gift shop, so we stopped in. We were able to pick up notebooks and colored pencils for the kids so they could sketch some of the art.

We really only lasted about an hour there before we all wanted to go back to the hotel to regroup.

Family Movie in Hotel Room

Since we had seen the Crown Jewels up close and personal this morning, the kids asked if we could watch the Minions movie back at the hotel. It’s the one where the Minions try to steal the Crown Jewels.

It was a nice way to get a break from sightseeing while we were still suffering from jetlag.

Dinner at Le Garrick

Our family loves steamed mussels so we ended up going to a French restaurant near our hotel. The food was pretty good and I noticed that they have a pre-theatre meal.

DAY 2: BRIDGERTON AND MATILDA

Breakfast

We did breakfast at our hotel again this morning. We knew exactly what we wanted to eat and drink, which made it really quick.

Bridgerton Photo Shoot

Our first “big” thing we did was a Bridgerton-themed photoshoot with Flytographer in Greenwich Park. We took a black cab from our hotel and it was about a 45-minute drive.

I’m truly obsessed with the show and I geeked out at the opportunity to do a couples’ shoot dressed up in Regency-era outfits. You can see some of the pics here.

Image of Marcie Cheung and her husband reading Lady Whistledown
Photo credit: Emily in London for Flytographer

We brought our kids along but told them they could just sit with their iPads while we did the photoshoot. It sort of felt like a date…until they complained about being hungry and thirsty!

The photoshoot itself was glorious! It was a ton of fun and our photographer Emily was so sweet and made us feel comfortable right off the bat.

If you’re heading to London and love Bridgerton, this is a must-do! Check the latest rates and availability. You’ll get $25 off your first Flytographer photo shoot using my link!

Greenwich Village

Since we were already in Greenich, we took a stroll through Greenich Village to see the shops and restaurants. Our kids were pretty tired so we didn’t stop. But it looks like a cute place to spend a day!

Uber Boat Ride

We had a few options to get back to our hotel. We could take a black cab, do the Underground, or try an Uber Boat ride. Our photographer is the one who told us about the Uber Boat and it sounded too cool to pass up!

Image of a boy looking out the window of an Uber Boat on the River Thames in London
We really enjoyed the Uber Boat! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

It was surprisingly fast to hop on board and we got to see lots of London sights like Tower Bridge, the Shard, the London Eye, Big Ben, and more.

Once we got to our stop (Embarkment), it was an easy walk to our hotel to change out of our costumes and into regular clothes.

Lunch & Playground

By this time, it was about 1 p.m., so we figured we’d head to a local playground to get some wiggles out. We had high hopes of going to a “destination playground,” but our energy levels were low.

My husband went down the street and picked up Italian sandwiches while I watched the kids swing.

Image of two boys swinging at a playground in London
The boys loved swinging for a bit. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

We really only lasted about 30 minutes before the kids were feeling grouchy and wanted to head back to the room

Rest in Room

We took a break in our hotel room for a few hours to let everyone regroup.

It also gave us time to head to the post office to mail all our Bridgerton clothing back home. That way, we wouldn’t have to haul it all over Scotland.

We ended up watching Paddington 2 and it was a great way to get London vibes while letting everyone rest up so we could be alert for Matilda the Musical.

Matilda the Musical

So, I saw this show in the fall and it blew my socks off. I knew my kids and husband would totally love it and it was our main reason for stopping at London before our 10 days in Scotland.

Image of a boy doing the Matilda pose in front of the theatre in London
Of course, he had to do the Matilda pose! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Since it would be our trip’s highlight, we splurged for the VIP box seats. This meant we got a private box that came with snacks, drinks, and ice cream at intermission.

We had an awesome server named Ryan who took care of everything we needed. He even brought our kids slushies in reusable Matilda souvenir cups that I know they will treasure for years to come.

Having box seats also meant that my fidgety kids could stand up, dance, and move around a bit without bothering anyone.

Image of a dad and two boys eating ice cream in box seats at Matilda the Musical in London
My boys loved getting ice cream at intermission in the box seats! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The show was FANTASTIC and my kids were super into the whole thing. It kept their attention the entire time. I think it helped that they had seen the movie version about 20 times so they already knew the songs and storyline.

I highly recommend seeing Matilda with your kids. I don’t think there’s really a bad seat in the house. I sat in the balcony last time and it was still a fabulous view.

In-Room Dining

The show ended at about 9:30 p.m., and we decided to have “real food” after all the sugar during the show. So we opted for in-room dining while we packed up.

Image of a dad and two boys walking by a red phone booth in London
London is such a kid-friendly city! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Tips for Visiting London with Kids

Stay Near London Attractions You Want to Visit

Since the main reason for our trip to London was to see Matilda the Musical, I figured it would make the most sense to stay near the theatre. Plus, we wanted a short walk after the show ended.

We ended up staying at the Radisson Blu Mercer Street right across the street from the theatre in a vibrant area.

Plan Ahead

London has so much to see, and it can be overwhelming to decide what to visit. Research and plan your London itinerary in advance, factoring in some downtime for the kids.

Since we’d already been to London, we had a different list of attractions to hit. But a few top picks include the Tower of London, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour.

Ask Your Kids What THEY Want to Do

My kids really, really wanted to see Matilda the Musical. So that’s what we planned the trip around.

They also saw a video about a boat where they could eat cheese for lunch, so they asked to add that to our itinerary, too.

Book Kid-Friendly London Tours

Consider booking kid-friendly tours, especially for historically rich places like Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London. Guides often have a way of making history fun and engaging for younger audiences.

I prefer kid-friendly or private tours to group tours because they are so much more understanding of kids’ attention spans and needs. Plus, it’s usually easy to adapt the tour to fit your family better.

Visit Parks and Playgrounds

London has some beautiful parks with incredible playgrounds. We had high hopes of visiting the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, but our kids didn’t have enough energy for the trek.

It’s a Peter Pan-themed playground with a giant pirate ship, sensory trail, teepees, and plenty of space for imaginative play.

So, we went to a local playground about 2 minutes from our hotel and that did the trick.

But some other top picks include Holland Park Adventure Playground, Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens, and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

London Itinerary FAQs

Is it worth visiting London with kids?

Absolutely! London is full of so many kid-friendly activities and attractions! You can visit again and again and never run out of things to do or places to see. My kids LOVE London!

Are 2 days enough for London?

I’d personally recommend spending at least 3-4 days because there are SO many things to do and it’s easy to overpack your itinerary. But if you only have 2 days in London, I still think it’s worth doing. Just pick and choose a couple of must-sees.

Is it worth visiting the Tower of London with kids?

Absolutely! BUT, I’d recommend doing a tour so that your kids understand what they are seeing, get some historical context from an expert, and have someone to ask questions. You can find out more about visiting the Tower of London in my full review.

What are the major attractions in London?

A few major London attractions include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and the Natural History Museum.

Do I need a skip-the-line ticket for top London attractions?

Yes, getting a skip-the-line ticket for popular attractions in London is often a good idea, especially during peak tourist seasons. These tickets let you avoid long waiting times and go directly into the attraction. I suggest getting them for the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace.

2 Days in London Travel Tips Wrap-Up

Our family had a blast visiting London for 2 days! We got to eat some yummy food, experience a few cultural attractions, and see some sights.

While it was a quick trip, it was a great reminder that we should come back in a few years to catch some of the things we missed!

Looking for more kid-friendly London resources? Check out 8 Exciting Things to do in East London With Kids, 11 Terrific Things to Do in London with a Toddler, 15 Lovely London Tours for Families Worth Booking, and 27 Lovely London Things To Do for Kids!

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