10 almost free things to do in London with kids and teens


Before we’ve left our apartment, miles away from London, I’d written lists of much more than 10 things to do there. However, I’ve discovered that when you’re travelling with a 16-year-old girl and a boy of  9 you must be prepared for the unexpected. If you’re on a budget like us, then things get even though. What have I learnt? Sometimes you just have to let go of all the planning, surrender and live for the moment. Every single moment counts.

  1. Spend time in the parks.

    London has several amazing green spots where you can have some quality family time. You can rest, have a picnic, take some photos…or…feed the squirrels. Yes, feed the squirrels. Be prepared. Take peanuts or nuts with you. Peanuts. And more peanuts. My son spent hours improving his techniques of feeding a squirrel in Hyde Park. We had so much fun. You’ll probably have to give up visiting some art galleries and museums like we did. But it’s worth it! This is a must free-thing to do in London.  Again and again.Hyde Park

  2. Go to Camden Town.

    No words can describe this place. The moment you put your feet outside the tube station you feel the spirit of Camden Town. You can easily turn your walk through these streets into oceans of fun with your kids. Our youngest son took some good pictures of those colourful shops, that mix of world food, crowds of people and unexpected action. We bumped into Alice having tea with the Mad Cat and two ladies.DSC_0310

    We’ve also stopped by the canal to listen to this very nice band, The King’s Parade and we’ve bought their cd for 3£. PicMonkey Collage

    Check them here if you want.


    We finished the day in the street food stalls. Forget the afternoon tea and prepare yourself to find a world open-air menu, from Ethiopian curry to traditional Caribbean street food.PicMonkey Collage2

    We’ve decided to try Danish pancakes and our first liquid nitrogen ice-cream as well at Chin Chin Labs just for fun.PicMonkey Collage3

  3. Make sure seeing Big Ben for the first time is an unforgettable moment.

    That’s right. Show some respect for The Great Bell! Take the underground, choose the District Line and get out in Westminster station. Once you’re there don’t let your kids open their eyes until you say so. Be careful, mind the stairs. And then say: “Look up now!” Silence, please. Enjoy the awe! Forget the traffic and pedestrian noise and don’t leave without listening to the unique chimes of the Big Ben!

  4. Forget the maps, your check list of attractions and lose yourself in the streets of London.China Town

    We went to Piccadilly Circus and my teen daughter was so excited with this vibrant part of the city that she simply begged us: “ – Mum, let’s just walk, forget the maps and see what happens!”. And we did it. What an amazing sense of freedom! Guess what? We ended up eating fortune cookies in China Town!Fortune cookies

  5. Catch a double decker bus without being sure where it is taking you.

    That is a very cheap and thrilling option for the family. Children under 11’s travel for free in London transports. Make sure you get the front seats on the top floor of the bus and enjoy the sightseeing tour!

  6. Go to open spaces. You never know what you might see!

    Don’t miss Trafalgar Square, The London Riviera, The Tower Bridge, The Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus. All free!Open spaces

  7. Visit one of the many free museums such as The Natural History Museum or The Science Museum.
  8. NHMuseumIf you want to save some money, but still want to visit Madame Tussauds, you can try the summer deal, get 4 tickets – 2 adults and 2 children – for only 65£ and it includes Shrek’s Adventure. We’ve decided to split in pairs, so I went with my daughter to Madame Tussauds and my husband went to Shrek’s Adventure with my son.
  9. Don’t miss The Harry Potter Studios.

    What can I say? We are all huge fans of Harry Potter! We couldn’t miss it, although it is not free at all but it’s worth every penny! Buy the family ticket and spend the whole day there!Harry Potter

  10. Choose a fun, affordable and family friendly hotel.

    Although this isn’t obviously a free thing, I’ve decided to include it in this post because I think this is an important issue when you’re trying to save money. We’ve chosen Qbic London. We’ve stayed 6 nights in the Fun Room with complimentary breakfast for children for 595£ (Summer deal). This hotel offers you space, immaculate clean bedrooms, super comfortable beds and a unique and inventive design. It is located in zone 1, less than 5 minutes walking from Aldgate East underground station and is not very far from Liverpool Street and Brick Lane and Spitalfields Markets.There are some inspiring small things that lighten your mood and make you feel so welcomed like the messages on the walls of the elevator or the free coffee and tea 24/7! At the end of each day you will find your beds made, fresh towels, a shiny new clean toilet and a bottle of fresh water! Check it here https://qbichotels.com/london-city/Qbic