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Summer holiday fun: 10 best things to do with the family in London

Make the most of the great British summer. Who needs to melt in the Med or boil in the Bahamas? We round-up the 10 best things to do with the family in London. You will find everything from our preview on Disney’s new Christopher Robin movie and wild swimming in The Serpentine to the world’s longest tunnel slide. Celebrate summer in the city.

1. The Tiger Who Came to Tea

This family-friendly show comes to the Piccadilly Theatre and runs until September 9. With songs and lots of fun, it tells the story of an unexpected – and rather stripy – guest who eats and eats, leaving Sophie and her mum worried that there will be nothing left for Daddy when he arrives home. For more information, visit

2. Spying in South Kensington

Get out and about with the South Kensington Spy Mission Treasure Trail. Crack the sneaky clues as you follow the trail and complete the secret mission – giving you the chance to win £100. The trail is about three miles long, but you can take as long as you like to complete it. Just buy the trail booklet and off you go. For more information, visit

3. Winnie-the-Pooh and friends reunite: Christopher Robin

Something to look forward to: the adorable Winne the Pooh and Piglet star in the new Disney movie, Christopher Robin, which opens in the UK on August 17. Pooh’s author, AA Milne (father of Christopher Robin) was born in Kilburn, went to Westminster School and later lived in Chelsea (Mallord Street, London SW3). Father and son used to go to the zoo in Regent’s Park and visit Winnipeg, a Canadian bear. Winnie the Pooh was born! Watch the trailer:

4. Dinosaur World Live

Brave a world of dinosaurs at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from August 14 until September 9. Journey into the Jurassic and see your favourite fossils brought to life in an interactive show – with a meet and greet afterwards. Shake hands with a Stegosaurus and touch a Triceratops. For more information, visit

5. Harry Potter Bus Tour

Take a magical ride around Harry Potter’s London haunts from all eight films in the series. Board with the other muggles and dress up. You’ll be able to get off at certain destinations and learn about magic and how the films were made. Your knowledge will be tested and there will be opportunities for selfies and shopping. For more information, visit

6. Wild Swimming

The Serpentine Lido is the place to be if it’s really hot. A section of the famous lake is cordoned off for swimmers – and it’s the full natural experience. No chlorine, no heating and you share the water with the ducks! There’s also a chlorinated padding pool for children and plenty of room to dry off in the sun afterwards. Don’t miss the Lido Café next door.
For more information, visit

7. Changing the Guard

Watch the guards marching to their places at Buckingham Palace. The official time is 11am, but as it can be crowded at the palace, you might see more by waiting at Wellington Barracks for 10.15am when the new guard is inspected. At 11.10am, you can catch the relief guard marching up The Mall. At 11.37am, the Household Cavalry will ride up The Mall and the band will come past, too. For more information, visit

8. On the buses

Kids go free at the London Transport Museum and their Summer of Engineering gives you six themed weeks of interactive fun. There’s a new transport challenge every week, exploring different engineering themes. Try the steam cannon, test different building materials, and build a bus.  For more information, visit

9. HMS Belfast

Explore all nine decks of this former warship and find out what life was like for the sailors at sea. Ship Shape Saturdays until the end of August let visitors put all hands-on deck and see if they have any nautical nous. Older children might like the escape room challenge, where the ship hits a mine and they have to solve a number of problems to save it. For more information, visit

10. Hair-raising travel

Whizz down the world’s longest tunnel slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit on the Olympic Park. You get a great view over London to start with, then a literally hair-raising experience as you slide through loops and twists for a record-breaking 178m. Daily from 10.30am. For more information, visit

11. And one for luck: Go Ape at Battersea Park 

Swing down to Battersea where you can Go Ape in the cool shade of the park’s canopy. Ditch the phone and aim high. There are smaller challenges for younger family members, but over-10s can enjoy the full experience of tree tops and zip wires. For more information, visit

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