Travelling with kids can be tons of fun for all the family, but it does sometimes take a little forward-planning – particularly in a city like London. There's so much to see and do, it can be difficult to cut through the 'noise' and find the right activities to pack into your summer break.
We've compiled this quick guide to the best kid-friendly activities within easy reach of Hyde Park, ensuring you never feel stuck for activities during your stay, whatever your child’s age…
Spend the day in Hyde Park
If you're staying at the Park Grand Hyde Park, then the park itself provides a great kid-friendly space right on your doorstep. The park spans more than 350 acres, and includes room for everything from fun picnics to family sightseeing. The kids can even feed the ducks on the park's own lake, the Serpentine – or you can take a family boat trip if you're feeling active, renting a rowing or pedal boat. There is also a paddling pool perfect for children, which is open from May – September each year.
Visit London Zoo
One of the most acclaimed zoos in the world, ZSL London Zoo is a major centre for conservation, and provides access to a huge cross section of the natural world, including everything from penguins to lions.
Animal-loving kids will love spending a day here, and there are many activities which cater specifically to a younger clientele, such as the chance to become a junior zookeeper for a few hours. Celebrate all the adventures with a meal at restaurants near Hyde Park.
Enjoy a show at the Puppet Theatre Barge
One of the most unusual attractions in London, the Puppet Theatre Barge is also one of the most impressive. Situated in Little Venice, this is a magical activity for younger children to enjoy, with a fully-functional puppet theatre located on a colourful barge.
The shows change frequently, and are immersive enough to keep both adults and kids entertained. Most productions focus on familiar themes such as fairy tales, and help to create a truly magical way to spend a little time while you're visiting the city.
Head for a London Lido
If the weather gets too hot to handle, then London has you covered – with a variety of fantastic Lidos and swimming pools dotted around the city. Fantastic for a summer swim with the whole family, under-16s need to be accompanied by two adults, but there's lots of venues to explore during your stay at the Park Grand Hyde Park.
Some of our favourites include the ever-popular London Fields Lido, which was reopened in 2006 following an extensive community fundraising initiative, while the Serpentine Lido (in Hyde Park) is another top pick, particularly if you're eager to commune with nature during your swim.
For something a little unusual, take a trip to the 50-metre art deco splendour of Brockwell Lido, which also provides plenty of events and activities targeting both kids and adults alike.
See the city from above on the London Eye
The London Eye is one of the most impressive ways to experience the city from above, and its a kid-friendly activity, too. The London Eye was first opened as a way to celebrate the new millennium, but proved so popular that it's stayed ever since.
These days you can make the experience even more special by booking a private pod, great for larger families who want to catch views from all sides of the attraction.
Visit the Princess Diana Memorial Playground
This incredible playground is designed to commemorate the late Diana, Princess of Wales –and provide a space for kids to let off some steam. The playground includes an enormous wooden pirate ship, and there are areas nearby where parents can relax knowing their kids are having fun.
Take a trip to Crystal Palace Park
This park is ideal for families, as it includes plenty of room for playing a game of football, as well as a sand put for younger kids to enjoy. There's a lake in the park, and the famous Crystal Park Dinosaurs are sure to impress children. Designed as a Victorian-era interpretation of what these ancient animals looked like, the statues are now more of an anachronistic vision than an accurate representation, but they're delightful nonetheless.
Check out the National Maritime Museum
Of all the museums in London, the National Maritime Museum is one of the most deliberately child-friendly, with an interactive play area designed for kids under-five, and plenty of activities which centre around getting the kids involved.
Adults will be similarly impressed by discovering more about London's naval past, present and future – with great exhibits including an extensive art collection.
Visit Buckingham Palace
There are many wonderful Royal attractions in London, though arguably London's most famous such venue is Buckingham Palace. The state rooms are open to the public throughout the summer, and provide a window on Royal life as the official London residence of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and a major centre for international and domestic diplomacy.
Visitors can explore both parts of the palace interior and the gardens during their visit, and whilst this is likely to predominantly appeal to older children, there's still plenty to enjoy regardless of the age of each visitor.
Experience London Transport Museum
Another of the city's most child-friendly museums, the London Transport Museum provides kids with ample opportunity to engage fully with the history of the London transport system, including getting up-close with replicas and taking part in creative activities.
A trip here is a fun and interactive way to get kids thinking about the world around them in more detail, and there's also plenty to impress adults! One trip here and it'll be easy to see why the museum is so beloved by families, thanks to the thought and detail which has gone into making the space perfect for kids of all ages.