Outdoor activities for families

Birds' eye view of Crystal Palace Park maze

Whether it’s the school holiday or the weekend, it’s important to get the kids outside and to stay active. Here are some family friendly activities to do whilst exploring what the City has to offer. 👇 

Family maze out

Get lost on an aMAZEing adventure together.

  • Crystal Palace Park maze – this free maze has been delighting visitors since the 1870s! Make a day of it and explore the rest of the park. Go dinosaur hunting, visit the farm, hire a pedalo or learn some tricks in the skatepark
  • Brent Lodge Park Millennium Maze – follow a network of paths through 2000 yew trees built to celebrate the millennium. Spot local wildlife or find more exotic animals in Hanwell Zoo. Nearby Churchfield Recreation Ground is great for picnics and trainspotting along the Hanwell Viaduct
  • Hall Place and Gardens – puzzle your way around its grass maze. Look out for the huge topiary beasts which guard Hall Place

Choose your adventure

Pirate ship climbing frame in Diana Memorial Playground

Take to the high seas aboard a pirate ship in the Diana Memorial Playground, slide through miniature townhouses at Paddington Rec or scale snakes in Stonebridge Park. 🐍

Let their imaginations run with them and give kids the freedom to play their own way. Find wheelchair accessible sites and playgrounds for different ages with family blogger Emmy’s guide to the best playgrounds across London.

Experience nature

With over 3,000 parks in London, it’s easy to take kids out for a spin around a green space! 💚

From grass and woodlands to wetlands, London is home to all kinds of habitats and creatures. Disconnect your devices and go wild in a nearby reserve. Reconnect with nature and find out more about London’s waterways with the Canal & River Trust’s family activity sheets.

Explore the waterways

Family paddle boarding in London

From the river Thames to Regent’s Canal, London has miles of waterways for you to enjoy.

Take out a tandem kayak or canoe with Moo Canoes and see the City from a new perspective. If they love it, kids can learn to paddle at clubs and centres across London. Or try stand up paddle boarding in west London with Active360.

Go at their speed with an adrenaline-fuelled speedboat trip down the Thames with Thames Rockets, Thames RIB Experience or ThamesJet. 🚤

Or captain your own boat and pack a picnic for an adventure with GoBoat.

Go Wild

Family swinging from the treetops at Go Ape Alexandra Palace

Swing from the treetops with Go Ape. Cheer each other on as you climb, leap and soar through outdoor adventure courses. Kids from six years old can choose from captivating views of the London skyline or wild woodlands at Go Ape’s London locations.

Culture Crawl

Walk, scoot or cycle The Line between Greenwich and Stratford along east London’s waterways. Download the family activity packs for information about the art, fun tasks, and games along the route. 🎨

Enjoy the City of London’s Sculpture in the City art trail. Inspire their creativity with new installations from internationally-acclaimed and emerging artists each year.

Cycle your City

Family on Santander Cycles by the Shard

Get moving and make the most of what’s on your doorstep. Be a tourist in your own city and cycle the sights with Santander Cycles. From just £2 per cycle, plan a fun family day out for less!

Pick up a cycle at one of 750 docking stations across the City or use your own ride to explore some of our favourite cycle routes and build healthy habits. If you’re nervous about cycling with the kids, boost your confidence with our free online or in-person cycle training.

Go on a scavenger hunt

You can plan your own scavenger hunt through the City, or Royal Parks have created some for you. 🌳 

If you’re nearby, download the scavenger hunt games to your mobile and go on an adventure through some of London’s most popular parks. Try photo challenges, learn some amazing facts, and play games the whole family can enjoy! 

If you’re short on time, try one of these walking routes through the Royal Parks – they only take around 30 minutes each. ⏱️

Make a splash

Make the most of the sunshine at London’s outdoor lidos. Dive into one of Europe’s largest open-air pools, Tooting Bec Lido, or visit beautiful Brockwell Lido.

Open water swimming at Royal Docks with Emirates Air Line cable cars in the distance

Take a dip in Hampstead Heath swimming ponds before exploring the heath and the wilds that inspired C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Kids over 10 can also try open water swimming in the Royal Docks – enjoy a unique swim in this historic area as London cable cars glide above you!

Start Geocaching

geocaching tube

Geocaching is a real, outdoor adventure that’s happening all the time, all over the world! You can take the kids to any location and get searching. 🕵️‍♂️

To get starteddownload the Geocaching app to search for geocaches near you. Once you find a geocache, open it up and sign the logbook.  

You may discover some trade or swag items (small toys, keychains, trinkets) inside the container. The general rule of thumb is if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value for the next person.  So, get started and start exploring to see how many you can find!

Set some challenges 

squirrel on grass

Whether you’re going for a walk, cycle, or scoot, why not make the journey more entertaining by setting the kids a challenge, or playing a game like: 

  • Spot different types of trees or leaves 🍂 
  • Identify different flowers 🌷 
  • The first person to spot a certain animal or insect 🐿️ 
  • Collect interesting leaves for an art project 🎨 

What are your favourite outdoor activities to do with the kids? Let us know in the comments below. 👇 

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