Wild and wacky
In my experience kids like the weirdest stuff so Ripley’s Believe it or Not! is always a big hit. Experience the disorientating effects of the spinning tunnel, come face to face with gruesome shrunken heads, bump into yourself in the mirror maze and marvel at a replica of Tower Bridge built from 264,345 ordinary matchsticks.
Here come the Daleks
Over the summer months the Olympia Two space becomes an alternative universe inhabited by Time Lords and a host of instantly recognisable aliens. Visitors to The Doctor Who Experience will be treated to a walk through journey, which is accompanied by screenings of scenes filmed with the current Doctor, Matt Smith. The kids will love the interactive element, which places them in the role of Doctor’s companion and challenges them to reunited the Doctor with the TARDIS while facing attacks from a Dalek spaceship and Weeping Angels.
Dinosaurs in Docklands
Head to the O2 Arena for a unique insight into what it would have been like 65 million years ago, as the UK’s largest fully animatronic, life-size dinosaur experience comes to London. Dinosaurs Unleashed offers the full Jurassic Park experience as 24 giants lizards including the Stegosaurus, the Iguanodon, the huge Diplodocus and of course, the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex, make this their new stomping ground.
Right beside the London Eye and a 20-minute walk along the river from Tate Modern the London Aquarium is amazing. In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, including stingrays, sharks, piranhas and sea scorpions, the aquarium’s Shark Walk allows visitors to walk over a floating glass platform with sharks swimming just below their feet.
Cell, Cell, Cell
The Centre of the Cell is a multimedia experience located in the middle of a busy biomedical research laboratory. Visitors enter a cell-like pod and peer down at the scientists working in their white coats. Once everyone’s inside, a film is projected on to the surrounding walls introduces children to the amazing work going on all around them, and visitors can explore all sorts of biomedical science through interactive games.
Games in the museum
The recently refurbished V&A Museum of Childhood is home to one of the world’s finest collections of children’s toys, dolls’ houses, games and costumes. It has been amassing childhood-related objects since 1872, with Incredibles figures complementing bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes, as well as offering plenty of hands-on activities.
Battle of the books
The Imperial War Museum’s Once Upon A Wartime exhibition delves into the pages of well-loved books, bringing five stories of war dramatically to life – wander through life-size sets, peer into intricate scale models and explore the stories’ themes of loyalty, separation, excitement, survival and identity. The museum is also hosting a Children’s Literature Festival from 13 – 21 August. Join authors and illustrators to take a fresh look at the art of storytelling through a host of fun-packed workshops.
Big bash for little people
After sell-out success last year, the LolliBop Festival is back with a new home in Regent’s Park. Aimed at all kids under 10 the festival is all about interactivity and fun but it will also help develop their social skills, creativity and imagination. Live entertainment includes Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew, Zingzillas, The Bopps, Charlie & Lola and the CBeebies presenters. Other attractions include Imagination stations where kids can take part in craft and skills workshop, LolliSports with swingball, go-karts, football and more, The Bubble Zone with all things bubbly, the Enchanted Forest storytelling area and Minimission, an Ibiza-style disco for kids.