With its rich history, incredible architecture and iconic landmarks, London has no shortage of attractions for visitors. But when you’ve finished with the obligatory visits to Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Big Ben, check out these lesser-known attractions great for kids to make sure the whole family has the best vacation possible.
Explore the World of Harry Potter
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour offers a firsthand look at the studio where many of the beloved Harry Potter films were made. Visitors can explore two soundstages and a backlot home to original props, costumes and sets. The tour includes demonstrations of the films’ incredible special effects, like the Whomping Willow, the Chamber of Secrets door, Quidditch matches and Harry’s invisibility cloak, as well as how magical creatures like Buckbeak, Aragog and the basilisk were created. Adult tickets cost £45 and £37 for children 5–15. Children under 5 get in for free. Family packages are also available.
Take a Walking Tour of Famous Sites
Fans of the Harry Potter movies will also love the Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour. This tour is not associated with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and instead takes you on a 2.5-hour walking tour of London that includes many familiar sites from the movie, such as platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station, where you can take pictures with props. In addition to Harry Potter-related sites this tour also includes other famous London locations such as the 800-year-old Borough Market, Scotland Yard, the world’s smallest police station and Trafalgar Square. Tour tickets are $25.50 per person.
See the City From the Sky on the London Eye
The London Eye, an observation wheel located on the bank of the River Thames, is one of the most iconic sites in London today. The windowed pods give guests a 360-degree view of the city and on a clear day you can see as far as 25 miles away. A standard ticket costs £30 and includes admission to the on-site 4-D cinema experience and Champagne bar. You can save money by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. You can also purchase a more expensive fast track ticket and save time by skipping the line. The Eye is open daily (with the exception of Christmas Day), but hours of operation vary depending on time of year.
Ride the World’s Longest Tunnel Slide
Visit the ArcelorMittal Orbit, London’s impressive winding steel structure built for the 2012 Olympic Games. Resembling a vertical roller coaster, this structure houses an observation deck on top of the tower along with the world’s longest tunnel slide — 178 kilometers of twists, turns and a dizzying corkscrew. Tickets for the slide and observation deck cost £16.50 for adults and £10.50 for kids. The observation deck and slide are open daily and children must be at least 8 years old and 1.3 meters (4.2 feet) tall to ride the slide.
Continuing our story from yesterday (if you missed it, click here), here’s part two on how to make the most of your weekend pioneering, with a closer look at our itinerary for Saturday:
Tucked into the central coast of California is a trail of history waiting to be found by your kids. The Highway 1 Discovery Route through San Luis Obispo County snakes along the winnowy Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The more than 100 miles of mostly protected coastline begins after a four-hour drive from San Francisco at Ragged Point, or about three hours from Los Angeles at Nipomo. The trail features 10 cities, connected by cliffs, carved by a moody ocean, and a slower pace of life. There are plenty of reasons to stop and walk into the past, preserved by those whose hearts still live there. Nature lovers will linger on the many trails to hike and picnic areas. We drove from Los Angeles with two 9-year-old boys to explore this part of the state.
If walking through a winter wonderland is still on your family’s list of things to do this season, Maine can definitely help check that box. By this time of year, Maine is almost certainly covered with snow and awaiting the arrival of winter lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.
By Hainan Airlines