It is SCORCHING in London. And the temperatures are staying high for a while. Never fear, my guide is here for 11 Things to Do with Kids in London in a Heatwave. Let’s make the most of it before we go back to grumbling about the cold and damp. *Remember to avoid going out in extreme heat, especially if you have tiny ones or older relatives (hottest periods typically between 11am-3pm).*
Need more ideas? Check out my guide for Spending the Summer Holidays in London.
11 Things to Do with Kids in London in a Heatwave
1. Pack a Picnic
Grab some mates, picnic gear, parasols and sunscreen and have a Bottomless Brunch or Happy Hour picnic in the park, while the kids roam free. You can even fire up the portable BBQ in select parks like Russell Square, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, or Waterlow Park in Highgate, home to the lovely Lauderdale House.
2. Eat All the Ice Cream
Try our London Ice Cream Crawl and discover the city’s most yummy gelato.
3. Go People-Watching
One of our favourite family hangout zones is Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross. In summer, you can enjoy Everyman Cinema screening free outdoor movies, terraced restaurants, picnic spots, play areas, weekend markets, people-watching and sunbathing by the canal.
4. Splash Through a Fountain
Run through a splash fountain (don’t forget swimsuits, towels or change of clothes)! Popular fountains in London include: Granary Square fountains, Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms fountains at Southbank Centre, Somerset House courtyard fountains, V&A Museum courtyard fountains, huge splash fountains at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, Merchant Square fountains in Paddington, Russell Square fountains, the fountains at More London by the riverside, Diana Memorial Fountain in Kensington Gardens and Elephant Springs at Elephant and Castle.
5. Eat the Street
Street food in London is delicious, diverse and (mostly) pretty affordable. Kids love to eat outdoors and you’ll find an amazing mix of dishes from around the globe at KERB London venues; Brixton Village Market, Camden Market; Exmouth Market, Whitecross Street Market, Brick Lane, Southbank Centre Food Market, Black Owned Hackney Night Market, Street Feast venues, Peckham Levels and Hackney Wick. That’s just for starters!
6. Go for a Swim
7. Get Wet and Wild
8. Watch Movies Under the Stars
9. Find the Coolest Museum
10. Go Underwater
Escape the heat in the company of some fascinating underwater creatures — the London Aquarium is cool and contains sharks!
11. Hide Indoors
Simply don’t go anywhere. Stay in, make ice lollies, open all the windows, read a book or catch up on some brilliant streaming shows.
We also like
Make like it’s winter on an ice skating rink at Ally Pally (reopening pending) or Queen’s Skate and Bowl (reopening soon); tour the Thames with City Cruises; ride a pedalo boat across Finsbury Park boating lake (confirm reopening ahead of visit); get some shade at Kew Gardens or Barbican Conservatory; wander under tree canopies on a walk through Richmond Park, Highgate Wood or Epping Forest…
Staying at Home?
Chill out in a paddling pool with some frozen cocktails and pretend you’re in Ibiza, baby; challenge the whole family to a good old-fashioned water fight; put your sheets in the fridge to help you cool off at night; get yourself a neck fan (mine works great!); once the kids are in bed, bring out the ice cubes and have some fun 9 1/2 weeks style.
Bringing Up Race on BritMums
BritMums, the UK’s largest parent influencer network, interviewed me about my debut book Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World, which came out Sep 24, 2020 (buy on Amazon).
You can read the feature here: Talking to Uju Asika, Author of Bringing Up Race
Whatever you do in the heatwave, stay safe, keep cool and don’t forget the sunscreen! x