London in autumn for children

November 3, 2013

Things to do in Autumnal London, for childrenI have a love / hate relationship with autumn. One one hand it’s nearly Christmas, and it’s the season for Uggs and red wine. On the other hand, it’s cold and there are far too many opportunities for getting my hair wet.

This year though, I’m actually quite happy about it. Although it’s Eliza’s second autumn, as a toddler she’ll be much more aware of everything that’s going on around her this time. And in terms of London, there’s lots going on – and although it is wet and cold, everywhere is decorated, pretty, and packed with pre-Christmas excitement.

Here are some London-related activities for children we’re looking forward to doing over the next few weeks:

  • It’s very nearly Bonfire night, so that means it’s time for fireworks. The Crystal Palace Park ones have a session just for children, with less noisy fireworks and an earlier start of 7pm (the main event is at 8pm). How good an idea is that? You do have to pay – £6 for adults and £3 for 3-10 year olds – but if you’re looking for a free display there’s one further down the road at Brockwell Park. Although Eliza might still be too little to stand and watch a proper display, we might go and look at the view across the city from our local park, or just look out of the window. It’s one of the advantages of living on the top of a hill
  • London parks and playgrounds are generally great all year round, but they’re less hectic in term time. Definitely more chilly though, so make sure you wear lots of layers if you’re going to be pushing a swing for hours (here’s my guide to our favourite South London parks)
  • As the weather is bound to be terrible, museums are also a really good plan. And there are so many good ones. Eliza really enjoyed the Science Museum last time we went, and will probably love it more now she can play in the water area. And, of course, there’s the Horniman Museum – especially now the walrus is back
  • On a slightly less scary scale than fireworks, all the Christmas lights should be on soon. Our favourites are the Carnaby Street ones. Has anyone got any idea what the theme is this year? I’m hoping it’s along the lines of previous giant white spooky snowmen or the floating astro-Santas
  • And you can’t beat a weekend walk, especially if it’s not raining, there’s lunch at the end of it, and it doesn’t involve Oxford Street. The Southbank is often a good idea, or fantasy house shopping in Dulwich Village if we’re slightly closer to home.

Things to do in London for childrenThese photos were taken a few weeks ago, when all the leaves had started falling from the trees. I think I might have been playing a game of colour-clashing bingo with Eliza’s outfit, poor her.

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend. We’ve just been to the park, again (isn’t it freezing today?).

I’m off to try and drink some red wine, by the fire, wearing my Uggs x.


  • Katie @Mummydaddyme

    November 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    We love the Carnaby St lights- it reminds me of Christmas time when we lived in London- it was a fun couple of years as we were living rent free and had no responsibilities!

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