South Bank London

10 ideas for a South Bank family day out

London's favourite riverside destination is packed with iconic attractions that will appeal to all ages! To help you plan the perfect South Bank day out, here's ten brilliant sightseeing experiences for families to plan your visit around.

1. Take a riverside stroll along the QUEEN’S WALK

Where else in Central London can you confidently let the kids run around without fear of busy roads? The wide pedestrianised Queen’s Walk stretches from Lambeth Bridge to Blackfriars and beyond, serving up brilliant views all along the way. Stop for a selfie with Big Ben by Westminster Bridge, let the kids enjoy a ride on the old-fashioned merry-go-round and when the tides are out step down onto Ernie's Beach for a spot of mudlarking.

Queen's Walk, South Bank

2. Marvel at the marine life at SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM

Dive in and see sharks, penguins, clownfish, piranhas, stingrays, jellyfish, turtles and so much more at one of the UK’s top aquariums. There are 14 different themed zones to discover, from the Coral Kingdom to the Rainforest Adventure, the shark tanks and the Gentoo penguin colony. Over 5,000 different creatures call the aquarium home and visitors can learn more about them in regular talks and demonstrations that take place at the aquarium throughout the day.


Take in the most spectacular views of the city from the top of this iconic landmark and combine a visit with an hour-long guided boat tour from the London Eye pier. This is one of the most popular attractions in the UK and an incredible 3.5 million visitors are estimated to ride the wheel every year. Family tickets can be bought online in advance and combination tickets that include other attractions and experiences such as the SEA LIFE Aquarium present great value.

4. Run around in the JUBILEE GARDENS adventure playground

If the kids need to let off some steam you can find one of central London’s best adventure playgrounds inside the pretty Jubilee Gardens directly behind the London Eye. There's plenty for kids to clamber under and over, and sensory sound, vision and touch experiences that are designed to delight children of differing abilities.

Adventure playground at Jubilee Gardens

5. Meet Puss in Boots at SHREK’S ADVENTURE! LONDON

Ride the 4D flying bus, make your way through the Mirror Maze of Insanity and cook up a magic spell at this interactive adventure featuring 10 fairytale-themed live shows, based on the characters from the popular Shrek films. The experience is designed to lead children on a colourful fairytale journey where they are the central character, and of course every visit ends with a chance to meet Shrek himself.

6. A spooky adventure at THE LONDON DUNGEON

See, hear, feel and smell the chillingly amusing characters of ye olde London as they come to life through 19 interactive shows and two underground rides at this wildly entertaining walk-through experience. This one's a fun day out for teenagers with a stomach for gruesome tales and stomach-churning rides, all themed around the darker moments of London's colourful history.

7. Watch the skaters at SOUTHBANK CENTRE SKATE PARK

Considered the birthplace of British skateboarding, teens will enjoy hanging out and watching local skaters pulling stunts at this famous skateboarding hotspot located underneath the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

8. Climb to the top of the GARDEN MUSEUM TOWER

Climb the 131 steps to the top of the Garden Museum's medieval tower and enjoy the view - tickets to the tower cost just £4 and under 18’s visit for free! If you are green-fingered family then make sure to buy tickets to visit the museum and explore the exhibitions that detail the history of British gardens and horticulture. Families can pick up activity sheets at the entrance for the kids to guide themselves around the museum.

9. Check out the street art in the LEAKE STREET graffiti tunnel

Perfect for teens with a passion for selfies, London’s most famous graffiti tunnel is Tik Tok heaven with graffiti writers out in force creating new murals every day. There's also the opportunity to book to join a graffiti workshop with a professional graffiti artist and leave your own mark on the walls! After admiring the street art, take some time out to play some games at the brilliant board games bar Draughts (children must be accompanied by an adult and under 18s are allowed until 9pm).

10. Take a backstage tour of the NATIONAL THEATRE

Go behind the scenes with a 75 minute guided tour of the National Theatre’s backstage areas. Learn about what it takes to put together a world-class show on a visit to the theatre's on-site carpentry, props and scenic painting workshops, and discover how the theatre's unique design and state-of-the-art stages make it a world leader.

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