On a bright sunny day, there's nothing better than heading outside and enjoying London's outdoor green spaces. Follow one of our Sunny Day itineraries to make the most of the good weather.
Picnic in the Royal Parks
Kensington Gardens are full of hidden surprises, which provide lovely picnic sports for your explorers. Pick your favourite picnic spot and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Some of our favourite picnic spots are:
- The Italian gardens to the north of the parks is surrounded by statues, ponds and park benches. The Italian Gardens Café is close by selling drinks, salads, cakes and snacks for hungry tummies.
- The Peter Pan statue stands down by the Long Water, providing a great place for a picnic with a bit of duck watching at the same time. You can also use your smartphone to arrange a special call-back from Peter Pan. Check out the Royal Parks website for more details.
- The Diana Memorial Fountain to the south of Hyde Park is a beautiful picnic spot, where children can get their feet wet. There are cafes nearby on the Serpentine, or you can bring your own snacks for the day out.
- The Diana Memorial Gardenis a beautiful interactive playground including a giant wooden ship. The playground can be very popular, so be prepared to wait in line if the day is particularly busy. While waiting, why not grab something to eat at the Broadwalk Café, or take a look at the wonderful creatures in the Elfin Oak, just outside the playground.
The Serpentine snakes its way through Hyde Park, providing a scenic setting for a day out. From sitting by the water, to taking a boat across it, there are many ways to spend your day by the water. Our top picks include:
- Take the Solarshuttle from one side of the lake to the other. The boat is completely solar-powered.
- Hire a boat and make your own way around the lake. The park hires out both row boats and peddle boats.
- For something different, pop in to the Serpentine Galleries to take a look at some of their temporary exhibitions. Admission to the galleries is free.
- The Serpentine Pavilion is open for the summer months – right up until October. This year's pavilion has been designed by award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. The tree-like design was inspired by Kéré's home town in Burkina Faso, and is a perfect spot to meet friends and family under the wooden canopy.
- Grab lunch at one of the many cafes that surround the Serpentine. From the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, and the Lido Bar and Café right on the water, to the stunning Chucs Serpentine at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, there's something for every mood.
Get close to nature
During Summer the Natural History Museum opens its outdoor spaces, and the Royal Parks also run activities in the parks for children. It is an ideal chance to celebrate the wonders of nature right in the heart of South Kensington. Our top pics include:
- The Sensational Butterflies exhibition is back again this year at the Natural History Museum. Surround yourself with butterflies of all species and colours in this incredible summer-only exhibition.
- Take some time to explore the NHM Wildlife Garden. Here you can explore British flora and fauna right in the centre of London, with the beauty of the NHM building in the background.
- The Royal Parks hold a range of children's outdoor activities, including Discovery Days, Nature Explorers and Scavenger Hunts. Check the full program of events to find out what's on now.
Lunch in the V&A courtyard
The V&A is one of South Kensington's iconic museums and this summer it's courtyard is reopening with a brand new look. Our top pics include:
- Start your day by taking the kids to lunch at the museum's new glass-fronted cafe.
- Have a splash in the John Madejski Garden water feature when the weather is hot. You'll find an outdoor café where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine while the kids enjoy the open space.
- Pick up a V&A backpack for the day - filled with fun things to do with the kids
Palaces and ponds
(Best tube station: High Street Kensington)
Kensington Palace has a range of activities to keep the kids occupied, from digital games to treasure hunts. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens which make it a perfect outdoor destination. Plus, the palace has free entry for children! Our top pics for a day out at Kensington Palace include:
- The Digital Missions app allows children to explore the Queen's apartments, including stories about pugs, pastimes and the family home.
- Take a picnic and enjoy lunch out by the Round Pond, with views of the gardens, the swans and the palace. There's plenty of space for playing games, and a big area along the broad walk for the kids to play on their bikes or scooters.
- If you would rather find something to eat within the gardens, try the palace's beautiful restaurant, The Orangery.
The Design Museum sits right next to Holland Park on the Kensington High Street. Why not enjoy some time in the park, then pop into the Design Museum for a coffee or a look at the beautiful design displays?
Our top pics at the Design Museum:
- On the last Sunday of every month, the Design Museum holds a drop-in activity for families inspired by the museum and the exhibitions. Free, drop-in, these informal sessions focus on light-touch design and making activities for children aged 5–11. Come along and become a designer!
- The museum's permanent exhibit, Designer Maker User, is fully of familiar objects kids will love exploring. Find out more about how things are made and experiment with designing things for yourself! The permanent exhibition is free.
- The museum's ground flood café is a perfect place to grab some food before exploring the museum or Holland Park, which is just outside.
Check out our other child-friendly itineraries for more great ideas of things to do in South Kensington.