Capital tots

Adventures and days out for babies, toddlers and children in and around London - the greatest City on earth

Parks The Aquarium Classic London sites National Gallery Free activities Farms and zoos The coast British Museum Musuem of London Docklands The London Eye Natural History Musuem

The National Gallery

Great wet weather option

Easy with buggy


Central London / step-free access from Waterloo

Getting there / tickets / vital info

Capital tots thoughts:

This is one for slightly older children. I took MLA to see the Leonardo exhibition in November when he was 5 months old, or more accurately I wanted to see it, so I took him along…wow, what a day - we queued in the freezing cold for about 3 hours and finally got into the exhibition just after lunch. It wasn’t great because he then cried and screamed around the exhibition, finally falling asleep after about an hour of me feeling really embarrassed and taking him out to try and calm him down.

You might not enjoy this with super energetic noisy toddlers, but if you do go a good tip is to play “hunt the painting” - buy some postcards from the shop and play a game trying to track down the painting - great for children aged around 3 and upwards.

They do put on activities for toddlers and children including their magic carpet storytelling sessions every Sunday.


The National Gallery has a big and busy café which is reasonably child friendly - there’s not too much room for buggies but I guess that’s central London for you. Better is the National Dining Rooms in the Gallery which serves classic british food and offers a really delicious children’s menu. If you want to go a bit further afield then try the Café in the Crypt of St. Martin in the Fields church, just across Trafalgar Square from the National Gallery which has just been voted Les Routier’s London café of the year and has loads of room for buggies. They welcome children with open arms and it means you can also get a look at the church.

Make a day of it by:

Chasing the pigeons in Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery is located and then walk across Hungerford Bridge to the London Eye. Or if a park is more the order of the day walk across Trafalgar Square to St. James’ Park (10 mins) and feed the ducks and run around on the grass.

What did you think?

Please do feel free to add your own review/comments/suggestions - thanks!

Photos © National Gallery, London