Dogs + children + fun. It can be tricky to find activities to keep children entertained that also allow you to bring your dog along, so this guide will help you find the best dog-friendly and kid-friendly attractions in London for a fun day out for the whole family. And if you don’t have kids of your own you may want to borrow your friend’s ones or just let out the kid in you!
Kid-friendly dog-friendly things to do in London
Happy kids is all thrill and joy, eyes getting brighter, high pitch voices. There is a chance that the same things that you loved as a child are what your or your relatives’ and friends’ children will love too. Animals, trips on unusual means of transport, games and much more. In this post you will find some inspiration about the best kid-friendly things to do in London that allow you to take your dog along too. Because kid-friendly dog-friendly adventures are possible!
1. Meeting the animals at a dog-friendly farm
One of the most frequent questions children ask is “going to see the animals.” There is something bewitching with them, probably at any age, but for kids it’s a real treat. In London there are many city farms, some of which are dog-friendly, so you can arrange a kid and dog trip without having anyone feeling left out at home.
- Mudchute Park and Farm near Canary Wharf – a large farm with lots of farm animals from pigs to llamas, sheep and more
- Surrey Docks Farm near Surrey Quays – a small lovely city farm by the river with lots of kid-friendly activities
- Bonus track: in Clissold Park there is a fenced off area with farm animals and deer – while dogs are banned from walking through it, you can still walk your dog outside the fence and see goats and deer.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY FARMS IN LONDON
- Dogs: Well-behaved dogs of any size welcome, on a lead.
- Kids: Any age
- Price: Free! (donations welcome)
- Mudchute Park and Farm near Canary Wharf – Parking: there is a huge free parking near Mudchute Park, next to a big Asda. By public transport, the closest station is ….. : Closest buggy-friendly station:
- Surrey Docks Farm near Surrey Quays – Parking: free parking on the streets nearby – Closest station: Surrey Quays (Overground); Closest buggy-friendly station: Canada Water station (Overground, Jubilee line) has lifts street to platform.
- Clissold Park: Parking – Stoke Newington overground station.
2. All aboard Ruislip Lido miniature railway
All aboard! Ruislip Lido miniature railway is good fun for little ones and grown-ups and happens to be dog-friendly as well (although in the high season at peak times they may refuse access to dogs for space issues). Running in the woods, it is a lovely experience that will definitely capture kids fantasy.
There is a dog beach at Ruislip Lido nearby one of the miniature railway stations, so your dog could have a good time, but watch out for green-blue algae that has been previously reported in the area and remember that people are not allowed to enter the water.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY MINIATURE RAILWAY
- Where: Ruislip Lido, SATNAV postcode HA4 7TY
- Price: Adult £2.50 single or £3.50 return; Child under 3 years free; Child (3-15 years) £1.50 or £2.50 return; family of 4 (max 2 adults) £7 or £11 return; dogs go free (last checked 5/3/2020).
- Hours: timetable here
- Dogs: Dogs of any size allowed, they may be refused at peak times/when it is busy.
- Kids: any age – please note that there are no barriers on the miniature train, so make sure you keep children (and dogs) under close control
- Official website: ruisliplidorailway.org
- Parking: A car park is available at the end of Reservoir Road, 250 yards from Willow Lawn station, however this becomes full and congested soon in Summer. More info about parking charges.
- Closest station: Metropolitan Line to Ruislip, then bus H13 in front of the station to Ruislip Lido.
Love a railway? If you head to Epping you can bring children and dogs on a historical steam railway.
3. Walk on the glass floor of Tower Bridge Exhibition
Tower Bridge Exhibition is most famous for its glass floor walkway, where you can dare standing 42 meters from the river, certainly an exciting attraction for kids! For an even more thrilling experience, you can make sure to be there at a time when the Tower Bridge is lifted to let large vessels through (check the timetable).
Since we discovered Tower Bridge Exhibition is dog-friendly and wrote about it on the blog, a couple of years back, this once not beated dog-friendly attraction has become very popular with London dogs, who keep sending us lovely pictures of their visits (keep them coming!), and Tower Bridge has recently added a dog section to their FAQs. Dogs of all sizes are welcome, provided they are kept on a lead, but watch for crowed times and hot weather, when the walkway can become really busy and hot and dogs may be refused access.
Tower Bridge has a two lifts up to the walkways (in the North and in the South Tower respectively), and to get down to the Engine Roomes, there is also an external lift, so it’s buggy-friendly too! Finally, there are baby changing facilities in the South Tower and the Engine Rooms.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY TOWER BRIDGE
- Where: Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road
- Prices: Adult £9.80 on the door, £8.80 online; Child (5-15 years) £4.20 on the door, £3.80 online; children under 5 years go free; dogs go free. Family tickets available, differently priced. Tower Hamlets, Southwark or City of London residents can benefit from a very favourable ticket price of only £1 (just bring a proof of address dated within the last 12 months and a photo id document (it is also recommended you bring and the Idea Store card/Tower Hamlets library card for Tower Hamlets residents)) – this type of ticket cannot be booked in advance.
- Dogs: Of any size allowed. They must be kept on a lead at all times. At busy times/with hot weather dogs may be refused access.
- Kids: Kids of any age can enjoy this one!
- Parking: There is a car park closeby, the Tower Hill and Coach Car Park – here you can find information on tariffs
- Closest tube stations: Tower Hill (District and Circle line), Tower Gateway (DLR)
- Closest buggy-friendly stations: Tower Gateway DLR station has a lift, unfortunately the other close ones have steps, so why not getting dog and kids on a boat? At St Katherine Pier nearby arrives dog-friendly Circular Cruise (£16 adult return , £ 7 child single , £10.75 child return), and at Tower Pier you can catch the Thames Clipper (prices here, under 5 go free except on River Bus Express service).
4. London from above with Emirates cable car
Continuing on the heights theme, the Emirates cable car is something kids may be enraptured with. Reminiscences of ski trips may kick in at the station, but as the cable car takes off, you’ll find a very different view than the mountains. For the most enchanting view, pick a sunny day and late afternoon. This may not be one for you/your dog in case either of you are scared of heights and keep in mind that there can be some vibrations when the cable car passes the masts.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY EMIRATES CABLE CAR
- Where: Emirates Royals Docks (27 Western Gateway, Royal Docks, London, E16 1FA) and Emirates Greenwich Peninsula (Edmund Halley Way, London, SE10 0FR) terminals
- Prices: Adults pay as you go £4.50 single £3.50 if you pay with Oyster Card, child £2.30 single, £1.70 if Oyster Card.
- Opening times: Summer and Winter timetables available here
- Official website: emiratesairline.co.uk
- Dogs: Dogs welcome, but the FAQs require that non-guide dogs are carried at all times.
- Kids: Children of any age can enjoy this attraction
- Closest station: Royal Victoria DLR station (recommended) or North Greenwich tube station (Jubilee line)
- Closest buggy-friendly station: North Greenwich station has lifts
5. Going for a ride on a hire cargo bike
Parents pedalling school-bound, with little passengers on child seats are not too rare in London, but cycling with children can be a leisure activity too, and one that can also involve your dog. Instead of a child seat, you can hire a dog-friendly cargo bike (go for one with electric assist to make the ride easier), fitting a child and their furry best friend next to each other. From the comfort of their seat in the cargo, kids and dogs can enjoy the view and the breeze, while you cycle.
Where to hire a cargo bike? CarryMe Bikes, in Hackney, is the place for you. All tips from our adventure and what you need to know in this blog post on taking your dog on a dog-friendly cargo bike in London.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY CARGO BIKE
- Where: CarryMe Bikes, near Hackney Central station
- Official website: carryme.org.uk/
- Prices: Depending on the lenght of the hire, all prices and conditions here
- Dogs: Dogs of any size can take part, although you’ll have to keep in mind the size of the cargo (your Mastiff or Grate Dane won’t likely fit as larger dogs if they are sharing the cargo with a kid). Also, this may not be one for any dog, as nervous dogs or very high energy pooches may find it a bit too much (be careful they don’t jump out of the cargo while you’re cycling!)
- Kids: Probably one for kids between 3 and 8 years old, as older children may enjoy cycling along more.
- Closest station: Hackney Central
6. Swing at a dog-friendly crazy golf
With older children (5+ years of age recommended), crazy golf is a great chance for all the family to get involved in a fun activity together. In London there are a few miniature golf places that allow you to bring along your dog too!
- Jurassic Falls in Waltham Forest, Chingford: a 18-holes adventure golf course with a dinosaurs theme, on the North Circular.
- Dinosaur Escape: another 18-holes crazy golf course in Ruislip Road, Norholt
- Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf: an adventure golf course of the same circuit in Barnet
- Pirate Cove Adventure Park: land this last one is in Dartford
- Putts in the Park: there are 3 Putts in the Park venues across London (Wandsworth Park, Battersea Park, Acton Park), there dogs are welcome in the cafe/restaurant area, but not on the actual golf course, so you may be a bit limited in that someone will have to stay with the dog while the others play.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY CRAZY GOLF COURSES
- Jurassic Falls: Southend Road, E4 8TA, Chingford
- Dinosaur Escape: West London Golf Centre, Ruislip Road, Norholt, UB5 6QZ
- Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf: A1 Golf Driving Range, Rowley Lane, Barnet EN5 3HW
- Pirate Cove Adventure Park: External Winter garden Bluewater shopping centre, DA9 9SF Datford, Kent
- Dogs: Well-behaved dogs welcome as long as they are kept on a lead at all times; make sure your dog does not foul and clean up any mess in case. At Putts in the Park, dogs are only allowed in the cafe/restaurant area but not on the actual course.
- Kids: 5+ years
- Parking: The courses of the Adventure Golf circuit have free parking on site. See this post for further information about public transport options.
7. Adventures on a boat
Be it rowing boats, electric boats or a cruise on a ferry on the Thames, kids have nothing to worry about but sit back, relax and enjoy the adventure, and you can be sure they are going to talk about it for long! There are some good options to combine children entertainment and dog outing in London:
- Rowing boats:
- Electric boats: For a more relaxing experience, GoBoat London offers dog-friendly self-drive boats from two Paddington on the Regents Canal (find our thoughts in this blog) and from Kington for an adventure on the Thames (more about an adventure on the Thames with GoBoat here).
- Ferries on the Thames: The best for kids are:
- Turks Launch: beautiful traditional river boats sailing from April to October on the scenic route from Kingston upon Thames, to Richmond and Hampton Court.
- Circular Cruise: an all-year service in Central London, enjoy the view from the upper deck with a guided tour, to discover London from a new perspective – It may take children to be a bit older to appreciate the talk, but the upper deck offers great views for everyone (all about an adventure with Circular Cruise here)
- Thames Clipper: the classic river bus service, running fast on the river. Seats are inside (just a few at the stern), so it will be a rain-proof option to take you, with kids and dog around London but not as scenic as the other river boat options.
KID-FRIENDLY & DOG-FRIENDLY BOATS
- Location and prices: Various locations and prices, please click on the links above, or refer to our guide on dog-friendly water-based activities
- Dogs: Well-behaved dogs welcome, provided they are kept on a lead at all times. No dogs on seats.
- Kids: Kids of any age.
7. Getting together at a Lavender Field
Mayfield Lavender Field, near West Croydon, is incredibly popular with families with children, during the lavender blooming season, and being a dof-friendly one there are many pooches too! For pre-school kids it can be a great one to go to on a week day, when it is slightly less crowded, rather than during the weekend. This is a seasonal attraction, normally open from the end of June and early August – make sure you check their Facebook page for updates on blooming status!
KID-FRIENDLY DOG-FRIENDLY LAVENDER FIELD
- Where: Mayfield Lavender Field, 1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, SM7 3JA
- Price: £2.50 per adult, children under 16 go free, dogs go free.
- Official website: mayfieldlavender.com/
- Dogs: Well-behaved dogs welcome on a lead. People are required to clean after their dogs.
- Kids: Kids of any age can enjoy this one. Remember that lavender rows are quite close to each other, so you won’t be able to pass with a buggy (anyway as it’s terrain not sure it would be a great idea anyway). There are no baby changing areas, and toilets are portaloos only.
- Parking: On-site parking is free for ticket holders.
- Closest station: West Croydon (Southern Railway, Overground) + bus no. 166 to Oaks Park (stops in front of the farm) (other travel options here)
Free dog-friendly things to do with kids
That you are a stay-at-home parent or not, it’s always good to know what things you can do for free or on a budget with your kids and dogs, so here is a summary.
Free for under age children:
- Thames Clipper: children under 5 go free (exceptions apply on certain services)
- Tower Bridge: children under 5 go free
- Ruislip Lido Miniature Railway: children under 3 go free
Free for everyone:
- City farms (but donations welcome)
What is your favourite thing to do with kids and dogs? Let us know in the comments below.