1 September 2022

Things to do in London with children

Looking for the perfect day out in London with a pre-schooler? Then look no further than London Zoo.

Set amidst the beautiful leafy setting of Regent’s Park, the 36-acre nature haven has everything you need for a day out with your little one. 

Whether your pre-schooler is an Attenborough in the making, has oodles of energy to burn or simply enjoys taking in the sights of the great outdoors, they’re sure to love a day at London Zoo. 

With nearly 15,000 animals calling the Zoo home, exciting exhibits to explore and multiple routes to take, it might seem overwhelming knowing where to start. We’ve spoken to some of the Zoo’s very own mums and dads to compile a list of ‘insider tips’ for visiting with small children.

Toddler activities at the Zoo

Visit the Zoo on a weekday

Alastair Wilkinson, Marketing Manager
If you can, book your visit for mid-week when the zoo is quieter. You won’t need to wait to get in, you can explore at a leisurely pace and your little one will have more opportunity to stay longer at the exhibits they love the most. Tiny Giants is an absolute dream for children with its bright colours, sensory light displays and mesmerising coral reef.

London Zoo aquarium with diver inside and boy looking through glass.

P-p-p-peek at a penguin

Eve Noone Taylor, Visitor Activities Manager
Penguin Beach is England's largest penguin pool and is home to a huge colony of Humboldt penguins. Children love that they can see into the exhibit for themselves - there are so many vantage points from the raised decking to the pool-side windows that go all the way to the floor, but my children's favourite spot to watch the penguins is inside the underwater viewing bubble.


Ape around

Daniel Simmonds, Primate Keeper
Take them to see London Zoo’s most lively youngsters at Gorilla Kingdom. Alika and Gernot are so playful and enjoy clambering on their climbing frame just like our smallest visitors would at the park, they’re always so much fun to see.  My 22-month old daughter loves watching the Gorilla youngsters play outside and she tries to copy their roly-poly’s when we get home!

Zookeeper showing his baby to gorilla through glass

Have an animal adventure

Rebecca Blanchard, Media Manager 
Our children’s zoo is the perfect spot for everyone to take a pause for a moment.  The café in the playground area serves a great selection of sandwiches and snacks, as well as coffees for a caffeine top up! There are lots of brightly coloured picnic benches around this area too, so you can sit down while your little one plays on HMS Beagle (the climbing frame!).

A child peers out of HMS Beagle in London Zoo's Animal Adventure

Take some time out

Angela Ryan, Animal Manager 
London Zoo’s tropical bird house, The Blackburn Pavilion, is a brilliant exhibit where you can walk among beautifully coloured birds from around the world. But right outside the exhibit is a mechanical clock, which is so entrancing to watch. Plus nearby there’s a sheltered seating area, as well as a bench near our ornithopter – both of which are perfect picnic or breastfeeding areas.

Blackburn Pavilion outside

Have wild conversations

Teague Stubbington, Curator of Mammals
The zoo is a fun, safe place that the whole family can enjoy together, and somewhere you can have great conversations with your children. I love to talk to my daughter about the animals and how they are all different – after talking about animals that climb, she really enjoyed looking in the high treetops of our Rainforest Life exhibit to spot the sloths and tamandua.

Our animals

  • Gorilla eating at London Zoo
    Gorilla gorilla gorilla

    Western lowland gorilla

    Gorillas are the world's largest primate, weighing up to 200kg. They share 98.4% of their DNA with humans, and all four gorilla subspecies are critically endangered.

  • Giraffes in their indoor and outdoor enclosures at London Zoo


    Learn incredible facts about giraffes.

  • Sumatran tiger Gaysha walking in her Tiger Territory home at London Zoo

    Sumatran tiger

    Discover incredible facts about Sumatran tigers

  • Asiatic lion Bhanu poses surrounded by autumn leaves

    Asiatic lion

    ZSL London Zoo is home to Asiatic lions, Bhanu and Arya

  • Squirrel monkey baby at London Zoo
    Saimiri boliviensis

    Black capped squirrel monkeys

    Squirrel monkeys have the largest brain, proportionally, of all primates.

  • Ruppell's griffon vulture close up
    Gyps rueppelli

    Ruppell’s griffon vulture

    This vulture holds the record for the greatest flying height recorded for any bird.