Things To Do In London With Teens
Aren't teenagers the best? Fickle, emotional, and one-track minded. A delight to be around, and never giving parents a second thought. Are your teenagers disappointed in you for literally no reason? Why not cheer them up in London? It's the most visited city on Earth, but don't tell your little 'individuals' that. Instead, wow them with lots of exciting things that'll make them forget about their phones for over 20 minutes! Whether you're visiting the capital, or you call it home, this list should help you stick it to your grumpy adolescent seed. Here are the best things to do in London with teens.
Younger teens will find lots to love about LEGOLAND Windsor. There are over 55 attractions available, though some are restricted for tiny people aged 2-12. But with the popularity of the recent LEGO movies, and the fact that the little bricks appeal to even the oldest of humanity, you're sure to turn that hormonal frown upside down. If only for a few hours. Highlights for them may well be:
- Apocalypseburg: A behind-the-scenes look at the films. They've got sets they've recreated from both movies, as well as large models of the main characters.
- LEGO City 4D: Officer in Pursuit, a cinematic ride that follows police officers through a crazy chase around time to foil a couple of cocky robbers. This being 4D, expect wind, water, and bubbles to immerse you in the experience.
- The Dragon: Which is a rollercoaster. You ride a dragon. Everyone loves rollercoasters. They will love this rollercoaster.
Whatever you decide to do, you can plan the whole trip with the LEGOLAND app.
No doubt your little - or not so little - whippersnappers have been studying Shakespeare at school. Well, why not show them where some of his greatest works came to life? This incredible reconstruction of the original Globe, which sadly burnt down about 3000 years ago (or 1613, if you want to be nitpicky), is so faithful to its predecessor that if Shakespeare could somehow time travel to today, he would be stunned. He would also be the first recorded time traveller and we'd need to have a serious talk about that. Teens young and old will be stunned too. By the guided tour, where they can learn about the lengths that architect Sam Wanamaker went to when rebuilding it in the 90's. They might even wanna-make-you (sorry) stay for a traditional performance. That means no mics, no electric lights, and no spotlights. At the very least, they won't be staring at their phones for a couple hours.
Teens love nature, right? Well, they love taking photos of it and posting it on social media, at least. And where better to get the sweet 'gram (Instagram, it's a thing don't worry) than at the largest collection of flora on earth. More than 60,000 of the green, CO2 breathing-beauties are housed in a multitude of giant glass greenhouses. And once they've taken a photo of all of them and tagged it with some deep thoughts about the fleetingness of love, let them climb the 20 metre Treetop Walkway. The view will actually take their breath away. And yours. You're not dead inside yet are you... are you? And when that's all done, sit them down for a picnic and embarrass them in front of all their peers. It's the only reason you take them out anyway. Unmissable for any parent taking their teens to London.
If your teenage children like riding bikes, then a London Bike Tour makes sense. There's a couple to choose from. The three-hour Classic Tour takes you through all of London's greatest hits. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Southbank, you name it, you'll see it. Alternatively, if you're feeling a little more alternative, check out the Love London Tour. You'll see the West End, Covent Garden, Chinatown, and many more. This one's a little more cultural, and which you choose will probably depend on how much you - and they - have already seen of the capital. And if your teens are total trailblazing mavericks who don't follow any of the rules...sigh...we feel for you. But you're in luck, as you can still hire a bike a do your own tour, for free with the London Pass. You are very welcome.
No one's ever too old for cartoons. They make up a big part of your childhood. Ours too. And even better, your teenagers watched them. Why not explore the history of the cartoon, from its humble beginnings in the 1700s through to their rather more commercially successful present, at the Cartoon Museum? They've over 900 pieces on display, which is quite a lot, as well as a number of cartoon-related events. And for teens passionate about cartoons and thinking about studying illustration or animation at higher education, they also offer lectures and courses, backed up by a significant archive and library.
"If all else fails, ply them with chocolate". The eternal parent matra still rings true, and where better to exercise this than at Leicester Square's famous M&M World? Not only do you get 15% off all purchases (you're very welcome), but your teens can also create their own custom M&M blend. There's also a 1960s London bus, which seems like perfect gram bait for your social butterflies.
More sweet treats to satisfy the sweetest of teeth. No teen will ever turn down a waffle. Pretty sure that's in the Teenager Terms and Conditions. Get 15% off your waffles, and top them up with just about any glorious topping imaginable. Even fruit, if they need one of their five a day. Every Wafflemeister waffle is made using a secret family recipe. Just hope their offerings don't put your lesser desserts to shame. And if waffles are a little too heavy, they do milkshakes and ice cream too. What more could teens in London want?
If you just need to put your big kids in a room for a couple hours so they stop talking, where better than the cinema? And why not do it in style at the Curzon Cinema in Soho? They've got the biggest screens, the best sound, and three theatres of movies both classic and contemporary. With the London Pass, you can go see one of them on us. It's even visited by industry veterans. If your teens are into films, or see themselves as sophisticated cinema auteurs, take them to Curzon.
And finally, this last entry might be best reserved for the bigger teens in your collection. London has a pretty dark history, and the best way to experience it is with the London Bridge Experience. See how 2000 years of gruesome and gory stories have shaped the capital, from Boudicca's battles against the Romans, through to Jack the Ripper's terrorising of Whitechapel. Rumours abound that ghosts lurk in the catacombs below. We cannot say for certain, but if you and your spawn are feeling brave, venture down and discover the truth for yourselves. Muuuahahaha. Sorry. That's our list of the best things to do in London with teens. Surely more than enough to keep your growing terrors happy. Thinking of taking your teens to anything else in London? How dare you. Best leave a comment below telling us what and why, for unrelated reasons.