Autumn is a wonderful time of year to explore London, with the changing leaves of autumn painting the landscape fiery reds, golden yellows, and rustic oranges, ushering in the season's cozy embrace. There is so much to see and do during this special season, both indoors and out, so here are our top recommendations for the best child-friendly things to do in London this autumn. 

Admire the colours of autumn in Kyoto Garden 

kyoto garden holland park

The colours of autumn are out in full force in London, so we recommend taking a trip to Kyoto Garden, located in Holland Park, to view their spectacular display of Japanese acers. If you are wondering why this park is great for families, peacocks roam freely around Holland Park, frequently congregating around Kyoto Garden and providing an excellent wildlife spotting opportunity for children.

Get stuck in with our Children's Pastry Chef experience 

children pastry chef experience london

As a child-friendly hotel, The Rubens at the Palace places a great deal of emphasis on activities geared towards your little ones. This 30-minute pastry chef experience is available from Monday through Sunday at 10am or 11am. Children will be offered the chance to dress up in full chef uniforms, visit our kitchens to see our chefs at work and decorate their own biscuits and cupcakes to take away with them. On completion of this exciting experience, children will be presented with a ‘Master Chef in the Art of Pastry’ certificate, a personalised badge and a polaroid picture of the experience.  

Enjoy a tempting hot chocolate 

Chin Chin dessert club

If one thing is for certain, it is that there is always room for hot chocolate. Warm up with a tasty chocolate treat at one of London’s most famous hot chocolate spots this autumn. Your little ones will love Chin Chin Dessert Club’s mouthwatering signature hot chocolate, topped with a handmade marshmallow fluff cloud, lightly charred with a blow torch before being presented with a flourish. You can find Chin Chin Dessert Club in Soho or in Camden; the Camden branch might be a fun stop following a visit to ZSL London Zoo and Soho is perfect before or after a theatre matinée.

Take to the ice 

things to do in London with families Somerset House

London’s festive ice rinks are beginning to open and we cannot wait to take to the ice. There is so much to choose from here, with each of London’s seasonal ice rinks offering something different. Ice skating with Somerset House as a backdrop is particularly spectacular in the heart of the capital. 

Alternatives include Ice Skating at Winter WonderlandHampton Court Palace Ice RinkThe Queen’s House Ice Rink, and Ice Rink Canary Wharf 

Indulge in Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is a centuries-old English pastime and one that can be enjoyed by the whole family this autumn across our hotels in London. Our Little Prince and Princess Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at The Palace is perfect for kids, including a selection of finger sandwiches, plain and white chocolate and honey scones with homemade seasonal preserve and clotted cream, a Rubens marshmallow, royal cupcake, and a Rubens iced doughnut. Grown-ups are, of course, catered to as well and our festive Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is available until the 2nd January.

Catch a matinée 

Wicked Rubens at the Palace activity

There are so many fantastic family theatre productions in London at the moment, and a matinée is a fantastic way to introduce your children to the joys of theatre. Top picks for current child-friendly shows include Frozen (children over four years old), Wicked (children over seven), Matilda (children over six), The Prince of Egypt (children over seven), Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella (children over six), The Lion King (children over six), Mary Poppins (children over five), and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (children over 10). Wicked is located just around the corner from The Rubens at the Palace, making a visit to see the show even easier for our guests. 

Try something new in Richmond Park 

Richmond Park London deer autumn

We could not talk about autumn in London without highlighting another London park currently sporting fetching shades of yellow, orange, and red. We recommend a visit to Richmond Park as it offers so much for families. From deer-spotting to cycling, opportunities for fun abound in this leafy autumn haven. There is even the opportunity to try your hand at horse riding with lessons and group rides on offer for adults and children alike.  

Other parks in London providing beautiful autumn colours include The Regent’s ParkSt James’s ParkHyde ParkThe Green Park and Kensington Palace Gardens.  

Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Throwing open its gates on the 19th November, the long-awaited return of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland provides a welcome addition to the London activity roster this autumn and winter. There’s plenty for families to see and do, with child-friendly rides aplenty in addition to several attractions. Catch a show at Zippos Christmas Circus, zip down the Ice Slide, explore Santa Land or book a private pod on The Giant Wheel to enjoy the view.  

Meander around a museum 

Natural History Museum London

Many of London's museums lend themselves to family visits. We recommend the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum as two brilliant free-to-visit museums, packed full of exhibits to keep your children mesmerised for hours. Combine a visit to one of these museums with an Afternoon Tea and a walk around one of London's parks for the ultimate autumnal family day out.