Ten day trips in London

Even we Northants types like to head down to the smoke in the Summertime. And this year the kids will love it (so will the big kids)

Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail, Museum of London Docklands until 3 Sept

I saw a preview of this exhibition on the telly and it looks amazing. It’s the most complete range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail to be displayed and has gone on display alongside the story of Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Over 10,000 artefacts shine a light on people in almost every important period of the Capital’s history from Mesolithic tool makers and inhabitants of Roman Londinium to those affected by the Great Plague of 1665. There are skeletons, tools, pottery, even makeshift ice skate blades fashioned from bones. Entry is free.

Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AL

Ocean Invaders – Sea Life London Aquarium (ongoing)

The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!

Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB

Robot Zoo – Horniman Museum until Sun 29 Oct

It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time. Tickets: Adults £7; Kids, £4.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

KidZania – Westfield (ongoing)

Those who’ve been rave about this place at Westfield. A friend from overseas bought her sons for a rammed fortnight in London during which they saw pretty much every museum and attraction and this was their favourite. It’s a child-size ‘city’ where the kids are in charge (scary, no?). It provides real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. They can try more than 60 role-play activities (actor, doctor, police officer etc) with each  experience crafted to teach kids essential life skills like team work and independence. Younger kids can hang out in the dedicated Early Years area. And you can, you know, go shopping.

KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GA

Science Museum, Kensington, London (ongoing)

Masses on at this ever brilliant museum – spend the whole day here – including the new exhibit of  Tim Peake’s Spacecraft – Soyuz TMA-19M.  Also on is a brand new exhibition Robots, which reveals our 500-year quest to make machines human, from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids. Finally, your kids will love Wonderlab, the newest and most spectacular interactive gallery in the world.

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD

Wizarding Wardrobes, Harry Potter Studios, Leavesden, Fri 21 July – Mon 4 Sep

There’s always a new angle to explore at the wily Harry Potter experience and this Summer we look back over the 250,000 costumes that have been stitched up since during the 10 years of filming. From initial sketches to the finished costume, this special feature will take you on a journey through the behind-the-scenes process that brought our favourite characters to life.

Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR

The Sherlock Holmes Experience Madame Tussaud’s, Mon 18 July – Fri 30 Sep

A departure for Madam Tussauds, this new Sherlock Holmes Experience (included in the normal ticket price) is live walk-through adventure. Journeying from 221B Baker Street to Dartmoor where a demon hound lurks, with plenty of stops along the way. You must help Dr. Watson find the missing Sherlock Holmes to reach a dramatic ‘watery’ conclusion. The experience is totally interactive with textured theatrical sets laden with detail, hidden clues and special effects. Bring your own deerstalker.

Madam Tussauds, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR

Star Wars Identities, O2 London, ends 3 Sept

Learn about the characters of Star Wars in a new dimension through this exhibition which boasts some 200 props, models, costumes and artworks from the original Star Wars films <squeal!>.There’s also an interactive identity quest that helps you learn your Star Wars identity (please not Jabba the Hut!) It’s all about what forces shape you – geddit? It’s open daily from 10am onwards till Sept so plenty of time to catch this one.  Tickets cost from £20 adults, £10 children and £48 family off peak.

Star Wars identities, The 02, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX

Derren Brown’s ‘Ghost train: Rise of the Demon,Thorpe Park, Chertsey (ongoing)

The latest attraction at Thorpe Park is super-scary sounding Derren Brown’s ‘Ghost train: Rise of the Demon’  – seriously not for the faint-hearted, with live action and physical effects, it’s probably not one for your toddlers! There’s plenty for little ones to do though and the website has a brilliant ‘which rides are for you’ search by height function so you can check out the gentler options in advance. Great idea!

Thorpe Park, Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN

London Zoo, Regent’s Park London (ongoing)

Visit the amazing London Zoo and see  Land of the Lions, a new immersive exhibit with walkways from where you can explore Indian-themed areas  – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut.  No extra charge – it’s all included in entry to the Zoo.

London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY

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