3 December 2022
War is a tough subject, and one that can bore kids rigid in the wrong environment. That is why we have compiled this list of the best war museums for kids in and around London, where kids can have interactive experiences and come face-to-face with tanks, Spitfires and other real military equipment.
In the heart of London is this living museum that celebrates the history of The Household Cavalry. See fully uniformed soldiers ride horses around the impressive courtyard, and be regaled by people from the past, fully costumed and full of charisma, as they wow you and your family with stories and tales of history. It’s not the subject, it’s the teacher, and the staff at this museum have a lot to say in an engaging fashion.
You can’t talk about war museums in London without considering the iconic Imperial War Museum. Established in the imposing former Bethlem Hospital near Waterloo, kids will love the open atrium filled with artillery, tanks, planes, trucks and submarines. Permanent galleries tell the stories of the First and Second World Wars, conflicts since 1945, and the Holocaust.
Located in the heart of Westminster, close to Downing Street, this underground bunker was the nerve centre of the British government during World War II. Learn about the life of the legendary Winston Churchill in the Churchill Museum. See the Cabinet War Rooms, where the government made crucial decisions that helped to win the war. Have a look at Churchill’s own modest bedroom, where he also held meetings. Get a feel of life in London during the Blitz.
Suitable for kids of all ages, the National Army Museum is colourful, gun-heavy and performative. There is something for everyone here. Live actors perform for you, and of course, there are the tanks. Kids love tanks. And if that’s not enough, the museum caters for all ages. There is a soft play area for younger kids, and fascinating models everywhere.
What could be better than all of that? You’ll sea. See what I did there? The National Maritime Museum has a shopping centre style, open plan structure, so you can walk around and soak in the sights. Because it’s maritime-themed, you won’t be surprised to see lots of big ol’ boats. Suitable and inspiring for kids of all ages, the museum even has a children’s gallery, where they can get in touch with their inner artist.
Whether your objective is to learn, have fun, or simply spend time as a family, each of these museums brings something unique to the table. There is lots to learn and much fun to be had in this great city of ours, so book some tickets and go have a good time.