Proper within the coronary heart of vacationer London, the possibilities are you’ll end up in or round Leicester Sq. with youngsters sooner or later throughout your keep within the metropolis.
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Whether or not you’re drawn right here by its film and theatre hyperlinks, or have your sights set on Lego and M&Ms, the sq. and its environment are filled with household points of interest – to not point out being a stone’s throw from Covent Backyard, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Sq..
So in case you’re on the lookout for issues to do close to Leicester Sq. with youngsters, I’ve picked out a number of the finest choices for various ages, in addition to some family-friendly locations to eat within the space.
Comply with the Film Character Path
Younger film followers can snap some photographs with their favorite movie characters alongside Leicester Sq.’s family-friendly Scenes within the Sq. path.
The distinctive artwork set up includes a assortment of bronze statues scattered across the sq.. You could find Harry Potter on his broomstick enjoying Quidditch, Paddington Bear consuming a marmalade sandwich on a bench, and Mary Poppins floating into the sky together with her umbrella.
It was beforehand house to a full-sized reproduction of the Iron Throne from the hit present Sport of Thrones, so whereas that has moved on, it’s value protecting a watch out for brand spanking new arrivals too.
Following the path is likely one of the high free issues to do in Leicester Sq. in case you’re visiting London on a funds.
For extra of one of the best issues to do in London with youngsters, take a look at my high suggestions
Snap some photographs within the Lego Retailer
What child (or grownup for that matter!) wouldn’t get pleasure from visiting the most important Lego retailer on the earth!?
Unfold throughout two large flooring on the nook of Leicester Sq., the Lego Retailer is finest recognized for its many superb interactive Lego sculptures. You possibly can sit inside a life-size Lego tube carriage, take a household picture with Lego Shakespeare, and admire the 20+ foot tall mannequin of Huge Ben with its working clock face.
You’ll additionally discover loads of cool Lego merchandise and restricted version gadgets on provide. Clearly, you don’t have to purchase something however it’s fairly troublesome to go to the shop with youngsters and never stroll away with one thing.
The Lego Retailer is so in style that there’s typically a queue to enter. However don’t let this put you off as the road strikes pretty rapidly.
Indulge your candy tooth in M&M World
Probably the greatest issues to do in Leicester Sq. with youngsters with a candy tooth is visiting the chocolate-lover’s heaven that’s M&M World.
At 35,000 sq. ft over 4 flooring, M&M World is the most important candy retailer on the earth. Youngsters can construct their very own pick-n-mix from the world’s largest chocolate wall, that includes over 100 M&M varieties, have their ‘color temper’ analysed, and even get their faces printed on an M&M.
Plus the colourful and busy retailer sells excess of simply sweets. You’ll discover vibrant M&M branded youngsters clothes, towels, mugs, toys, and a lot extra.
Evidently, it’s very straightforward for the prices so as to add up: this isn’t the place to seize some low cost choc!
Splash round within the Leicester Sq. fountains
Leicester Sq. Gardens is a peaceable inexperienced area proper within the centre of the energetic sq.. Throughout the heat summer time months, it’s the proper place to chill down and escape the hectic streets of London’s West Finish for some time.
Adults can calm down beneath the massive cover of timber, whereas kids will love splashing round within the fountains that shoot up from the bottom across the sq.’s Grade II listed Shakespeare statue.
For extra free issues to do in London with youngsters, take a look at my high picks
Hearken to the Swiss Glockenspiel
Leicester Sq. was as soon as house to the Swiss Middle, a singular attraction constructed to showcase Swiss tradition and promote tourism within the nation.
After the constructing was demolished in 2008, the Swiss Glockenspiel, with its bells and figures, discovered a brand new house on a pole near its former web site to commemorate the attraction (you’ll be able to learn extra about its historical past right here).
The Glockenspiel options 27 bells and plenty of Swiss collectible figurines, together with mini bell-ringers, set in a conventional Swiss alpine backdrop. A number of instances every day, the bells ring and the figures transfer in a enjoyable five-minute efficiency.
It’s a unusual element that quite a lot of guests miss, however a enjoyable one for youthful youngsters – to not point out being one other of one of the best free issues to do in Leicester Sq. for households.
Treasure Map Trails
Probably the greatest methods to discover Leicester Sq. with youthful kids is taking up the problem of a Treasure Map Path.
Good for households with 5 to 12 12 months olds, this Leicester Sq. and Chinatown Rogue Robots path challenges little ones to seek out many hidden treasures across the neighbourhood, together with sculptures, statues, gargoyles, and extra. The path takes round 90 minutes to finish.
Priced £6.99 for the folded path, there’s 10% off in case you use the code MUMMYTRAVELS. And in addition to the brightly colored illustrated map that’s posted to you, you’ll discover some fascinating details on the map to assist get youngsters extra engaged in native historical past as you navigate the sq. and get your hands on its treasures.
Watch a movie on the cinema
Leicester Sq.’s cinemas are like no others within the nation, with their state-of-the-art movie know-how and trendy amenities.
There are three large flagship cinemas situated on the sq.; Odeon, Vue, and the Cineworld Leicester Sq. (previously the Empire). Positioned within the coronary heart of London’s West Finish, the cinemas have been internet hosting glitzy pink carpet premieres and film first runs for many years and in case you’re fortunate, you may even stumble throughout one happening.
In case you’re not within the sq. whereas a star-studded premiere is in progress, you’ll be able to nonetheless stroll within the footsteps – and sit in the identical seats – as a few of your favorite celebrities, by taking the household to see a brand new launch on one of many huge screens.
As you’d anticipate from a central London cinema, tickets and meals could be a little on the steep aspect, so don’t be stunned to seek out it’s pricier than your native multiplex although.
The sq. can be house to the smaller Prince Charles cinema, which frequently reveals basic (and cult basic) motion pictures in case you’re visiting London with teenagers, in addition to different family-friendly motion pictures.
Seize low cost theatre tickets from the TKTS Sales space
A visit to the theatre is likely one of the finest household night actions in London’s West Finish. And the excellent news is that it doesn’t should price you your life financial savings to get good tickets.
The TKTS Sales space has been located within the south of Leicester Sq. for the reason that Nineteen Eighties and is understood for being the go-to place for discounted theatre tickets. The sales space is the one official low cost ticket vendor within the space because it’s run by the Society of London Theatres (SOLT), so you understand you’re not going to get scammed.
On the sales space, you should purchase last-minute tickets for a lot of of London’s high reveals for as much as 50% off. Most tickets are for a similar day or the approaching few days, and in case you do get same-day tickets, most West Finish theatres are only a quick stroll from Leicester Sq..
For extra recommendations on saving cash on London with youngsters, together with different concepts for theatre reductions (and the TKTS app), take a look at my high picks
Verify what’s on in Leicester Sq.
You’ll discover pop-up occasions happening all year long in Leicester Sq., together with a Christmas market in December and Christmas lights twinkling from November, in addition to occasional artwork installations.
Try the entire record of what’s on in Leicester Sq. right here.
TOP TIP: Battling the weird pronunciation? It’s stated ‘Lester’ Sq.
The Crystal Maze LIVE Expertise
One of many latest family-friendly points of interest round Leicester Sq. is the exhilarating Crystal Maze LIVE Expertise.
Whereas mother and father reminisce concerning the well-known 90s TV present, youngsters over the age of 9 will get pleasure from working across the totally different themed zones with an amusing host, fixing mysteries and dealing with a sequence of psychological and bodily challenges to win the coveted crystals.
As soon as the entire challenges are full, your loved ones will head inside the long-lasting Crystal Dome itself to seize tokens which can be being whooshed round your head by robust followers. It truly is a enjoyable family-bonding expertise.
Leap on a bus tour of London
Though you’ll be able to leap on London’s hop-on hop-off buses at stops across the capital, the place to begin for the Tootbus Yellow route is on Coventry Avenue, simply on the finish of Swiss Courtroom main from Leicester Sq..
Fairly a couple of of the corporate’s different particular excursions go away from this level, together with the Christmas lights tour and the Evening Tour, whereas the Tootbus Youngsters tour additionally departs from Charles II Avenue, a couple of minutes away.
For extra recommendations on the finest London bus excursions with youngsters, take a look at this submit
Take a stroll round Chinatown
London’s Chinatown might be discovered simply to the north of Leicester Sq. and is a cool space to discover with kids of all ages.
Cross by M&M World and take a proper flip onto Wardour Avenue. Right here you’ll discover the long-lasting Chinatown gate resulting in a sequence of small streets, filled with thrilling sights, smells, and sounds.
Youngsters will love wandering via the energetic streets of Chinatown, marvelling on the rows of hanging pink lanterns and peering into home windows on the scrumptious Asian delights.
Deal with the littles ones to an indulgent Bubble Waffle from Bubblewrap, a brightly-colored mermaid-tail matcha ice cream from Taiyakiya, or a candy Bubble Tea from Woo Tea. The world’s many buffet-style Chinese language eating places are additionally an inexpensive lunch possibility for hungry households.
Stroll to Trafalgar Sq.
The official centre of London, Trafalgar Sq. is only a five-minute stroll away, with a complete sequence of points of interest of its personal that are straightforward to mix with the opposite issues to do round Leicester Sq. with youngsters.
House to the Nationwide Gallery and the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, you’ll additionally discover public artwork on the Fourth Plinth, which adjustments regularly – there’s all the time one thing eye-catching and thought-provoking to find there.
You may also spot Nelson’s Column and the Trafalgar Sq. lions at its base, together with the statue of Charles I on his horse, the purpose the place all distances are measured from within the metropolis.
Go to Covent Backyard
Leicester Sq. can be lower than 10 minutes’ stroll from Covent Backyard – in reality, at busy instances in Covent Backyard Underground station, you’ll be requested to get off at Leicester Sq. tube and end your journey on foot, it’s so shut.
In addition to the London Transport Museum and Covent Backyard market, there are sometimes further pop-up occasions happening all year long, from pretend snow at Christmas and pumpkins at Halloween, to short-term occasions themed round something from Frozen to Lego plus huge screens within the piazza.
Get 6% off tickets to the London Transport Museum utilizing my code MUMMYTRAVELS6 in case you ebook via this hyperlink
With some extra of London’s finest family-friendly theatre within the space, together with Matilda and Harry Potter and the Cursed Youngster, it’s a straightforward one to mix with the string of issues to do close to Leicester Sq. with youngsters.
See Piccadilly Circus
In the other way, it’s additionally simply 5 minutes to Piccadilly Circus, famously house to the statue of Eros – which is definitely a statue of Anteros, and formally named the Statue of Christian Charity, though you received’t discover anybody calling it that!
It’s additionally well-known for the string of illuminated indicators which flash and flicker day and evening, together with an advert for Coca-Cola, which has been displayed in Piccadilly Circus since 1955. Initially the Piccadilly Circus lights weighed 5,000 kilos and contained practically a mile of neon – at this time there’s an ultra-high definition 4K decision display with 11,858,400 pixels and 281 trillion colors.
There’s no precise circus, in fact: the identify comes from the Latin for ring or circle, though this specific one has was one thing of a traffic-snarled sq. over time, one of many metropolis’s busiest junctions.
As some bonus trivia for Harry Potter followers, the scene filmed right here included 300 extras and needed to be shot early within the morning due to the difficulties of shutting Piccadilly Circus down.
For extra Harry Potter places in London, take a look at this submit
The place to eat round Leicester Sq. with youngsters
The guts of vacationer London additionally has greater than its fair proportion of vacationer traps, however you’ll be able to nonetheless discover some nice locations to eat close to Leicester Sq. for households.
There are a string of chain eating places as properly, corresponding to Byron Burgers, TGI Fridays and Bella Italia amongst others.
Chinatown has numerous locations for households to eat, with decisions together with dim sum and all-you-can-eat buffets in addition to Dumplings Legend – take a look at the part above for extra concepts of Chinatown treats as properly, however you received’t be wanting choices.
The courtyard on the Japan Centre has all the things from katsu curry to sushi and sashimi to gas you up on your time out in London, to not point out loads of different enjoyable odds and ends to purchase, from Japanese sweets to ceramics.
Laborious Rock Cafe
Together with the world’s largest Rock Store, Laborious Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus is one other household favorite in case you’re on the lookout for locations to eat round Leicester Sq. with youngsters – discover pasta, salad and rooster on the menu in addition to burgers.
The flagship Glad Bar & Grill sits proper between Leicester Sq. and Piccadilly Circus, and it’s a terrific place for households, with favourites together with burgers, rooster strips and fish & chips on the children’ menu.
The Theatre Cafe
This theatre-themed cafe on St Martin’s Lane has reside performances by West Finish stars, and present tunes in between, together with theatrical memorabilia on the partitions. There are snacks and truffles on The Theatre Cafe menu in addition to pizza – you’ll be able to even carry out your self at one of many open mic slots.
Certainly one of a string of branches across the capital, Pizza Pilgrims Covent Backyard is barely a few minutes from Leicester Sq. and has vegan choices alongside basic margheritas and extra ingenious choices for mini gourmets.
Sadly the department of Mod Pizza on Leicester Sq., with its build-your-own pizza choices, has now closed.
Greggs flagship retailer
I do know what you’re most likely pondering however the Greggs flagship retailer on Leicester Sq. is likely one of the largest within the nation, with extra steak bakes than you’ll be able to shake a vegan sausage roll at on this ‘MegaGreggs’.
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