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Top 5 days out in London with the kids during the summer holidays

15:35 29 July 2012

A family day out at HMS Belfast. Photo: Damon Cleary/Imperial War Museum

A family day out at HMS Belfast. Photo: Damon Cleary/Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

School's out and the six-week summer holidays are upon us. It's one of the happiest times of the year for children, but not always so blissful for parents, especially when it comes to finding enough things to keep the kids entertained.

Sofia Leslie, 7, at the Museum of ChildhoodSofia Leslie, 7, at the Museum of Childhood

London24 is here to help, with our selection of five ideas for fun days out with the kids.

Museum of Childhood

This offshoot of the Victoria & Albert Museum is a fascinating place to visit for parents and children alike. Here you'll find all kinds of childhood objects from the 1600s to the present day, including toys, dolls' houses, games and puzzles. A new exhibition under way celebrates the 350th anniversary of Mr Punch.

Station: Bethnal Green

www.museumofchildhood.org.uk

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens. Picture by Anne Marie BriscombeThe Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens. Picture by Anne Marie Briscombe

Kensington Gardens

Head to the Peter Pan-inspired Diana Memorial Playground for its pirate ship and teepees, a great place for childhood adventures. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe theatre production takes place in a tent in Kensington Gardens until September 9. If you're visiting, Kensington and Buckingham palaces are nearby for some royal-themed learning.

Stations: Lancaster Gate, Queensway, Bayswater

www.royalparks.org.uk

Hamleys toy store

Katrie Palmer, eight, looks at a break-dancing Mickey Mouse, at Hamleys in central London. Photo: John Stillwell/PAKatrie Palmer, eight, looks at a break-dancing Mickey Mouse, at Hamleys in central London. Photo: John Stillwell/PA

This iconic Regent Street store may seem an odd choice of a day out but what child wouldn't enjoy visiting the ultimate toy shop? Set a strict spending budget before you go and put up your strongest shields against pester power, and you'll have an adventure too.

Station: Oxford Circus

www.hamleys.com

London Zoo and other animal attractions

However hi-tech and gadget-filled their lives may get, children will surely always be fascinated by animals. A day out at a zoo or wildlife park makes for a fun and educational time. Some of the best places to see all creatures great and small include London Zoo, Battersea Park Children's Zoo and Mudchute Park and Farm. If you're going to London Zoo, downloading the free app for smartphones is worthwhile.

Six-year-old Mia Shengaris watches penguins swim at London ZooSix-year-old Mia Shengaris watches penguins swim at London Zoo

London Zoo stations: Camden Town, Regents Park

www.zsl.org

HMS Belfast

A branch of Imperial War Museums moored on the Thames, former warship HMS Belfast has reopened to the public after a six-month facelift. Visitors can explore nine decks of seafaring history and see what life on board was like. Become immersed in battle in the Gun Turret Experience and step into the captains shoes controlling a fleet of ships in the Operations Room.

Station: London Bridge

hmsbelfast.iwm.org.uk

The MyCityWay London24 app is an essential mobile city guide with more than 30 mini-apps to help before and during a day out, whatever youre planning to do in the capital this summer. Download the app for FREE for your iPhone or Android device. See www.London24.com/app for more details.

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