What struck me about London since I moved here is the amount of cultural activities for kids that this city can offer, often at affordable prices, if not almost always free. Culture is for all those who want to appreciate it. This is what you can breathe visiting the museums in London, from the Natural History Museum to the Science Museum, the British Museum and the V&A Museum just to mention the most famous and completely free museums in London. The National Gallery is also a completely free-to-entry museum. Let’s see how and why to visit it with children.
WHERE IS NATIONAL GALLERY IN LONDON
The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square, home to major events in central London. It is here, in fact, that from 10th to 20th December each year you can listen to Christmas carols and during the St Patrick Day it is filled with numerous stalls and a stage with free concerts; this is where the most important events take place, and where the people make their voices heard.
The National Gallery was opened in 1838 and since then has always been free!
WHAT YOU CAN SEE AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY IN LONDON
National Gallery is the place for art lovers. It is here that you can admire some of the greatest genius as Leonardo Da Vinci, Lorenzo Lotto, Van Gogh, Monet, Rubens, Turner, Botticelli, Van Dyke, Constable, Cezanne …
To be sure not to lose the museum’ masterpieces, make sure to read this post with the National Gallery’ 30 must-see paintings.
TIPS HOW TO VISIT LONDON’S NATIONAL GALLERY WITH KIDS
National Gallery houses a collection of paintings from the 13th to the 19th century. It is a traditional museum, unlike other London museums that are more interactive and easy to visit with even small children.
But, this museum is very attentive to families and helps to bring children closer to art, from an early age. In this post we will discover how to visit the London’s National Gallery with kids and you will find some tips, tested with my 3 and 4 years old kids.
First of all, I suggest you to visit the Family events page of the museum, which is always full of events and ideas and things to do.
WELCOME WEDNESDAY AT NATIONAL GALLERY FOR CHILDREN AGED 18 MONTHS TO 5
I suggest, if you happen to be in London during the week, to book online Welcome Wednesdays storytelling sessions suitable for children from 18 months to 5 years. We go there often and they are a perfect way to bring children, even very small ones, to art. They get used to being in a museum, where nothing moves or something in particular does not happen. Where the greatest attraction is to admire paintings, and to understand that each painting tells a story.
Welcome Wednesday storytelling sessions last 30 minutes, and they are run by different performers. There are those who act and those who play an instrument, but always in front of a painting, of which it tells the story.
After the story, we usually continue the tour of the museum.
The fact that it is completely free means that you can visit the museum even for a short time. Equipped with a map in hand, visit the paintings that interest you and avoiding that children get too tired.
Generally we look at the paintings and try to comment on them together, generally when there are animals it is easier.
With my children I always carry even a small notebook and pastels. We choose a painting, and decide to draw it together. I usually draw it and they color it. Don’t be afraid to even sit on the floor with your children. We did it and saw others do it, in addition to the fact that there are often schools in visit that do the same way.
NATIONAL GALLERY’ GUIDED TOURS
National Gallery also arranges free guided tours, usually for adults, but if your children are 8-10 years old, they should be fine with it. The guide will show you some of the most important paintings of the museum and, as far as classical art is concerned, unless you are fresh from school, there is always much to learn.
Free guided tours leave daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm and last about an hour.
LONDON’S NATIONAL GALLERY WITH KIDS: FAMILY AUDIO TOURS
Another way to visit the London’s National Gallery with kids is definitely to take advantage of the family audio tours. There are several tours available for children. For example you could opt for Art Detectives tours, you will go looking for twenty paintings scattered around the Museum and once you find the painting, you can hear the description made by the audio guide. The narration is designed to be interesting and capture the attention of the kids.
A number is associated with each painting. So even the grown-ups can use the audio guide to listen to the paintings they are interested in.
How much do audio guides cost? £ 4 in all for 3 audio guides, because for children are free.
NATIONAL GALLERY’S BOOKSHOP
Finally, I suggest you visit the London’s National Gallery with kids just to have a look at his Bookshop, because there are so many ideas, books and gadgets to make children interested in art!
USEFUL INFO TO VISIT LONDON’S NATIONAL GALLERY:
- National Gallery website
- Family events
- Family audio tours
- closes tube stations: Charing Cross or Embankment
- free entry
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN READING ALSO:
Will you come to London and need help to optimize your trip? Are you overwhelmed by the amount of things to do and don’t know what to choose? If you want help with organizing your trip to London, why not take a look at my travel planning service?