london
London
Trafalgar Square

In the heart of London, Trafalgar Square is famous for its architectural significance, but with kids, run around the square, take photos, go to the bookstores, and stop in to the Brass Rubbing Centre.

Nelson's Column - Lord Nelson's statue really is at the top of this column, 170 ft up, but he's rather far away to see. (Lord Nelson died a hero in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar.) Kids can climb on the four yawning black lions (also stick their hands in its mouth) at the base of the column.
Sharks and dolphins - In the fountain east of the column, there are two sculptures. Look for dolphins in one, and sharks in the other!
A very tiny police station - It might just look like a round column with a black windowed door, and light on top. But it's a one room police station (on the Charing Cross Rd. side of the square).
London Brass Rubbing Centre - In the Crypt of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church is the Brass Rubbing Centre. You can choose from hundreds of metal plates to make your rubbings on black paper with lovely wax crayons. Our kids wanted to go back twice.
St Martin's-in-the-Fields Church has free concerts at the lunch hour.
Charing Cross is noted for its bookshops. Our favorite, which has a large children's section, is Waterstone's on Trafalgar Square proper.
National Portrait Gallery (St. Martin's Place) - What better way to see the most famous people in British history? The National Portrait Gallery has original paintings and busts of the kings and queens of England, from the Tudors to Queen Elizabeth II, Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming, the Beatles, Elton John, J.K. Rowling, and many more writers, poets, statesmen, generals, explorers, scientists, aristocratic families, rock stars, and actors, past and present.
Ask at the front desk for a goody bag, family activities coordinated with each floor of the gallery. The museum is free, rarely crowded, even in summer, and is rich with famous figures that really come alive in their portraits.
National Gallery - The National Galley is the biggie museum with European artworks. Look for paintings by British artists J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough (super family portraits), John Constable, and George Stubbs, (famous for his horse paintings). Kids will also get a chance for a first hand experience of famous paintings such as Sunflowers by Van Gogh, Rembrandt's Self Portrait, The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci and much more. At the front desk, pick up family audio tours. There are kid's activities at the museum every Sunday. The museum is free.

twittervimeo travelforkids