a teenager looks out to Buckingham Palace in London

How to Entertain Teenagers in London

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A Teen Approved Guide To London

Let me guess, your teenagers have outgrown pantomimes, and you have no idea how to entertain them in London. Well, you can park ideas of anything high-brow (too boring) or Hamleys (too childish). Consider this your handy cheat sheet on what teenagers will actually enjoy doing in London. 

The London Eye

cityscape view of London with the London Eye

Image courtesy of Getty Images

A failsafe option is the London Eye, especially if they’ve never been to London before. If you’re blessed with sun, book a time slot during golden hour that guarantees the prettiest views of St Pauls’s Cathedral, Parliament, all the classics. Hungry? Why not book a restaurant in Soho beforehand and amble your way over Westminster Bridge to take in all the city highlights as you go.

BOOK: Tickets are from £27, best to book ahead. londoneye.com

The Best Restaurants in Soho 

Stroll Around Battersea Park

a tree at Battersea Park

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Get yourself a flat white (for them: a hot chocolate) at The Pear Tree Café in Battersea Park that looks out onto the park’s many lakes and ponds. Doing a full circuit of the park will probably take you 30 mins or so, where you’ll pass all types of Londoners: runners, families, people reading on a bench – a great place for them to soak in the atmosphere of city living.

Seven Beautiful Parks in London

Go Thrifting

a girl thrifting through clothes at a thrift shop in London

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If you didn’t know already: every teenager these days is a fanatical thrifter that almost certainly trawls through Depop on the daily (the app that’s like eBay but for clothes). On Brick Lane, set your Citymapper for one of these addresses: Beyond Retro or Rokit in Brick Lane, and then slowly amble and you’ll come across lots of other places to pop into. You also have Atika in Shoreditch and Portobello Market in Notting Hill for all sorts of trinkets.

Go to a Yoga Class Together

willow studio yoga class on the Northcote Road in Clapham

Image courtesy of Willow Studio

A trip to a yoga studio is perfect if you’re entertaining teens over a few days to start a morning right. Teenagers have lots of stress points these days: GCSEs, social media and all the rest of it. Book yourself into Willow London on the Northcote Road in Clapham, but it’s best for those aged 16 and upward.

BOOK: A drop-in class is £24 per person for a 45-minute class, book online beforehand. willowldn.co.uk

Shop at Carnaby Street

the sign of Carnaby Street in London

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For younger teenagers, Subdued and Brandy Melville are the it teen clothing shops that are both on Carnaby Street in Soho. Across all teen years, Urban Outfitters is a big one, that’s on Oxford Street which is just a short walk away. Carnaby Street, W1

Go to the Cinema

the facade of clapham picture house cinema

Image courtesy of Clapham Picture House

An easy win is a trip to the movies. Why not go to an independent cinema (here’s our round-up of the best ones, but Picture House is a firm favourite). Expect slushies, popcorn and all the usual treats to be requested. What’s on at the moment? There’s Cyrano, a dazzling period drama that’s set in historic Sicily that covers themes of being an outsider.

BOOK: picturehouses.com

Best Independent London Cinemas

Brunch at Ottolenghi, Spitalfields

pastries at Ottolenghi restaurant in Spitalfields

Image courtesy of Ottolenghi Spitalfields

A spot of brunch at Ottolenghi’s at Spitalfields will go down a treat. Hidden away on a quiet Georgian passageway, the restaurant has a nice low-key atmosphere of both families and friend meetups. Now onto the food: obviously Ottolenghi is thrown about so much these days, but trust me: the brunch lives up to the hype. Go salmon and eggs on focaccia, and accessorize with a hot chocolate. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better brunch spot in the city. Why not saunter over to Spitalfields Market afterwards and check out some vintage shops (see So Vintage, Collectif to get you started).


How to Keep the Kids Happy in Half Term 

Main image: Unsplash