Want to be entertained in London?
If you haven’t read my first two posts on Historic things to do in London and Artistic things to do in London, then please check them out if you’re planning a trip. This post will basically cover the activities I know of that don’t quite fit under history or arts and culture, just other forms of entertainment in London.
If you’re planning a trip to London that doesn’t revolve around a specific event, I’d highly recommend checking out what is going on at the O2 arena. Not only is it a large 20,000 seat arena that can host anything from concerts to sporting events, but it’s also one of the largest tents in the world. It’s actually the tent that was built for the millennial celebrations and once it was over they cleared out the tent and built this stadium inside. The cool part is that the tent is much larger than the stadium, so the “outside” of the stadium is built to look like different buildings. Each of these buildings houses a different restaurant or bar, so if you find an event at the O2 while you’re in London, you can spend the entire evening there. Go early and get some food before your main event and stay late at the bars for their live entertainment.
If you’re going to London in the summer you’ll also want to check out what music festivals are there when you’ll be in town. In Hyde Park they have the British Summertime Festival and there are literally hundreds of others throughout the UK each year. I’d recommend taking a look at this list to see if there’s anything that might interest you. They’re not all in London but the UK is relatively small and you can get almost anywhere by train.
If music isn’t your thing, you’ll probably want to check out some of the usual tourist attractions like the London Eye. The eye is the large observation wheel along the bank of the Thames River and gives you a great view from the top. The ride lasts about 30 minutes from start to finish and is a great way to learn about the skyline of London as there are interactive tablets in the corner of each pod showing the skyline view from that corner. You can click on each building and it will give you information on when it was built and what the building is called.
If you’re looking for a good fright and you’re around the London Bridge, you should check out the London Bridge experience. It’s a haunted house like tour through the history of the London Bridge. The tour ends up in their “crypts” which is full of some great jump scares for most people, others found them absolutely terrifying. There was a lady in our group that made this part entertaining with how scared she was, she had to be helped along by her family as she was just freezing up every time there was a creature nearby. So if you have a weak heart, or scare extremely easily, this one may not be for you but it’s definitely worth a good scare.
The London Zoo
The one attraction I wish I had spent more time at was the London Zoo. The Zoo is located in the heart of London in The Regent’s Park, just south east of Camden Town station. I’d recommend giving yourself at the very least half of the day for this zoo. It’s deceivingly large and has some great displays and attractions.
You can walk into some of the habitats that hold small monkeys and watch as they scurry through the bushes around you or run on ropes overhead. It’s highly recommended that you do not bring food or drinks into this area as some may try to steal them from you. I’m a huge fan of watching monkeys so this was an incredible experience for me.
The zoo also has a Zookeeper for a day program where you can pay extra to go inside some of the off limit habitats and help feed the animals. While we were there a group of people were sitting in with the lemurs, helping feed them and it looked extremely interactive.
There are also larger group habitat buildings where the outside walls are lined with cages of different species but the interior courtyard of the building is a group habitat where all of the animals can interact and play. In one particular habitat the zookeepers let a small ant eater type of animal loose just to wander around with the visitors. Of course they kept a very close eye on them and made sure no one touched the animal.
I only spent a few hours at the London zoo which was probably the biggest regret of my second trip to London. I would have loved to spend the entire day there. The zoo also has some history to it, dating back to the early 1900s and some pop culture history as some scenes from Harry Potter were filmed there as well. I could probably write a whole other post on just the zoo alone.
Above are only a few of my favorite attractions for entertainment in London, there are dozens of others that you might want to check out. No matter what your preferences are, London can cater to them in some way or another.