As much as London is a draw for adults, with its theatre scene, museums, historical sites and great restaurants, it is an equally terrific city to visit with little girls. Whether they want to imagine themselves living the life of a princess or just enjoy the city as London girls do, there is no end of fun activities for young ladies.
Help your little girl put on a fancy dress and act grown up and sophisticated by attending high tea. The opulent Palm Court at the Ritz Hotel hosts high tea served on Royal Worcester bone china. In the same neighbourhood is the Tea Room at Brown's Hotel, one of the city's oldest venues. Teas include delicate finger sandwiches, pastries, scones with clotted cream, and cakes. Of course there is also tea, but children can have juice or hot chocolate if tea is not to their liking.
Palm Court -- Ritz Hotel 150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR +44-20-7493-8181 theritzlondon.com/tea
Brown's Hotel -- English Tea Room Albemarle Street London, W1S 4BP +44-20-7493-6020 brownshotel.com/dining/english-tea-room
Museums for the Whole Family
Take her to the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is dedicated to art and design and has a large collection of historic dresses. She will enjoy looking at the fashion design collection to see how ladies dressed in other eras. The V&A Museum of Childhood has a tremendous collection of historic toys. There are dolls, teddy bears, and other items that are not only fun to look at but will teach girls how children played in the days before electronic toys and computers. The Geffrye Museum documents interior design through the ages. Girls can see how people used to live and decorate their homes, and there are descriptions of the lives of children. The museums are free and have learning activities for children.
Victoria & Albert Museum South Kensington, Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL United Kingdom +44-20-7942-2000 vam.ac.uk
V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9PA United Kingdom +44-20-8983-5200 vam.ac.uk/moc
Geffrye Museum Kingsland Road London, E2 8EA United Kingdom +44-20-7739-9893 geffrye-museum.org.uk
The Life of a Princess
Windsor castle image by GonÃ§alo Carreira from Fotolia.com
Bring your little girl's dream of becoming a princess to life. Queen Mary, grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, had one of the most extraordinary dollhouses the world has ever seen, complete with working lights, running plumbing, and even actual wine in the wine cellar. The dollhouse is one of the many exhibits at Windsor Castle, just outside of London, and part-time home to the Royal Family. Kensington Palace was home to Princess Victoria, and girls can see the bedroom where she was wakened in the middle of the night to be told she had become Queen Victoria. Kensington's Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection displays gorgeous dresses and court fashions from English history.
Kensington Palace Kensington Gardens London W8 4PX United Kingdom +44-20-3166-6000 hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace
Windsor Castle Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ United Kingdom +44-20-7766-7304 royalcollection.org.uk
Harrods Department Store
Show your little girl one of the shopping meccas of the entire world, Harrods Department Store. Many Harrods logo purses and accessories come in children's sizes, and they have a fine clothes department for children.
Harrods 87--135 Brompton Road Knightsbridge London SW1X 7XL United Kingdom +44-20-7730-1234 harrods.com
Let your little girl experience the theatre. Although much of the London theatre scene is geared towards adults, there are always musicals and other performances that will appeal to young girls. Performances change regularly, so it is important to check current listings. Visitors to London during the winter holidays will have a special chance to participate in the pantomime season. "Pantos," as the English call them, are Christmastime shows, often based on well-known fairy tales and mostly created for the enjoyment of children.