Science Museum and/or Natural History Museum. There are quite a few good Italian options nearby for lunch as well - e.g. Rocca or Franco Manca.
South bank if it's a nice day - check their events calendar, they often have free events with music, etc going on. Can also watch the skateboarding, go up onto the roof garden, ride the carousel, etc. Plenty of choice for restaurants as well, or eat at the street market if a nice day and take your meal to eat beside the river.
Boat down to Greenwich, wander around the Cutty Sark, nip into the Maritime Museum-free of charge, fantastic kids play area, and the map room is tremendous fun If the weather permits then there's a brilliant adventure playground in Greenwich Park-perfect for a 4 year old
Otherwise if the weather is good then you cannot go wrong with Battersea Children's Zoo-it is fab
I'm also taking my 4yr old in the next few weeks. We'll be doing the Natural History Museum and maybe the Science Museum (right next to each other). His dad has took him before, they did Madame Tussauds, general sight seeing and the M&M store/Lego shop at Leicester Square.
I will be looking into the Shrek Adventure too, so thank you!
Wow thanks for all the fab ideas Will easily be able to fill a day with these We both live Chinese so I think I’m going to try n book hakkasan as I want to take him somewhere really special We have down natural history museum So might go in there for a bit but don’t want to end up saying in there all day again this trip Which is easy to do as it is fab in there
Really interested in the sky gardens as never been to anything like that before Tbh he would be happy riding around on the bus really But it’s good to have a bit of a plan so thanks
I you like Chinese and Hakkasan not available/a bit starchy for a four year old, you could try somewhere like Royal China on Queensway (just by Diana memorial park which is lovely) or head to Chinatown - Leong Legend is good.
Another vote for boat trip, the thames clippers board right next to london eye and you can travel right down to O2. Really easy and much nicer way to travel/sightsee.
Sky garden nice but at that age my DC more impressed with museums. They loved Shrek/Sealife/Eye but got bored quickly in Madame Tussards. Loved all museums we have tried (Nat Hist, Science, Foundling and oddly adored National Gallery)
All great ideas. Would definitely do a boat trip rather than duck boat tour. We did the latter and it was a bit boring for my 4 year old. Most of it is on the road with only a tiny bit on the water. Boat trips are much more fun and really fast! (And much much cheaper!)
We still haven't tried Emirates airline but again the clippers dock by the stop so on the same route - my pet hate is spending the day traveling across town, I like to plan activities in a cluster/route so we aren't losing loads of time getting between attractions