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The best family days out in London and beyond rated by kids and teens

National Portrait Gallery

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National Portrait Gallery

KidRated’s National Portrait Gallery Top Tips:

  • Best for kids & teens: Spotting famous faces with the National Portrait Gallery Family Trail 
  • Best for parents: The museum is free and under 12s enter exhibitions for free
  • Top tip: Why not also visit the National Gallery around the corner 

The National Portrait Gallery, located just off Trafalgar Square, offers a unique peek into the faces and stories of famous figures from history, making it an exciting adventure for children and teens.


First off, kids will be fascinated by the sheer variety of portraits on display. From kings and queens to scientists, artists, and celebrities, there’s someone for everyone to discover. The vibrant stories behind these portraits bring history to life in a way that’s both engaging and fun.


Also, the gallery offers interactive family trails that guide you through the exhibits. These trails are packed with fun facts, creative challenges, and intriguing questions that make exploring the gallery a blast for young minds. It’s like a treasure hunt, but with famous faces!


Plus, the National Portrait Gallery hosts a variety of family-friendly workshops including free monthly sessions for under 5s. Kids can try their hand at drawing, painting, or even creating their own portraits. These hands-on activities are a great way for them to get creative and learn new skills.


And let’s not forget the amazing photo opportunities! The gallery’s stunning portraits and beautiful architecture make it the perfect place for snapping some memorable family pictures.


After exploring the gallery, why not take a stroll through nearby Trafalgar Square? It’s a bustling spot where kids can enjoy the fountains, street performers, and even feed the pigeons.

Booking Advice:

  • Entrance is FREE
  • Special exhibitions may require you to buy in advance, but under 12s are free
  • Workshops are FREE too

Parent P.O.V. by Laura Porter

  • We’ve enjoyed the free art workshops (just turn up and ask for
    a ticket) so know this is a great place to sketch with the kids.
  • There are four themed audio guides
    for 7-11-year-olds.
  • Bring your colouring pens as there are free trials and sketchbooks available.
  • It’s free to visit so don’t try and see it all. Pick a gallery (the Tudors is always good for kids) and enjoy it.

You can find loads more information by Laura Porter at 

Special needs:



St Martin’s Place


All year round

Phone number:

+44 (0)20 7306 0055


How to get there:

Nearest tubes: Charing Cross, Leceister Square and Embankment.
Nearest buses: 24, 29 and 176.

Teen Verdict

Things to do, places to go for kids and teenagers - cool, academic, fun and entertaining in London and beyond with KidRated


Pretty good gallery. I came here with my family and we got to see quite a good variety of pieces. I wouldn’t come here with my mates but if you’re more of an art lover, than I can see why teenagers might come here in their spare time. I personally preferred the National Gallery because of the architecture and wider choice of exhibitions but this is a good one to tack onto a day out in London.

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  1. Amy

    Kids enjoyed the Grayson Perry exhibition on right now. Youngest read up about the exhibition before and was a lot more engaged as a result.

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