Picadilly, Leicester Square & Covent Garden
Three great places in London - all very close in walking distance of each other. In Picadilly you can go to the famous Fortnum and Mason's store. (There are three premium department stores in London: Fortnum, Harrods and Selfridges. Fortnum excels in food - definitely check it out if you are looking for some nice food gifts. Harrods and Selfridges are both excellent, but if you don't have time to visit both, I would say go to Harrods. It just has a certain majesty about it. And it also has a very nice toys section which I'm sure your kids will love).
Covent Garden has lots of nice restaurants and boutique shops. If you'd like to shop for perfumes, cosmetics, jewellry or boutique clothing this would be a good place to head. There is also a famous square in the middle where there are always street entertainers and in the indoor section there are often classical musicians playing - you can find cafes and restaurants overlooking to enjoy the show!
And Leicester square has a couple of good stores I'd recommend - the Disney store and the M&M store. Both are very popular with kids.
As mentioned, all of this is in short walking distance of each other, but there is always the underground if you want to hop on for a couple of stops. I'd suggest visiting this area on a weekday as it can get very busy during the weekend. Try and head out at around 10am to avoid the work rush hour. You can have a nice walk around, shopping and seeing what takes your fancy - a meal in a Covent Garden restaurant or Cafe, then a theatre show.
Theatres have matinee performances in the early afternoon, around 2:30pm, which would probably be better if you have a 3 year old. (The evening performance starts at 7:30pm). There are a few theatres around this area, but others aren't far away. I would recommend:
- The Lion King
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory