10 Aug Top Tips: Where to go in London?
For any of you like us that are lacking inspiration three weeks into the school holidays, here are a few our children’s favourite activities in London (including some rain-proof ones for the wonderful English summer weather!). We will be passing this list on to the grandparents/babysitters/random people we have left our children with while we are at work:
– Science museum – free entry – downstairs in the basement is the garden and the basement studio where the bubble show takes place. These are particularly good for the under 4s. On the third floor is the new wonderlab where they have science demonstrations, shows, experiments and lots lots more (t is brilliant!). Targeting mainly the plus 4s, though to be honest there is still lots for the littler ones too. Ticket access only to the wonderlab, but for a few pounds more you can get an annual pass so if you are likely to come back it is a good investment.
– Natural history museum – free entry – the dinosaur skeleton in the main hall has recently been replaced by a whale – it is immense. There’s lots to explore, favourites with our children include the robotic T. rex , the earthquake simulation, and the bug zone.
– Picnic in a park – free – the Diana memorial fountain and Diana memorial playground in Hyde park offer lots of fun for paddling and playing in a truly special playground. Also the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford is brilliant.
– London zoo – we love in particular the penguin show, animals in action and enrichment exercises in the tiger enclosure (basically the zoo keepers hide meat around the place and the tigers run and jump around looking for it). The zoo is not free but if you are likely to go again check out membership – it could save you money (to note: if you decide to apply for membership after you have been you can have the price of the ticket deducted from the cost of the membership).
– South bank – free – this is one of our favourites, mooching along the south bank with an ice cream, watching the street performers. Also a must are the enormous sandpit which is created during the summer (bring some buckets and spades) and the skate park where people practice skateboard and bike tricks. Our older children also enjoy the riverboat cruise, and if you make it out of there without a turn on the carousel you have done well!
– British museum – free entry – this place is amazing. For the 4 + age group there is a great explorers trail to follow. There are also lots of ad hoc events during the holidays (last time we all made sphinxes and pyramids that were used to create an enormous model city- very cool).
– Museum of London – free entry – again this is probably more targeting the 4+ age group, though they have ad hoc events during the summer that may also be of interest to the younger ones too. A really great place to learn a little bit more about our fantastic city.
– Tower of London – Crown Jewels. Need we say any more?!?!
– Open top bus tour – this is a firm favourite of ours. It’s relatively easy for parents with children of different ages too. You get to see lots of the sights without anyone getting tired little legs (and whinging!).
– Exploring in the Highgate woods – free – build dens and look for bugs. And don’t forget to stop at the cafe for an ice cream at the end.
– Granary Square ( behind Kings Cross) – free – The fountains there are brilliant for splashing around on a hot day so bring swim suits and towels. You can picnic on the fake lawn by the canal, and the handy prosecco van means that you can even sip on a glass while they play. What’s not to love!