London between Christmas and New Year

(14 Posts)
2anddone Fri 15-Aug-14 10:55:08

Hi I am taking dc to London to watch disney on ice between Christmas and new year. We are going the day before and staying in a hotel in covent garden. I am thinking of taking them ice skating at the tower but will it be a nightmare and is there a quieter rink that's just as nice? We will do the bus ride down regent/oxford street to see the lights. I was thinking about the museum of childhood at bethnall green, I have never been is it nice at Christmas? Also has anyone ever tried the disney cafe in Harrods? Was thinking of going there for lunch the day of the show? Would love any tips you may have of other fun festive things a 6 and 9 year old would enjoy in London thanks do much grin

alleypalley Fri 15-Aug-14 16:41:19

The museum of childhood is good, though I've not been at Christmas. The lights do look nice, and my dc enjoy them. A walk along South Bank, whilst busy, is lovely with the German market there. Somerset House also have a ice-rink, it won't be any quieter than the tower though. Never been to the Disney cafe in Harrods. Disney on ice is fab though, I took my dd a few years back for 7th birthday. Is it as the O2? If so getting the boat (Thames clipper) is a really nice way to get there, and they have a little bar on board so you can have wine hot chocolate on the way.

I've never fancied ice-skating outdoors (in case I get a wet bum, I have fallen over too many times on an ice rink)

The new(ish) cablecar goes to the O2 I think, (we went on it a couple of years ago, great views)

South Bank is usually lively, will the German Market still be there are Christmas?
I think Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is there til January and it'll be quieter then.

And we love the Duck Tours (we went in December one year, the drive round London is brilliant, the water bit is cold though)
Or you could try one of those tour buses (open topped if you're brave)

roslet Sat 16-Aug-14 08:26:00

We tried the Disney Cafe in Harrods after visiting Father Christmas there last year. I thought it was just a very overpriced fast food place with a few models of characters dotted around the place and a big tv screen showing a few film clips. I would rather eat elsewhere then take my children to Oxford Street Disney Store (the Cov Garden one is really tiny), the Disney Store staff make a real fuss of children.

KnittedJimmyChoos Sat 16-Aug-14 11:29:05

Also has anyone ever tried the disney cafe in Harrods?
Yes in desperation once, nasty scrtached plates, as poster said crap fast food, no atmos or charm just a few disney pictures. I think other cafes in harrods would be much nicer or go elsewhere.

Musuem of Childhood is nice but not worth all that way to treck out for...on a short visit. at xmas will be so many more other things to look at central.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 12-Sep-14 16:44:49

How old are your DCs, and what are they into?

2anddone Fri 12-Sep-14 18:12:15

They are 5 and 8, their main obsession is disney!! We came to London in the summer and visited the tower, Buckingham palace, London eye, Olympic park etc so was hoping to do something a bit festive when we come in December

PrincessOfChina Fri 12-Sep-14 18:18:43

We were there last year and DD enjoyed walking around Piccadilly and Leicester Square looking at the lights. There was a lovely carousel in Leicester Square. Then we went to Trafalgar Square and looked at the Christmas tree and up to Covent Garden. All nicely lit and good fun if the weather is ok.

MsAspreyDiamonds Fri 12-Sep-14 21:01:06

Somerset House on the Strand has an ice skating rink at Christmas and it is only 10 walk from covent garden.

www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink

2anddone Fri 12-Sep-14 21:14:26

Thanks have just signed up for emails from Somerset house so I can get details when they become available

MsAspreyDiamonds Fri 12-Sep-14 21:20:26

Book your tickets beforehand to save queueing. From the Strand, walk straight down towards Trafalgar Square to see the huge Norwegian Christmas tree. Before you cross over to the square, visit the St. Martins on the fields church for a coffee in its famous crypt cafe. Much cheaper than the National Gallery cafe, which is also situated opposite on Trafalgar Sq.

Whilst wondering around Covent Garden, visit the Mission cafe for very cheap, wholesome meals & coffee. There are lots of over priced
places around but you can eat well
www.lcm.org.uk/Groups/174681/London_City_Mission/Ministries/Cafes/Cafe_Eterno/Cafe_Eterno.aspx

& cheaply if you shop around.

Hyde park winter wonderland would be my no1 choice. Went first time last year and was surprise how brilliant it is. It was much much quieter during the day and still beautifully Christmassy. At night it's a bearpit.

Wouldn't trek out to museum of childhood. Would probably go to Greenwich (which is great to wander round and has nice places to eat, the park and an excellent panto), or Covent garden, south bank is very nice but can get stupidly busy.

LittleBearPad Mon 15-Sep-14 22:42:35

Lots of lovely suggestions above. Really wouldn't bother with the Disney cafe at Harrods. It was expensive for very mediocre food. A few Disney films showing on screens.

almamatters Tue 16-Sep-14 09:03:36

I am one of those weird adult disney fans and I was so excited about taking my two to the disney cafe, we went on my sons birthday and I hate to say it but I was really disappointed too.

I liked the food, but then I am a fussy eater!

But yes, no atmosphere, staff not disney-like at all, no fuss, the kids used to get free minnie or mickey ears but that no longer happens and my DP took kids to the toilet and by the time he got back (about half an hour later) he was in such a rage he just wanted to up and leave, toilets were miles away, staff were unhelpful, he had to walk through other restaurants etc. it put a huge damper on it to start with and is ridiculous considering it's aimed at kids who aren't the best waiting when they need to go!

It's definitely not a disney experience.,

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