Please recommend UK winter activities for my little 5yo outdoorsy Kiwi

(15 Posts)

.I live in NZ. My two daughters and I will be travelling to the UK to visit my parents for Christmas.

Younger DD, who is 5, loves being outdoors, running around, enjoying the sun, looking at eating insects andgenerally being active. Television isn't really her thing and she watches very little of it.

My parents and family are quite an indoorsy lot, and I am worried about how to amuse her. We will be staying in outer SW London.

I would be very grateful for any suggestions about activities to amuse her.

We will be in town for about a month.

mummyxtwo Sun 01-Sep-13 08:33:01

Hi smile I used to live in NZ - Napier - so I understand the difference in lifestyles. I do really miss the outdoors lifestyle that we had in NZ - although we do now live in Wales so are still fairly outdoorsy. I grew up just outside London and we visit my dad a fair bit who lives in Teddington, in S London. I'm not sure which borough your relatives live in, but if it is fairly near Kingston there are quite a few outdoor places you can visit nearby. Bushey Park is nice, and there are lots of streams and ponds full of ducks to feed, and paths to follow, as well as a nice cafe to warm up after a walk. Richmond Park probably won't be far away, that is huge and more of a common than a 'park'. Take a ball and find some sticks and have a good explore. It is nice to walk along the river by Kingston. Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens are in S London and make nice days out. And I bet she would love a trip on the Underground. There are a ton of free museums in Central London and the tourist attractions are always fun to visit, but I would recommend visiting the nearby parks a lot and going to walks and explorations. Hope that helps a little!

mummyxtwo Sun 01-Sep-13 08:33:52

on walks...

forevergreek Sun 01-Sep-13 08:38:17

Sw London. You have Wimbledon park, Richmond park, bushy park all relatively close and huge. If you are in central there is Hyde park and holland park for running/ finding peacocks/ play parks etc

Her get some warm clothes and waterproof overalls and waterproof snowboots. Then she will be warm and dry in all weathers and can still run/ find bugs.

Can your parents either borrow from friends or buy secondhand a scooter for her? Or bike? Then she can go out in the parks doing this

Like above there are also lots of museums with lots of space if the weather is terrible ( history, science next door to each other). Many are free

LadyMetroland Sun 01-Sep-13 08:40:38

Kew is great, loads of activities and space (by London standards) to run around. Look into getting a pass otherwise it could get expensive.

Presumably your parents have a garden - if so make sure you bring a snowsuit or similar as winters have been pretty cold here the last couple of years and even playing in the garden involves lots of warm winter kit.

LittleBearPad Sun 01-Sep-13 08:41:51

Lots of good suggestions above. Can you take a 5 year old ice skating (sorry don't have one yet). There are usually lots of outdoor ice rinks in London at Christmas. Hampton Court has had one, so has the natural history museum.

London Zoo may be a thought too.

Longtallsally Sun 01-Sep-13 08:42:36

YY to wellies, waterproof overalls or dungarees, and a nice brolly for her. (Don't think that they do adult waterproof onsies yet!) Then you can go puddle jumping in any weather.

London has some great outdoor skating rinks, in winter [[ http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/ice-skating-in-london link here]]

and don't forget swimming. I used to take my outdoorsy boys swimming most days when they were small, just to keep them worn out smile

yy to the natural history museum and science museum too (both free) - you can walk miles, indoors, but in wide open spaces with loads to look at

LittleBearPad Sun 01-Sep-13 08:54:31

A walk from Westminster to the City. You'd see Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, St Paul's, the Thames etc. Or catch a London bus, particularly the heritage routes that have original routemasters on them. One travels broadly this route.

I love London at Christmastime. It will all be different to home too so that should help with keeping DD amused.

OddFrog Sun 01-Sep-13 09:05:45

longtallsally you can get adult onesies, you know! Inglesport

They are very comfy and warm.

Can't help with London activities, sorry. If you have time for a trip to Somerset, the Mendip hills are riddled with lovely caves and you can try out a lovely onesie!

Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions.

Is Chessington World of Adventures still any good?

Mutley77 Mon 02-Sep-13 05:18:05

Theme parks are likely to be closed in winter unless they have something special going on for Christmas.
Virginia water great for a day out, def second the recommendation for getting a bike or scooter for her. Also you can do indoor play or swimming if it is too wet to be out.
My kids are v active and I found it easier to manage that in the UK than I do here in Australia. I find things aren't so geared for poor weather here so if it rains you are stuck at home more, also there are times here it is too hot to be out and about in the middle of the day. In uk I was out in all weather's.
Hope you have fun.

Rewindtimeplease Mon 02-Sep-13 06:33:51

Toad, if we're you, I would give chessington a wide berth
You will be staying in one of ths most,awesome cities I ths world, which in many respects is very child friendly.

And at Christmas time? I can't think of a better time. So so exiting. A trip to the southbank (wide pedestrian walk way along the river), Hyde park winter Wonderland is an absolute must (there will be rides), ice skating, the science museum, the natural history museum. All world class and most free!

She will have a phenomenal time. As will you.

Hyde Park winter Wonderland sounds particularly promising.

gourd Tue 03-Sep-13 09:03:37

If it is raining we take our nearly 3 YO DD to museums/art galleries/aqariums etc to run around and look at interesting things. She was so excited by seeing large stuffed animals 9(tigers etc), dinosaur skeletons, massive cat fish and sting rays in a aquarium etc. Many museums are very family friendly and often have interactive exhibits set up specially for children. Ancient Egyptian mummies also v good for kids.. Obviously dont ecpect to be there all day and you do have to run around madly with them, but it's fun and they enjoy it and get some exercise too. Actually some large museums involve quite a lot of walking (and stairs) which does tire out little ones so take bag of food/drinks etc with you as they will need some fuel.. The zoo is also a very good day for a family, if you can afford the entrance fees. Take your own food though, as generally the quality of food is very poor at thee places and very expensive for a family too.

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