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Any tips for visiting Olympic Park please

(148 Posts)
lorisparkle Sat 28-Jul-12 19:29:25

We are off to visit the park on Tuesday with a 6 year old and 4 year old. I am feeling rather anxious about the whole thing and hoping that there will be some fab MNetters who have already been and can give us some handy tips! We are travelling by car then by tube. Would a buggy be a help or a hindrance, buy or take food, places to visit, etc etc


TaggieMandevilleBlack Sat 28-Jul-12 19:31:50

Watching for tips!

Windsock Sat 28-Jul-12 19:32:14

you must be mad - a 4 year old?!

blue2 Sat 28-Jul-12 19:36:09

Marking my place!

I can help with Excel advice - was there to see first day of the Judo.

Elderwand Sat 28-Jul-12 19:45:04

Watching as well, taking 2 and 4 yr old to paralympics- our times will be 10-1pm s will be one for around 5 (crosses fingers!)

Elderwand Sat 28-Jul-12 19:45:22


LaurieFairyCake Sat 28-Jul-12 19:46:14

blue2 - can you tell me about the Excel place please - dh and dd are off there to Judo on Monday smile

MrsHowardRoark Sat 28-Jul-12 19:50:48

Yes, blue2, waiting eagerly for your tips. Taking my dad and my 9 month old to watch the fencing on Wednesday.

thaliablogs Sat 28-Jul-12 19:58:21

dh took dd, aged 4, to the opening ceremony yesterday. They said it was very well organised. Very quick to get through security, free water system worked well. Everyone oohed and aahed at dd (she was dressed in a union jack dress) including giving her a team GB badge.

Food was a bit of a different story, they queued for 30 mins for not very much food and it cost 30 quid, plus even at 1830 the stall had run out of some items (curry place). So I'd take sandwiches. They were fine w you taking in snacks - dh had apples, oaty bars etc to get dd through the evening.

Buggy was useful and was dealt with v well by the stadium, they took it to a security room right by their seats, folded it up and they stored it there, came straight out when they left at the end.

They also got home v easily, straight onto a tube. Advantage of having the buggy was they went up in the 'restricted access' lift which came out right by tube doors so they got a seat all the way home.

Think you are fine taking your children there.

lorisparkle Sat 28-Jul-12 20:03:37

Sounds wonderful thaliablogs - so lucky to get tickets for the opening ceremony I bet she was shattered though!

WillPenn Sat 28-Jul-12 20:08:55

Your experience is very heartening, Thaliablogs. I will be going a week on Weds with my mum and a 6 and 4 year old to Olympic Park to see hockey and then onto Excel for table tennis. So I'll be watching this thread too for tips. We will arrive into St Pancras and get the Javelin to the Stratford Intl, so any experience of that journey also would be good to hear.

blue2 Sat 28-Jul-12 20:12:26

Re Excel (sorry OP to slightly hijack thread...)

We got there at 0830ish for a 0930 start. The security was very fast and very good - all staff and volunteers were really lovely and friendly. Ditch any water before you go through. I kept empty bottles but never found topping up points inside Excel - we ended up buying at £1.60 a bottle

Took snacky treats to eat, but lots to buy. Don't go to first food outlets as you go in as the queues get less the more you walk through the corridor. Lots of loos - all sparkling clean. Never had to queue for them.

Wandered out onto the DLR. Didn't queue there either.

An ExCellent day all round!

(Oh Why can't London always be like this?!)

mumblecrumble Sat 28-Jul-12 20:32:58

HOW exciting.

A little bit jealous.... up here in Darlington. But pleased it is going well

Biscuitsneeded Sat 28-Jul-12 21:11:41

Went today with 7 and 5 year-olds to watch the swimming. 7 year old was fine, 5 year old got a bit bored. The Javelin train is easy, quick and efficient. If you are going to the Aquatics Centre be warned it is up a LOT of steps, (113 counted by my small people) before you even get to the top seating area, and there are no toilets or water available up there, so do all of that before you go up! I took some sandwiches and snacks to keep the small one form getting too restless - glad I did as the food for sale within the venue didn't look very exciting, although much more choice in the park. I would only take a buggy if the 4 year old really needs it, but only you know your child! It is all pretty straightforward though, so don't worry.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 28-Jul-12 21:18:51

Blue2 - what time did you set off on the tube?

Dh is on about getting on one at 6am to make sure he gets there hmm he's changing at Bank for the DLR.

blue2 Sun 29-Jul-12 07:31:50

Laurie - we found the transport pretty painless - BUT it was a Saturday. I suspect a weekday would be different.

The judo began at 9.30. We got a train from our station that got us into Waterloo at 7.30, then took the Jubilee line to Canning Town and changed there to go to Royal Victoria Dock. (The changing onto the DLR was the only crowded occasion) We then walked through security, went to the loo, bought water and were in our seats by about 8.45.

On leaving, we went from (I think) Prince Regent down to Bank, and then changed to the Waterloo and City (Drain) which was working. That all took just over an hour - again, no queuing.

Not sure what DCs you have but there was a lovely street food market on the way to the South Bank just behind Royal Festival Hall. Thats where we had lunch.

lorisparkle Sun 29-Jul-12 09:58:00

Thanks for all the tips so far - we are now in two minds about a buggy - had not considered it before but not looking forward to a 4yr old with aching legs!

RiaBlossom Sun 29-Jul-12 10:40:14

Anyone experiences of taking a 7 month and/or 3 year old. Pram storage? ability to move about if they get fidgety? space to breastfeed? Space for a nappy bag under the seat? Am I crazy or should I try and leave the 7 month old behind (she doesn't take a bottle yet!)

TwistAndShout Sun 29-Jul-12 14:26:07

Have just got back from watching basketball in the basketball arena in the Olympic Park. It was fantastic! It was all really well organised and felt very starightforward we took our 3 DC (Aged 7, 5 and 3). The javelin train was easy, lots of seats. We took a buggy for our three year old after much debate and were really glad we had, there is quite a bit of walking and the buggy parks were easy to use. Lots of stewards who were helpful. Toilets were clean and there were lots, no queues.

The megastore shop was The only thing we queued for and wish we hadn't! Lots of overpriced memorabilia but that's as to be expected.

The fountains to fill up water bottles were handy. To be honest, the food and drink was no more overpriced than at any big event. We had breakfast in McDonald's and it really wasn't that much more than usual. Cups of tea were 99p.

It really has been fantastic and I'm really glad we took the kids, even the three year old. It's a great experience.

TwistAndShout Sun 29-Jul-12 14:28:37

Oh and riablossom there was room for a nappyp bag under the seat. I'd say go for it, I'm sure the stewards will be happy to help you find somewhere to breast feed. It was very family friendly.

Windsock Sun 29-Jul-12 14:30:23

and oyu CAN take food then

lorisparkle Sun 29-Jul-12 21:10:10

Sounds great TwistAndShout I am getting a little less anxious but we are travelling in the middle of the night to get there in the morning to hopefully find parking, have breakfast and go on the tube. I spent a year in London getting on and off the tube but have no experience of going with a buggy. How busy is the tube / London in general / the Olympic Park etc etc

Treats Sun 29-Jul-12 21:48:36

Definitely take a picnic. Since DH and I had to leave at 6.30am to get there, we decided we would just buy lunch when we got there, but I was shock at the poor quality of what was on offer. Apart from the largest McDonald's I've ever seen, there was very little - very few food outlets, and most of them just a notch above a burger van. It actually spoiled the day because I'd had much higher expectations and it made me insanely disappointed.

I must have been at the same event as TwistandShout (Nigeria v Tunisia?) and - apart from the food thing - I'd agree with everything she said. There were lots of kids there and they seemed to be having a good time.

Treats Sun 29-Jul-12 21:52:52

Where are you planning to park lorisparkle - you DEFINITELY won't be able to park anywhere near the Park.

Take a small buggy and you won't have any problems on the tube. If you're travelling on the Jubilee Line, every station from Westminster to Stratford has lift access.

It WILL be busy though. There will be a LOT of people travelling, but there will also be a lot of people around trying to make it easier for everyone, so there should be someone you can ask for help if you need it. Just make sure you've got the journey well planned out in advance.

Eve Sun 29-Jul-12 21:55:55

Dh , DS and cousins went today as had morning seats for basketball, drove to london, no traffic in London at 8am straight through central London, parked at national theatre, then taxi to olympic park as there were 5 of them, it was £20.

Coming back at 3 tubes fine, some stayed in London so DS & dh got train from Waterloo, again fine.

They had a brilliant day in the park, though queues for souvenir shop were horrendous, so saved some money!

Said all the gamesmakers in the park looked really excited and was a great experience.

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