We did a similar trip with our DS last October half term. Just avoid Rainforest Cafe, £12.50 for a kids meal which was awful and just as big a rip off for 2 basic adult meals. Was the only thing we wished we hadn't done!
Cafe in museum of childhood is v good www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/visit-us/eating-and-drinking
Your plan looks good btw -although aren't Thursday's activities on 2 sides of London?
That's OK The Guard doesn't last long and the tube to Bethnal Green won't take long.
Science museum had great picnic place at bottom.
No 11 bus takes you from liverpool st to kings road VIA st Pauls, strand, traf square, Westminster abbey and peter Jones. 24 takes you from pimlico VIA Westminster abbey, traf square, up tottenham court road. Make them some steering wheels out of cardboard in advance and sit on top deck. Free for kids.
Sshh! Don't tell anyone but if there is a big queue at the front of the NH Museum there's another entrance around the corner by the Science Museum
Bella Italia cater well for children too. They give them crayons and a few puzzles to do and a balloon!
I can also recommend the V&A museum - across the road from the science museum but usually much less busy than both the science and history museums. the V&A usually has kids activities during the holidays and if the weather is good (fingers crossed) there is a pond in the central courtyard that the kids can play in. It also has loads of historical items. And the gift shop is fab for mums!
Oh and when do the tower get there early and go straight to the crown jewels. the queue gets huge a little while after opening - someone gave me that tip and we felt so smug when we came out of the jewel house which we'd walked straight into and there was a massive queue!
Your plan looks good btw -althogh aren't Thursday's activities on 2 sides of London?
IME Hamleys felt a bit tired and wasn't nearly as special as I'd remembered it to be. In the end the DC ended up getting stuff we could have got on amazon for 30 - 50% cheaper (and just bog standard playmobil / Lego - nothing you couldn't get elsewhere) and I really felt we'd bought something just to say we'd bought it in Hamleys. Harrods felt like more of an experience - they had life size soft toy animals, more manageable amounts of toys (still lots but not totally overwhelming) and it didn't seem to be any more expensive than Hamleys. You can also go and find the Egyptian staircase, and go and look at the pets department (and the dog grooming salon which made us laugh for ages!) so there was just a bit more entertainment for all of us.
We have a toddler backpack which converts into a sort of stroller too so won't have to struggle with a buggy up steps etc, ds2 wants to walk everywhere anyway but can go in backpack when tired.
Got tesco vouchers and 2 for 1 vouchers for tower of London so wont cost much, ds1 really wants to go, he's a bit of a nerd and loves reading about history etc so will probably enjoy it more than the average 6 year old, dd is 4 and wants to see the crown jewels!!
We went to the diana p,aground a few years ago so will definitely go if weather is dry. Going to book tickets for dinosaurs at natural history so won't have to queue. Already have London eye and duck tour tickets,
misseleanorlavish in what way is harrods better than hamleys?
This is what I have planned, would be gratefully anone could point out any flaws in my plan!
Mon: arrive at paddington around lunchtime, dump bags at apartment (couple of streets away from paddington. Go to covent garden to hunt the eggs (last day it on ) not sure about rest of day
tue: duck tour and London eye in morning, golden hinde in afternoon
Wed: natural history in morning, science museum in afternoon,
Thur: changing of guard in morning, and museum of childhood in afternoon
Fri : tower of London and then home on train.
Will fit in things like Diana playground, toy shop, general sight seeing around these.
Think will just eat wherever we find somewhere as nowhere is really jumping out as 'THE' place we really have to eat at.
Cable car at north greeenwich then dlr driverless trains
Rainforest cafe bit of a rip off. Try the restaurants in the South Bank. The Giraffe is great. View from Waterloo Bridge is lovely.
Get the Clipper boat down the Thames. Very cheap (commuter boat), and gives you a great tour of the Thames. Lunch at O2 and then back again.
Harrods toy department (not you department. Although they probably have one!!)
Can I suggest Harrods you department instead of Hamleys? It's massive, no more expensive and actually a bit nicer? We were so disappointed by Hamleys when we went, then I visited Harrods and wished the kids were there to see it!
Egg hunt is fun, and can be combined with other stuff. My two are roughly the same ages as your big 2 and really enjoyed the Tower of London (you can take the boat down the Thames to it from under the London Eye) but it's not very buggy friendly for your youngest if you're using it.
Wagamamas is a huge favourite for meals out with ours and they're all over London (and v quick at serving kids usually - about pizza express prices and with a good kids menu)
If the weather's good and you want to run the kids about a bit, you could take the district line to Kew Gardens too. Lovely for a picnic. The Cutty Sark at Greenwich is also fantastic.
Have a great time - am quite jealous!
I've done some of those things with my kids who are a bit older than yours. If you go to the Golden Hinde I would recommend booking on to a tour. The guy that did ours was really funny and it was aimed at kids, we got far more out of it than we would have done just looking round.
The launchpad area of the science museum was great for children but ours didn't get much out of the natural history museum. I would think that your children might be a bit young for the Tower of London too - its expensive to get in and they won't be able to appreciate the history.
The Princess Diana playground is fantastic and worth going to, the Serpentine Cafe in Hyde Park is also good. Ours also enjoyed changing the guard and going on trips down the river. My top tip for London is to travel by bus. Its much less hassle than the tube as you don't have long distances to walk to get to the train platform when legs are tired and you can see interesting stuff out of the windows! You can also hop off when you see something you want to take a closer look at.
When we go to London we choose one thing to do in the morning and one thing to do in the afternoon which are fairly close together and don't try to pack too much in.
When it comes to eating out we just look for restaurant vouchers online for places that have children's menus like Pizza Express.
avoid rainforest cafe my kids hated it and so did we. cramped not good food and not worth it. loads of little cafes off the main drag to eat in so wouldnt stress. my kids enjoyed eds diner.
The Princess Diana playground in Kensington Gardens is worth going to if the weather allows. It has a musical garden and a (nearly) life sized pirate ship
Plan is to have breakfast in the flat, take picnic most days, with maybe a sneaky macdonalds. Will eat in a couple of nights (probably takeaway! Unless mil cooks) then probably
Y a pizza place one night on kids request so wanted to have one evening meal out somewhere special and fun for the kids.
best to buy sandwiches and drinks from tesco local/little waitrose and take in picnic bag with you on your outings to sit in parks
nandos/wagamamma/giraffe/cafe rouge chains all good for kids
rainforest expensive for regular chips and nuggets food so only go if you want to spend lunch sitting with loud rain sound effects and roaring elephants
Going to London in Easter mon-fri. Dcs are 6,4 and 2. Booked an apartment close to Hyde park.
We will arrive mon lunchtime and leave fri tea time.
We want to do the following but wondering if too much to try and pack in?
Natural history museum
Museum of childhood
Changing of the guard
Covent garden egg hunt
Tower of London
Also want some cheapish kid friendly places to eat, have looked at the rainforest cafe but not sure if it's worth the price? If it is a good experience don't mind paying.
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