Ways to find friends for kids on holiday (SW London)(13 Posts)
Every Summer I take the kids to visit my mum in southwest London (Worcester Park), where I grew up. We love her to bits and look forward to the visit but as the kids get older (11 + 9), they are starting to go stir crazy mainly due to the lack of company their own age. I must admit I get really bored too for the same reason. My mum is quite shy and anti-social and any suggestion of inviting anyone round, or connecting with anyone she knows with grandkids, just meets with a shrug. And although I grew up in the area, my friends have all moved on.
We live in the US and the 2nd part of our UK visit is to our old home on the south coast, so I know once we get there we'll have playdates galore - but I'd really love to make this part of the holiday fun for everyone too. If we were on "holiday" holiday, I'm sure there'd be ways to be sociable, but a small house in a suburban area just doesn't seem conducive to meeting people. Every time I take them to a playpark, they are usually completely empty for some reason. Any and all ideas welcome!
Could your mum meet you at the coast instead if you going to her house?
Is there an American expat community you could link in with?
Can you take them to gambardo’s in Chelsea or Beckenham has one also (my favourite).
Or you can go to kidspace - there’s one in Croydon which isn’t that local but always fun. Mabey look online to see if there’s a branch closer to you.
-I’m sure they do some sort of laser tag in the evenings also so you could try that.
Oxygen free jumping - they are all over so you can see what one is closest to yourself.
Rock climbing and bouldering - I do this one in London Bridge but again I’m sure something may be local.
Hope this helped
Try going to Thorpe Park and chessington world of adventures which are both reasonable to get to from where you are. Can be pricey but definitely worth a visit and the kids can have a good day out.
treat it like a vacation and plan fun outings. We visit my parents with DD, but every day we do something touristy/fun too. That might mean picking a hotel with a great pool or taking dd to mini golf one day.
There’s loads of stuff to do in London- don’t stay in the suburbs! Look on Time Out website kids section. Get an Oyster Card and travel- Stratford Olympic Park, the fountains on the Souhbank, Somerset House, Sky Garden, the Shard, London Eye, the museums etc. Lots of free stuff. If you want to meet others book them into sports or arts and craft activities- a tennis or swimming course, music class, etc there’s loads all over the place.
Thanks for all the advice, there’s some good suggestions for places to go here. I grew up in the area & have done a lot of googling, so along with these suggestions I have a fairly good list of days out planned now.
I was also hoping to meet people too. We’re often quite jetlagged for the first 3-4 days so heading into central London often feels too much, especially as DS can be quite a handful. I suppose I just wondered if there was anything I was missing in terms of finding a bit of company for us all locally.
If you are arriving AFTER mid July (maybe a bit earlier) there ought to be all manner of kids clubs organised for parents that work ( often at private schools if there are any nearby, or museums and art galleries). Art/drama/cricket/tennis camps etc.
I would post on Mumsnet local.
We bought a cheap scooter & board & games for my nephew to use at our grandparents.
Are they in cub scouts (or whatever they call it over there)? You might be able to get them to visit a local pack if you give them plenty of notice.
I’m reasonably local - there will be lots of kids clubs/holiday camps on, some for half days or shorter sessions with a really wide variety of themes. What sort of activities are your kids into? They will cost, but the cost will vary.
I agree with Madcats, have a look on the "big museums" websites ... they often do "sleepovers" during the holidays. Definitely a way to get to know / mix with other children.
Local schools will probably run holiday activities. If the kids go to those they might make some local friends.
Just revisiting this post as I plan my trip back. Thanks again, these are all super useful!
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