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what to do in london thats free and exciting for kids??

48 replies

Soulfly · 29/05/2004 17:45

Apart from the national history museum, what else is there to do in london apart from london zoo. I am trying to think of things to do this half term,

I expect people can hear my brain clogs going round, lol.

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Janh · 29/05/2004 17:53

How old are your kids, soulfly? The Imperial War Museum is good for older ones (has lots of planes and things inside). And it's free. (London Zoo very much isn't!)

suzywong · 29/05/2004 17:53

Well you should take a walk along the South Bank
There is absolutely loads to see, boats and riverlife, and usually buskers and entertainers and just life passing by. If you start by the London Eye, there is a playground (free) just below it and they kids could have a go on that, then walk East and go past the National and on and on the Jubilee walk and you could go as far as Southwark bridge and see the Cathedral and the Golden Hind which is moored there. Then jump on the jubilee line back.

That's off the top of my head.

Where abouts are you based and how old are your kids?

Soulfly · 29/05/2004 17:54

they are 5 and 4, i know about london zoo, lol.

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Soulfly · 29/05/2004 17:54

i am in ashford, but i get free travel on trains

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Soulfly · 29/05/2004 17:56

i have to go now but i will check back on this thread later. bye for now.

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suzywong · 29/05/2004 17:57

Boys or girls?

There is Coram Fields near Kings Cross/Bloomsbury, a beautiful playground laid out in the 18th C (I think) and there are farm animals there.

You could have a look in the British Library as there is usually a children's exhibition,

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is free and indoors and should keep them going for a good couple of hours. It is very close to Hackney city farm which is great for lunch.

A romp through the National Gallery and then out to see the lions and fountains in Trafalgar Square

Kensington gardens Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Holland Park has gorgeous gardens and an adventure playground

lou33 · 29/05/2004 18:00

We used to take dd1 to Coram Fields Suzy, and lived a five min walk from Holland Park.

foxinsocks · 29/05/2004 18:01

have you been to the V&A museum? They have fantastic acitvities for kids during half terms and holidays. I'm not sure how much it is (I know admission is free but you may have to pay a little bit for the activities). Here is the link.... V&A . Look at the learning bit or whats on for the half term stuff.

THe other thing my kids love is watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (especially ds cos of all the soldiers!).

suzywong · 29/05/2004 18:01

beautiful aren't they?

tamum · 29/05/2004 18:03

It's years since I lived in London, so this may well be out of date, but you used to be able to sit at the front of the Docklands Light Railway trains and pretend to drive them. If you already have a travelcard of some sort then that's effectively free. Is the Science Museum still free? That has loads to do for young kids.

Twink · 29/05/2004 18:07

We spent a fab half day at the Science Museum in the Easter holidays with 2 4 year olds. We finally managed to get them out of the basement and to look at the ground floor exhibits but resolved to return another day.

Even the tunnel from South Ken tube was exciting ...

mammya · 29/05/2004 19:15

I think the Tate Gallery (both Modern and Britain) usually has activities for children during half-term breaks.

Branster · 29/05/2004 19:36

have a look here

tigermoth · 29/05/2004 23:28

Harrods is good for a laugh. No one charges you a thing if you window shop. The Egyptian escalator is great fun. Other highlights: the large toy department (of course) the food halls, the perfume department and the loos. My oldest son loves the fact that the loos have a selection of aftershaves to spray on. He comes out smelling very distinctive. If you have money to spend, the ice cream parlour is lovely.

Covent Garden: lots of free street entertainment to keep kids amused. The London transport musuem nearby is good for 4 and 5 year olds, though you have to pay to go in. Look out for special offers. The museum has a large brio train track area.

The IMAX cinema near Waterloo offers great entertainment for kids, especially when the weather is foul. Again, look out for special offers on tickets.

Daysoutuk is a great website for money off vouchers - you just print them off.


Soulfly · 30/05/2004 09:58

Wow, thank you all, looking at all that i could end up spending a week up there!!

I can't wait now.

thanks again

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Ixel · 30/05/2004 10:59

Freightliners city farm (Sheringham Rd N7).
Coram's Fields WC1...brilliant play area (guildford St)
HMS Belfast - about £8 per adult, but well worth it. Lots of climbing up and down things etc!
Definitely the Science Museum.
We loved The Transport Museum at Covent Garden. entry charge, but very child focussed. DH ended up doing the kids activity card you get for each child!!

august24 · 30/05/2004 11:46

Tigermoth, you forgot to mention that Harrods now has a krispy kreme donut shop, and if the line is long for it they hand out free donuts(and they aren't that much to buy either).They are all the rage in the states and very lite and yummy!

I have to second the Princess Diana Playground, it really is one of the best playground my kids and I have ever been to. Also love the Tate Modern My kids love racing down the big ramp.

We got a magazine at school for stuff to do over the half term and it says that the museum in docklands has lots of stuff like tie dying and story corner. London has so much to do!

strangerthanfiction · 30/05/2004 12:18

British Museum is also fun. And the Maritime Museum in Greenwich is great and right by the park which has a very good play area.

Apart from that the other suggestions here are brilliant. Dd loves Coram's Fields.

tigermoth · 30/05/2004 13:13

Just read a worrying article in the sunday papers about Krispy Kreme donuts. They are very addictive and the company is eager to target children - school fundraisers can buy them at near cost price. So don't know if it's a blessing or a curse that Harrods stocks them. Still, the food halls do usually have other food to sample, so as you say August, that's a plus.

Second the suggestions for the Maritime Museum and Greenwich park. My dh used to work on the HMS Belfast for many years so shame on me for forgetting it!

Ixel · 30/05/2004 13:17

But go to Greenwich by boat, from Westminster pier after you've fed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Even if the littlies aren't fussed about the views, the wind in their faces will tire them out nicely!

Soulfly · 30/05/2004 13:19

i was talking to my step mum and she recommended the childrens mueseum, has lots of old toys etc etc. Does anyone know where it is i think its in bethanl green, is it still there?? and how much does it cost to get in.?

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Soulfly · 30/05/2004 13:20

Apparently you're not allowed tofeed the pigeons anymore according to my friend?? Anyone heard that?

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Ixel · 30/05/2004 13:35

Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood...Cambridge Heath Road. Recorded info... 0208 9835300/0208 9802415. How sad am I?! Its free entry, although sometimes charge for special exhibits. 5 mins walk from Bethnal Green tube.
There's no old men selling pigeon seed anymore, so I think thats prbably true, but all tourists ignore it anyway!!
I could get you free entry to Madame Tussauds if you want, but I think your littlies are a bit too young for it really.

Ixel · 30/05/2004 13:38

Ooops, meant to add, there's also a toy and Model Museum in West London. Never been, so cant recommend it! Paddington/Queensway/Bayswater tube. £5ish to get in. tel 0207402 5222.

Soulfly · 30/05/2004 13:43

Thanks ixel, i have so many things i want to do now"!

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