Showing posts with label london with children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label london with children. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

London Adventures with Toddlers.

Trying to find something to entertain four children aged between 1 and 6 isn't always easy and we spent a long time discussing what to do with them all on our day in London last weekend.  We stayed overnight with Urban Villa which is on the outskirts of London and decided in the end to drive in to Central London and visit the SeaLife centre on the Southbank.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

I had a little google on our way in as the nearest parking was showing as £41 and found a website called Just Park which showed us a car park about 10 minutes walk away that would cost only £12 for the day so we parked up there.  The walk was fun, going past Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and then over the bridge and the Aquarium was easy to find.  We had stopped at a petrol station on the way to grab a couple of boxes of Coco Pops as they have a 2 for 1 voucher on them where the adult goes free so we only had to pay for the two children saving us about £44.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

I wasn't sure how much the smallest two would enjoy the experience but both of them loved it! There was so much going on and so many different species and areas that they didn't lose concentration until the very end which is amazing for 1 and 3 years old.  Dylan at 6 was fascinated and could read some of the information and Archie couldn't get enough of the stingrays and sharks.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

There was a hands on area with the starfish (although Cora was the only one who wanted to touch them) and an interactive area in the Jellyfish exhibit where you could design your own and see them pop up on the big screen which was a big hit.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

There was a gift shop in the SeaLife centre but no cafe or anywhere to get a drink, although there is a McDonalds and Pret right outside.  It took us around 2 hours to enjoy the aquarium, although if we had just had Dylan I think we would have been there a little longer.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

Afterwards we decided to walk down towards the London Eye as there is a great green area right behind it.  After concentrating for so long, the children were ready to run free and they loved it there.  There was a big playground but because of Archie's broken collarbone we stuck to the grass areas, playing games and kicking around a football.  The area was suprisingly quiet considering how busy the Southbank area is and it was perfect for them to run off their afternoon energy.  

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

There were also lots of birds and a couple of ducks looking for scraps so the boys donated the leftovers from their lunch and loved watching the birds running around.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

If you were looking for other things to do in the area, there is the London Eye and the Shrek experience, both of which look like great fun and I know that the London Eye is definitely toddler friendly.  There was a carousel a bit further down from where we were playing too which we somehow managed to avoid!

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com


There is so much to do in London with toddlers, but I would recommend a trip to the Southbank area and the Aquarium, although always check online for vouchers as there are very often BOGOF ones available.

London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com



London with toddlers, London Sealife centre, themummyadventure.com
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Monday, 2 April 2018

Overnight in London with Urban Villa

I love how even a night away is considered a holiday when you are five and six and when we headed up to London to stay with Urban Villa both boys were super excited.  They had packed a backpack each with their essentials and we decided to drive up as it gave us more freedom.  Urban Villas is in Brentford on the outskirts of London (very close to Richmond Park and Kew Gardens) and as we arrived we still hadn't decided what we were going to do on our mini holiday.



We were booked into a Master Suite which happened to be on the top (10th) floor.  It isn't easy finding hotel rooms that accomodate larger families like ours but the suite was perfectly designed and spacious enough for the six of us.  It had a master bedroom with a really comfy queen sized bed and then a living area with a small kitchen a double sofa bed with memory foam mattress and a table and chairs.  The idea was going to be that the three boys shared the sofa bed but with Archie having broken his collar bone a couple of days before our visit we decided that it might risk it getting knocked so we asked for a second cot which the staff brought up straight away for us.



We had one travel cot set up in our bedroom and a second in the living room and the villa still felt spacious and practical.  The best feature though, was a conservatory style addition along the long wall and round the corner with glass walls that looked over the city.  The children loved running round in a circle, through the big doors at the end of the living room and back into the master bedroom.  It made the room brighter and so interesting.  There was a little table and chairs out there too which was ideal for eating breakfast and admiring the view!



Our night was comfortable and peaceful and the children were so sad when we had to leave the next morning, despite us having an exciting day planned in central London. We decided to head to the Southbank which was a 25 minute drive or 50 minutes on the trains for our adventures and it was so nice to have been closer and not have to travel so far on the morning.  

Urban Villa is definitely somewhere we will consider staying again as the room was perfect for bigger families like ours, the kitchen was fully stocked which gave us the freedom to cook at home and the wifi was really fast and free.  We all had a great night's sleep and the room felt pretty soundproof to the outside world from other noises inside and outside the hotel. 










Our night with Urban Villa was complimentary for the purpose of this review 
but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own

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Monday, 26 February 2018

Dinosaurs in the Wild Review

If you have children that love dinosaurs, then you may have seen that Dinosaurs in the Wild has arrived at London Greenwich and it offers an interactive experience to see 'real' dinosaurs up close.  The boys and I visited in half term and it was one of our highlights of the week.

The Dinosaurs in the Wild experience is close to Greenwich tube station and a short walk from the O2 arena and it was easy to find thanks to plenty of signposts starting in the tube station.  You are split into small groups as you enter which are the perfect size to mean you are never queueing or stuck behind someone too tall.  You enter a time travel machine and are transported back 67 million years to a time when Tyrannosaurus Rex and Ankylosaurus ruled the earth.  

Dinosaurs in the wild, London Dinosaur experience, themummyadventure.com

It is a fast paced show which sees you spending between 5 and 10 minutes in each room and with a 4 year old that doesn't have the longest concentration span I found this ideal.  We never got bored or impatient for the next part, but we had enough time to properly explore where we were before being ushered into the next room.  The boys got to handle dinosaur poo (through gloves), take a look at a t-rex arm, watch eggs hatching with tiny triceratops inside and learned about how dinosaurs laid the eggs and how they looked after their babies.  Everything was interactive and fun and accesible on every level so that the adults took away as much as the children.  

Dinosaurs in the wild, London Dinosaur experience, themummyadventure.com

After the Dinosaurs in the Wild show we got to chat to the men behind it all including the paleontologist Darren Naish who ensured everything stayed factually correct.  Children may not spot their favourite dinosaurs featured because the dinosaur period was so long, they may not have co-existed at this time.  The information is all based on their knowledge of which animals lived where and when and how they lived together.  There are no cartoon green dinosaurs, but instead they have the specs and patterns that were most likely true.  We spoke to Tim Haines too who created the award winning series 'Walking with Dinosaurs' and was the creative director behind this project.  He told us how he wanted to make something that wasn't just for children but something that would entertain all ages and he definitely succeeded.

Dinosaurs in the wild, London Dinosaur experience, themummyadventure.com

At the end, we were taken up to the lookout tower which was a big room with four giant windows.  With our 3D glasses on we could see the dinosaurs moving around us and everything up to this point was so convincing for my boys that when the T-rex started to come towards us they did get scared.  The experience is so real but the staff were brilliant at looking after the children and making sure they were reassured.  As the experience finished our group was taken back up to the time machine to head back to 2018 and the gift shop.

Dinosaurs in the wild, London Dinosaur experience, themummyadventure.com

The Dinosaurs in the wild experience isn't cheap considering it was around 70 minutes long and the gift shop was equally as expensive.  It was fantastic though, and I would highly recommend visiting, especially if you can go off peak.  We had an amazing time and I would consider going back and taking Finn as well as at 3 I think the pace would suit him (It is open until 31st July so this may well happen).  All three of us learned a lot and came out smiling.  The boys have talked about it lots since and have asked to revisit.  

Dinosaurs in the wild, London Dinosaur experience, themummyadventure.com
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We were given complimentary tickets to the experience
 but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Monday, 4 December 2017

Sorted at The Postal Museum


"But that wasn't a real museum, was it? It was too much fun!" Dylan aged 6.  This weekend the big two boys and I went on a little adventure to London.  It has been a long time since I did anything with just them, without having to make sure it was baby or toddler friendly and we all needed this time. We were invited up to check out The Postal Museum and their new imaginative indoor play area 'Sorted!' and I had a tough time convincing the boys that it was a real museum.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I don't know quite where they got their views from as we haven't really taken them to many museums before.  They clearly had low expectations however which were exceeded before we even discovered the play zone.  After locating The Postal Museum which isn't far from Kings Cross station, we headed straight for the Mail Rail, an underground ride to discover the history of the postal service.  As you book tickets in advance there was no waiting around in queues and the ride was interactive with narration, short videos projected on the wall and lots to look at.  It was the perfect length for their concentration spans at 4 and 6 years old and it gave us plenty to talk about.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Sorted! was the main reason for our visit though and we were all excited to see what it was like.  20 children are allowed in at a time and the play area was split into two main zones, one for post offices, post vans and post boxes and the other for inside the sorting office.  The 45 minute session could easily have been double as long before the boys were ready to leave and the variety of tasks combined with the limited number of children allowed in and therefore the amount of space they had to play was a great combination.  They loved sorting the parcels and sending them down the chutes before heading down the slide to start again.  There were different dress up accessories dotted around and plenty of soft parcels that could be sorted, weighed, posted and played with.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

As well as the imaginative play for children, there was so much to keep toddlers and babies entertained too, from magnetic walls covered in toys to be moved around, post vans to pretend to drive and wooden blocks to make a city.  Everything was designed for children from zero to eight years and I felt a bit sad that Finn and Cora were missing out as they would have loved the experience so much.  There was space for adults to sit and enjoy a drink or you could get involved with the children.  The whole place was spacious, clean and easy to see everything and we all loved it.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I was a bit worried that after all this excitement, the boys wouldn't be that interested in the main museum, but in actual fact it was brilliantly designed for children and adults of all ages.  The whole exhibit was interactive and the boys loved sorting the letters on the simulated moving train in a race against one another.  With accessories to dress up dotted all around they could really get involved and the sorting game was coded with both words and pictures so Archie at 4 could still take part. (There were also little stools so that smaller children didn't miss out).

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We did have to leave one building and cross the road to get to the second which I am not used to in museums but it gave us a chance to break up our visit as the second building had a cafe which served lunch and refreshments.  The children were given a trail to do around the museum, spotting stamps and post boxes to earn a sticker at the end.  The museum was really interesting from my point of view and the children were really curious as we went round, asking questions and enjoying the conversation.  There were phones to be picked up, hats to try on, letters to open and everything was on their level.  Overall we spent about 3.5 hours in The Postal Museum but we could easily have spent another 45 minutes looking around if it wasn't for the call of some promised milkshakes.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We left the museum with a better knowledge of how things worked, an insight into life inside a sorting office and a desire to send some letters of our own.  There was a lovely gift shop inside, but they didn't have any postcards! We headed over to Covent Garden when we were done (an easy walk) to buy some postcards to send, talking as we did about the journey they would be going on before they reached our loved ones.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Until recently I had no idea that a Postal Museum existed but we will definitely be back with the whole family next time. It was brilliantly interactive, well laid out and the indoor play area 'Sorted!' was a great way to get their imaginations going.  Archie declared the visit 'better than a Kinder Egg' (high praise indeed from a four year old) and Dylan is already asking when we can go back.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area






This post is in collaboration with The Postal Museum but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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