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

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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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Merino Hospitality

Now that there are 5 of us, we don't always fit neatly in a single hotel room, and with three under the age of five, their bedtime is significantly earlier than ours.  These things combined mean that when we are looking to stay away from home we often have to chose somewhere outside the centre so that we can have some extra space.



It was brilliant to discover that Merino Hospitality offer accommodation perfectly designed for families like mine that is not only spacious, but in an amazing location too.  A couple of weeks ago, we headed up to London for the weekend and arrived at a converted coach house in the Bloomsbury area of London.  With a tube station around two minutes walk from our front door, a shopping centre even closer and our own parking space as well, it seemed too good to be true.


The personal service meant Andres was there when we arrived to give us a quick run down of the apartment and to leave us with a lovely welcome basket that contained snacks and everything we needed for breakfast too.  These little touches make things so much easier when travelling with young children.


It was dark when we arrived, but I wanted to get some pictures of the rooms before 5 people had crashed in the beds and thrown the pillows everywhere so I took some quick phone snaps.  The apartment had two double bedrooms, both with themed walls making you feel somewhere far more exotic than London.  Each room had ample storage and space as well as towels, dressing gowns and jugs of water at the ready.



The bathroom had all the usual toiletries that you expect alongside plenty of things I didn't, like a his and hers shaving kit, a shoe shine box and a bath bag.  


The living area was compact, but with everything we needed and plenty of space for the five of us.  When we booked we had been offered a cot, highchair and buggy and the highchair was set up at the dining table ready for Finn.  I was surprised about how well stocked the kitchen was, with every kind of pan and gadget we could need meaning anything was on the menu if you wanted to cook at home.  The boys loved the fact that there was a full fruit bowl on arrival and they managed to get through quite a lot of it!


The biggest hit had to be the 'den' on the top floor.  A hidden space with coloured lights that can be controlled by the children and stocked full of Lego.  The blackboard wall at the back was mostly neglected by the boys as the Lego was more than enough to entertain them for a few hours.  The bloke and I loved that we could spend a bit longer in bed knowing that they were happy playing, and they are desperate to create something similar at home.


We really enjoyed our stay with Merino Hospitality and I would definitely consider re-booking for a future trip to London as it met all our needs.  The bloke found the mattresses very firm, but that is his only complaint and all three boys made themselves completely at home.  It made all the difference having our own space to stay up once the children were in bed, with a huge TV and our own wifi connection.


Thanks to Merino Hospitality for our fantastic stay.  You can find out more about their properties and options over on their website


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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Our Weekend in a Travelodge

I love visiting London with my family, and we find it much easier to stay up there as travelling up and down with small children can be very stressful!  Our trips are usually action packed and this weekend was no different.  Because of this, we need somewhere quite basic to stay,  a space to lay our heads after a day exploring the city and somewhere quite central to limit the amount of time we spend carrying a buggy down the underground stairs.

We recently stayed at the Travelodge London Central on City Road in one of their family rooms, and it fulfilled our needs completely. We caught the bus once we arrived in London and the stop was right outside the hotel.

Check in was easy and our room was set up ready for us, a comfy double bed for myself, a small single for Dylan and a travel cot for Archie that looked pretty new.  The room was basic and spotless, but had everything we needed - space to hang our clothes, a Tv (with cbeebies), a kettle with teabags and a bathroom with an actual bath.  Having a bath is so much easier when you have children that are terrified of a shower!


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Thursday, 30 October 2014

London Zoo

We love visiting London Zoo as there are so many of our favourite animals to see, but trips take a lot of planning! We used the new Journl app to make our day out even easier (and to keep a track of spending!). We timed our visit inside a weekend in the big city which meant we didn't have long journeys either side, and the boys had an amazing day out.

Journl is an online personal organiser, and now an iphone app too.  The website gives you the chance to organise your whole life from to do lists, to budget planning to their handy calender and the iphone app gives you all this on the go.  My favourite aspect of the app was that it helped me keep track of how much I was spending - something that easily gets out of hand! The notes section meant I could pop down handy blog ideas whenever they came into my head too - here is to hoping I actually get a bit more organised now!



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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas in London with Toddlers

I love London, I love Christmas and I especially love the big city in all it's festive glory.  There is an atmosphere you can't beat and they go all out on the wonderful decorations.  I have been looking forward to showing the boys the wonders of London at Christmas and Dylan is at that age where his eyes light up and you can really see the excitement in his little face.

We live less than 90 minutes from London on the train but this can be a long way with two under two and a half, so being able to stay overnight makes the whole trip easier and smoother.  This Friday we decided to show Archie and Dylan the sights and we were lucky enough to be offered a room at the Royal Garden Hotel for the night.




Situated in Kensington, it was the perfect location.  The hotel is central, easily walking distance from buses and tubes and is next door the beautiful Kensington Gardens.  This was priceless with a toddler in tow as we escaped the hustle and bustle for some autumnal leaf crunching when we needed it.
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