With the school summer holidays not far off, trying to keep the kids entertained can prove daunting for many parents. In a bid to keep boredom at bay, Suzanne Baum has compiled a list of suggestions on what she believes are some of London’s top family-friendly attractions!
Be a good sport
Keeping your kids active has so many benefits, especially in the summer months when the British weather is hopefully warm enough to get them outdoors. Give your kids a spring in their step with the following activities!
This new sport-that has courses all over the UK (including Watford), -is played on a golf course and the object of the game is to place the ball into the hole using only your feet in the lowest number of shots possible. It was the first time I had kicked a football around with my kids in years and it proved so much fun, it had to make it into my list!
This is one place where your kids can literally bounce off the walls! The first trampoline club in the UK is exactly that: a roomful of interconnected trampolines where you can jump, play dodgeball and basketball. One word of advice though is that it does get busy, so best arrive when the doors open to save long queues!
A ticket to ride
London is not short of landmark attractions but many come at a high price-tag. So if you do plan to splash the cash on a treat for your kids it is good to know what is worth it!
Warner Bros studio Tour London
You’d be potty to overlook this attraction that takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the making of Harry Potter! Although I devoured the books but never saw the films, I thoroughly enjoyed our three-hour visit as much as my two teenagers and six-year-old son. It is a brilliant attraction and may even encourage your kids to watch the box set of Harry Potter (that will help fill up a few days of the school holidays!)
Adventures in Wonderland (The Vaults, Waterloo)
Running throughout the summer, this ‘show’ offers children aged five and up the chance to fall down the rabbit hole in an underground adventure that recreates the story of Alice! Theatre-goers will experience Wonderland as a fully formed world that features 33 unique rooms, a tea table of gigantic proportions, an original soundtrack, a dizzying rabbit hole, a hazy Caterpillar lair, Cheshire cats and a terrifying Queen of Hearts!
When the hunger pangs set in, you can turn a dining out experience into a fun one by checking out these two places below.
Cereal café Camden
Kids feeling a tad flaky? Then a visit here is a must as the only things you’ll find flaking around are the cereals! The cafe is more an eating experience rather than a dining out one and you’ll love it as much as your kids! The Brick Lane café –that boasts an impressive offering of the breakfast staple-caused such a stir the owners are about to open up a new one in Camden! Trust me its grrrr-eat!
There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants but when it comes to kids Giraffe sticks its neck out for them! As well as kid-friendly food, little ones are catered for with balloons, children’s menus, colouring kits and even plastic giraffes! My popular venue is the Southbank one as it is huge, buzzy and situated right in the heart of the hub!
London has the best in children’s theatre but to make it even more of an adventure there are some off the beaten track…. a railway station and a purple cow to name just a couple!
The Wonderground festival
Situated on the Southbank, this festival runs all the way through the school holidays, with plenty to entertain the kids, including:
Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids
Shlomo is a world record-breaking beatboxer who makes all kinds of music using just his mouth and a mic. Your kids can join this sonic superhero and become one of his sidekicks in a world of funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music!
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
Also taking place on the Southbank (inside a purple cow!), this show will appeal more to older kids. A brand new musical is created from scratch at every single performance of this multi award-winning show. Each night, audience suggestions are instantly transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing production with unpredictable and hilarious results!
The Railway Children
The inside track: After sold-out runs at London’s Waterloo Station, York National Railway Museum and the CN Tower in Toronto, the stunning adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic novel The Railway Children has pulled into London’s King’s Cross Station.
Set in a new, purpose built 1,000 seat venue, this breath-taking show features a stage built around a real train track, and a beautiful 60-tonne locomotive that steams into the theatre to delight all ages.
New kids on the block!
To top it off there is two huge new children’s attractions opening up over the summer months that are both definitely worth a visit!
Much excitement surrounds the opening of this exciting attraction that is due to open shop at Westfield over the summer. If your little one enjoys playing make-believe, this will be right up their street. KidZania involves more than 60 real-life role-play scenarios designed to teach children essential life skills, such as how to run a bakery, be a tourist guide, pilot or doctor! The attraction even has its own currency – kidZos – which children can earn, spend and save. I’m counting down the days until it opens!
This ogre of a thing can be found on the Southbank when it opens its doors in July. The fairytale-themed attraction promises a fun adventure in the Kingdom of Far Far Away. Expect rides, mazes, a swamp and a 4-d bus!