Kid-friendly London Day Out

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whiskeysheri | 12:10 Wed 27th Jul 2011 | Travel
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I've promised I'll take my six (and a half!) year old niece on one of our days out to London during the summer holidays. She wants to see where the Queen lives and we're going to the Natural History Museum, but I wondered if anyone could suggest any other ideas, please? If it's free, even better. :) She's very easily pleased and is most excited about going on a train for the first time, bless her.

We used to go with my parents for the day when I was little and I was more than happy feeding birds in the park, but I want to make the most of the day with her. Thanks in advance! :)


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Loads of web sites if you search for "Kids London" or "London with Kids" that sort of thing.

Here are some
Covent Garden is an interesting place to visit. Lots going on, much of it free.

Lots of street entertainers, people acting as "statues", a market etc.

Trafalgar Square is also a good place to take kids. The huge lions, the fountains, the pigeons (are they still there?) etc. It is in a straight line between Buckingham Palace and Covent Garden so easy to get to.

You could also walk across Westminster bridge and let her stand under the London Eye. That is free and would be pretty amazing for a 6 year old.

And of course Hamleys Toy Shop in Regent St, or the toy section in Harrods, are both free and you can spend hours there.
If you going to see the Queen (say hello from me) and the Natural History Museum you've almost a full day there. But you could do it the other way round, Nat Hist Museum for a short time, over to Buckingham Palace by bus or tube and then have a walk in St James Park. After that walk through Horseguards to see the foot and mounted guards outside and catch a glimpse of the river Thames and the London Eye by turning down to the right.

It also depends a bit on which station you're coming in to as to which route might suit.
i have to say that those two things will take up a fair whack of time already
>>>i have to say that those two things will take up a fair whack of time already

Well if they just stand outside Buckingham Palace and dont go round it that wont take long (15 to 30 minutes).

And the attention span for a 6 year old is not going to be that great so probably an hour or two in the Natural History Museum is enough.

So still plenty of time to see some other things.

For a 6 year I think a short time at a number of different places would be best, rather than dragging her round the History Museum for 6 hours :-)
I agree about Covent Garden. I've taken my sisters kids there and they loved it, watching all the free performers. I often go there when I'm in London on my own.
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Ooh, brilliant! Thanks, VHG. I'll look through those links tonight. I can't believe I forgot about Hamleys! I adored it when I was younger and didn't even care if I didn't come away with anything. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

We're coming from Milton Keynes into Euston, Maidup, but they all sound like good ideas, too!

Ha, yes, she does have a very short attention span, bednobs and VHG. Although having said that, it's the holidays, so it really doesn't matter how late we get back, so may as well squeeze as much as we can in. :)

I did weigh up Covent Garden, milly, but erm, I have a slighly weird phobia thing about those street performers after one of them chased me. I wasn't much fun to walk through Barcelona with, either. :)
The Science Museum is fab (if you're not all museumed out) and I believe there is a kids section downstairs which looked really good fun; I wanted to go in myself but it was very crowded!
Should also add; the Science Museum is free!
aw seems a shame she has never experienced a train before now - my nephew was obsessed with them when young, we spent hours hanging around the station and even just going two stops on the train for the fun of it. I took my friends daughter on the bus for the first time the other week - she is 3! Perhaps busy parents jump in the car these days?
I would just like to point out that during school holidays there is often a queue to get into the Natural History Museum and once inside a queue to get in to see the dinosaurs......worth bearing in mind if you only have a day in London.
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There is that, joannie, but they're too flipping expensive, too! London is the only place I'd bother getting the train, too, but even that's going to have to be off-peak. She can't quite get her head around the Underground, either. :)

Thanks, Sophie and WHU. That's probably why I'll stick to just the one museum and I think she'll enjoy the NHM more. :)
Not free but nice is one of the short river trips from westminster pier to Greenwich and back... chance to see some of the most famous buildings and ducks swans and the odd cormorant

St James Park is good too as it has a big lake with lots of wildfowl... add a bag of bread to avoid disappointment although at 6 she may be too old...
I am referring to just local short journeys and kids under 5 were free - not had an under 5 on the train with me for a couple of years now but still the same with the buses. We are in Glasgow. We did not really use them to go anywhere in particular - more for the excitement of the journey (not me, the kids!!)
Aww I remember going for the first time when I was young and being so excited about everything! We did Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds, Tower Bridge and the NHM to see the huge dinosaur and even the Tube was exciting.

How about the famous people film premiere thing of Leicester Square (Harry Potter premiere etc... if she likes that) and you could have a wander through the safe bits of Chinatown nearby as well so she can see some of that.

The boat trip is good. Would she understand Harrods? I've never got the attraction but you could do the glam thing of ooh we're all posh and in Knightsbridge.

The boat trips are nice too. Oooh and they have the little carriage things by some of the Tubes too, I got excited when a friend took me in one and it was only about 7 years ago :)

Bear in mind though I'm not good at ages of kids and what to do though!
Question Author
Ah, yes, that's where we used to go: St James Park, rowan. Thank you!

Ha, nor me, Jenna! :) Thank you, though, hun. All ideas are good ideas. We've decided we're going on Monday, so I'm going to get planning over the weekend.
I could offer a visit to a paediatric department, a paediatric assessment or a lecture on child protection issues with free leaflet.... I'm a real hoot at childrens parties! ;0)
Open top bus tour is always a winner, you can hop on and off at all those attractions.
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Hi, girlies! :)

Ha, I think I'll give it a miss this time, CD. Maybe when we get vodkancoke down, though? ;)

Brilliant, VnC! Thanks, hun. Think I'll definitely look into that and hope for sun. :)
London Aquarium is brilliant and you can usually get buy one get one free tickets if you're travelling by train (see the London 2 for 1 website)

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