Visit London Blog » Kids http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Things To Do in London For Cultured Teenagers By Dempsey, Age 13 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/04/things-to-do-in-london-for-cultured-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/04/things-to-do-in-london-for-cultured-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:11:02 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39391 Expand your mind with a trip to one of these London museums and attractions, as tried and tested by 13-year-old Dempsey, who recently spent a week in the capital.

Wembley Stadium Tour

Wembley Stadium Tour

Wembley Stadium Tour

The 75-minute Wembley Stadium Tour is a great experience for any teenager who, like me, enjoys sport. I’m a big fan of football so was really excited to get into the players’ dressing room, the players’ tunnel, the royal box, the press room, and have my photo taken holding the FA Cup. I also saw the 1966 World Cup Final crossbar. After the tour, I’d recommend popping next door to the London Designer Outlet for a spot of shopping. Also, use the Metropolitan Tube line because it’s the quickest way to get back to Central London.

Tower Bridge Exhibition

We all know what the world’s most famous bridge looks like from the outside, so it’s interesting to actually go inside too. The price of the ticket includes some great views looking back at The View From The Shard, the Tower of London and The Gherkin, and they have installed a new glass floor in the walkway which is 42m above the Thames. I learned loads, such as the fact that it cost £1.2m to construct and eight years to build, and 10 men perished during the construction.

Street Art

Street Art

Alternative Street Art Tour and Workshop

We went on a street art tour around East London and our funny tour guide, Josh, kept us all interested. My favourite piece of artwork on the tour involved two Star Wars characters, but I’ll let you find out more about it on your own tour. We learned about East London’s diverse history and walked past the only building in the world that has been a mosque, a Protestant church, a Catholic church and a synagogue. After the tour, Josh took us to the Alternative Street Art Tour HQ, an old double decker bus, where he taught us the technique of stencil artwork using spray paint. These workshops are a fun addition to the tour and you get to take your creation home with you.

BBC Broadcasting House Shows and Tours 

The tour around the BBC took us through the oldest parts of the BBC buildings and we saw where the weather and news is gathered and broadcast. We also went inside The One Show studio and the radio theatre where musicians such as Take That, Justin Timberlake and Michael Bublé have all performed. The tour is also interactive so we got to present the weather and record our own radio drama with sound effects. It’s worth mentioning that all children under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult.

BBC tour

BBC tour

Inamo St James

I’ve included dinner at Inamo St James restaurant because it is a meal experience that required me to use my brain. Bright projectors over each table display menu options onto the surface which you control with a finger pad. You choose drinks and food via the interactive menu and the orders go straight to the chefs without anyone needing to call a waiter. You can also play games like Battleships and Ping; change the pattern on your tablecloth (we went for a classic Union Jack flag); check transport options such as taxis, Tubes, and buses; and watch the chef live from the kitchen as he prepares your meal.

My Tropical Storm mocktail had an exotic taste and provided me with at least two of my five-a-day. There’s a good range of small sharing plates and there are lots of healthy ingredients so parents will be happy about that. The shrimp and veggie dim sum served with Thai mango and chilli relish was delicious and warmed my tongue. I also liked the tuna maki, the rich black cod and the scrumptious tempura vegetables.

Dempsey was a guest of Wembley Stadium Tour, Tower Bridge Exhibition, Alternative Street Art Tour, Inamo St James and BBC Tours.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/04/things-to-do-in-london-for-cultured-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/feed/ 0
The Year of the Sheep: Woolly good attractions in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:10:52 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39321 One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

This Chinese New Year marks the start of the Year of the Sheep. But celebrating by pulling on a woolly jumper isn’t going to cut it. We pick out seven sheep-ish attractions to shepherd your friends and family to. ‘Ewe’ won’t believe how much fun you can have!

Meet real sheep at Hackney City Farm

London has a number of City Farms where you can see all sorts of farmyard animals – including, of course, sheep. At Hackney City Farm there are eight resident sheep: Speckledy, Tiffany, Sherry, Tess, Baby, Lola, Delan and, last but certainly not least, 11-year-old Littlesheep. Save time for a rummage around the shop and a delicious lunch or snack at the on-site café, Frizzante.

Yauatcha in Soho

Yauatcha in Soho

Enjoy a sweet sheep treat at Yauatcha

To mark the Year of the Sheep, renowned dim-sum teahouse Yauatcha in Soho has gone sheep crazy, with a themed pop-art window display, pop-up art gallery and “wool makeover” created in collaboration with the Campaign for Wool. Even the dessert has been given a sheep twist, with macaroons made with caramelized sheep’s milk and a sheep’s yogurt lemon dessert. Until 28 Feb.

See Dolly the Sheep’s jumper at the Science Museum

Do you remember Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal? Her birth was hailed as a scientific breakthrough and kickstarted huge debate – and controversy. While Dolly’s final resting place is at the National Museum of Scotland, a little bit of the world’s most famous sheep remains at London’s Science Museum in the form of a jumper knitted from Dolly’s first fleece.

Liberty

Liberty

Buy designer woollens at Liberty

If a chunky wool knit isn’t your style, check out Marc Jacobs’ new range of soft wool scarves at London’s iconic Liberty store – with suitably out-of-this-world names like ‘Blue Jupiter’ and ‘Turquoise Stargazer’. If that’s out of your price range, head to the third floor and pick up some yarn to make your own!

Spot Shaun the Sheep in London

To coincide with the recent launch of Shaun the Sheep: The Movie, its creators have organised a special art trail, Shaun in the City, featuring more than 100 giant sculptures of the little sheep who came to fame in the much-loved animation film Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave. Look out for the sculptures from March 28.

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

Shop for sheep’s milk cheese at The Cheeseboard

Tucked away in the World Heritage Site of Greenwich is The Cheeseboard, a tiny artisan cheese shop selling (among other things) delicious sheep’s milk cheese. There’s Ossau Iraty from France’s western Pyrénées regions, Tuscan Pecorino Nero, Terschelling from the Netherlands… but there are some UK favourites too, including Wigmoreand Devon-made Beenleigh Blue (pictured above).

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/feed/ 1
Things To Do in London For Thrill-seeking Teenagers By Dempsey, Age 13 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/things-to-do-in-london-for-thrill-seeking-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/things-to-do-in-london-for-thrill-seeking-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:33:37 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39302 Kia Ora (that’s “hello” in Maori, the native language in my country New Zealand). I recently spent a week in London and I’d like to share with you some cool, exciting things to do for teenagers in this lovely city.

My first piece of advice would be to buy a ZIP Oyster card. It only costs £10 and saves kids a lot of money on transport: half the adult price on the Tube and free on buses!

Up at the O2

Up at the O2

Up at The O2

Up at The O2 is like walking on the world’s biggest trampoline because the walkway across the top is made from the same bouncy material as The O2 itself. It’s not too difficult to climb and there are brilliant views; good for keen planespotters. It can be a bit windy so definitely bring gloves and a beanie hat. I recommend asking lots of questions as your guide has loads of great answers, like how each of the main tower wires can withstand 12 tons of tension! Things to see from the top include Emirates Air Line, The ArcelorMittal Orbit, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and London City Airport.

Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers

MBNA Thames Clippers

We used a River Roamer ticket on board the MBNA Thames Clippers river bus when we got on at North Greenwich next to The O2. The boat to Embankment is actually really fast and it took us past Canary Wharf, The Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, and Tate Modern, amongst others. It’s a fun way to travel through the city with comfortable chairs inside and even a small coffee shop. The best views are from the back.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Within the first five minutes at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London I’d already seen a five-legged lamb and a knitted Ferrari car. I also found the longest nose in history (19cm), a painting created by a horse, a dog face man, and another man who drove nails into his head (don’t try this at home). My recommendation: pull a funny face in the mirror when you arrive in the room containing the world’s fattest and tallest men. Also, make sure you enjoy the mirror mazes and the laser ninja game.

RIB Voyages

RIB Voyages

London RIB Voyages

London RIB Voyages disembark next to The London Eye. Again, bring gloves and a hat. This is an experience for people who like rollercoaster rides. We learned some great facts along the way from our funny guide, such as how the river is just centimeters from flooding London twice a day, and how all signs around the world that point towards London use Charing Cross as their reference. We also did some great historic sightseeing including the Houses of Parliament, The Shard, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, and HMS Belfast.

HintHunt

HintHunt

HintHunt

The gameplay experience HintHunt is fun for anyone aged nine years and over and is excellent for families. You have one hour to solve your way out of a locked room. My main tip would be to look in every nook and cranny. I can’t tell you any more than that because I want to keep it a surprise. You will enjoy it though, I promise.

Lee Valley Velopark

Why stick to one type of cycling when you can try four, all in one place? At Lee Valley Velopark, you have a choice of BMX, track, road and mountain biking. We tried the last two. For the mountain biking we tackled a number of the trails that wound around the park, each colour-coded according to their difficulty. Make sure you don’t wear your best clothes for this because you will get muddy. The road track is super-smooth though and bobs up and down along a mile-long course; exhilarating stuff. Afterwards, we went into the Velodrome for a hot drink, which we enjoyed while watching cyclists on the indoor track.

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes Westfield Stratford is recommended for parents with teenagers who want to add a bit of fun to their dining experience. Look out for the “drink, dine and bowl” offer which comprises two courses plus a drink and a game of bowling. There is also a similar kid’s deal. I started with an Oreo milkshake, which hit the spot, then shared quesadillas with my Dad as a starter. They were zesty, scrumptious and a little bit spicy. The buttermilk chicken with sweet potato fries helped to satisfy Dad’s spicy urges thanks to the jerk gravy, while I had a well-cooked, flavoursome burger. With a game of bowling after dinner (Dad claimed a rare victory this time!), it was a great end to the day. We also had wonderful service. The staff always had a smile on their faces.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/things-to-do-in-london-for-thrill-seeking-teenagers-by-dempsey-age-13/feed/ 0
Family Festive Day Out in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:35:04 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39257 Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

The twinkling lights are up, the mince pies out… London’s getting festive! Enjoy the magic of Christmas with the whole family on a festive day out in London.

Morning: Natural History Museum and Ice Rink

Natural History Museum ice skating

Natural History Museum ice skating

The Natural History Museum is always popular with children, who love the huge dinosaur skeletons, earthquake simulator and hands-on activities. Spend an hour or two exploring the museum’s amazing collections, then let off some steam with a skate around the outdoor ice rink – admiring the outside of the museum as you go for a spin.

There’s a large rink and a smaller one for beginners and children – plus a café/bar for those who prefer enjoying the antics from the sidelines with a tasty hot chocolate.

Lunch: Winter Wonderland

Jump on the 74 bus (towards Baker Street) and get off at Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Winter Wonderland, just inside Hyde Park. Here you’ll find rides, a magical ice kingdom, a bustling Christmas market and much more.

You’ll also find lots of food stalls and pop-up cafes, where you can enjoy a lunch of piping hot bratwurst sausage in the Bavarian Village, or whatever else takes your fancy. Note: Winter Wonderland is free to enter but some rides and attractions are ticketed and need to be booked in advance.

Afternoon: Oxford Street Christmas lights and Hamleys

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Stroll from Marble Arch along Oxford Street, admiring the beautiful white orb Christmas decorations above. It should just be getting dark by now – the perfect time to see the lights in all their glory.

Turn right onto Regent Street at Oxford Circus and head for Hamleys, better known as every child’s dream shop. Inside they’ll find all their favourite toys, see expert demonstrations and (if you get there for 5pm) you can watch it snow!

Dinner: Spaghetti House

Continue down Regent Street, through Leicester Square and onto St Martin’s Lane. Take a well-earned rest and refuel over dinner at Spaghetti House at number 30. A two-course dinner of Italian favourites is £10.50 for adults and £5 for kids.

Evening: Paddington Bear Trail and Carol Singing in Trafalgar Square

The Bear of London

The Bear of London

After you’ve eaten your fill of pasta, pizza and profiteroles, make your way to London’s iconic Trafalgar Square – just a few minutes away. Look out for The Bear of London, one of 50 unique statues of Paddington Bear dotted around the city. You can even do a whole Paddington Trail, to see all of the statues on one walk. But maybe save that for another day…

Then what better way to end the day than with some uplifting carol singing around the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square? Performances take place from 4-8pm on weekdays, and from 2-6pm at the weekend. It’s enough to make even Scrooge feel festive.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/feed/ 0
Frozen Experience For Kids at Harrods’ Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/frozen-experience-for-kids-at-harrods-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/frozen-experience-for-kids-at-harrods-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:37:24 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39254 bibbidi

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrod’s

Looking for Christmas present ideas for wannabe princesses?

Young fans of the smash-hit animated movie Frozen can be transformed into Anna or Elsa in a brand-new magical fairy tale experience at Disney and Harrods’ Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Geared towards three to 12-year-olds, I took my Frozen-mad three-year-old daughter along to the salon to be made-up like Let It Go-crooner and ice-wielding princess Elsa.

Set within an enchanting fairy tale castle in plush department store Harrods, the boutique is a frothy mix of dazzling dresses, chandeliers, hot pink chairs and shimmering accessories.

Assigned her very own fairy godmother-in-training, my tot was transformed into an Elsa-a-like with tonged hair, sparkling face-paint, nail varnish, a pretty puffy dress, silver party shoes and a crown, while being photographed by the boutique’s resident photographer.

Doing everything she could to make our daughter feel like a mini-princess, our friendly godmother-in-training stayed in character throughout the experience, which lasted around 30 minutes.

And there was an amazing goodie bag to take home which contained a photograph of the experience, must-have Anna and Elsa dolls, a cuddly toy of Olaf the snowman, a makeup bag, along with the shoes and dress.

Frozen experiences cost from £300. Other costume choices on offer include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Tiana and Snow White.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/frozen-experience-for-kids-at-harrods-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique/feed/ 0
My Favourite Places To Go In London This Summer By Ezra, Age Eight And a Third http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/favourite-places-to-go-in-london-this-summer-by-ezra-age-eight-and-a-third/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/favourite-places-to-go-in-london-this-summer-by-ezra-age-eight-and-a-third/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:05:07 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39064 Guest blog by Ezra from Babes About Town

Ezra

1. Granary Square, King’s Cross

I like Granary Square because there are fountains that change shape. At night it’s even better because the fountains go a bit higher and they turn loads of bright colours. It’s a really big space where you can jump and run around.

Sometimes there are food stalls, and there are other nice places to eat, plus there’s a space round the back where they have different activities. There’s table tennis, and last summer they had a roller skating rink. My friend had a party there and it was my first time ever roller skating. I did pretty well.

Sometimes we get to Granary Square by walking along the canal and you can sit by the water on these great big steps like long green sofas covered in grass. I once saw a guy doing a handstand on there. You can also do forward rolls although I wouldn’t do forward rolls down the stairs because it would hurt a lot and also you could fall into the canal! You can actually take a boat ride through a tunnel from there too.

Granary Square Fountains

Hyde Park

I like Hyde Park because it’s like a country of green lands. It’s like a giant, giant park that’s probably bigger than two buildings stacked on top of each other. It’s a good place for running around as there’s loads of space to play. It’s a great place to have a picnic. We love playing football there — sometimes we find two trees and another two trees next to each other so it makes a great goal.

At Hyde Park there are always people playing sports and loads of people rollerskating down the pathway, skateboarding, doing back flips and tricks. There’s a very long lake (it has to be long because Hyde Park is giant!). You can sit by the lake on a deckchair and sometimes the ducks fly out so you can feed them.

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park

Southbank Centre

I love the South Bank because not only is it really big, there’s a food market at the bottom where you can get loads of stuff to eat. There’s a really cool skate park; I like watching them skate and do bike tricks. There’s space to run around, you can see the River Thames.

You can get a river cruise or a sightseeing tour and one time we went on a super-fast speed boat ride! From the Southbank Centre you can see all the famous buildings like Big Ben and the EDF Energy London Eye. When you walk along, you can see buskers who do stunts like flipping off their bicycle or these amazing African acrobats. We’ve seen lots of shows there, like Slava’s Snowshow in winter which is a very funny show.

Skateboarder on the South Bank

Science Museum

I like the Science Museum because there’s a place called the Launchpad where you can test things out and do the actual experiment yourself. You can fire a water bottle rocket by pressing two buttons, it’s really cool. There are different sections where you can find out about science, outer space and how the world was created, or how people lived in the olden days. The space section is cool because it tells you about the galaxy and stuff which hasn’t even been discovered yet.

Science Museum

Street Food Fairs and Markets

My dad does street food and we love going to street food fairs and markets. There’s Kerb, there’s Street Feast, there’s Feast, loads of different ones. I’ve tried different types of food from all different countries, even vegetarian Indian! I usually eat quite a few things because it all looks so nice. One time at an event I made some meatballs and we had them in a sauce and it was yummy. I had two helpings! Most of the time, the food doesn’t cost as much as restaurants and you can just walk around outdoors eating. It’s pretty cool.

South Bank Market

Ezra is one of the babes at Babes about Town, a blog that celebrates the best activities and coolest finds for families in London and beyond.www.babesabouttown.com

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/favourite-places-to-go-in-london-this-summer-by-ezra-age-eight-and-a-third/feed/ 13
Free Day Out For Families in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/free-day-out-for-families/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/free-day-out-for-families/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:00:34 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39045 Family outside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Guest post by Laura Porter

The South Bank is always a great destination for families. It’s traffic-free, has wide pavements, fantastic views of iconic London landmarks, and there’s always lots going on that costs nothing. Here’s a plan for a free day out with your family.

Start by the EDF Energy London Eye where you can look across to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The nearest tube station is Waterloo.

Once you’ve taken some snaps let the kids play in Jubilee Gardens. As well as the green open space to run around safely there is also a playground for under 11s. (Be aware that bikes and scooters are not permitted at Jubilee Gardens.)

 Jubilee Gardens

Between The London Eye and Southbank Centre you’ll find lots of street performers vying for your attention. My daughter likes to take some coins to give to her favourites.

I know there’s a carousel here but we normally finds something more interesting at Southbank Centre, whether it’s a free event in the Royal Festival Hall (where there’s also a cafe and toilets), the summer garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall or a free festival alongside the river. There’s also the singing elevator (JCB Glass Lift) in the Royal Festival Hall and the skateboarders under the building to watch so you’ll always find something to entertain.

Carry on walking along the South Bank and you’ll soon reach Gabriel’s Wharf where there are often sand sculptures on the beach to admire. Head into Gabriel’s Wharf and there are some well-priced cafes (and more toilets).

Ten minutes further along the riverside walk and you’ll reach Tate Modern. There are many floors of modern artworks to admire and you only need to buy a ticket for special exhibitions. The river level cafe is incredibly family-friendly with a buggy park at the back, plenty of high chairs and a kid’s menu (and kids eat free when an adult buys a meal). Paper placemats and crayons are brought to the table for families too.

If you’d prefer a view from higher up go to Level 3 and from the balcony you can look across to St. Paul’s Cathedral and The City. There’s another small cafe on this level too, and, of course, more toilets. (Hey, anyone who’s travelled with children will appreciate this advice!).

Many people choose to continue along the South Bank past Shakespeare’s Globe and, maybe, onwards to Borough Market but my best tip is to cross over the Millennium Bridge (pedestrian only) and go into The City. You can walk from Tate Modern to St Paul’s in just ten minutes so it really is closer than you think.

Tip for kids: As you cross the bridge see if you can spot any love locks (small padlocks) attached to the sides.

If you check the tide tables in advance, under The City of London side of the Millennium Bridge is a great spot for mudlarking. There are steps to reach the river foreshore and it’s rarely muddy on this side so you can check the surface for old clay pipes and bits of pottery.

Afterwards, walk towards St Paul’s and on your left you’ll find the City Information Centre where you can pick up free trails, including one specifically for children which includes stickers. It has a few routes to try so let the kids choose the one that interests them.

Or, if it raining and you don’t want to wander far, the Museum of London is five minutes away from the other side of St Paul’s. This free museum is great for families and has two floors of exhibits to explore.

Museum of London

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as AboutLondonLaura.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/free-day-out-for-families/feed/ 2
10 Things For Families To Do In The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/10-things-for-families-to-do-in-the-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/10-things-for-families-to-do-in-the-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:00:12 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39007 Guest blog by Laura Porter

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has undergone further transformation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is now an amazing location for families to enjoy. Here are a few of our favourite family attractions:

1. Cycling
The whole park is fantastic for cycling so bring your bikes or hire from View Tube. You can also book to ride inside the Lee Valley VeloPark or outside on the BMX Track.

2. Wandering
There are lots of free park trails to follow, including a Children’s Trail. You can pick up the leaflets at the Information Point (opposite the Aquatics Centre) or print one out at home.

 Aquatics Centre

3. Water Fun
The Aquatics Centre is home to the best swimming pool in the world – really! – and is now open to everyone. Try and book an ‘Aqua Splash’ session and you’ll get to play on an assault course of inflatables. Or go early and you may just see British Olympic bronze medal winning diver Tom Daley in the diving pool as he trains here regularly. I loved my first time in the Olympic pool and now the extra seating has been removed, there are glass sides so you can see Britain’s tallest structure The ArcelorMittal Orbit from the middle of the pool.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

4. Climb Britain’s Tallest Structure
The 114.5m-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit is worth visiting if you like high views. I’d recommend taking a map of London up with you as it’s not the same view as from the EDF Energy London Eye so you may need some guidance finding the landmarks. Adult tickets are £15.

 Helter Skelter

5. Not So High
My eight-year-old daughter loves the helter skelter that you can see near the Orbit. There is a charge but she was talking about it all day so I’d say it’s good fun.

Fountains

6. More Water Fun
Before you reach The Orbit there is the snaking line of fountains which causes squeals of delight from both children and adults of all ages. Many come just to play here and it is worth bringing extra dry clothes as it’s easy to get caught out. I’d recommend playing in the fountains and then visiting the Aquatics Centre so you can swim and have fun before changing into dry clothes.

Tumbling Bay Playground

7. Playground Adventures
The Tumbling Bay Playground is a child’s dream with its mix of rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses and wobbly bridges. Alongside the playground is the attractive Timber Lodge Cafe which serves up fresh, home-cooked food.

8. Grass Space
If you do walk beyond the Orbit there’s a large grass space that’s great for running and playing in. There are also some toilets here too.

9. Cafe Tip
If you’d like a decent cup of tea and a homemade cake, exit the Park at this point and pop over to The View Tube which is the lime-green container building you can see just off the park site.

Climbing Wall

10. Climb
Walk back past the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the fountains and take the canal path and you’ll find the climbing wall. This is an activity for the bigger kids (and adults) where they can challenge themselves to climb the two stages of the wall. My eight-year-old daughter can do it so it’s not too tough but there are ladders if you get left behind.

Sometimes it’s just good to visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and not worry about making plans. It really is incredible to remember the amazing events that happened here in the summer of 2012.

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as AboutLondonLaura.

 

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/10-things-for-families-to-do-in-the-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park/feed/ 0
Things To Do Outdoors in London This Summer http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/londons-top-5-outdoor-fun-this-summer/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/londons-top-5-outdoor-fun-this-summer/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 09:00:54 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38674 The South Bank

Enjoy the great outdoors in London this summer with these top five activities.

1. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a cultural highlight of every London summer. The outdoor, 1,250-seat amphitheatre in London’s beautiful Regent’s Park hosts a varied programme of plays, music and comedy each season including Shakespeare, musicals and newer works. The 2014 season includes a new version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night suitable for all ages from six upwards, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the return of award-winning production To Kill A Mockingbird. 15 May–13 Sep

Rooftop Film Club

2. Cinema under the stars
Outdoor cinemas have become increasingly popular in London in recent years. From the grande dame of the Film 4 Summer Series at Somerset House to funky newcomers including Rooftop Film Club in Dalston and Peckham and Hot Tub Cinema (yep, you guessed it). There’s also Nomad Cinema, which pops up in parks and squares around London, Luna Cinema, screening films at stately homes in and around London such as Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Park and the Floating Cinema – located on a canal boat and coming to London’s waterways again this summer.   

Black Sabbath headline British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park

3. Festivals
London is awash with awesome festivals this summer and there’s something for every taste, whether it’s the foodie heaven of Taste of London, one of the many summer music festivals, cultural conglomerations including Southbank’s Festival of Love, and family-friendly outdoor events such as the Mayor’s Thames Festival and the City of London Festival. Can’t decide? Here’s our pick of the Top 5 Summer Festivals

Prudential RideLondon

4. Ride London
London’s world-class festival of all things bike returns for a second year this August. The 2014 Prudential RideLondon will include all of last year’s favourites, of which there are events suitable for everyone from amateur cyclists right up to Wiggins-wannabes. Join the eight-mile Family Ride past some of London’s most iconic attractions or turn up to cheer the pros in the London-Surrey Classic. 9-10 Aug

Thames RIB Experience 5. Ice cream and water play
London has some fantastic lakes and lidos for you to enjoy this summer. Take a look at our list of recommended Lidos and Boating Lakes where you can turn up with your bathers or hire a boat to while away the hours. If you’re after something more adventurous, book yourself a speedboat tour of the Thames on a London RIB, or check out Lee Valley White Water Centre. Want more? Read our guide to action-packed activities for kids in London. Feeling exhausted? Chill out with one of London’s best ice creams!

What’s your top tip for outdoor fun in London this summer? Tell us in the comments below…

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/londons-top-5-outdoor-fun-this-summer/feed/ 1
London Video of the Week: Mammoths at Natural History Museum http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/london-video-of-the-week-mammoths-at-natural-history-museum/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/london-video-of-the-week-mammoths-at-natural-history-museum/#comments Fri, 02 May 2014 11:52:31 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38604

Get a taste of the Natural History Museum’s upcoming exhibition Mammoths: Ice Age Giants by watching this comical video. Visitors can come face-to-face with some of the largest mammals ever to have walked Earth at this family-friendly exhibition which runs from 23 May until 7 September.

]]>
http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/london-video-of-the-week-mammoths-at-natural-history-museum/feed/ 0