Toddler Day out In London

Both my Hubby and I love to visit London on days out. We haven’t gone for ages (read years) because although we don’t actually live very far away by train, we haven’t had the money to go and do anything (Borough Market is a favourite!) but we went with our son yesterday.

We hadn’t taken him since he was about 11 months old, I think, he was definitely in his old Mamas & Papas pram at the time. We didn’t take a pram yesterday and he was going to have to walk with us everywhere. He lasted longer than we did!

We went to the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. Map Lunch was a picnic outside the Natural History Museum. He liked the Natural History Museum but is always moving at 100 miles an hour so we didn’t get much of a look at anything we really wanted to see…. he loved the wavy mirrors and the dinosaur bones, but wasn’t so sure about all the stuffed animals. He was disappointed in the model of the blue whale – he thought it would be bright blue! His favourite animal was the elephants, especially the baby elephant. And he loved listening to the elephant sounds on the phones.

Elephant Phones

Once we were at the Science Museum he was happier – more buttons to push! He liked the films in the Space section and the huge globe in the middle of the room as well as the meteorite, but wasn’t interested in the rockets at all. The steam engines got a look-in as did the airplanes. He liked the basement ‘Garden’ sensory play area especially the lights and sound section but refused to go near the water play – I think there were too many kids there for him. (We did miscalculate as it was a Bank Holiday (Statutory Holiday in North America) and that area was incredibly busy).

We went on the tube a few stops to get to the playground in Kensington Gardens. On the way we fielded a thousand variations of ‘Why can’t we live in London, I love London, why didn’t you buy a house in London?” *sigh*

Our son’s favourite spot was the playground. Not surprising as he prefers to run everywhere….. it was raining when we got there and I hate getting wet so bribed him with an icecream cone. He was happy to sit under the ‘Time Flies’ Clock and eat it. By the time we were finished, it had stopped raining so we went off to the playground gate. This is a manned park – there are attendants to keep an eye on the kids and to keep the playground clean. What stopped him was the Elfin Tree – it’s a Grade 2 Listed Monument that unfortunately has a cage all the way around it to stop people from stealing the fairies. You can read more Here It was carved by Ivor Innes in the early 1900’s and has been restored a couple of times. My son insisted I take pictures of all the fairies and animals ‘I want to take home but can’t mumma’.

Tea Time
Sleeping Elf
Elf Librarian

Once I had taken about 20 or so photos, we went into the playground. The attendant at the gate told son not to run and he stopped dead! A strange voice can do wonders sometimes. When we got to the Pirate Ship he stopped, took a long look at it and said, “WOW!” then demanded that Hubby climb it with him. I managed to get these 2 shots of the ship before the batteries died in the camera:

Pirate Ship

Mast of Pirate Ship

The ship is surrounded by sand and a lot of the kids were commando-crawling through it to sneak up on friends in the ship, there must have been 40-50 on it at any given point. Then we went to the Indian Settlement part, not interesting at all apparently. Paths were found and whooosh, he was off. Hubby took off after him and I trailed behind… We found the back area that has slides & ladders along a raised platform that you can get up on by ladders or a log with steps cut into it, he ran along it like a bat out of hell til he got to the log bridges that have chunks of log all on their own chains (with a walkway underneath). He decided to walk in between the logs and slowed everyone behind him right down! We were there for 45 minutes and he tired us out but was still raring to go when we left. He was tired but didn’t want to admit it. The playground is based on Peter Pan’s Island in Nevernever Land – I wish I had something like it to play on when I was a kid!

It was back on the Tube to King’s Cross Station (which he calls King’s Happy) and back home with toothpicks propping up his eyelids…. this morning he told me he wants to go back to London on the first day of Autumn.


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