Aug 282009

There’s No Shortage of Things To Do in London

Things to do - HMS Belfast

Things to do in London - Boarding HMS Belfast

Taking your family with you on theatre breaks, whether children or even grandchildren,  is not only possible but can be a delightful thing to do.

However, children do get bored and it’s a great idea to have lots of things planned in advance so you never run out of things to do

One of the best tips is to plan your things to do according to the age of the children. There’s nothing worse than getting the age/interest equation wrong. It leads to bored, frustrated children and grumpy, resentful adults.

Read on and let’s see if I can help you avoid that, shall we?

Top 5 Things to Do for Children Age 5+

Remember on theatre trips children must be over 5 to be sure of getting into the theatre.

  1. London Aquarium – South Bank. Lots of big fish in tanks, always a winner!
  2. The Rainforest Café – Shaftesbury Avenue. Fun, themed, child friendly cafe right in the heart of theatreland. Perfect if you’re going to The Lion King!
  3. Kensington Gardens – Peter Pan statue/ Diana Memorial Playground. Park and playground, very handy if your hotel is in Kensington.
  4. Coram’s Fields –  a unique seven acre playground and park for children in London. Near  the British Museum and Great Ormond Street Hospital. No adult can enter Coram’s Fields without a child and friendly on-site staff ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit. There’s lots to do, playgrounds,  a petting zoo, it’s a great place for the kids to let off a bit of steam during their trip to London.
  5. London Duck Tours – A hybrid vehicle- drive around London and then splashdown in to the Thames for a river cruise

Top 5 Things to Do for Children Age 8+

Over 8s are a bit more sophisticated and many of them will enjoy what’s on offer at the best of the London museums. London museums have come a long way in the last few years and most are extremely child friendly. If you have a child who’s into dinosaurs, horror or mummies then the museum visit could be the highlight of their trip!

  1. Madame Tussauds – Baker Street. Endlessly fascinating, slightly creepy and great fun. You can usually get a good discount on this if it’s booked at the same time as your theatre break.
  2. The Science Museum – free
  3. The Natural History Museum – Dinosaurs etc
  4. The British Museum – Mummies
  5. HMS Belfast – perfect for little (and larger) boys

Top 7 Things to Do for Teenagers

Teenagers get 7 things to do because they are just much harder to please. It’s not easy getting things just right for teenagers. Age, gender and obsessions all matter massively. Best advice is use this list as a starting point and ask them what they’d like to do. You might be surprised what interesting ideas they come up with. Of course, if you’ve involved them at the planning stage you are much less likely to hit the sulks later when you actually get there!

  1. Camden Market
  2. Shakespeare’s Globe – South Bank
  3. The Museum of London
  4. London Transport Museum – Covent Garden
  5. London Dungeon – London Bridge
  6. Westfield – Incredible shopping for fashionable teens
  7. South Bank – An unofficial skateboard area and generally cool place to hang out.

Top 5 Tips for Things to Do with a Mixed Age Group

If there’s a teenager in your group do get them involved at the planning stage and ask them to help you plan stuff for the younger ones. Few teenagers can resist stepping back to childhood just a little, especially when they’ve got a good excuse.

  1. Hamleys – everyone loves Hamleys. Little ones adore it, some of the older kids (and adults!) get fascinated with the techie toys, others adore the cutesy, trendy Hello Kitty stuff. Just keep an eye on your spending. It’s a hard place to say ‘no’!
  2. London Eye
  3. The Trocadero – Dodgems, bungee jumping
  4. Tower of London
  5. Tower Bridge experience

It’s London! There are Always More Things to Do

Many of these attractions are either free or can be booked as extras at a good discount when you book your theatre break.

If none of these appeal then try the listing in the Children’s Section of Saturday’s Guardian or even Time Out for even more ideas for things to do in London

  One Response to “Things to Do on a London Theatre Break with Your Family”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Camden Lock has lots to offer every type of visitor, and it’s what makes it one of London’s premier holiday magnets.

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