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Day’s Out for Children in London

What do you do on a rainy day in London? Well, visit one of the many wonderful Museums of course! We are so lucky to live so near to all that London has to offer children and one of my personal favourites is The London Transport Museum. It is situated just a short walk from Covent Garden Tube station. It is great value for two reasons, firstly children go free and the adult ticket entitles you to come back for free as many times as you like for the next twelve months.

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The Museum is an excellent choice for children aged two years and up, because there is so much for them to do and is really interactive. Along with all the wonderful vintage vehicles (many of which you can actually get into) I particularly liked the All Abroad Family Play Zone. Your child can really get involved from actually driving a simulated tube train, to helping out in the lost property office and even repairing a train as you can see Amelia really got into her roles below!

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Another part of the museum I thought was great is that they have a large wooden train track and London related landmarks models available for children to sit down on the floor and play. Amelia really enjoyed this and could have happily sat there for hours. The museum puts on special activities during school holiday, so be sure to check out the website for that.

After our visit to the Museum we were looking for somewhere family friendly to have a spot of lunch, when we stumbled across The Wildwood Restaurant. I would really recommend it as it was really set up for children. A good children’s menu, child sized cutlery and cups. Plus they provided colouring/puzzle sheets and pencils. The staff were very friendly and welcoming. They genuinely seemed to enjoying interacting with Amelia. All of these little touches make for a relaxing meal, as it can be stressful sometimes taking your child out in a central London restaurant. Wildwood is somewhere I would return to and look  out for other branches elsewhere in the country.

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Are you looking for other ideas for days out with kids in London? Then why not have a look at my review of KidZania.

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A couple of weeks ago I attended my first ever blogging event. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is new territory for me. So I put on my lip gloss and my best smile and headed off to Spun Candy at their Spitalfields – Masterclass store.

If you haven’t come across Spun Candy before I will tell you a little bit about them. The company begun in 2013 when they opened their first store in Covent Garden, since then they have been growing and have opened up in Hamleys – Regent Street and have other stores through out the Middle East. Hard rock candy is their speciality and they are able to make this into every shape, flavour and colour you can imagine. Plus all of the products are Gluten and Gelatin free.

So back to the event, this was Spun Candy’s 3rd Birthday celebration and I was in for a real treat. At the Spitalfields Masterclass store the whole idea is to get the customer involved in making and designing candy. So with my gloves on I was shown how to mould the candy into any shape I liked. I decided to make a pink pig lollipop for my Daughter Amelia and as you can see she was delighted with it!

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There is so much more to Spun Candy than their stores. If you are having a wedding or event such as a christening why not consider using Spun Candy for your favours. They can even design something bespoke just for you.

Perhaps you are looking for an idea for your child’s next birthday? If they are over the age of 6 this could be the perfect venue. Your children and their friends could be making and designing their very own lollipops and then tasting them all afterwards!

With the party season coming up maybe you or your company are looking for alternative Christmas party venue? Fed up with the usual office party, then why not book a party at the Masterclass Store? The venue is fully licence for alcohol too.

If you can’t make it to the store have look at their Online Shop where you can buy the full range of hard rock candy, plus some mouth watering confectionery perfect for Christmas stockings for children and adults, there is fudge, honeycomb and nut brittle.

Would you like to WIN a family day out for four at Spun Candy’s Masterclass store? Then please click on the Gleam link below.

Win a Candy Making Family Master Class at Spun Candy in London

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Disclosure

Spun Candy have kindly donated the prize for the competition in return for my review. All opinions are honest and come from my own experience.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

One of our highlights this Bank Holiday weekend was a trip to KidZania at Westfield Shopping Centre, White City, London. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have to say the experience totally exceeded my expectations.

We arrived at ‘check in’ and it was just like we were about to board a flight at the airport. From the signs, to the costumes of the staff, it really did look like a real life airport. We were given a map and an excellent explanation of what KidZania was all about.

We were all fitted with wrist tags. These tags are used throughout the experience not only to track which of the experiences your child is involved in, but also if at anytime your child looses sight of you the device is able to tell you where they are. Also your child can not leave the premises without being with you, this is a brilliant safety feature. A child of over the age of eight years can be left at KidZania without an adult in attendance while you go about your shopping. You get a total of four hours there, it seems like a lot of time but in reality it went really fast and we didn’t mange to complete even half of the activities.

How does it work?

When you arrive your child is given 50 Kidzos (this is the currency used in KidZania) , but you can earn or buy more if you wish.

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There are a total of 60 different establishments your child can get involved in. The thing to remember from the start is that you are not generally permitted in the room that the activities are going on in. You can watch from the sidelines or can look in from the large glass windows. It is really great that you are not in there distracting your child. You are getting a rare glimpse by seeing them being completely immersed in an activity and for Amelia she was totally enjoying the moment and almost forgot we were there!

Each job or activity either has a cost to participate or your child is paid a salary when completed. I think this is teaching them a very valuable lesson that to do something fun you first have to work for your money.

Extra facilities:

  • DSC_1381Designated parents room that is only for over 18’s. Here you will find a cafe, that even serves alcohol, lots of comfortable sitting and even some aeroplane flat beds that you can relax on! Myself and my Husband made good use of them!
  • An area for children under the age of 4 years, so younger siblings can come in too.
  • There are various cafe and restaurants within KidZania, we had our lunch at GBK.
  • Your child can have their Birthday Party here and they have a designated party room,which when we were there was all set up for a party, there was even a throne for the party child! (I’m already eyeing this up for Amelia’s next party).
  • Professional photographers around within the activities and can take pictures of your child that can be purchased on leaving. These  are good to have as you can not take photographs in the activities room.

Amelia did the Following Activities:

Fire and Rescue Department, Fire Fighter and Fire Inspector – This is great fun, costumes on and the children get into actual mini fire engine that drives them to a building on fire! They then use hoses with real water to put the fire out.

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Mission Deli – Making Wraps. The children are shown how to make this product from scratch and you even receive your own pack of wraps to take home.

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British Airway Aviation Training, Cabin Crew and Pilot – Amelia dressed up in her Pilot costume and got to experience flying a plane, plus you can also learn about being Cabin Crew too.

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Chocolate Factory, Chocolatiers – Amelia could hardly wait to get to this experience. Children learn how chocolate is made.

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Dance Club, Singer – Amelia managed to sing ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift and won the Karaoke competition!

Beauty Salon, Stylist and Customer – Each child gets to use a dummy head to style hair, something like a Girls World from the 1980’s a toy that I always wanted! Amelia really enjoyed this activity.

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Supermarket, Cashier and Customer – this reminded me of the Supermarket Sweep game that was once on TV. Amelia got a list of groceries and zoomed around the shop with her own mini trolley looking for items.

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Face Painting/Temporary Tattoos – by this time she was getting very tired but she managed to get a cute ladybird tattoo and a lovely cat face paint.

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Citizen Passport (cost £5) – this involves getting stamps in your Passport and in turn you will end up with discounts and priority access to KidsZania in the future. For more information see B.kidzanian

My Top Tips

  • Get there early, otherwise the queue can be longer at check in.
  • Buy tickets online to be sure that you will get entry that day and use any potential discounts.
  • Remember your child has to be four years old to participate in most activities and it helps if they are confident enough to cope with going into a room on their own.
  • Take a good look at the map when you arrive or before on the website and work out which jobs your child is really interested in doing and head to them first, otherwise it can be a bit overwhelming. Remember some activities are height or age restricted.
  • Allow at least four hours for your trip, take my word for it you won’t want to leave any earlier!
  • Make sure your child does plenty of jobs that earn them money.

My overall opinion

I absolutely loved this place and so did my Daughter and Husband. By the end of the day I felt that we had a really fun-filled day out. The place was very clean and the staff could not be more helpful.

I saw some real enthusiasm from the staff this included the Town Crier who made an announcement involving us. There was flash mob style dancing from other staff and even the general music playing in the background was upbeat and added to the fun atmosphere. I will definitely planning another visit soon and my Daughter is already asking when we are going back!

Disclosure

I was lucky enough to receive tickets in return for my review. All opinions are my own and are an honest reflection of our visit in August 2016.

Keep in contact……

If you like my review then please do comment and if you have been to Kidzania let me know what your opinion was?

Please do follow me on Facebook Twitter  @mumofthesuburbs and more photos on Instagram

 

 

 

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I would like to share with you what a great day out I have had today with my Four year old. The reason I am so over the moon is that this is the first theatre production that she has sat all the way through. My mind casts back to nine months ago when I decided to take her to a performance of Frozen (the film with a live orchestra playing alongside) at The Royal Albert Hall. The day ended with me head in hands and a very large glass of wine, vowing to myself that I would never do anything like that again with her.

Looking back now perhaps I was expecting way too much from my three-year old at the time. Yes of course she would sit at home and happily watch the whole of Frozen, but add in travelling to central London, sitting in such a large venue such as the Royal Albert Hall, plus the distraction of other children. Especially the little girl in front of us, who Amelia decided to get into a full-scale argument about who was wearing the best Elsa costume!

I decided on The Gruffalo Live at the Lyric Theatre because the show lasts only 55 minutes and there is no interval. Amelia has always loved many of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books, so being familiar with the story should also hold her attention.

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The costumes and the scenery/effects were basic, but in a way I think this leads to the charm of this performance. I have been to other children’s theatre and sometimes I think there is way too much going on, which can distract children from the essence of the story. There were only four actors playing the various different roles and all of them put in lots of energy and enthusiasm throughout the performance.

I really liked the fact that audience participation was encouraged. The children really felt that they were involved in this piece of theatre, shouting out, repeating phrases and the Gruffalo even came down into to the audience which many of the children loved. There was also a very relaxed feel, so it didn’t mater that if your child was talking or being a bit loud!

Over all I would give this show 10/10, it really was great fun and every time I turned round to look at Amelia she was either laughing or had a big smile on her face. The company that performs The Gruffalo Live are Tall Stories , so have a look at their website for clips of the show and to see other shows they are performing.

After we left the theatre I decided this would be an excellent opportuntiy to introduce Amelia to Europe’s largest bookshop Waterstones Piccadilly . It really is the most amazing place, I could literally spend the whole day there. Housed in the most wonderful Art Deco building that was once Simpson’s Department store it has six floors of books, including a bar and cafe.

The children’s book department which covers almost the whole of the second floor is my childhood dream. Any children’s book you can imagine is here, plus a great range of toys and activities. What I really like about it is that there are plenty of place for children to just sit and read a book (as you can see Amelia made herself comfortable on a bean bag). Also there are tables that children can sit and colour and there was even a dressing up box where Amelia managed to find a lovely princess outfit.

So this was my day and it has re-kindled my spirit to make sure that Amelia and I enjoy all that is available in London just on our doorstep. Also I made the wise decision to come home around 1pm. I was tempted to stay out longer with Amelia, but from experience I know how tiring it is for her. So it was the perfect day!