Monday, 15, August 2016
- Filed under:
Family fun in London
The Doyle Collection’s family-friendly packages make holidaying with the kids a breeze. Whether it’s kipping in a tepee (yes really), being given a personal goodie bag or their own Beatrix Potter cuddly toy, kids are made to feel like real VIPs during your stay. But just to make things even easier we’ve rounded up our top 3 family-friendly activities near each of our London hotels.
Row your boat on the Serpentine, picture credit Jagap, Flickr
Boating on the Serpentine
If the Wind in the Willows' Ratty is right “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” And there is nowhere worth doing it more than on Hyde Park’s Serpentine, London’s biggest boating lake. Pick up a pedalo or rowing boat and dock at the banks for a picnic.
Make shipmates at The Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Discover a Pirate Ship
Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is as much of a dream for parents as it is for children. While the babes spend many happy hours clambering on the pirate ship, fighting to be captain of the wheel, playing hide and seek in the tepees and exploring a tree-house encampment with walkways, ladders, slides and ‘tree phones’, you can just sit back and take it all in - peacefully.
Go to space at the Science Museum
Spark little imaginations at the Museums
If you’re staying at The Kensington you’d be hard pushed to ignore the amazing museums on your doorstep, not least because they’re all free and have wonderful workshops for kids. The V&A runs creative art and print workshops, as well as a digital studio where kids can invent comic book heroes and experiment with 3D printing. Meanwhile down the road, The Science Museum has seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. Or for those more into flora and fauna, The Natural History Museum’s pond life sessions will fascinate and its Butterfly room will delight - wander among hundreds of free-flying moths and butterflies and there’s even the chance to see a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.
Zip around Coram Fields, picture credit LondonLook, Flickr
Have a zip-wire adventure
The former site of Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital, which was established in 1747 as a sanctuary for unwanted babies, is now one of the most family-friendly open spaces in London. Inside the beautiful walled garden is a Mecca for kids – you’ll find an enormous sandpit, see saws and swings, a city farm and an adventure playground for the older kids with a zip wire, tunnel slide and climbing frame made out of natural materials. coramsfields.org
Walk through history at The British Museum
Walk like an Egyptian
The British Museum’s family backpacks take little explorers on adventures through ancient Greece, Aztec Mexico, into Tibet and Rome and into the era of mummies. The bags are full of activities that will bring the exhibits to life through sights, sounds and smells. There’ll be no more “can we go noooow” coming from your tribe…
A rainy day saviour, bowling at Bloomsbury Bowl
Bowl away boredom
Eight bowling lanes, a karaoke room, pizzas and burgers, could anyone ask for more? Bloomsbury Bowl is the quintessential bowling alley and on a rainy day in London (which obviously never happens, especially in the summer!) is great to have up your sleeve as a treat.
Make friends with the animals at London Zoo, picture credit Neil Thompson, Flickr
Be a Zoo Keeper for the day
Animal-lovers will absolutely love this offering from ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park. Small groups of five children (aged 11-15) will be kitted out in proper zoo keeper uniforms before spending the day getting to grips with the role for real. They’ll get up close to the animals over the half-day experience, leave with a goody bag, zoo keeper outfit and some seriously strong selfies.
Take home a true Londoner from Hamley's, picture credit Hamley's
The world’s most famous toy store is a spectacle to behold, even if you don’t plan to shop ‘til they drop, Hamleys has the most fantastical window displays, shelves of every toy imaginable and runs child-friendly events and workshops throughout the year. Tighten your purse strings, fuel up on coffee and get ready for the sensory overload.
Marylebone Farmer's Market's delights, picture credit Enuwy, Flickr
Farm to table dining
Every Sunday 30-40 stalls piled high with home-grown, home-made produce set up shop in Marylebone Village. Go for lunch and sample freshly-shucked oysters, artisan sandwiches or flavoursome pies, or pick up a picnic and head to Regent’s Park.