Successful travelling with kids is all about finding balance.  If you are travelling to a new city or region, you want to make sure you can make the most of your time in each place and see the attractions which have drawn you there, whilst making sure the kids have fun as well.

In the European centres we visited, we tried to make each day a mix of checking out attractions plus playtime so everyone stayed happy.  We sure didn’t tick off as many big sites as we did last time we visited Europe as kid free backpackers, but we all enjoyed each day, and we took the time to slow down and explore places we wouldn’t have otherwise found if we had been trying to tick off all the attractions.

1. Princess Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens

This fantastic playground can keep kids entertained for hours.  With so many different areas its suitable for a large age range.  Take a picnic or grab a snack or icecream from the kiosk.

Combine this park with: A visit to Kensington Palace, or if your ready to stretch your legs, a walk through to the adjoining Hyde Park.

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The pirate ship playground at the centre of the park

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Making friends with local kids

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Great wooden play equipment

Be aware – there are queues at busy times, so be prepared for a wait to get in.

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The entry queue to the playground on the day of our visit.

 

2. Natural History Museum

This museum is a must if your kids are animal lovers or dinosaur enthusiasts.  Miss 2 rushed ahead of me the whole way through this exhibit – so excited to see all the different animals up so close and in such great quantities.  It is a huge museum and we only made it through two of the four zones before nap time, but the excitement of these exhibits made the trip well worthwhile.

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Checking out the lifesize blue whale

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Animals of every type and size are on display

Combine this with: a visit to the nearby Science Mueseum, or a walk at Kensington Gardens.

3. Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews

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Buckingham palace

No trip to London is complete without a visit to see the Queen, or at least one of her residences.  On the day of our visit we took the tube to the city centre and then walked through to the Palace from the Green Park tube stop, giving Miss 2 a chance to stretch her legs and explore the gardens.  I would have loved to take a tour inside the Palace, but at the time of year we visited it was not open to the public, so instead we took a short detour to visit the Royal Mews which is a fun choice for kids.  During this self guided tour we were able to see a number of the Queens horses and view the carriages used for many Royal ceremonies.  There was also a kids activity room with colouring activities and space to play as well as change table facilities.  With a self guided tour you are able to stay as long as the kids attention span lasts.

4. Harrods

Harrods Toy Kingdom is a world unto itself.   There are plenty of demonstrations of various toys for the kids to watch, as well toy collections for every possible interest.

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Meeting one of her mates

The food departments are incredible, with whole rooms dedicated to just chocolate, tea or deli goods and so many different take away options.  We visited the ice cream parlour on our first visit and Miss 2 worked her way through the baby ice cream tasting platter.  On another day we were nearby and decided to come back to try the pizzas at the adjacent Italian restaurant as we had seen the huge queues, and they did not disappoint.

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The icecream tasting platter

 

Take your time to enjoy this amazing city – mix each day up with part sight seeing and part local living and you will have found the perfect balance to travelling wth kids!

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