If you haven’t thought about London as a kid-friendly destination for Spring Break, think again!
- When you’re in London, it feels like you are at the Center of Everything.
- We love watching the fashionistas, the pink-haired, stapled punks, the tourists, the street entertainers – everybody. London is a people-watching smorgasbord! There are so many interesting and beautiful people to watch, you could sit in a cafe for the whole day just people-watching, with your mouth hanging open.
- There is so much to do here with kids, it seems never-ending. London is a fantastic destination for families with children – so if you have kids, come! They will love it.
- Today we:
- Took a hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus tour of all the main attractions (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Marble Arch, Speaker’s Corner, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Academy of St. Martin in the Field, and so on) to give the kids a general idea of the city, because we don’t have much time. The drivers’ narratives are really funny and when the weather’s nice it’s nice to sit out on the top deck.
- Our bus tour included an all-day free ticket to take a tour boat ride on the Thames – so we went from the London Eye all through the bridges – London Bridge, Black Friar’s Bridge, the Millenium Bridge, and kid’s favorite – The Tower Bridge – and got off at the Tower of London, where from the water you can still see Traitor’s Gate, where the queens who got their heads chopped off came in by boat. Boy do kids love the Tower of London, and the beefeaters don’t leave out any of the gory details about all of its unfortunate inhabitants.
- We took a black cab back to our hotel in Bloomsbury, and the kids enjoyed sitting “backwards” in their seats.
- We had dinner in a reasonably priced, sushi train restaurant in Bloomsbury, a place where the locals eat – it had conveyor belts of freshly made sushi on colorful plates zooming all around the restaurant, and the kids could pick whatever small plates that caught their eye, which is a great way to get them to try new things. Our table had its own fizzy water dispenser, and if you wanted the waiter to come over you could press a big red button that made a funky noise and they would appear. All of London’s restaurants seem to be playing hip underground music. It makes you feel like you’re at a rave. It makes you feel hip even when you’re wearing mom-jeans (although to my credit, I am not! I didn’t even bring them, so there!).
- We got on the Tube and went into Covent Garden at night to wander around and see all the live street entertainers. The kids are mesmerized by all that’s going on, and the crowds of people enjoying themselves, and by watching all the entertainers – tonight we saw an old Chinese man playing an other-worldly instrument none of us had ever seen before, many guitarist-singers, and a magician who drew a really big crowd in front of St. Paul’s.
- We got to take a pedi-cab from Covent Garden to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square – everyone is out on the streets! – Of course, my husband was reluctant to get on the bicycle cab because he is codependent and felt that the four of us would be too heavy for one skinny Indian guy to pedal around the city – but we convinced him and even though it was touristy, we didn’t care. We’re tourists. It cost $20 for the memory of a lifetime. And that Indian guy barely even broke a sweat – I was more concerned about getting hit by a bus!
- London is truly international. In the elevator there were people speaking Italian, German, French, Chinese, and English.
- Right now the city’s alive and buzzing with pre-Royal Wedding happiness, people on spring break – and growing crowds. My kids are dumbstruck – where we live, in the burbs, there is never anyone around – just deer, squirrels, and the occasional power walker – and it’s always morbidly quiet. (Can you tell that I’m a city person? People who prefer the country would say that it’s “serene” or “peaceful” – but I describe it as “morbidly quiet.” Hmm.) My suburbanite children are infatuated with the outdoor cafes, and with the buzz here.
- As far as food for kids goes, London has just about everything you need, and more – so we have had no problem getting any kind of food. Fiona even discovered a gluten-free bakery. Plus you can get healthy snacks like fresh fruit, yogurt drinks, and the pomegranate salads that the girls are now addicted to (basically just a really big box of pomegranate seeds) at local supermarkets like Tesco. There are wonderful, family-style Chinese restaurants to explore in Chinatown, traditional fish and chips in pubs, and the sausages they have here are to die for, so they gobble those up for breakfast and that’s their morning protein.
- We leave tomorrow for Paris and we don’t want to leave because we love this city – every time we come there is more to see, because we’re seeing it through our children’s eyes. However, the crowds outside of Westminster were huge today – huge – you could hardly walk down the sidewalk in the crush. This is all due to the upcoming wedding – and frankly, since the Royals apparently forgot to invite us – we are glad to be getting out a week before the wedding. Too crowded.
You might also like...
This Is One Of My Favorite Posts
Paris with Kids, American Style
Postcards From Ireland
I Got A Perk, Finally