Top 10 picks for a great summer with the kids in and around London.
We’ve said it before – but we are incredibly lucky to be part of London's great jiving melting-pot. This year again over the summer grownups and kids alike are truly spoilt, here are our top 10 picks in and around.
1. River cruising, ideal to make your way around London landmarks. Special City cruises deal for families from Bankside pier, online offer hop-on hop-off 24hour Riverpass from £10 adult and £5 child. More info here: http://www.citycruises.com/london-sightseeing/river-red-rover. Suggested age range: fun starting with 2.5 years, babies can tag along. Ideal for a sunny day but also feasible on rainy or grey one - there's a certain poetic and impressionist charm as consolation for the wet days.
2. Southbank centre and #Southbankdreams. This neighbourhood is filled with great cultural pursuits and public attractions, from sweeping panoramas from the London Eye, paradigm-challenging performances at the National Theatre or South Bank Centre, riverside gathering spaces, wry street art and skateboard-friendly underpasses. Suggested age range: fun starting with 2.5 years, babies can tag along. Ideal when sun is out. For a rainy day, treat the kids with Southbank centre performances, London Aquarium and skateboarding at the House of Vans. Sunny or rainy day, treat the grown-ups to Mondrian funky bars and amazing botanical cocktails; kids will find plenty of distractions in the funky design and nautical themes.
3. BBC Proms. Suggested age range: 3 +. The Royal Albert Hall is an institution and the annual Proms a summer highlight of ours for many years. In 2017 we will be going the Relaxed Prom, but do check their 6 sessions for the whole family.
4. Serpentine galleries & Diana memorial fountains. Another summer favourite of ours and a free treat. The Serpentine's new summer pavilion is a visual delight and fun to play around. This summer you are also in for another treat, Grayson Perry exhibiting his most popular exhibition ever! And no doubt cool architecture and contemporary art will prompt an urge to head for another playground, luckily Diana memorial and memorial fountains are also next door. Suggested age: 2+, babies and toddlers can tag along - never too early to be introducing art to the little ones! Diana memorial fountains are best to enjoy on sunny days. For rainier days, Magazine is next door to Serpentine and Sackler has great cocktails to hydrate parents and funky bites to temper hungry kids.
5. River & Rowing Museum and Peter Rabbit exhibition. An hour's drive from Kensington, this is a perfect sweet & fun day out, great when it’s sunny but also fine for the gray or rain. Peter Rabbit just took over the River & Rowing museum, there’s mayhem, mischief and lots of playing! Henley on Thames, the Wind in the Willows and all interactive and educational features of the River museum are added bonus.
6. Odds Farm. Very child friendly fun farm, with giant indoor play barn, karting and mini-golf to mention just a few. Whatever the season and whatever the weather and no particular recommended age. 1 hour's drive from Kensington, surrounded by acres of gorgeous green.
7. Cliveden House & Gardens. National Trust Gem, 40min drive from Kensington. 5 star countryside retreat in the best of Buckinghamshire, close to the Thames, tons of gardens to run around, a pond, a playground & a maze. A great chef – Andre Garrett mesmerised us with a beautiful Market lunch with superb views over the gardens and the river - save this one for a special occasion. Ideal when the sun is out, suitable for all ages.
8. Hampton Court Palace and the Magic Gardens. Just the right amount of history, stunning variety of gardens, fountains and yards, kitchen, maze, very cool playground and acres of beautiful landscapes to run around by Thames. And all within 45 minutes drive from Kensington. Suggested age range: fun starting with 2 years, babies can tag along. Ideal for a sunny day. More info here: https://zenbabytravel.com/2017/05/06/magic-day-out-hampton-court-palace/
9. Windsor Castle. Over 10 acres of land with stunning gardens, castle, towers, state rooms, magnificent chapel, changing guards and tones of history. Suggested age range: fun starting with 3 years, babies can tag along. Ideal for a sunny day and 1 hour's drive from Kensington. More info here: https://zenbabytravel.com/2017/06/09/windsor-castle-with-kids/
10. Willows Activity Farm. Fun packed day for the whole family, great when the sun is out but also fine when raining. Feed horses, llama, goats, hold and cuddle guinea pigs, play at a very cool Peter Rabbit playground, ride with Tristan the runaway tractor and so much more. 1 hour drive from Kensington.More info here: https://zenbabytravel.com/2017/03/12/peter-rabbit-birthday-party-willows-activity-farm/
Still looking for summer holiday camps? Check out what's on offer near you. Just enter your postcode and we show you what's on offer near you. CLICK HERE TO FIND SUMMER CAMPS FOR KIDS IN LONDON
Happy summer holidays all!
In collaboration with Zen Baby Travel
Zenbabytravel cheeky monkeys, now almost 4 years old and 15 months. Mum & Zenbabytravel scribbler is a banker for over 12 years, formerly marketing manager for 4 years and blogger in her 'spare time'. And rest assured parents, the Zen part of Zenbabytravel is 50% aspirational and 50% ironic.