London RAF Museum

wp-1490129264332.jpg
View through the hangars with a Lancaster bomber looming in the background

The RAF London Museum is a series of huge aircraft hangers stuffed with real planes. If you’ve a small person who’s into planes or helicopters, this would be a great outing. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from Colindale on the Northern Line, and it’s free.

The whole place is on a huge scale, so there is lots of room for toddlers to run around. There are wide carpeted walkways between and sometimes under the planes, so it’s very buggy-friendly too. It’s made up of several hangars, and although part of the site is currently closed for development we didn’t even get round everything that was open. Continue reading “London RAF Museum”

Spring on Stage

London is incredible for the amount of children’s theatre that is available, even for the very youngest audiences. There are some lovely things coming up this Spring.

Of course some shows that are aimed at older children are still great for toddlers, but this is a round-up of things that are specifically for under-5s (usually age ranges are a recommendation only and it’s fine to take siblings of different ages along too).

See websites for prices, which vary, but tickets for toddler theatre mostly seem to be between £7 and £10 per child over 1, or the same for an adult-and-baby combined ticket. Not cheap, but still live theatre that’s cheaper than some cinema tickets.

The Little Angel Theatre in Islington has loads on for the under-5s:

The Explorer, 1st – 2nd April, ages 3 – 7 looks beautiful: the adventures of a traditional wooden marionette.

I’m glad to see the explorer is a she, too, having recently become hyper-aware of how the main characters in most young children’s books are male by default. Even if they’re animals, for goodness’ sake! Nearly every last tiger/mouse/elephant/caterpillar of them.Why? Continue reading “Spring on Stage”

Spring adventure no 1: Pirate Fun Day

Golden-Hinde-8302
The Golden Hinde (photo: britainexpress.com)

If your child is confident in groups, sticks their hand up when asked a question and generally gets stuck in when you take them to things, they’ll love the Pirate Fun Day at the Golden Hinde.

But if they’re like my toddler – not immediately at ease with people they don’t know and often labelled ‘shy’ (don’t get me started on that. I don’t like labels) – you might be surprised to find that they enjoy it too.

Continue reading “Spring adventure no 1: Pirate Fun Day”

 Big Spring Skies 

Greenwich Park with moody March sky

The new March mildness and teasing bursts of sunshine have been enough to get me and the kids much more adventurous about being outdoors.

Even the less summery side of the weather (gale force winds, dramatic cloudscapes, the odd hailstorm) has *mostly* added to the fun.
So we’ve been venturing further afield in search of outdoor play whenever we can.

Here are some of the places we’ve enjoyed Spring Skies, if not sunshine… some in London, some a short trip away.

What are your favourite places to get out in the fresh air at this time of year?

1. Greenwich Park

Fantastic children’s playground, loads of beautiful parkland to explore, wonderful view from the top of the hill… Continue reading ” Big Spring Skies “

Spring adventures – part 1

93119-640x360-changing-the-guard-band-640
Photo from visitlondon.com

The daffodils are out. Spring is here, and I’ve been making a list of adventures, old and new, to share with my toddler (and baby).

As I mentioned last time, I’ve been thinking it’s time to head beyond the corner of London that’s home to us – and be tourists in our own city. Here’s what I have in mind. Continue reading “Spring adventures – part 1”

Spring manifesto

daf_bud_opening1024
From http://www.icteachers.co.uk

Spring is such a tease. For a few glorious hours on Saturday afternoon, she made an all too fleeting appearance. Suddenly the sun was transformed – no longer a pale, distant circle in a frosty sky, but instead a wonderful bright orb sending us rays of light that actually warmed the skin. Little birds flitted in the trees. Cheering birdsong filled the air. And then today it was all gone. The sky was heavy and grey and the warmth was gone.

But the promise of Spring has made me turn my thoughts to all the things I would like to do with my toddler once the Winter is behind us. And so here are the beginnings of a Spring manifesto.

This Spring I would like to introduce my toddler to some of the sights of London, venturing beyond the little corner that we know and love to the global city beyond. My next post will pick out the visits that we plan to make.

The post after will be about making the most of the outdoors – visiting favourite haunts and searching for new ones.

And the ultimate aim? To have fun, of course. Because which self-respecting toddler doesn’t live every moment to the full.

Here’s to Spring.