2 days in London w/kids

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Mar 26th, 2007, 12:27 PM
  #1
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2 days in London w/kids

We are moving to Rome for a year in September but in order to use mileage, we will have a connection in London. We're thinking about turning it into a two-day stopover, since we can't move into our place in Rome until Sept 1 and we can't fly over to London any later than Aug 28 (arriving Aug 29). It's been so many years since I've been to London that I haven't any idea where to stay. Also, we'd like to explore budget-y options, but with two kids (aged 2 and 4). We usually rent apartments when we go places but figure we can't do that for just a couple of days. Any suggestions, and any ideas of must-dos with the kids as we all get over jet lag?
Jonnofor is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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The Premier Travel Inn County Hall is a great location and child friendly. The London Eye is right outside your door, Big Ben is across the river.

Your young children will enjoy riding on the top of a double decker bus, and a boatride on the Thames. There is a McDonald's on the river side of the County Hall building.

You are also within walking distance of Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square. If one of the kids poops out (or one of the adults) it is a short walk back to the hotel. One of the adults could possibly sneak in a look at Churchill's Underground Bunker as it is just a few blocks across the river.

It's been a few years (okay 35) since I took a 2 and 4 year old to London but it was a great trip and they both remember it.

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Mar 26th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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I'd also recommend the Travel Inn at County Hall. But book early - because of its terrific location it often books up far in advance.
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Mar 26th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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If you're flying into Heathrow & since you'll be moving to Rome I'm guessing you won't necessarily be traveling light so you might want to book a car service to pick you up. It's nice after a very long flight to be met at the airport.

If so, check out www.justairports.com
as it's pretty reasonable, especially with more than 2 people.
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Mar 26th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Yikes! By the time you arrive inLondon you will be spent. Think of your trip as a preview of London. With a 2 and a 4 y.o. and a move- not a lot ( a lot of humor , patience, emotions..... left for a tour of a large city imho.

Go to london but put the kids fisrt. This will be the first of many many trip around Europe. Make it a positive one. Science museum. Crown jewels. Parks and playgrounds.
So when you're getting ready for the next trip (oct) the kids will be really excitied.
Prep the kids as much as possible. Buckingham palace will still be open of r tours. Buy or borrow some books during the summer- then visit.
Go to Hyde park and rent a row boat. not "London enough" for you?? It will be a memory for the kids. (rememeber when mom and dad were so stressed out about moving and then we got to go on a little boat.....? Trust me. It will stick and they'll have life jackets on. ) I moved to London with 2,3,5and 8 year old kids. I KNOW moving stress!!
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Mar 26th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Jonnofor
If you and your kids like pagent, parades. horses, and marching bands - the Changing of the Guard is a fun spectacle - starts at 11:30 am in front of Buckingham Palace and its free.
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Mar 26th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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I have a 2 yr old and I'm thinking what she likes. Loves boat rides and will push through any tiredness to enjoy a boat and water. Pottering around the change of guards could be fun. I don't think the London eye is a good idea due to it taking about 20-25 mins. I found it too long and so would a 2& 4 yr old. Feeding ducks in one of the parks would be good and they can run around and get tired for bed time. I can't remember which ones have ponds but the ducks aparently have cockney accents in London.....I must take my daughter there
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Mar 27th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Given your children's young age (not that much different from my 5yo and 2yo), I would NOT consider crown jewel, London Eye, Changing of the Guard.

Instead, I would opt for parks (Regent's Park, Hyde Park--esp Lady Di Playground and Serpentine). London Zoo (combined with a canal boat, there is also a puppet theatre barge in Maida Vale). All sorts of museums (all free. Science Museum has great kid's areas, my kids like Natural History museum as well). As for the rainy-day options, aside from museums, there are indoor "bouncy-castle" type playgrounds at public gyms at Seymour Place and Swiss Cottage (Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre also has a great kids swimming pool).

Top floor of the double-decker would be nice for your 4yo, ONLY IF there is another adult who can stay downstairs with 2yo (I assume you'lll be using a buggie?) Also with only 2 days, I may refrain from my usual recommendations for Windsor Castles, Heaver Castles, etc.

There are enough casual pizza/pasta places where the kids can probably share a potion or order from the kids' menu. I personally like Zizzi or ASK over Pizza Express. If the weather is nice, do a take-out picnic with M&S foods. There are M&S Simply Food, Tesco Metro or Sainsbury small supermarkets/convenience stores all over the town for getting basic food stuff like milk, yogurt, sandwiches, fruits.

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Mar 27th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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You can rent an apartment for just a couple of days. I don't really know any budget ones from personal experience, but do a search on this forum. The Citadines apartments come up a lot; there's one near Trafalgar Square. You can walk to Covent Garden and see the street entertainers there.
Second the suggestion for Science Museum; even for young children there are activities. The Aquarium next to the London Eye is nice too.
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