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eeyann Jun 4th, 2004 02:37 PM

London evenings with kids?
Any advice on what to do in the evenings ? We have three kids, ages 16, 13 and 10, who have never been to London before. We'll be staying for 8 days in a hotel and arrive in mid-june. Love to do the theatre but it's too expensive for 5 of us . Are pubs okay for kids to go to? Thanks so much for your ideas!

mclaurie Jun 4th, 2004 02:56 PM

Not all theater is or has to be expensive. Do a text search here for london AND discount theater tickets. The unabridged Shakespeare which is lots of fun can be gotten for about 10 GBP/ticket. There are also 2 for 1 offers. Do a text search here for them.

Another idea is trying London Walks. The Jack the Ripper one is especially popular with kids. You should do some text searches here. London with kids, London with teens. London AND kids AND night. Have a blast.

BTW, if you're going over the summer, you may be pleasantly surprised to find it stays light til 9 or 10 pm.

mclaurie Jun 4th, 2004 03:04 PM;tid=34484408

kids in pubs;tid=34393395

ben_haines_london Jun 4th, 2004 03:18 PM

I keep on disc notes on places that Fodors parents and I liked for children and for pub meals, and can readily copy them to you. Meanwhile, here are notes that bear on yourv question.
An orientation tour of the city may be a good way to start. The hop-on/hop-off bus tours are great for this, but if you take a free bus map from any tube station you will find places upstairs in usual busses from Kensington to Trafalgar Square, down and up Whitehall, and from St Martin in the Fields to Tower Bridge. An evening boat tour from Greenwich can also be good with kids...there's even a "Duck Tour" that employs an amphibious vehicle plying the Thames and driving through parts of the city.
Galleries open free on selected evenings are the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the British Museum. Web sites well worth a visit are the National Gallery on Trafalgar square the National Portrait Gallery, just north east of the National Gallery.
The Tate Gallery south west of Victoria
A parent wrote: children really loved getting their own audio guides for the museums and listening to the descriptions for kids Tate Britain, south of Victoria and west of Westminster
British Museum, Holborn. This has an audiotour tape with colour guide book which my son loved following like a scavenger hunt - we stayed in the Museum for over two hours (a record for him) and he still remembers it as great fun. The best rooms for children this age are not the boring old Greek and Roman rooms, but downstairs the Egyptian statues, mummies and Rosetta Stone and upstairs the Roman British Room and the next door Anglo Saxon room, with gold hordes and a ship burial. (If you read them the bit about Grendel's mother from a translation of "Beowulf" at breakfast the day you go you'll have them in the mood). Not far away are early twentieth century radio sets.
There may perhaps be concerts to suit your children: Time Out lists them.
Children may find more to enjoy at a play designed for children than at blockbusters. : London has a couple of these running at any one time, listed in "Kids Out" monthly magazine, and in the chikdrens section of Time Out weekply magazine. . Cheaper, too.
Expensive but good in the evening are these
The London Eye (big wheel), Westminster. There is a good photo guide for 2 pounds, with labelled photos of the views in each direction. A tiny playground at the base of the wheel was great for my 5-year-old to let off steam after the ride on the wheel.
London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge.
Shopping and watching the buskers in Covent Garden
The Virgin Records Megastore (open until midnight or thereabout), Oxford Circus.
Shopping in Carnaby Street
Chinatown is colourful and good for a walkthrough.
A few pubs admit children to lunch Monday to Friday evenings until nine.
The Anglesea Arms, 15 Sellwood Terrace, Chelsea, SW7. Phone 7373 7960. South Kensington tube. Thai lunches Tuesday and Wednesday, English lunches other five days and English suppers daily. Children welcome throughout.
The Coopers Arms, 87 Flood Street, Chelsea, SW3. Phone 7376 3120. Full lunches and suppers daily. From October there will be full suppers too. Children welcome to full meals, but not sat at bar snacks. Tube to Sloane Square and bus along the Kings Road.

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eeyann Jun 6th, 2004 05:11 PM

This is really helpful--my children thank you also!

ben_haines_london Jun 7th, 2004 02:07 AM

I am glad. I have not considered their personal tastes. If they will tell me of their hobbies, tastes or interests, and if you will phone their history and English teachers to ask what is on syllabus next semester, I may be able to suggest places well fitted to them.

Ben Haines

Tulips Jun 7th, 2004 05:51 AM

Thank you Mr Haines; I am printing out your reply and keeping it for my next visit. Even though I lived in London for 9 years, I couldn't have come up with a list like that.

My children loved walking around Covent Garden in the evening, looking at the performers. The Duck tour was also a hit.
I'm always recommending the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park; that shouldn't be too expensive (don't know the exact price) and a great experience if the weather is good. You can bring a picknick.
And the Anglesea Arms! I used to live very near there. Lovely pub, nice area.

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