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London with a mature (LOL) 7yr. old


May 15th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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London with a mature (LOL) 7yr. old

Hi. I am a 1st time traveler to London and will be arriving this Sun for 5 days. I am with a friend and her 7yr old daughter who is quite sophisticated. Anyway we are staying next to St. Paul's Cathedral and have read many posts. Can you recommend a few kid friendly places. I have on my list, London Eye, Kensington Palace, Tate Gallery (not the Modern) and The Lion King, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and maybe The Revolution. Is anyone familiar with the last to plays? We also have aspirations for a day trip w driver to Windsor Castle, a little shopping at Portobello Row in Notting Hill, Westminster, Tower of London. I figure if we tire we can grab an OysterCard and bus or tube it. Anything you can add I would appreciate especially in dealing with the nasty pickpockets.

p.s. Would you agree on the day of arrival after the red eye just greet the day and take a nap after lunch to refresh and continue for a bite to eat and early bed say at 9 ish or when we drop? We are very flexible with our schedule as well

Many thanks to all!
kellfiveo is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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I'm not familiar with either of those shows. Look into Matilda the musical, it's getting rave reviews from both critics and kids.

How about the British Museum? It's free and there are so many different types of exhibits
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May 15th, 2012, 07:41 AM
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See how you feel on arrival and much depends on your hotel. Can you check in early? Or will your room not be available until 2pm? 3pm?
Most hotels will let you leave your bags (Travelodge won't).

You won't be able to walk everywhere as London is very spread out. Get your Oyster card or travelcard before you try to get on a bus!

Shows? 3 in 5 days might be too many but maybe the 7 yr old would enjoy Mathilda especially if she's read the Dahl book.

With only 5 days I'd skip Windsor unless it's something you really want to see.
Go early to the Tower (as soon as it opens if not before)

The British Museum and the V&A are favorites of mine.
sassy_cat is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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You may not have time for everything, but what about Coram's Fields:

or the Diana Memorial Playground near Kensington Palace

and a trip on a river boat.

And riding in the front seats on the top deck of any bus (the 11 or 15 from St Pauls would be a good bet).

Walking across the Millennium Bridge and looking out for street entertainment and buskers along the South Bank might be an idea.

Dealing with pickpockets? I've never bumped into one, luckily, but how to prevent them is the standard advice as in any city - don't leave valuables where they can get their hands on them.
Don't put wallets in back pockets - put them in a zipped pocket or a front pocket where you'll notice a superfluous hand.
Don't festoon yourself in expensive camera gear on full display.
If you have a backpack or shoulder bag, swivel it round to your front (especially in a crowded train or bus, as a courtesy to others) and/or keep a hand on it, and make sure its various compartments are always closed and zipped.
Walk like you know where you're going: if you have to stop to check a map, move nearer a wall or piece of street furniture where you'll not only be out of others' way but also don't have to worry about who might be hovering around behind you.
Don't put handbags loose on a chair or under your chair (see if there's a hook or clip under the table in front of you or put a chair leg in a loop of the handle).
PatrickLondon is online now  
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May 15th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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We just returned with our 7 year old (and a two year old). Her official three favorites were: London Eye, the National Gallery (she fell in love with Stubbs' Whistlejacket) and climbing the lions at Trafalgar Square. She also enjoyed Matilda the Musical (we read the book in preparation for the trip) and riding on the top deck of buses. We walked a lot, but also tubed a lot. We went to a lot of parks. Ate at mostly quick places. Had afternoon tea in the lobby of our hotel. We tried to go to the National Museum but the lines were too long (we were there Easter week), so we went to the Science Museum for a bit. We also did the Ceremony of the Keys, and the 7 year old enjoyed it OK. We tried to get back to see the Crown Jewels (per the 7 yo's request), but could not make it happen, as we got there too late in the afternoon.
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May 15th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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My niece still talks about her days out at the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery as a 7 yo. Other people's nieces enjoyed the Victoria & Albert for the frocks. Everyone's 7 year old seems to love the Natural History Museum (which I think is what eluckhardt means). I've never met a 7 year old who could see the point of trekking out to Windsor. If there's something about "seeing inside a Palace", you might find whatever's showing at Kensington Palace more accessible.

I'd think very hard indeed about Tate Britain, which these days is long on Young British Artists, and short on Constables and Reynolds. You may have a VERY sophisticated 7 yo - but few here really grasp why they're looking at the artist's unmade bed.
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May 15th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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My thanks to all who have replied and will adjust my must see and do's to a save for next time. Matilda sounds like a winner. I don't want to be over whelmed either.
kellfiveo is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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<< I figure if we tire we can grab an OysterCard and bus or tube it.>>


Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest...in_city_limits

Now guess whether you can walk everywhere of interest (especially with a halfling in tow). The answer has two letters . . .

BTW: One place that's definitely kid-friendly = Hamley's. Can't get much kid-friendlier than that.
BigRuss is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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This is your vacation as much as (if not more than) it is the 7 year old's vacation. It sounds like you are doing more than enough to entertain the child, so if you want to spend a day at Windsor Castle, spend a day at Windsor Castle. Actually, the child might enjoy seeing Queen Mary's Dollhouse. (My young daughter enjoyed it ALMOST as much as I did!)

P.S. Hamley's was definitely a hit with my kids every time we went to London.
longhorn55 is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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just saw matilda a few weeks ago and it was fantastic for children and adults. absolutely do not miss it-- and there were lots and lots of children in the audience-- they gave out little seat pillows to them all-- and food is not a problem in the theater. you may have to go to a scalper to get tix-- but it will be worth it!!!
kawh is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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I would highly recommend the Museum of London- it's very kid-friendly with interactive "touch and feel" stations and various other things that appeal to children.

Kensington Palace is just a lot of dark, dreary corridors and mean, stuffy little apartments- I honestly can't think of anything about it that would appeal to a child (nor an adult, for that matter).

I don't think the Tate Modern is a bad place to take a kid- the location is great for one thing, with the walk across the bridge to get there, and also the space itself which is bid and wide and unstuffy. There's usually some sort of interesting installation. There are kids' stations for drawing, etc. I've always seen lots of children at the Tate Modern.
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May 15th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Thank you for continued input. BigRuss you are funny. I get it. I live very close to New York City so.... Longhorn you make a great point I thought it would be nice to see a bit of the country while there.
kellfiveo is offline  
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May 15th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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There is so much in London for kids. I discover soemthing new every time! From boating at the park - my kids loved it - to the galleries+musea - national portrait,british musuem, natural history, science are all very enjoyable for kids of all ages. They have special tours for children who enjoy the whole discovery/hunt process. I took my kids last year for The Railway Children play - that was great - at the old Euro paltform and what with a real steam loco. We did the Buckingham Palace tour and thanks to Kate's wedding dress+cake, and ice cream they were happy with. Throw in a high tea - so grown up - hot chocolate included is fun too! The London HOHO (upper deck) provides a break from all the walking.

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