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London is awesome, isn't it? There's an unbelievable amount on offer for families, and frankly we are sometimes overwhelmed by where to even start. So, with Spring half-term next week, we asked some of our favourite parents (via Instagram) for their half term recommendations.
1. @the_gp_mum loves to take her kids to Fulham Palace
"This half-term head over to the lovely Fulham Palace in South West London — a firm favourite with local families and always lots on for children. On Tuesday 19 February there is a historic tour of the palace (£6 per adult, accompanying children free) and on Thursday 21 February there's a free family fun day from 12-3pm."
2. @thesecretlifeofmum recommends: a trip to the Thames
"During the school holidays, one of our favourite things to do is to hop on the river bus up the Thames. If you can manage to make it out of the house relatively early you can catch the commuter boat from most piers – much cheaper than the sight seeing boats but just as fun (about £7 for adults, £4 for 5-15year olds and free for under fives. Plus, they accept Oyster cards).
Usually we’ll get off at Embankment and enjoy the Southbank. The Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre are firm faves and usually have something free going on. You can also change at Embankment then go on to Greenwich on the boat — the O2 has some fab family friendly places to eat, plus the Emirates airline takes you across the Thames on a cable car (if that’s your thing). This kind of day out suits most ages — even most piers have buggy/wheelchair access. I have a 3 and a 13 year old and haven’t had any complaints yet!"
3. @thecuriousmummy is heading to London Zoo – Vets in Action
"Over half-term, I will be taking Finn (4) & Olivia (2) to London Zoo to take part in Vets in Action. Here they can step into the shoes of vets, nurses and zookeepers who treat the patients of the zoo animal hospital. Kids love role play and animals so I think this will make a fun activity over the half term break."
4. @thelondonmommy's top recommendation is The Imagine Children’s festival at The Southbank centre
"My top recommendation this half-term is the Imagine Children’s festival at The Southbank centre. I actually tend to steer clear of all my usual haunts during half term as they are so much busier than usual but Southbank’s imagine festival has lots of events dedicated to children of all ages including toddlers.
We’re particularly excited for Peppa Pig’s “My First Concert” at the festival. It’s described as a fun, interactive introduction to a live orchestra for ages 18 months and older. the children can even join in with Peppa and her family, and make music of their own!"
5. @mumologist says: try a 'yes' day
"Over holidays we can often get the feeling we need to entertain children, and plan activities to ensure they’re stimulated and have structure. But try having at least one (if not many!) days with little planned. Being bored is also really important for children – they learn about their sense of self, their imagination grows and you get to watch what they come up with.
Even better, you could plan a ‘yes’ day, where the kids are in charge and you say ‘yes’ to their suggestions! Set some boundaries beforehand so nothing is suggested that you’re not comfortable with, and then hand over responsibility to them. They can feel huge pride at having taken on that role for the day, and you get to dial down the usual parenting flow of requests. Most importantly, don’t put pressure on yourself to make it a brilliant holiday. What they need more than anything is nurture, attention (and snacks!)."
6. @notsofunnydad will be heading to China Town
By the time half-term comes around, it might be a little bit late to celebrate Chinese New Year but a trip to China Town is still a great way to spend a day with the kids.
"Head to China Town to celebrate Chinese New Year. Wander around China Town to see the colourful deco, buy cheap celebration toys like paper dragons and drums, try out dim sum (dumplings) or kids favourite (noodles) afterward. It is the year of the pig so you may bump into Peppa Pig for a selfie. Impress the staff and people by saying Happy New Year in Chinese “Gong Hei Fat Choy”
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