3 Aug 2016

London on a budget with kids: Blog and Vlog!

So as mentioned in the previous post 'vlogging' is my new passion. Well making videos. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a vlogger when I have two subscribers on youtube! Haha! 

So The Belgian needed a new passport and they've upped the ante and so he has to go and have an interview with the Belgian embassy in London. It happened to coincide with two inset days at school and so, despite being broke on maternity leave, we decided to make a little mini break of it. It was too good an opportunity to pass up, We were on a strict budget and I did a lot of research before we left and so I thought that I'd put it into a blog post to share it in case it helps someone else planning a trip to London over the holidays. 

So here is the vlog with our new toy the go-pro and the details of our trip are below:-

Top five things to do in London with kids (on a budget):-

1) Natural History Museum - its free and there are big dinosaurs. I have read that there are huge queues on weekends and holidays and so we were really lucky to be able visit during term time. The queue was about fifteen minutes. The building is gorgeous and the facilities - baby changing, cafe, shop - are very family friendly. We only went into the dinosaur exhibit and the insects one briefly as dinosaurs are his main passion.

2) Science Museum - this is right next door to the Natural History Museum. We skipped the proper stuff and just headed straight for kids sensory play area in the basement. We probably spent an hour at the water play and I wish we could build one in our garden as it was so fun and interactive and right up The Toddlers' street. This is a must visit - they even provide you with water proof aprons so that the kids don't get soaked,

3) Queen Elizabeth Park - it was a gorgeous day and the views of the Olympic Park were amazing. This park is amazing and has loads of climbing walls, sandpits, bridges, slides and is above and beyond your average park. The splash pad was a five minute walk away and was so fun and we stayed for ages. We had brought a change of clothes, but the weather was so nice that he literally air dried and we just changed his shorts. The nearest tube stop is Stratford and it was just two stops away from our hotel. 

4) Hamleys - now you may be wondering how this fits in with a budget? Kids in toy stores can be particularly covetous, but it was The Toddlers birthday and so we had told him he could choose any toy for £25 or under. However, this place is magical and there are so many demonstrations and hands on toy tables that most children would be very happy. After exploring every floor he decided he wanted a £1.99 Cars grab bag so that was a result! 

5) Eating out - we opted for the buffet breakfast at our hotel (Travel Lodge, London Docklands) as kids eat free and we really loaded up for the day. These are links to sites telling you where kids can eat for free in London here, here and here. The Belgian got accepted onto a teaching training course and so we wanted to go somewhere nice to celebrate so we went to Bodeans. It is a BBQ smokehouse and offers kids meals free between 12-5 with a paying adult - extra tip get their free Q card from the website and you get a further 20% off. We had drinks and mains and desserts for the kids for three adults and two children and the bill was around £35 - which is a bargain I'd say.

All in all we had an amazing two days and are so glad to have all those happy memories without breaking the bank! 

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