Sometimes I find myself wondering where I can take the children. Then I think that if I as a fully paid up member of the Museums world, find it hard, then surely others must either be at their wits end, or doing things that I don’t know about! With this is mind, I present my ideas for a fun day out if you live within the Northern half of London/ Hertfordshire area. I’ve tried to include some more unusual options. Please check opening times etc before your visit (I’ve added web links). Feel free to add to it!
I’ve written a very brief guide to getting the most out of museums for kids and some suggestions of places to visit here
Whipsnade/ London Zoo: You’ll Save a fortune if you become a member as you only need to go a couple of times per year for membership to cost the same amount as a standard tickets. Whipsnade is great on a sunny day and has a brilliant sea-lion display. London Zoo is great for a rainy day as the aquarium is fabulously large and there are quite a few indoor animal houses.
Planet Hollywood in Haymarket is holding a special Scooby-Doo Weekend, 2 – 5 April. To celebrate the release of the new feature length animated movie “Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo” on DVD, kids eating can enjoy a magical, mystery Scooby-Doo Easter experience including a delicious choice of Scooby Snacks, fun puzzles, crosswords, film clips and special Mystery Inc. action figures to take away.
The British Museum; Free entry and you can literally spend hours in one gallery with a child looking and drawing at the objects
Tring Zoological Museum; Free entry, the Natural History Museum’s country outpost. A fabulous collection of taxidermy and a firm favourite with my children.
Wimpole Hall and Home Farm; National Trust so you’ll have to pay, but well worth it to see all the baby animals at this time of year and a fab place for a picnic!
Mill Green Museum; charming local museum and working watermill. They hold some fantastic childrens activities and this Easter there is everything from wreath making to peg dolls and movies!
The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge; If you ask at their information desk you can get a brilliant kids pack to help guide you around the museum. They have a great cafe and everything form Ancient Egyptian mummies to suits of armour. Its very much like the museum that Maisie visits…
The Museum of London; One of my favourite museums and deep in the heart of the City, so if the weather is nice you can do a little walking tour around and maybe even see the Roman remains preserved in the car park underneath the museum! They are holding lots of crafty activities for children.
Stockwood Country Park and Discovery Centre; A total gem in the heart of Luton, free entry and one of the best local places I have been for kids. They can climb on and off carts and carriages, swing about in the garden and this weekend there is a country fair.
Local Cinema: Vue Cinema runs Kids AM where you an go a see a film for 95p. Other cinemas do similar deals and its a great way to introduce your child to the wonders of the cinema without too much of an outlay.
Sir John Soane Museum; slightly older, arty children will be inspired by a trip here. Set in the heart of Holborn and opposite the equally fabulous but slightly gruesome Hunterian Museum (which is shut over Easter). This is well worth a visit.
Aldenham Country Park; There’s a kids farm, some fab climbing frames and a lake to walk around. On a nice day, this will keep you busy for a few hours.
Museum of St Albans; Tucked away just off the high street in St Albans, this is a little gem which is often overshadowed by Verulamium Museum. For Easter there is an Easter egg hunt around the galleries. There’s also a really spectacular Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, which provides a chance to see an Oscar in the flesh!
Dinosaur Trail at Knebworth House; Another full day out, this is one we are yet to try, but I’m told its fun and its a chance to avoid the queues at the Natural History Museum.
The National Portrait Gallery; I’m always amazed at how accessible this is with a pushchair. Children love looking at people and faces and this provides the perfect opportunity to indulge this fascination. There is also a very decent cafe. This ca be followed with a trip to the National Gallery which is sure to inspire lots of home creativity. Best of all, both are free.
If you happen to take up any of these suggestions let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear!