With all the weekends and holidays, it’s easy for parents to find themselves running out of creative ideas to keep their kids entertained. After exhausting the usual repertoire of museums, parks, and cafes, it’s time to hop on a train to King’s Cross and embark on a treasure hunt for some of London’s offbeat and quirky gems that promise to make family outings exciting and memorable.
The Museum of Brands
From the mysteries of bygone religions to the cult of modern consumerism, The Museum of Brands in Ladbroke Grove is a captivating journey through the evolution of iconic brands and their impact on our lives. This museum showcases an extensive collection of items, including packaging, posters, advertisements, and fads, offering a unique and engaging way to introduce kids to history. Additionally, the museum provides family trails and hosts special events during school holidays, making it an ideal destination for a fun and educational family day out.
Mudlarking on the Thames
Mudlarking along the banks of the Thames isn’t just a cool pastime; it’s an opportunity for education and discovery. With a keen eye, you can unearth a fascinating array of historical relics, washed up by the river’s ebb and flow. From Victorian clay pipes to Georgian tiles and even Mesolithic flints, the Thames mud conceals treasures waiting to be found. Plan your mudlarking adventure by checking the tide timetable, donning wellies and gloves, and head to the river, particularly recommended spots include under the Millennium Bridge and the North Bank near St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Sleepover at the Zoo
Imagine the thrill of spending the night near the lion enclosure, a real-life ‘Jungle Book’ adventure! London’s zoo offers a unique opportunity to stay in comfortable lodges, complete with private guided tours and exclusive access to animal enclosures after hours. The experience includes a delicious two-course dinner and a buffet breakfast, ensuring you won’t have to worry about your stomach growling and waking up the wild neighbours.
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is not only where Greenwich Mean Time originates but also a site of historical and astronomical significance. Built by the renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren, the observatory overlooks the river Thames and houses London’s only planetarium. Here, you can stand on the historic Prime Meridian of the World, the reference point for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and explore the mysteries of the universe through interactive galleries. It’s a journey through time and space that will captivate the whole family.
Underground Postal Museum
For a unique and hands-on experience, consider a visit to the Underground Postal Museum. This museum is a delight for toddlers and primary school-age kids, providing insights into the fascinating history of postal transportation in London. Among its attractions, you can ride on a post train, design your own stamp, and sort parcels on a ‘moving train.’ The museum sheds light on the innovative underground railway used by the Post Office to transport mail between Paddington and Whitechapel. Operating from 1927 to 2003, this subterranean network offers a captivating glimpse into the city’s postal history and is sure to rank among the top children’s attractions in London.
In a city as vast and diverse as London, there’s no shortage of unconventional family adventures waiting to be discovered. So, when you find yourself seeking a break from the routine, consider delving into the eccentric and entertaining side of London, where history, education, and fun come together to create lasting memories for both children and adults. These quirky gems are a testament to London’s enduring capacity to surprise, delight, and inspire.