Keeping the girls occupied over the February half term can be tricky for parents. So just imagine doing it everyday for 450+ days on a European Roadtrip! But to try and help other parents visiting London soon, we've found a few places to see/do in London with Kids.
Taking the metro into the centre of London, we headed across 'Westminster Bridge' towards the increasingly 'family friendly' Westminister / Embankment area of London. The sight of the world famous 'London Eye' & 'Houses of Parliament + Big Ben' ... it now houses a Sea Life Centre, London Dungeons & the new Shrek Adventure. If you don't like crowds, then you'll need to arrive early as we were soon immersed in crowds of people jostling for position in the sizeable queues outside these attractions.
Although not cheap, these attractions are well worth every penny of the upfront cost with perhaps the 'London Eye' & the new 'Shrek's Adventure' coming out on top for our 8yr / 11yr old girls.
Bear in mind there are some hefty queues for both attractions, so it's worth considering adding 'fast tracked' tickets or trying to book online (with a time) beforehand. But they are both within easy walking distance from the Westminster tube station and could easily fill a day in the capital... Especially as you'll want to to see Big Ben & the House of Parliament across the river!
Both our girls have loved the chance to experiment with photography across Europe, so the London Eye is the perfect place to getting 'snapping', whilst the onboard interactive screens show the landmarks of London in clear 'child-friendly' graphics. But most importantly, it's brilliantly safe and the staff were so helpful... one to return to again!!
Leaving the London Eye's calm, serene journey over the Thames, we headed for the bustling throngs waiting to see one of London's newest attractions... although not avid fans of Shrek, both girls enjoy the movies so were excitedly chattering away as we waited patiently in the queues.. Part of the Dreamwork's Tours & 'Merlin Entertainment' brand, the Shrek's Adventure lasts around 45mins through a 4D bus journey to the magic kingdom before escaping the clutches of Rumplestiltskin at the very last minute.
Sadly but perhaps with good reason, the whole adventure does not allow photography (much like the London Dugeon's Tour') but is well organised, pacy and keeps your kids thoroughly engaged. Each new room offers a new part of the 'Magic Portal' potion that is required to leave the magical kingdom,. There are plenty of opportunities to meet Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella , the Muffin Man & one of Rumplestiltskin's henchmen torturing poor Pinnochio... with each scene acted out with full engagement from the audience (so much so that one of us ended up in Shrek's toilet, courtesy of Cinderella!!)
Perhaps the highlight of the tour will be the chance for your kids to get up, close and personal with Shrek and the other characters... but the Dreamwork's Tour also allows other creatures / films to get in on the act! Our girls loved the chance to see other family favourites such as 'How to Train your Dragon' or 'Kung Fu Panda'.
Would we visit again? Absolutely, although we may give it a year or so... it's the type of attraction that kids will love, adults will smile through... but it's a busy day if you combine both this and the London Eye. (cheaper joint tickets are available if you search online - here)
What else is on in London during the February 2017 Half Term?
If you're interested in looking further afield for ideas and running out of ideas, why not check out the variety of others tours, workshops & exhibitions across London.
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