London has plenty of fun lined up this February half-term break, so there's no excuse for family boredom! Perhaps you fancy spending a family friendly day at one of London's museums or attractions such as the iconic Tower of London or the London Dungeons. Or maybe your kids fancy embracing all things spring and getting involved in the outdoor events.
So if you missed yesterday's 'Half Term Treats in London with the Kids! - Part 1' then read it here for a selection of our 'kid friendly' ideas for half term in London. Or if London's not grabbing you then why not check out our family focused reviews of over 40 European Cities here and starting planning your next family city break... perhaps Porto in Portugal or Dubrovnik in Croatia?
But if you are thirsty for some British History and how it's currently being brought to life, then read on below!!!
So although February half-term maybe a time to explore different parts of the UK, e.g. Wales at it's wildest with spring lambs and waterfalls in full flow like we saw at Bluestone Wales. Nothing ever beats London for us!
The tangible sense of history, adventure and family fun starts from the very moment you board the metro into the big smoke! So where better to start any day in London than with a trip to the imposing 'Tower of London'!
But be prepared for those 'Yeomen of the Tower' in their customary 'Beefeater' uniform, you'll be amazed at some of the tales they tell!
For newbies to London, the Tower of London is situated within touching distance of the Thames and 'Tower Bridge' near to Tower Hill tube station. Whilst its history rivals that of any novel written. It dates back past 1066 (William the Conqueror was critical to it's growth.) and has been adapted over many centuries. A fearful prison to be imprisoned, it housed much more than these 6 famous inmates - Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Grey, Rudolf Hess & the Prince in the Tower)
But it has been transformed since we last visited it over 25yrs ago... Then a dark forbidding prison brightened only the world famous glittering 'Crown Jewels', it has now been improved immeasurably... A brilliant interactive, practical and engaging place to bring children. Our girls loved every minute of 'Billy the Beefeater's tour of the key points of interest. A truly irreverent take on British History through the ages!
Spare a moment for the clever moving floor past the Crown Jewels. - a nice touch by whoever re-designed the inside of the tower. But once inside the tower, the array of military history is well presented and offers plenty of 'hands on' opportunities such as the 'Draw a Longbow' or 'Where this Artefact was Found'
It has excellent facilities nearby making it easy to visit with children. There's even a delicious cafe to grab a coffee and watch the boats disappear under Tower Bridge or stand on the walls watching the 'reconstructions of medieval life'... Another fantastic #Roadschooling Opportunity that we grasped with both hands!. It certainly does bring History to life!
FOLLOW OUR EUROPEAN ROADSCHOOLING ADVENTURE HERE
Moving westwards down the river (or to be more exact, using the Circle line some 6 stops) you'll find another brilliant representation of history through the ages.... this time inside in the relative comfort of the London Dungeons!! (Situated some 50m from the iconic skyline feature of the London Eye!)
The Dungeon's experience promises some 110 minutes of 'edgy entertainment' with 2 thrilling rides and 9 live shows... and it delivers!! By some distance! Perhaps not suitable for those with delicate dispositions or with very young children....It certainly gives a graphic account of what London life must have been like over the ages!
Again, just like the Shrek's Adventures, no photography is allowed but bearing in mind you are thoroughly disorientated by the darkness... that's probably no bad thing! So by the time you've visited the scene of the Gunpowder Plot and heard the gruesome details of Guy Fawkes' torture... or paused briefly to hear how Jack the Ripper created a reign of terror in Whitechapel... you'll be excused for shuddering a little as the light flickers and yet more actors speak of terrible deeds across London...
So with the screams of Sweeny Todd's victims ringing in our ears and the smoke obscuring our view from the reconstructed 'Great Fire of London'... you'll be ready for a drink courtesy of the 'Tavern Bar' at the end of the experience...
It would only be fair to add that you do need to grip those small children's hands a little tighter, but there have been no nightmares since so if you want a little bit of gruesome history... your family might just find it at the London Dungeons this half term!
Heading to South Kensington tube station, we heaved ourselves from olden day British history straight into modern day science at the impressive Science Museum. No longer the utterly free visit that it once was... you now get free entry but the best experiences and workshops cost once inside...
That said, if you're prepared in advance you can budget accordingly as the exhibits are worth the money and are brilliant!
You'd be excused for wondering just why the below pictures feature... but read this newspaper article and you'll see just what happened to us after only 5mins inside yesterday!!!
A full evacuation due to smoke inside the building!!! Thankfully, the fire brigade, police and Science Museum staff were truly brilliant. Such efficient organisation was brilliant to watch! So within the hour, we returned inside to discover more....
With less than an hour left to visit, we made a beeline immediately for Tim Peake's Spaceship... a really inspiring piece of current world history that the girls loved reading about... But not wishing to lose sight of today's historical focus... we went full circle, right back to the times of old... steam power and the incomparable 'Stephenson's Rocket'
The Science Museum really is an enormous place. Allowing for fantastic IMAX cinemas or Red Arrow's Flying Simulators... even interactive half term displays on bubbles and natural pattern!! But both girls had their sights set on something that really inspires them.... the chance to see a glimpse into their future... so where better than the brilliantly family friendly 'Engineer Your Future' exhibition...
So 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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