As many of you know, this past November, my mom, Maggie and I traveled to London. It was an unforgettable trip, and I’ve finally gotten some pictures and thoughts together to share. I’ll be posting again soon with more fun ideas for kids in London, but i’ll start out with some of the activities that were great for all ages. When we set out on this adventure, our travelers were: 3, 30 and 60 years old.
As you could imagine, all three of us have different interests and things we like to do on vacation. My 3 year old is a great little traveler and was most excited to see a “real palace”. My mom is an English teacher and writer. She was looking forward to exploring a city full of history. I was somewhere in between, both in age and interest! I have traveled to London a couple of times. I was looking forward to showing my mom and daughter some of my favorite sites, finding some new places to explore, and in need of a little relaxing too.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Park Lane. We loved everything about the hotel and it’s stunning location. The hotel made for the perfect place to relax after a long day of sight seeing. We enjoyed slipping into our matching robes and slippers. Even Maggie had a tiny robe and little slippers to match mom and grandma. In addition to being in a lovely, convenient location, the hotel boasts a beautiful balcony on the top floor with scenic views. All three of us enjoyed the views both and at night and during the day.
(Maggie’s dress: Tutu Du Monde)
This is a must see in London. People of all ages line up to watch the Changing of the Guard. Be sure to arrive early, even if it’s raining! Despite the rain, Maggie went to the event in her full princess outfit and tiara. One of our favorite moments of the trip was when one of the guards came over to the rope where Maggie was standing and asked her “Miss, are you here to see the Queen? She’s in today!”. The look on Maggie’s face was priceless!
Maggie’s one request when we were going to London, was to see where real Queens and Princesses live. She was very impressed when we took her to Kensington Palace. My mom and I marveled at the beautiful rooms filled with history. All three of us enjoyed the new exhibit: Fashion Rules, which is a collection of dresses worn by The Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana. All generations of woman can appreciate the gorgeous fashions worn by years of royalty.
After we explored Kensington Palace, we walked over to The Orangery for tea. This was the trip highlight for all three of us. This lovely building is part of Kensington Palace and gives you a chance to sip afternoon tea, feeling like royalty, especially if you are a 3 year old girl dressed in your princess gown and tiara! They had a special children’s version of afternoon tea. My mom and I enjoyed the tea and the beautiful, royal place settings.
For my mom, being an English teacher and writer, this was an important stop on our trip. She loved the tour, the behind the scenes history, and of course walking into the theatre. To my surprise, The Globe also had many interactive areas and exhibits that young children could enjoy. Maggie enjoyed the dollhouse version of Shakespeare’s Globe. There were no shows playing when we visited, but if you check their site, there’s often wonderful plays to see.
This wonderful, historical department store, held all three generations captive for an afternoon of fun and shopping. The store has been there since 1705 and has a rich history. We started out enjoyed their amazing Christmas Windows displays outside. Inside, my mom enjoyed the elaborate collection of tea, tea cups and dishes. This is where I bought tons of tea to bring home. I also enjoyed the Christmas shop and for Maggie, we stopped for an afternoon treat at The Parlour. We all enjoyed the wide range of ice cream flavors!
From street level, you take a glass elevator down to the crypts of St. Martin’s. Here you’ll find a place to eat, a small shop and an area to create your own brass rubbings. This was a chance to create something special to take home with us. My mom created a beautiful image for her classroom. The staff was very helpful, and made sure to teach even their smallest customer, Maggie how to create a brass rubbing.
The Crown Jewels are certainly something that appeals to all ages. My little one couldn’t believe how the sparkled and my mom couldn’t believe the detail of each item. My favorite part was watching the video of the Coronation of The Queen.
On both previous trips to London, I made sure to spend time at the National Gallery. It’s one of my favorite museums, and I was looking forward to bringing my mom and daughter. Maggie got a coloring book at the gift shop that had many of the famous painting in the museum. She spent the time in the stroller, coloring her own versions of the works of art, while my mom and I marveled at the real thing.
While we were in London, we were lucky to have Katherine, an awesome member of the family, in town at the same time for work. She studied in London for a while, so she was able to show us some “local spots”. Our favorite meal was a pizzeria she took us to, called Da Mario. All ages can enjoy a good pizza, and there’s plenty of wine for the adults and ice cream for the children. The staff even came out with a balloon for Maggie. My mom was thrilled to find out that this is known to be a spot Princess Diana like to take her boys.
Each of us had our own favorite London sights, but most of all we enjoyed time together, exploring new things.