Off to London

I’ll be around for a few more days, then I’ll be taking my whole family to London for a research trip.  Of course, I was going to plan exactly what I wanted to accomplish weeks in advance, but that step has somehow evaporated, and I find myself getting ready to go without having much in place.  Oh well.

 First, I’m putting down two useful sites that I should have looked at much more carefully weeks and weeks ago:

(this looks a little older; is it terribly out of date?)

And now I’ll throw myself upon the mercy of the blog: any good places to go with kids (12 and 5 yrs old)?  This is my first extended stay.

Best wishes,



10 responses to “Off to London

  1. Kamille Stone Stanton

    Ages 5 and 12 must be a pretty tough demographic to please at the same time!

    You could take everyone to Hampton Court Palace for the day. It is very family friendly, with ppl dressed in costume wandering about. They have a fabulous renaissance kitchen that you can walk through. The Tower of London is also very family friendly and will be on your side of the Thames if I remember correctly. You can see where prisoners put grafitti on the walls. A little day trip to Windsor to see the palace might be a hit. They have some great oldie worldie pubs where your family can have lunch. The Caste room at the Victoria and Albert Museum should impress even the toughest customer. Do your kids like to draw? Ppl seem to like to go to the V&A and draw the things they see. Leicester Square at night is nice for a wander, with great buskers too. Covent Garden is great for shopping and lunch, sometimes with buskers from the Royal College of Music.

    But some places, like the British Museum for example, can be totally overwhelming for adults, let alone kiddies. Definitely pick a time period to focus on if you’re going to try to actually enjoy a day there.

    OK enough of this, or I’ll be tempted to give up my job in the US for smoggier pastures across the pond.

    Have a wonderful time and watch your wallet on the tube!


  2. Kamille Stone Stanton

    Also, each place gives frequent internal tours that I totally recommend.


  3. Dave Mazella

    Very thoughtful suggestions, Kamille. It’ll be interesting to see how the itinerary develops once we get there. First month will combine scholarship and sightseeing. Second month will be monastic solitude.



  4. Do you want something “London-y” or simply good places to take the kids? For the latter, here are my recommendations:

    London Zoo

    Natural History Museum (giant dinosaur bones and also an interactive area if I remember correctly)

    National Maritime Museum (this would be alot more fun if there were still a Cutty Sark). I don’t like military stuff, and didn’t want to go, but I actually enjoyed it. As you walk into the museum, there is this ambient ocean wave sound coming from the grounds. Pretty freaky…

    St. Martin in the Fields has brass rubbings and I think they have a special section for kids…Again, pretty fun and they get to hang out in the crypt. Your tween will probably like it.

    If your young one likes Peter Pan, go to Kensington Gardens and look for the Peter Pan Statue then you can go to the Palace and tour where Diana lived.

    If your family likes tennis, why not try to get into Wimbledon? I don’t know how long your family is staying, but if you stay long enough, you might be able to catch an early round


  5. Dave Mazella

    The maritime museum and natural history museum sound like good options for my kids. We’re also planning a special outing to Legoland, which I think is more for my sake than for my son’s.


  6. Laura Rosenthal

    The Tower is a great family trip. My daughter loved the London Eye, which has other fun tourists things around it, like this huge trampoline where they put your child in a harness and catapult them way up in the air. Don’t know if that’s still there (I’ve also seen them at Hershey Park). Seeing a play at the Globe is not out of the question if you think the 5-year-old could manage it, but you can also find children’s theater and of course the big musicals. There is also a little park near the British Museum called Coram Fields, original site of the Coram Hospital. It’s perfect for the little ones because it has peacocks and other small animals just wandering around in it (or at least it used to).

  7. Dave Mazella

    I thought the Globe was going to be closed for renovations, though I do want to see it. The London Eye sounds great. Hey, this sounds like fun! Don’t know when I’ll have the time to read all those old books and newspapers.


  8. Kamille Stone Stanton

    My husband can testify that Legoland is fun for kids. His parents took him when he were only a wee sprog.


  9. Dave Mazella

    “wee sprog”–does that mean, “great future husband material”?


  10. Kamille Stone Stanton

    Clearly! I don’t know; it’s just one of those things he says.