V&A Museum of Childhood (London) & National Doll Day

As many of you may know, we are a GREAT FAN of London and all the things that London has an offer to do with the Kids. Yes, London is busy and YES, London is expensive.. but if you plan your day right, you can have a fabulous day out at little cost. As “Sarf Londoners”, one place we had not had the time to visit was the V&A’s Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. When the lovely PR at Baby Born invited us to come along for National Doll Day, I thought it was finally the opportunity to make the “trek”.

It turns out, that it wasn’t much of a trek at all – as Bethnal Green is on the very handy and super fast CENTRAL LINE and the Museum of Childhood itself is only a stone’s through from the tube.

ENTRY IS FREE too, which is always a bonus.

Museum of ChildhoodWe had a fabulous time. I have to say that the Museum was much much MUCH better than expected. There is a great permanent exhibition of toys throughout history (until very recently too – we spotted things from 2013!). The kids adored see the toys and seeing if they could find things that they have or “already know from Daddy’s old toys”. The Museum is also “handily” interspersed with little activity stations and things to do – from a sensory area, to pretend tea, to robot mechanics and even a Sand Pit! The kids can dress up and create a puppet show or go on rocking horses.

If that isn’t enough, the Museum (on a Sunday), as lots of activity sessions for kids – we heard one singing session going and caught the Shadow Puppet show too.

As part of our day with the team at Baby Born, we had a go at Paper Doll making and playing with the new dolls out on the market. Though my kids were very shy at the Paper Doll making event itself, we took ours home and 2 weeks on, we have been colouring and cutting more and more and MORE paper dolls (printed off the internet). I am amazed at quite how much they have enjoyed this little arty project and for how long it has been going on!

Here is a little video we made about the Museum!

Such a fabulous day out and fantastic way to celebrate National Doll Day!

Thank you for luring us to Bethnal Green to finally visit this amazing museum and for the chance to get to play with all the latest Baby Born dolls!

Days Out With Kids – Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum (London)

As we finally hit our stride this Summer holidays we are ready to go out on adventures and explore. There SO MANY things for the kids to do and see in London. And as “city dwellers”, I particularly enjoy seeking out activities for the kids that brings them closer to the wonders of Nature! One such Day Out, is a visit to the National History Musuem‘s Sensational Butterflies.

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You are invited to “Step through the tropical greenery as the exhibition takes you on the transformational journey of one of nature’s most incredible life cycles. Following the trail leads you past munching caterpillars, jewel-like chrysalises and interactive displays, while hundreds of striking butterflies and moths flutter above your head.”

We have had the pleasure and amazement of observing the Butterfly Life Cycle before (you can order “caterpillar kits” online!) – but we never cease to marvel at the sheer wonder of it. This year, we didn’t have the opportunity to “observe the Butterflies” at home, so it was nice for us to go to this butterfly exhibition. The kids were excited to see the different Life Cycle stages right before the eyes.. My daughter actually saw a butterfly hatching (the others missed it). In some ways the experience here of seeing – caterpillars, cocoons (and so many different ones) and final butterflies, was more exciting as they didn’t have to wait days between the stages! The magic was happening right in front of us in the short time we were there.

AT Scientist butterfly House -008-150413

The children were also delighted that the wonderful butterflies, would land on our rucksacks and on one occasion on one of the children’s heads – staying there for AGES! It was quite magical (and looked like a butterfly fascinator!).

This exhibition is truly beautiful, spectacular and memorable. I love that not only can you simply enjoy the beauty of butterflies, but that you also get to learn about butterflies and their life cycles – see and observe for yourself. Learn about “friends and foe” and what butterflies and caterpillars eat. Right up close to nature. As kids that grown up in a city, these connections are so important to them (and me as their parent).

If you are considering a visit to London this Summer, I totally recommend you come along to the Sensational Butterflies, it is too beautiful to be missed. Combine it with a visit to the Dinosaurs at the National History Museum.. and then if you have time, head over to Hyde Park and check out the gorgeous Serpentine Gallery and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. The combination of these things makes for a FANTASTIC family day, creating treasured memories.

Disclaimer – we were invited along on a press trip to see the Sensational Butterflies.

Days Out in London with Kids

If you are in London this Summer (2015) and are looking for things to do with the kids, you are IN FOR A TREAT!

Each year the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park hosts an exhibition, as well as a fabulous architectural structure. They choose an architect that does NOT already have a building design in London to come up with a design and build. This year they have a Spanish couple called Selgas Cano and they have come up with this most awe inspiring design. It is simply BEAUTIFUL!

Plan in enough time to sit down for a nice drink and cake (unless it is a hot day, then take a picnic and sit under a tree in the shade).

I took the kids along (nearest tube via High Street Kensington, but if you have time, enter the park via any gate and go for a walk in this lovely green space).

Serpentine Pavilion by Selgas Cano in Hyde Park - Serpentine Gallery 2015And here is a video with us walking around and through the Serpentine Pavilion 2015

Arundel Castle – A Wonderful Day Out with Kids!

Personally, I love the school holidays. I know that for many people, the holidays are not the easiest of times – especially when there are work commitments and many mid week ours to fill. Luckily, my work is flexible enough, that school holidays are an opportunity for us to DO STUFF. YAY! Especially the things were we can go a little bit further afield. Living near London, we have access to lots of fabulous activities IN LONDON, but sometimes it is nice to go further afield. Today, we were invited along to Arundel Castle – to experience the castle, the gardens and their Summer events – this Bank Holiday – the Castle Siege! The first of a fantastic range of events bringing HISTORY TO LIFE.

Arundel Castle 1

As we walked the encampments, we were entertained by the piper, we got learn about ferrets and potions, try on some replica armour and see first hand what the weapons of the 15th Century looked like. The children, got to see, touch and lift tools. They saw cooking over open fires, and people at their handicrafts.

Arundel Castle - a wonderful day out

The highlight and most memorable part the knights in action – “It is 1475 and Edward IV is King of England. Once again tensions have arisen between England and France. Seeing an opportunity a French force has crossed the channel, seized the Kings Ordinance (artillery) and surrounded the castle at Arundel.” Complete with cannons, archers and knights in full body armour.

It was exciting and spectacular and I know will stay with the kids for weeks to come.

Arundel Castle - the beautiful gardens

Personally, I was enchanted by the flower gardens. They were unexpected (we didn’t know too much about Arundel Castle before going) and opened in front of us like a secret garden. Beautiful blooms, quirky details and lots of space to run. Simply beautiful.

Afterwards, we spent some time exploring the castle (the library is stunning) and finally admitted defeat – after 3 hours at the castle, we were ready to go home (the kids are still young), but could EASILY have stayed twice as long.

Simply wonderful.

We thank Arundel Castle for inviting us along today and showing us what they have on offer.  There are so many more events on over the Summer months, that we really want to go back again (and again).


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Disclaimer – we received a complimentary Family Gold Ticket to the castle.

Special One on One Time at GoApe

Every so often we try and spend some quality one on one time with each of the kids. We select activities and things to do that we think THEY will enjoy the most and then we go off and have a Special Day.

This time, I picked “Go Ape” for my son.. check out what he thought!


This is at the Go Ape at Alice Holt Forrest – a beautiful venue. Afterwards we met with friends, had a picnic and explore what Alice Holt had on offer.