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.

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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.

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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.

 

The Wombles of Wimbledon

We live close enough to Wimbledon Common, to go and visit it on occassion and have a good walk around it. When walking in woods with younger children however, it is good to often have some sort of purpose (having said that, they love running around, picking up sticks, climbing up trees and exploring regardless).. so.. recently we have been reading The Wombles of Wimbledon Common books. It talks about the Wimbledon Common Windmill, the Goluff (aka Golf) course and Queen’s Mere pond. It was exciting to visit the common with these locations in  mind and to see whether WE could spot a Womble…

Here is how we did – how many did you spot?!

If you are not familiar with The Wombles, do check out the stories, they are making for a great chapter book for us at bedtime at the moment (the kids are aged 5 and 7yrs). Really sweet!

Check out these affiliate links for book info US readers read about The Wombles here , UK readers here.