On a rainy day like today it can be difficult to know what to do with a three year-old. Our two bedroom flat just isn’t big enough to exhaust him so that he will sleep soundly at night (something that is really important to me). Cygnet needs action, fresh air, activity, a good old run around. Yet, when it is raining, the last thing I want to do is to hang around in the local park or even venture to the local soft play where ever other family in the vicinity will have taken their children. These are my top rainy day activities for children in London:
We are a big fan of the London Transport Museum. We bought a family ticket online in January for £16 and it is valid for a year. We have been to the LT museum at least five times already this year. Cygnet loves to climb on and drive the buses, to watch the models of the London Underground and to point out the model horse poo under the horse-drawn trams on the top floor.
Now this might seem like an odd venue to take a three year old. I certainly don’t take Cygnet into see the Turners or the Monets, but I can get him to look at the sculptures and some of the brightly coloured abstracts.
The Tate actually put on loads of activities for kids. Tate Britain is hosting a free art and technology festival for families on Saturday 24 March 2018. We often go to Tate Modern where the slope in the Turbine Hall (the main hall) is a great surface for racing toy cars. I doubt many of the art aficionados are particularly impressed, but Cygnet and I have spent hours racing cars down the smooth concrete.
Tate Modern currently has fun striped carpet in the Turbine Hall (see photo).
The Natural History Museum has recently re-opened again fully having exchanged the skeleton of Dippy the Diplodocus (he’s touring the world apparently) from the main entrance hall with a skeleton of a blue whale. Cygnet is a great fan of the Natural History Museum because Andy from Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures (on CBeebies) works there.
Unfortunately the magic grandfather clock that transports Andy back in time 220 million years to see the dinosaurs doesn’t actually exist, but the staff are great and will fabricate a story about Andy being on a prehistoric adventure in the clock rather than break the magic and the pretence.
This is a really easy and chilled out venue near London Waterloo. In the summer the fountains are on outside and your kids can get soaked. In the winter there are often activities going on inside for kids and even if there aren’t there are so many kids around that Cygnet will always find someone to play with. Thanks to many hours spent at the Southbank Centre Cygnet (a three year old and an only child) has got quite used to asking 5 and 6 year olds if they will play with him. They also do a reasonable cup of tea!
Right next to the NHM (above) and no less busy. Wonderlab is great for kids but a little costly. There are loads of other activities in the museum too. We haven’t been recently, mainly because Cygnet is obsessed with the Natural History Museum thanks to Andy and CBeebies, but the Science Museum is a good day out and we will go back again soon.
P.S. Also, have you been to Vauxhall City Farm?
What are your rainy day activities for children in London ?