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Half term - where to take Grandchildren

(19 Posts)
GrandmaH Wed 25-Sep-13 15:32:23

Looks like I will have 3 grandchildren for a few days over half term.
2 boys 7 & 9 & a 5 year old girl & if we go out I'll be by myself with them as DH will be at work. I was thinking of a London Museum for one day- they have been to the Natural History already & I see the earthquake machine at Geology museum being re-furbished which is a shame as that is usually a good choice

I don't want to break the bank so want to avoid Chessington/ Thorpe Park etc & I'll have them for a few days. Weather at that time of year uncertain.
We've done all the things local to us & as they have only been on a train a few times, London seems a good idea.
Any ideas??

Eloethan Wed 25-Sep-13 16:25:51

Have they been to the Science Museum? On two of the floors there are areas suitable for young children - a model of a water mill (with plastic macs provided as children love to put their hands in the flowing water), little wheelbarrows, sponge bricks, builders' hats, a pulley. In another section a "pond" projected onto the ground, complete with goldfish, the water moving, like a real pond, when the children stand on it, an area of music in which children can dance and watch their shapes move on the wall opposite. Lots of different things to entertain and amuse. A few months ago, we took our granddaughter (she was about 2 1/2 at the time) and she thoroughly enjoyed it. They also have little scheduled "shows" - one about bubbles.

We had expected her to get bored and that we would have to move on after a short time but in fact we stayed for two or three hours.

MiceElf Wed 25-Sep-13 16:31:49

Go to Westminster pier, take the clipper to Greenwich and then you have a huge choice, most of which is free. The National Maritime Museum, the Queens House, Greenwich Park and the walk along the river bank. There are some super pubs for lunch, and if you do want to spend some money there is The Cutty Sark and the Old Observatory. There is a lovely children's play area in the Park and a boating pond and the children's interactive displays and activities in the NMM are excellent. Check the website to see what's on.

PRINTMISS Wed 25-Sep-13 16:34:23

Not sure where you come from GrandmaH, but if you can get to Amberley Museum (the Amberley railway station is adjacent to the Museum) could I suggest you visit there? We volunteer there in the print shop when we are able, been doing that since 1994, and it has grown so much during those years. Once you are in there is nothing more to pay, unless you decide to buy a lunch, or donate to one or other of the free attractions - ride on the train, have a trip on the bus, visit the Connected Earth Building (B.T. built and phones gallore!), It is a real trip down memory lane, and usually crafts-people are there to demonstrate. If you go on a Wednesday during school holidays that day is particularly designated to children with all sorts of activities taking place. You can look up the prices on the web.Enjoy

tanith Wed 25-Sep-13 16:35:19

OH and I took a trip down the Thames from Tower Bridge the other day it was really interesting got off at Greenich and there you have the Maritime Museum and the Cutty Dark we didn't have enough time but our youngest grandchild would of loved it . The boats are very safe being all enclosed downstairs or you can sit up top if you like you can buy tickets with Tesco Clubcard.

MrsJamJam Wed 25-Sep-13 19:33:19

GS aged 7 loves the science museum. If Hampshire is accessible, Milestones near Basingstoke and/or Intech near Winchester are both brilliant for hands on stuff.

Anne58 Wed 25-Sep-13 19:45:02

Most areas have a "what's on" type listing for half term activities, if you let me know which area you are in, I will gladly have a look.

FlicketyB Wed 25-Sep-13 19:47:38

In London, The Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green
[] It is part of the V&A but is, by definition very child-friendly with lots of activities.

If you run out of things to do there catch a bus to the Geoffrye Museum, It is the museum of the home and has 11 rooms each furnished as it would have been at a variety of different times in the last 400 years. Again they have activities.

LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 26-Sep-13 11:51:45

Another vote for the science museum! There's so much to explore. And also (although I rolled my eyes when it was suggested) we took my little one to the London Transport Museum recently in Covent Garden and she absolutely loved it. Very kid-friendly. Look around for offers though (we got a 2for1 by travelling by train). Sure you'll have a ball whatever you do - enjoy!

Riverwalk Thu 26-Sep-13 12:21:15

The Unicorn Theatre on Tooley Street is a great place to take your grandchildren and not too expensive - I take my 8 year-old grandson.


It's very close to Tower Bridge which is another good place to visit as you can take the lift up to the top and walk along to the other side (all enclosed).

And in the same area HMS Belfast and The Shard both of which are great for photo opportunities.

Riverwalk Thu 26-Sep-13 12:41:01

The only problem with the museums at half-term is that they are so very crowded!

Reddevil3 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:27:07

Are you based in London riverwalk?

Riverwalk Fri 27-Sep-13 10:35:44

Yes I am Reddevil3

GrandmaH Sat 28-Sep-13 13:53:34

I'm on Surrey/Kent borders so London quite accessible. They live in East Sussex. I am spoilt for choice now- thank you all. I think we will try Science Museum one day for sure. It is bound to be crowded but children seem to mind this less than we do I find.
I like the ide of a river trip too if the weather is good.
I shall refer to this link again every time they stay.
Took them to the Jousting at Hever Castle in the summer & that was a great hit. they loved the Water Maze.
I then bought them all a wooden sword & took them home! I think DIL has just abut forgiven me.

MiceElf Sat 28-Sep-13 17:53:16

If you take the Clipper from Westminster to Greenwich, you can return on the DLR. the children will love this especially if you make sure they sit at the front of the train as they are really high up, and Docklands is spectacular.

Pittcity Sun 29-Sep-13 15:03:19

An old school friend of mine is responsible for Step Outside Guides which are child friendly books to enable families to have brilliant days out in London without spending a fortune (or indeed anything!).

Eloethan Sat 05-Oct-13 00:32:40

Took granddaughter quite late in the afternoon to the Science Museum today and, over the couple of hours we spent there, she really enjoyed it.

For anyone who is planning on going there, the basement area that has many activities to suit younger children is closed for improvements until 12 October.

GadaboutGran Sat 05-Oct-13 16:16:13

Agree with the ideas for Greenwich & the Thames & my GS/D love being the driver on the DR (esp down the hill into the Bank). We took the DLR to the Roayl Victoria station & went on the Emirates Cable car over the Thames to the Dome (wasn't expensive & much more impressive than I'd imagined with great views). We then get the boat to Greenwich. It's always fun to have an aim - like how many different forms of transport can we use in a day. Also agree about the Covent Garden Transport Museum but all museums can be horrendously crowded at half-term, especially the kid's areas. We resorted to the V&A one half term instead. Not sure about half-term but we always use the Geology Museum entrance for the NHM. We went in early Sept (term time) & there was a long queue at the main entrance but none at the Exhibition Rd one. For a rest don't forget the Parks, & Kew which has a lot on at half-term.

Out of town, we were really impressed by Brooklands, near Weybridge. At first we thought it expensive but turned out to be great value - it had 3 different sections - the racing circuit & cars; the National Bus Museum & the aircraft including Concorde. It's run by volunteers & there's lots of planes & cars to get into. It needs all day to do it justice but if you have energy Mercedes-Benz World is next door.

GrandmaH Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:26

All we need now is dry weather!