FamilyA guide to London for kids

From discos to crazy golf, here’s how to keep kids entertained

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There’s not much mother-of-two Jessica Green doesn’t know about keeping children entertained. The co-founder of Toy Box Club, has partnered with Jumeirah Carlton Tower to curate a hand-picked selection of toys for our smaller guests, ensuring they’re as spoilt as our older ones.

 

We speak to Jessica about how best to entertain children when you’re on a family holiday in London.

What makes London such an excellent destination for kids and families?

I doubt there’s any city that’s more exciting for families to visit than London. There’s a huge variety of entertainment, from the best shows in the West End to countless free museums, historical buildings, seasonal events, markets and fairs, trips on the river and canals. There are also many beautiful parks to enjoy.

 

Where are your favourite three places to take children under 10 in London?

We always enjoy the Science Museum in South Kensington, especially the Wonderlab, a spectacular interactive gallery that children just love. The Tate Modern is the most incredible space and very welcoming to families. On a hot day, the Serpentine Lido is a real gem. You can swim in the lake — as long as you don’t mind sharing it with the local ducks and swans — but there is also a gated family area with a paddling pool, sandpit and swings. There are sun-loungers for hire, plus a kiosk for drinks and ice cream.

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And what about picky teenagers? Where is great for them to visit?

They might like to see the whole of London from the UK’s tallest sculpture: the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Here, they can also ride on the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide created by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond.

 

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What would Toy Box Club & perfect London family day out involve?

Catching the river boat down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich and then back to Borough Market for the most delicious melted cheese sandwiches at Kappacasein. In the evening, see a show like The Lion King or Matilda in the West End.


 

Do you have any favourite London parks to picnic in?

If you’re visiting in June, Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regent’s Park is out of this world. It has approximately 12,000 roses. Its beauty will take your breath away.

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What fun, offbeat activities can families do in London?

On a rainy afternoon, how about trying out a family disco or rave? Venues change, but the Southbank Centre often hosts these parties, and companies like Big Fish, Little Fish are worth looking up as they run events all over London with face painting, bubbles, balloons and great DJs. Our children love them.


For outdoors fun, head to Battersea Park for a trip to the children’s zoo. We’re particularly fond of the meerkats. Then, hire some bikes and cycle to Go Ape and try your hand at the mini golf before eating delicious pizza at Putt in the Park.

 

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When travelling with young children, what essentials should parents pack?

We always carry paper and colouring pens for drawing competitions and a pack of UNO cards for when you’re sitting in restaurants, airports or trains. It definitely buys you a bit more time.


 

Do you have any stress-free travel tips for parents?

Be prepared and organised. Travel with easily accessible snacks, water, layers of clothing and various forms of entertainment. We love audio books at the moment — they keep the children happy for hours. As it’s not officially ‘screen time’, we feel less guilty.


 

Toy Box Club& philosophy when travelling with kids

We think that if you can borrow it, then don’t bring it. Make your life easy by renting all the toys and equipment you need for your stay.

 

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Toy Box Club curates bespoke toy boxes for little guests at Jumeirah Carlton Tower. What kind of treats can they expect to find inside?

A box from us is filled to the brim with personally chosen toys, puzzles, books and crafts. All age-appropriate and fully assembled.

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If you’re travelling to London with your kids, click here to discover how to keep them entertained at Jumeirah Carlton Tower with a hand-picked selection of toys from Toy Box Club.