Co-founder of Toy Box Club and mother of two, there’s not much Jessica Green doesn’t know about keeping young ones entertained. Partnering with Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Jessica’s Toy Box Club curates a bespoke, hand-picked selection of toys for our smaller guests, ensuring they’re as spoilt as our older ones. For a truly unforgettable family trip in the British capital, Jessica reveals her guide to London for children, from outdoor adventures to off-the-tourist-trail spots.
What makes London such an exciting destination for kids and families?
“I doubt there is any city in the world that is more exciting for families to visit than London. There is 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 and 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 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 your swim 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.”
And what about picky teenagers? Where is great for them to visit?
“They might like to see all of London from the UK’s tallest sculpture – the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They can also ride on the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide created by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond.”
What would Toy Box Club’s 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 happen to be visiting in June, Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regent’s Park is out of this world. It has approximately 12,000 roses and its beauty will literally take your breath away.”
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, and companies like Big Fish, Little Fish are worth looking up as they have events all over London. There’s face-painting, bubbles, balloons and great DJs. Our children love it.
For something outdoors, head to Battersea Park for a trip to the children’s zoo. We’re particularly fond of the meercats. Then hire some recumbent bikes and cycle to Go Ape and the mini-golf before eating delicious pizza at Putt in the Park.”
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 while sitting in restaurants, airports or trains. It definitely buys you a bit more time!”
Do you have any fail-safe 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 are loving audible books at the moment – they keep the children happy for hours and as it’s not officially ‘screen time’ we feel less guilty!”
What’s Toy Box Club’s 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 from us.”
Toy Box Club curates bespoke toy boxes for little guests at Jumeirah Carlton Tower. What kinds 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. It is a joy to behold!”
If you’re travelling to London with your little ones in tow, click here to discover how to keep them entertained at Jumeirah Carlton Tower with a hand-picked selection of toys from Toy Box Club.