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5 Things to Do in London That Won’t Make Your Tweens/Teens Roll Their Eyes

April 3rd, 2017 · International Travel, Travel Tips

Now that my kids are in their teens, it gets a bit challenging to find activities they will participate in without groans, sighs and the obligatory teen eye roll.

Here are 5 picks that are sure to delight even the crabbiest teenager.

  1. Camden Lock Market – features rows and rows of eclectic clothing, art pieces, and hand crafted items for sale.
  2. The British Museum – if only for the mummies. This recent NY Times article breaks down a few of the highlights. Copy the map to take with you. Admission is free and its located near Russell Square, which has lots of great restaurants.

 

 

3.  Borough Market – outdoor food heaven and teens like to eat

In the background is the Shard

4.  The Ice Cream Parlour at Fortnum & Mason – you can have tea while the kids make their own sundaes.

    5. The Cutty Sark, the historic clipper, restored and filled with interactive exhibits.

BTW, all the sights and places above are equally enjoyable for adults.  In the comments below, let me know of any tips you have for activities in London for teens and tweens.

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Family Fun in London – The View From the Shard

March 29th, 2017 · International Travel, Travel Tips

As our kids get older, it gets harder to find activities that the whole family can enjoy. (Which means I can’t strap them into a stroller, stuff a juice box into their hands and take them to the museum of my choice.)

The  apartment we are renting in Bermondsey is a few blocks from the Shard.   The Shard’s striking glass pyramidal structure was designed by Italian architect, Renzo Piano.  Construction began in 2009 and it was completed in 2012.

The 800 feet glass clad tower, which favors a pyramid, offers 360 degree views of London. Interactive telescopes allow you to view details about historic buildings. Expect to go through a security screening. 

There are bars and restaurants on floors 31-33.  The Shangri-La Hotel and Spa on levels 34-52 and private residences on levels 53-65.  High speed lifts will take you to the observation levels on floors 68-72.  For grown ups, there is a champagne bar. Our family ticket (2 adults, 2 kids) was £80 (about $100 US) and was discounted approximately 15% because we booked online.

I’m always interested in fun activities for kids, teens and adults in London. Share your favorites in the comments.

 

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The Oyster Card – Your Answer to Getting Around London

March 21st, 2017 · International Travel, Travel Tips

The Oyster Card has made getting around London a breeze.  The Oyster requires a £5 deposit ( aproximately $8 US dollars) – which the user can theoretically get back at the end of her stay. It is the cheapest way to get around on London’s buses,the Underground (subways/tube) and DLR (Docklands Light Railway).

 

Do not purchase the one day family pass – £60 – for a family of four. Fares are calculated based on zones. Travel from zones 1-3 is £4.70 and from zones 1-6 is £5.70. With the Oyster who can save up to £2.80 on each journey.

I would advise only putting on £10 at a time, in case of loss or theft. Also unused amounts under £10 can be refunded at the ticket office, larger amounts will cause a delay due to processing. Some convenience stores also allow you to use your Oyster card for small purchase – which came in handy for when the kids wanted snacks.

Be sure to tap your Oyster card on the smartcard reader when you enter and exit the station.

For longer stays with children (and advanced planning) consider the Oyster photocards, which allow for kids under 18 various reduced rates.

We have a stack of tube maps in 8 point font… ugh.  I would highly recommend going online for enlarged maps and to use the London trip planner .

Do you have any London travel tips? Drop me in a line in the comments section below. Cheers!

 

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