Today we had our trip up to London to meet up with a couple of school friends and visit the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
The weather wasn’t quite as wintry as would have been nice (clear blue skies would have been perfect), instead it was rain, rain and more rain. We went with rain cover for the buggy, hats, gloves and waterproofs, so we didn’t get too wet. It was just a shame as you couldn’t really enjoy the stalls, and all the activities. It did give us an excuse to have mulled cider – my first experience of it, and it was lovely, I’ll be trying more of that over Christmas hopefully.
We’d booked in to The Ice Kingdom so had a wander through there marvelling at the ice sculptures. They were amazing; great ideas to be able to sit on ice thrones and go on the ice castle slide. N’s favourite (apart from the polar bears) was the tardis-like ice blocks you could stand in. He spotted another family inside it taking photos, went over to investigate and then tried them for size himself.
It was a bit of a nightmare day travel-wise. We went by train which was N’s first time. Someone very kindly gave up a seat for us as the train was heaving, and N behaved beautifully. Most of the time he spent smiling at the girl across the aisle (my little flirt…anyone else’s toddler always trying to charm the women?!).
I’d been planning to walk from the train, but the weather meant we had to tube it. Interesting given that the escalators were out at Baker Street on the jubilee line, and then at Green Park the lifts were broken. Grr. Not happy, although a couple of people did kindly help with the buggy for some of the stairs. The underground worker telling me the lifts were out was extremely rude telling me that there were lots of signs about them being out (obviously not enough, given that Winter Wonderland themselves were stating go to Green Park if you have buggies or wheelchairs!). So train, tube and then taxi back to the station afterwards. Oh and a bus as well to go to Leicester Square to find somewhere suitable for lunch.
It was a very busy day. N really was a little star. He did lots of walking, held on to his Peter Rabbit most of the way round, and ate lots for lunch with no moaning even though lunch ended up being an hour later than normal. He even had a sleep in his buggy…just zonked out under his raincover on the way to get some lunch which was perfect as it meant he was on form the whole afternoon and back on the train.
I can’t wait til he’s older and we can do proper day trips to the museums and other activities in London. I used to love them when we were children, and there’s so much for children to see. Yes it can end up being an expensive trip (especially if it’s raining), but is great fun and so educational. I’m always surprised when people say they’ve never been to London – let’s face it, Britain’s not the size of Australia or the US, so there’s not really much excuse.
Once N’s properly out of the buggy it’ll take a while before he can cope with a whole day there. My friends have a 4 year old and he got really tired with all the walking round and wanted to be carried some of the way. I struggle with N’s weight, so I’d definitely not be able to cope with him at that age.
Have you ever been to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park? How do your children cope with a day out in London?
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