London with children: The Southbank and Royal Festival Hall

March 29, 2014

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Are you looking for something to do in London this weekend with your toddler? Last Saturday we met up with some friends and went for lunch at the Southbank. I know, I know, it does get pretty rammed at weekends, especially if there’s any hint of sun – all those parents and prams, ahem – but there’s great views, always something going on, art galleries, the skatepark and The Tate at one end and the London Eye at the other.

We went for lunch at the über child-friendly Giraffe (they bring children’s food out first – it took under five minutes, amazingly, no exaggeration. There were balloons, crayons and they don’t seem to mind little people underfoot who insisted on making a break for it just as they approached with all the food one on tray. They must be well practised with such avoidance tactics). There is always a big queue at lunch – parents and prams, again – so either go very early or wait.

After a walk we retreated to the Royal Festival hall. I always forget about how lovely it is in there. Last weekend there was an exhibition about the making of the Royal Festival organ (no smirking at the back) and a child-made contraption that you could play by whacking some pipes with a flip flop. There was also a band and choir playing, which fascinated E and our friend’s young daughter. And more than anything, it’s just a really massive space for toddlers to run around exhausting themselves for hours, and and loads of interesting things to discover. Definitely worth checking out if you want something low-key, fun – and free – to do in London with children.

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