Guest Author - Dianne Thomas
Farming The Kids Out
Visit one of the city farms which can be discovered in most boroughs of London. The majority of these farms house a variation of animals on a small scale, from small furry ones to big grunting ones: donkeys, poultry, pigs, goats, sheep, birds, cows and even ponies can be patted, cuddled and ridden. Often children can be involved in feeding time, or collect eggs, and at the same time learn about natureís cycles such as bee keeping or growing vegetables, plus there are usually activity days to take part in.
There are plenty of the well known museums in central London for free, but some of the lesser known ones are often overlooked but are as equally entertaining for little and big kids.
The Horniman Museum is short train ride from London Bridge and hosts an unusual collection of natural and cultural artifacts and animals from across the globe. Now modernised to accommodate a vast collection of anthropology, specimens, musical instruments, masks and a small aquarium, it provides an absorbing insight into various aspects of the natural world without the high-tech installments that can sometimes be found in modern museums.
The Childhood Museum is another huge collection only this time it is home to hundreds of toys from all over the world from the 1600s to the present day so whatever your age, youíre certain to remember many of the toys on exhibit from your own childhood as it also houses popular toys from the last fifty years as well as more rare items, and their collection of dolls houses is pretty impressive!
Parks in London donít just provide the usual playgrounds and picnic areas and there are numerous, large parks to visit. Hampstead Health is one of Londonís biggest open spaces - an immense landscape of wild meadows and woods so thereís plenty of meandering walking to spend most of the day. If youíre lucky enough to go in the summer there are the ponds to swim in, birds to feed and pubs scattered around to enjoy a drink if the weatherís not so good for picnicking.
A stroll along the South Bank will not only afford the passing views of the iconic attractions on offer but along the riverside, at the weekends, you can watch the various street performers and musicians exercising their talents. Here, you can watch contortionists, magicians and comedians from around the world, all eager for an audience to entertain and amuse. During the summer months there are many one or two days festivals ranging from chocolate, music and cultural events which are all family friendly so if you donít want to spend it, you donít have to!