For those of you who follow the blog, over the last couple of months, I’ve been showing some of London’s lesser known spots in my Exploring London series. As half term is upon us (how, I hear you cry?!) I thought I would share 5 slightly out-of-the-ordinary things to do this half term. I called upon some of my fellow London parent bloggers for their ideas too, pooling our collective knowledge to show you all there’s more to London than the big museums.
Back Yard Cinema
Why should a film be just in a regular cinema? This is very much the philsophy of Backyard Cinemas, who have made movie-going into an experience. They’ve popped in various locations in London, including a church and Camden market. This time they have located themselves in a very cool food market called Mercato Metropolitano. Tucked in the corner, you will find a hole in the wall, crawl through into a jungle and the lost ruins of a temple. There, you will find a rope swing to catapult yourself into the screening area, or you can just jump straight into the foam pit. The inner child in me was very much released.
We then found ourselves in the ‘lost world’, surrounded by trees and creepers, monkeys squawking and the odd lost treasure dotted around. We even heard the jungle rain storm, luckily we seemed to be a sheltered spot! Fortunately, it wasn’t so remote that there wasn’t any food drink – the bar was well stocked with a good cocktail menu! Don’t worry, there was plenty of kid-friendly options too. We then snuggled down on our beanbags (no ordinary seating, here!) and giggled away to Zootropolis.
As we came out, we explored the really rather trendy food market, and sat down to a stone-baked pizza with the most delicious gelato afterwards.
I really don’t think I could go back to watching films at the local cinema – this immersive experience was just so much fun. My eight year old remarked ‘why can’t all cinemas be like this?!’
Backyard Cinemas are showing films in their lost world until the 10th November – don’t miss out!
We were given complimentary tickets for the purpose of the review, but all opinions and images are my own
Shannon over at Shannonagains, recommend The Docklands Museum. This museum charts the history of the River Thames, and the port of the Docklands – a once, thriving port which obviously declined. The reviews for this museum are excellent and suits kids of all age – it even has a softplay area! It’s often overlooked, so go before the crowds find out about it!
Keeping with a river-theme, Maria at Happy Mummy recommends The Historical Dockyard of Chatham. At only 39 minutes from St Pancras, this is worth a trip to explore the large site; with over 100 buildings and structures and its home to 3 historic warships; the HM Submarine Ocelot, the sloop HMS Gannet and the destroyer HMS Cavalier, there’s plenty to discover.
I regularly recommend The Sky Garden, a public park a 150 metres high on top the Walkie Talkie building. Obviously, you get great views of London. I didn’t go on a brilliant day weather-wise, but you certainly get an idea of the great views. It is free to visit but you do need to reserve tickets in advance.
Cable Car over The Thames
This is another great way to see London, by cable car! Handily, it accepts oyster cards for payment. The scenic trip takes you over the river and the O2 and you get a great view of the planes taking off at city airport. It’s also not far from the Docklands Museum, so good to combine the two in one day!