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Best day trip with kids?

Seattle
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Best day trip with kids?

Both boy are 3 and 10. I looked into Paris and quickly threw that idea out the window :) Maybe when they're older...Anyway, we're in town for 8 days, have seen most tourist sites so thought it would be nice to go somewhere for a change.

Btw, Madame Toussads with them? Yay or Nay?

Edited to add: We're in town Feb 3-11. So if it's like it was 3 years ago, then weather will have to be a factor.

Edited: 08 January 2011, 21:26
Watford
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1. Re: Best day trip with kids?

Nay to Madame T but then I would say that. You know the kids better and it shouldn't be too busy this time of year if you go first thing.

I might consider Brighton as long as the weather wasn't too bad. Only an hour from London Victoria with trains every half hour. Sea, shingle and interesting shopping plus the amazing Royal Pavilion and a fun pier.

http://www.visitbrighton.com/

Bristol, United...
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2. Re: Best day trip with kids?

My boys are a bit older than yours but we've been enjoying trips to The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum annually since they were very young. The London Wetlands Centre at Barnes is good value, too - a surprising bit of duck-filled wilderness yet with iconic landmarks still in view. If you want to get out of the city, how about Bristol - about a 1.5 hrs train ride from Paddington through very English countryside? Here, you'll be able to stand on the harbour from which John Cabot set sail to become (allegedly) the first European to make landfall on mainland North America; tour a replica of his ship, the Matthew, and/or of the SS Great Britain, a star of the first steam-powered Transatlantic runs, and one of several local testaments to Brunel's skill as an engineer(another being the gorgeous Temple Meads railway station, from which ferry boats run to the centre) . If you plan ahead, you may also be able to visit the Aardman Animation studios where the Wallace and Gromit films are made. And the Georgian City of Bath, with its Roman Baths, is on the London to Bristol line so could also be sqeezed in, perhaps?

london
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3. Re: Best day trip with kids?

when my kids were younger they enjoyed the day trip to Colchester ... lovely county town with loads of shops, cafes etc ... and a visit to Colchester Castle ... we took the full guided tour where you get to see parts of the building you wouldn't normally see ... Colchester was the ancient Roman capital of England at one time (think Boudacia and all that) and also saw a lot of action in the English Civil War ... there are quite a few other interesting museums in Colchester but the kids really enjoyed the castle because they've put a lot of effort into making it interactive and inspiring for them (try on a toga and so forth) ... easy enough to get to, train takes about an hour from Liverpool Street station in London

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Best day trip with kids?

Just returned from 2 weeks in London, Bath, Bristol with my 10 year old son. In London, we both loved the London History Museum, Big Bus Tour (has special tour map for young children). Last time when he was 4, he also enjoyed Tower of London, the Transport Museum and don't forget Hamley's toy store. If you do head to Bristol, @Bristol is a great children's science centre and planeterium that we enjoyed for most of a day. Lots of interactive fun from science to creating animation. I would say fun for 3 to adult age. We also both enjoyed the Mad Max Tour of Stonehenge and Lacock that we took from Bath.

One of the things I found when my son was younger was that I needed to plan fewer things each day and find time to go to parks during the day.

Hope that's helpful.

Charlotte, North...
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5. Re: Best day trip with kids?

My son LOVED Windsor (and Tower of London) when he was between 9-11. The armor and weapons displays especially. Winsor is about 20-30 min. by train from Paddingtion station (one change at Slough- though there are a few direct trains with no changes). York is also good, but a longer train ride (2+ hours). The Jorvick museum is a bit like an easy Disney ride through York's history- including the Romans and Vikings.

SYD-LON-MUC
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6. Re: Best day trip with kids?

Nay from me too on Mme T.

And more on many of our views on Madame Tussauds here: shangri-la.com/en/property/sydney/shangrila

and here: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k411…

Watford
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7. Re: Best day trip with kids?

Brad,

Your first link is wrong unless Mme T are opening in Sydney :-)

SYD-LON-MUC
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8. Re: Best day trip with kids?

oh no :-(

That link must've stayed in my clipboard from a previous thread :-(

Will get it changed once back on the home computer then this mobile.

Thanks for the pick up Adam.

London, United...
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9. Re: Best day trip with kids?

"oh no :-(

That link must've stayed in my clipboard from a previous thread :-("

That could have been very embarrassing!

If not done already, I'd suggest the Science Museum, the animatronic dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum, Transport Museum in Covent Garden, London Aquarium at County Hall, the Observatory and Planetarium in Greenwich Park, the London Dungeon at London Bridge and perhaps a guided Ghost Walk through olde London's dark and foggy streets.

Not done this myself but tempted: http://www.theghostbustours.com

Outside London, how about a tour of the Historic Naval Dockyard and associated sites in Portsmouth? If you have time, you could also take the high-speed catamaran over to the Isle of Wight for a few hours in Ryde.

Illinois
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10. Re: Best day trip with kids?

My 11 y/o daughter and I did Dover as a day trip last June, but I'm not sure I would do it in Feb. We had planned to do it the previous Nov but the castle was closed for high winds. I don't know how often that happens in the winter, but I'd check before going. You can take a taxi up easily from the station (I wouldn't walk it in winter), but check and see how you would get a taxi back when you're done. I think you'd either have to call for one or prearrange a time. We walked back because the woman at the desk didn't know how we could get a taxi. I think we were at the back entrance though, maybe at the main entrance we could have gotten more assistance.

We also did Cardiff last June, although not as a day trip. They have a castle there. We also went to Caerphilly Castle, which isn't far from Cardiff by train. Daughter liked that better, I think because it was more ruined and looked more wizardy. I think you could do either as a day trip, although I don't know about both. I guess it would depend on how early you get started and how long you spend at the castles. Cardiff is 2h by train (if you get one without changes), and I think it was maybe 20 min to Caerphilly from there. Cardiff has an inside part, so it might be warmer in the winter.

We also went to Portsmouth on that trip. I'd only recommend it if the boys like ships and/or history. There is a small castle there, but I wouldn't go just for that. The ships are right by the Portsmouth Harbour station, if I recall correctly, so it should be easy to do.

Here's my trip report from that trip with more details if that helps:

http://tinyurl.com/295dbz2

I haven't been to Mme Tussauds for 20 or so years, but as I recall, the main point is to have your picture taken with the various figures, so maybe look at their website and see if there are figures of people your kids would know/be interested in.

If they like airplanes, you could do the RAF museum in Colindale. It's in zone 4 so you can take the tube. Look at their website for opening times as the buildings do not all have the same hours.

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london

Here's the trip with the RAF museum in it:

http://tinyurl.com/27alx8f

There's also the Imperial War Museum in Duxford which is supposed to be really good, but I haven't made it there yet. It's a little harder to get to as you have to take the train to Cambridge and then a bus.

http://duxford.iwm.org.uk

I know there are castles closer to London but I haven't been to them. There's one that's supposed to be really good for kids, but I'm blanking on the name. We've also been planning a trip to York, where you can walk on the medieval walls. It seemed like they had a lot that would be suitable for kids, but I don't remember exactly what.

We also did a 2 day Harry Potter tour in 2008 with www.capitaltaxitours.co.uk Very expensive but awesome for kids who like Harry Potter, and a lot inside so not as bad in the winter (although we went in Oct). Not sure what they do now since more movies have come out since then. http://tinyurl.com/c8upya