5 Family Friendly Places to Visit in London this Christmas

On most outings with baby Ava, I usually also have her carrier, pram, car seat, and baby bag in tow, and I realised that exploring London with a baby can sometimes be a little tricky as not all places are family friendly, particularly with the limited space in the capital, the narrow aisles, absence of lifts, too many crowds and limited, if any, baby changing facilities.

So, after some research and taking note from places I have visited recently, I have put together a list of some family friendly places in London, mostly outdoors, which are worth a visit this Christmas season, and I am sure you will enjoy!

First Things First, Getting Winter Ready…

London is very chilly during winter, and sometimes it even snows. So I make sure to rug up Ava and also have my pram warm and cosy. Here are a couple of things that I use when venturing outside in the cold.

First I dress Ava in multiple layers, which is usually her normal day outfit inclusive of baby vest, a wondersuit or a knitted set, then a jacket, scarf, mittens and hat. If it is colder then usual or if I will be out for an extended period I use a quilted pram suit on top of her normal outfit.

With my pram I use the Bugaboo Universal Footmuff for my Cameleon 3 which slides over the seat, the wool seat liner is also great and I used it in the carrycot all the time.  I also just discovered the Pasito a Pasito pram set range which includes a super warm footmuff and hood cover at Lucy and Belle and have the Oxford Stroller Set in Beige. This luxury pram set is a great way to update the colour of your pram and also alternate with the standard footmuff, plus it just looks so gorgeous! The faux fur pram hoods are also great for winter and are a fabulous accessory.

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And now that we are winter ready, here are five places to visit this Christmas season with the family in London!

Greenwich Winter Time Festival & Surrounds

One of my favourite places in London is Greenwich, where you have the most beautiful period architecture particularly the Old Royal Naval College and adjacent sprawling park with the old Royal Observatory, which is even beautiful to visit in winter and there aren’t that many crowds. The Old Royal Naval College is also running a painted hall ceiling tour at the moment.

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With the cooler weather, the Greenwich Winter Time Festival is now on with live music, children’s shows and an ice skating rink and plenty of food and drink stalls. The Greenwich Markets which are also open Monday to Friday are also a treat, with everything from homemade gifts, unique hand crafts and antiques.

The National Maritime Museum is also open including bank holidays with plenty of  children’s activities like bringing historical characters to life the and the children’s gallery. Next door you will find the Queen’s House, Inigo Jones’ architectural masterpiece housing the Armada portrait, and the first classical building in the United Kingdom.

The old British Clipper ship, called Cutty Sark is also great to see and The Gipsy Moth next door has a great lunch menu, or try a traditional English pie and mash at Goddards and we can’t resist a bowl of Pho when we are there.

♦ Baby Changing Facilities Available

♦ Fully accessible for buggies

♦  Play area for children

♦ DLR accessible via Cutty Sark (for Maritime Greenwich) with step free access

Royal Albert Hall Christmas Festival

Christmas carol singalongs and other Christmas inspired performances at the Royal Albert Hall are the perfect events to get into the festive spirit this season. The Christmas Festival is currently running until the 24th of December with different performances, such as Christmas Classics with the expected pomp and splendor of a truly grand English gala, or the carols performed by the world renowned Cambridge Kings College Choir, or a little more casual with the West End themed Jingle Bell Christmas, to the more traditional Carols by Candlelight.

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The Hall also hosts family and children’s activities, like Storytelling and Music sessions for 0-4 year olds or the Father Christmas at the Hall is a great activity for those who want a more interactive journey with games and sing songs, and also get a photo with Father Christmas. Santa’s Little Helper is another great show with music, puppetry and storytelling.

There are also plenty of restaurants at the Hall which means you can eat and drink prior to your show, however booking in advance is recommended as they do tend to fill up quickly.

♦  Baby Changing Facilities Available

♦  Fully accessible for buggies

♦  Buggy Park available

♦  Parking available or Tube accessible via South Kensington (or Green Park for step free access)

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland which is currently on until the 1st of January has been in existence for over a decade, so they really know how to throw a great Christmas do and would have to be the most well known festival in London.

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Once you arrive you can expect carnival rides, street food stalls, an ice skating rink which is the largest open air rink in the United Kingdom, festive beer halls and live music. For children, apart from the many rides, there is also Cindrella on Ice, the frozen Magical Ice Kingdom, and the puppet variety show, The Sooty Christmas Show.

I really like the German food stalls and a hot mug of mulled wine, and not to mention all the carnival rides. Hyde Park is quite flat which makes it easy to push the pram around and there is plenty of space. There are fewer crowds in the mornings and afternoons, which is better with children, compared to the evenings which are a little busier. The event opens from 10am and runs until 10pm.

♦  Baby Changing Facilities Available

♦  Fully accessible for buggies

♦  Play area for children

♦ Parking available or Tube accessible via Green Park station for step free access

Ice Rink at The Natural History Museum 

The Museum has a few family friendly things happening at the moment including the most idyllic ice skating rink in London, surrounded by fairy lights and frost-covered trees, running from now until the 7th January open from 11.00 – 22.00. Each skating session lasts 50 minutes and includes skate hire.

Children’s penguin skate aids are available for an additional fee although in limited quantities on a first come first serve basis (no pre-booking unfortunately), however children’s bob skates (twin bladed skates children wear over their shoes) are available free of charge.

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If skating is not your cup of tea, then you can enjoy a hot chocolate in the Cafe Bar and watch the ice skaters from the open-air balcony. There is also a large fairground carousel which is open throughout the day. And if you have the time, the Natural History Museum is brimming with exhibits that engages children with interactive learning games and displays. The museum is open everyday until 17:50 except between the 24th to the 26th December.

♦  Baby Changing Facilities Available

♦  Fully accessible for buggies

♦  Tube accessible via South Kensington (or Green Park for step free access)

Christmas at Mudchute Farm

It is hard to imagine a 32 acre farm site in London, however behind the towering office buildings of Canary Wharf there is a large inner city farm called Mudchute Farm, the largest in Europe, which houses a large collection of rare British breeds with over 100 animals and fowl on their farm.

The farm is divided into sections, the larger animals such as horses, ponies, cows, sheep, alpacas (and many more!) graze in the outer enclosures while the smaller animals like the bunnies, chickens, ducks, geese and birds are kept to the main courtyard. While you cannot bring your own store bought food for the animals, you can purchase pellets from the Mudchute Shop. The animals go to sleep at 4pm so be sure to visit before then!

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The farm currently has a Christmas programme planned for Saturday, 9th of December with Santa’s Grotto, kids workshops, fairground rides and lighting of the Christmas tree.

The Mudchute Kitchen does a great breakfast, and a lovely fresh mint and honey tea. The cafe also has a baby play area and is pet friendly, as is the whole farm. The farm also offers horse riding lessons through the Mudchute Equestrian Centre, a British Horse Society approved riding school available for all abilities and provides year round riding facilities. There is a full set of show jumps and some cross-country fences.

And finally there are two large play areas for children, one has a carousel and other fun activities while the second has a flying fox and other outdoor games.

♦  Baby Changing Facilities Available

♦  Fully accessible for buggies

♦  Play area for children

♦  DLR accessible via Mudchute with step free access

And lastly from our family to yours, wishing you a lovely Christmas and holiday break!

Kerstin // Lux  Mumma

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