City breaks are a great way for children to learn about other countries and cultures.
However, sometimes it can be hard deciding what to do with them in such a short space of time. I think it is always best to mix a bit of history with a lot of fun. They may not always remember seeing 10 Downing Street from the top of a bus but they will never forget that they enjoyed London.
If you get the chance to spend 48 hours in the English capital then these are my top five recommendations.
1. Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
Have a picnic, go on the peddalo, feed the ducks. This is one of the largest parks in Europe (actually two parks seperated by the Serpentine. One end features the memorial to Princess Diane near Kensington Palace the the other features the famous Speaker's Corner. This is a great place the let the kids run off some steam and will be one of the things they will definitely remember about the city.
2. Science and Natural History museums
Located just off Kensington Road, below Hyde Park are two fantastic museums; the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Admisson is free (donations are accepted) and you will be hard pressed to visit both in a single day. The Science Museum is one of the most popular attraction in London and it is easy to see why. Housing such famous collections like Stephenson's Rocket, a full Spitfire aeroplance or the Apollo 10 command module would keep most kids entertained but the museum also has many interactive ehibits that the kids will absolutely love. If you do have time, head next door to the Natual History Museum for the amazing Dinosaur exhibits or to experince an Earthqake in the simulator.
3. Buckingham Palace
Little girls just love princessess. A lot of our children's fairytales feaure kings and queens and London provides an opportunity to get close to a real Monarchy. There will not be much to see but try and get there for the changing of the guard. At least there will be some action for the kids to enjoy. It is near Hyde Park so you could combine the two. Plan ahead if you want to book a tour. They can be expensive but sell out quickly when available.
4. Tower of London
The Tower really has a bloody history over it's near 1,000 years in London and to enjoy it you need to hear some of the fantastic stories on a Beefeater tour. Learn all about Anne Bolyen's demise and see the famous Crown Jewels.
5. London's Eye
Book in advance and save this until end of your trip. You will see it plenty of times over the weekend and it gives the kids something to look forward to. Also, when they are looking around London from the top of the Eye you will be able to point out the places you already visited. It gives the kids a great understanding of the size of the city but also helps make it feel familiar and manageable. Make your way to the Eye by passing by Big Ben. The kids have to see it but it is very unimpressive to little one's. "Ben is not very Big, Daddy". Why not write your own review HERE.