run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Sunday 27 November 2016

Toddlers and kids' days out in London: Greenwich

We're always looking for new places to visit around London, and Greenwich struck gold: it's kid-friendly (there's loads to do) and parent-perfect (there are almost no chain stores, great markets, food, and shopping). It's also really busy - packed with tourists and Londoners alike - but plan ahead with these tips and you'll have the best family day out.

First up, what to do? Obviously there's a lot of water- and maritime-based history in the home of world time - so if you've got the time, and the weather, a fun way to arrive is by water taxi, or via the Thames cable car. We were more boring (it was cold!) and drove all the way, but parked the other side of the water and walked under the huge Greenwich foot tunnel, which tiny man enjoyed so much we could have just gone home then....

Instead, though, we hit the National Maritime Museum. It's free (horray!) and a really interesting museum of the history of the seas, including shipwrecks, maps, pirates and more. But if you've a tot, the best place to be is the Ahoy Gallery  - it's 0-7s, and there's so much to do: a pretend shop, boats, shovel coal into 'fires', sensory area with bubbles and water, build freight trains, try out a ship's cabin, get dressed up, cook a 'meal' on a ship... You can easily spend over an hour here with a toddler never getting bored. 

(Special thanks to the brilliant Facebook kids' days out group Kiddoo for flagging up the Ahoy gallery to us - if you're not following it yet, you should!) 

We strolled past the Cutty Sark - the world's fastest ship, a few years back... - but you can go inside, with loads of kids' activities, I'd say for older kids though - then stopped for lunch at Rivington Greenwich. From the outside, it looks like a modern grill - huge, well-stocked bar (mmm), smart tables, lovely menu - but there's nothing screaming kid-friendly about it. It's so great for families though: there's a short and sweet (and chip-free if you fancy) kids' menu, with £3.50 chicken and fruity rice, cheesy toast fingers and more, there's colouring and loads to look at through the big glass windows, and the staff were amazing. This became extra clear when tiny man didn't feel well half-way through our meal and wasn't happy: the staff rushed over with toys to entertain him, showed him a little dog that was sitting in the bar, and couldn't have been nicer. 

The food was fab too: artichoke and burrata salads to start; burger and steaks after - and the gin menu is almost as long as the food choices....

The Rivington (which is part of the Ivy-owned Caprice group) is also about 100m away from the heat of crazy-busy Greenwich, so whilst it was full and buzzy when we visited on a Saturday lunchtime, it wasn't queue-crazy and rammed as some other places we saw were: overall, we recommend!

After lunch, we explored more of Greenwich - the market is busy, but still possible to navigate with a buggy, and has two lovely children's clothes shops along its edge. It was soon time to leave but we'll be back as there's much more to explore: the Royal Observatory, with its planetarium; Greenwich Park, with a boating lake, loads of runaround grass, views, and the chance to stand with one foot on either side of the Meridian Line... Greenwich is definitely a packed day out for families with kids of any age.

* Run Out of Womb reviewed the Riverton on a complimentary basis, but rest assured we're seriously gobby and would only rave about things we love.


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