The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities

February Feels: this month in photos…

Celebrating Lunar New Year festivities

Chinatown, Soho

Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival ‘Tet’ to Vietnamese) was a joyous celebration in London for the first time post-covid. The lion dance was back for a short appearance on 01 February which Little Miss had the honour of watching. I have never taken the kids to watch the CNY celebrations at Soho before – simply because it was always too busy – but this year, it was slightly less of a crowd but still busy enough to showcase its bustling atmosphere.

The Wandering Mother Blog | February Feels
Little Miss in front of the beautiful cherry blossom display in Soho, London
Continue reading “February Feels: this month in photos…”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Visiting Greenwich? Top tips on places worth visiting from a Greenwich local…

Whether your coming from Richmond or Runcorn, Greenwich is a major tourism town that sees thousands of people paving its streets every year. This year has seen a rise in tourism again and with lockdown officially behind us all, the streets of Greenwich are starting to fill up. 

I originally published this post in August 2020 but have revised it again to keep it current with this year’s events. Spending a day trip visiting Greenwich during the summer holidays can be easy, cheap and very enjoyable for the whole family. Train companies usually offer GroupSave discounts when travelling during summer holidays if you’re coming from outside of London.

Continue reading “Visiting Greenwich? Top tips on places worth visiting from a Greenwich local…”
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink

National Maritime Museum launches two outdoor family nature trails this weekend

Anyone else missing their weekly trip to the National Maritime Museum? We didn’t visit weekly but I know there are a lot of parents who found the NMM a fantastic place for children especially during the school holidays as well as term time. There were daily activities for all ages and that wonderful Ahoy Gallery for the under 5s.

This summer, post-lockdown, National Maritime museum will be launching two self-led outdoors family trails on Saturday 15 August 2020 which you’ll be able to enjoy for the remainder of August. As their doors are still closed to the public for now (re-opening in Sept!), this is the closest you’ll get to getting involved with NMM, however Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory is now open for visitors, more details on openings here.

It’s my birthday on Saturday so we won’t be taking part on the launch day as we’ve got a birthday party planned for myself and Little Man that afternoon. However, we will be keen to test out the trail next week as part of our weekly outdoor activity.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Our last adventure at National Maritime Museum for ice skating!

Outdoor family nature trails (self-led)

The family nature trails were created in collaboration with ‘Cuffs and Collars Co’, a sensory theatre company working with children aged 0-7 years with complex needs. Their work focuses on topics relating to emotional development, mental health and well-being which is something we should take very seriously in children too. The pandemic, the lockdown, the redundancies and job loss have all taken a major toll on us parents but imagine the amount of tension the children must be feeling from us. All that anxiety that manifests in us transfers over to them without us thinking about it.

Before lockdown I was completing my Aromatherapy Associates training on their new range. Forest Therapy was developed to support mental and emotional healing; helping you to reset, recover and rejuvenate. I wasn’t a big fan of it when it first came out but it really helped me to unwind and refocus my energy during lockdown. It was my little bit of the spa world that I could still hold on to at home! 🙂

NMM Nature Trail #1 – Bird Trail

The Hide & Seek Bird Trail is a simple ‘spotters’ trail. Families can use the trail sheet to help them find 8 birds in the grounds which connects to Greenwich Park. At each stop, you will be challenged to complete a small task or two ie. can you soar like a seagull? Can you stand on one leg like a flamingo? Good kids yoga pose moment right there!

NMM Nature Trail #2 – Sailer School

The Sailor School Trail has eight stops and challenges you to try different activities linked to the maritime world and the collection to become a graduate of sailor school. Each stop has a number of different/separate activities, allowing families to choose an activity suited to their child’s ability. Each location within the Sailor School trail has different activity options for more ways of having fun with the trail.

Both trails are suitable for all ages and abilities

The trails have been developed for families with complex needs in mind and allow families to complete them in any order and to drop in and out as they please. They do not have to do everything on the trail. The grounds of the trail have gravelled paths making it suitable for buggies and wheelchairs and there’s level access routes for those who have accessibility needs.

The trail sheets are available for download from the National Maritime website or alternatively, you can pick up a printed trail sheet at the Museum – simply ask one of the NMM staff on standby outside the museum.

https://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/summer-holidays-outdoor-family-trails

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review
Greenwich’s Gem: the National Maritime Museum

Did you know?

The National Maritime Museum holds the world’s largest maritime collection, housed in historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The museum is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 17th-century Queen’s House and Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over two and a half million British and international visitors a year and is also a major centre of education and research.

www.rmg.co.uk

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich

Review: Our day out at Cutty Sark’s Toddler Time

On a not-so-sunny Wednesday, Little Lady and I headed out to Greenwich for a little bit of pre-nursery fun. We were invited to explore the last remaining British tea clipper, the Cutty Sark. You can’t miss it, she lies in the heart of the high street opposite the popular Greenwich market.

Greenwich is a beautiful place to visit – a mix of old and new. It’s also a great place to live – everything is local, there’s good access to public transport and there’s lots of families living in the area. The only difficulty is finding a free parking space in the area as it’s a heavily pedestrianised area.

Journey to the Cutty Sark ship
We hopped on a bus from home and took it towards Greenwich, we got off at the stop opposite the Old Royal Naval College and walked towards the ship. I pointed out to Ams the ship’s sails and took a moment to take a photo of the signpost below with a view of the ship in sight.

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
Directions to the Cutty Sark for Toddler Time

The last British tea clipper

5 Fun Facts about Cutty Sark…

1. Cutty Sark is 148 years old
It was launched on 22 November 1869 in Dumbarton, Scotland. Built to last for just thirty years, it is now in its third century.

2. Cutty Sark has travelled 957,995 nautical miles
During its years as a British merchant ship, Cutty Sark visited sixteen different countries and travelled the equivalent of two and half voyages to the moon and back.

3. Cutty Sark was built for the China tea trade but would carry a vast array of cargoes in its career
Cutty Sark carried almost 10 million lbs of tea between 1870 and 1877. The opening of the Suez Canal marked the end for sailing ships in the tea trade and so Cutty Sark had to find new employ. It transported a variety of cargoes, including over 10,000 tons of coal, before finding its calling in the Australian wool trade. It would transport more than 45,000 bales in its career.

4. Overall, however, Cutty Sark is an extremely fortunate ship
It survived storms which ripped its rudder off on two occasions, survived a dismasting in the First World War and a terrible fire in 2007. In the year before the fire, the majority of Cutty Sark’s original fabric had been removed. This meant that, while devastating, the fire was nowhere near as destructive as it could have been. Over 90% of the ship’s hull structure is original to 1869.

5. A special dry dock was built for Cutty Sark in Greenwich in 1954
After an extensive restoration, Cutty Sark was opened by HM the Queen on 25 June 1957. As a symbol of Britain’s maritime trade, it became a memorial to the Merchant Navy and the 44,000 men killed in both world wars. Since 1957, Cutty Sark has welcomed over 16 million people and counting!

Facts extracted from RMG – more fun facts here

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
A beautifully restored ship

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
Behold, the Cutty Sark

Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark
Toddler Time is a free flow play session held under the ship every Wednesday from 10-11.30am for under 4s. It’s a little bit like rhyme time and story time at my local library but with a bit more emphasis on the play element. Children can roam free under the ship whilst parents have a little chat with each other and the Toddler Time staff.

Ams was not really interested in playing with others this time – it was the first time we visited the underneath of the ship and she was overwhelmed with it all and preferred to explore her surroundings instead. There was lots of information about the ship’s history, the fire that happened and the renovations that took place and why the ship was updated with the new glassy look. All very interesting facts that I never knew about.

Ams having fun at Toddler Time Cutty Sark

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
A collection of the ship’s figureheads

There’s also a collection of the ship’s past figureheads to look at. They are really large and quite scary, I wasn’t really a fan of looking at all of them for too long. Ams also had a good look of them before heading off to explore the other bits of the ship. Unfortunately as the weather wasn’t great, the little madam didn’t want to explore the top deck of the ship which was what I was looking forward to. Her nursery session also starts at 12.30pm so we had to start making our way back to get some lunch then head to nursery.

There is a lovely little cafe beside the toddler time area serving hot and cold food and drink so it’s a really lovely space to burn off some energy or just to chill and chat with other parents.

Toddler Time at Cutty Sark
There are two sessions each week on on Wednesdays, a morning session at 10-11.30am and an afternoon session at 1.20-2.50pm. Our morning session was not too busy, there was around 10-12 other parents which is a good amount of people to have but not too much to feel overcrowded. The sessions are held during term-time only.

Price: £5 per adult, kids (under 4s) go free
Older children (4+) can also join but they would be charged the adult price. Parents can also sign up to the annual membership for £44 and go free – the membership also gives you free entry and access to exclusive events, entries and discounts to the cafes and shops.

Thank you Cutty Sark, it was a pleasure!

Naturally, we couldn’t leave without a look around the gift shop. Ams had a good look around before deciding she wanted the giant lollipop. I got myself a little tote back to add to my collection. We will be back to explore the top deck on a sunnier day and also I had my eyes on some beautiful wooly mitts (for kids and adults) which were SO WARM – I need a pair for the winter weather ahead. 🙂

After we left Cutty Sark we had a look around the Old Royal Naval College which is adjacent to the ship. It’s a great place to visit, also filled with plenty of history and free tours if you’d like to know more about the site. The ORNC is also a visitors information centre so if there is anything else you’d like to find out about Greenwich or the RMG, don’t visit Greenwich without a trip there. You can also choose to explore the college grounds yourself – just be mindful that it is also part of the University of Greenwich so there are lots of people moving around the area.

Have fun exploring the rest of Greenwich too – don’t leave without visiting the National Maritime Museum and if you have the energy, head up to the Royal Observatory. There’s always lots going on at the Royal Museums Greenwich sites.

For more info on Toddler Time or to book:
https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/toddler-time-board-cutty-sark


NB. This is a paid collaboration post in exchange for a unbiased blog review and we were gifted tickets to the Cutty Sark and Toddler Time session. All photos and opinions are my own.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween

Family things to do this Halloween half term (in and around Greenwich)

With Halloween night just a week away, there’s plenty to do this October half-term. There’s lots going on in the Greenwich area but if you fancy venturing out a little more, here are some of the best events that I’ve come across so far that’s suitable for the whole family, some are free and some are paid so there’s something to suit everyone!

Monday 23rd

Eltham Palace Gardens, SE9 (events throughout the week)
From creepy crafts and a fancy dress competition for the kids to pumpkin carving for the whole family, head down to Eltham Palace one day this week for some fun-filled entertainment. Pumpkin carvings cost £4 and on at select times; see here for more info

Discover Stratford Children’s Centre, E15 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Chris Wormell Dinosaurium book signing event. If your little one is dinosaur-mad then this is event is not to be missed. Chris Wormell will be reading from his book and the book signing will be at the end of the event. If you’re only free for the morning, don’t miss out on

11:30am – The Gruffalo film screening. For one day only, it’s going to be a popular one so pre-booking is essential. Entry to events includes admission to Discover’s story world and storytelling space. While you’re there, why not book to see the Gruffalo and other stories exhibition? It’s on throughout the week and at different times during the day. See the full list of events at Discover Stratford here

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
Kids Halloween craft workshops will be on at Greenwich Market from Monday to Thursday. They are drop in sessions so no need to book in advance. There will be other workshops and events going on throughout the week (see below).  More info on Greenwich Market events here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Pumpkin carving competition for the family at Eltham Palace

Tuesday 24th

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Free Flying Mat Kids yoga (also on Wednesday). Time to downard dog and rest in child’s pose. Treat the kids to a fun yoga flow in a bustling environment. No need to book, just turn up and have fun!

Museum of London Docklands, E14
Dear Zoo storytelling for under 5s – this storytelling of Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo looks at the animals that arrived on London’s docks years ago. At the end of the storytelling, an interactive session of learning how to build crates with different materials should have the children interested and excited. Best of all, the event is free and there’s three time slots for the day. More details on the Dear Zoo storytelling here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Free mat yoga for the kids at Greenwich Market (Source: Yogi Beans)

Wednesday 25th

Greenwich Market, SE10
2pm – Flying Mat Kids yoga, free event

Thursday 26th

Charlton House, SE7
10 to 1pm (drop-in) – Holiday Histories: Haunted Houses. This fun workshop is ideal for kids wanting to exhaust their creativity and craft skills. Learn how to make a haunted house using a variety of different materials. Create something extravagant like a centrepiece or something smaller as decoration. The session cost £1.50 per child and the price is inclusive of all the materials for the session. Suitable for age 4+, more info on the haunted house craft at Charlton House here

Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music, SE8
11am and 2pm (BSL interpreted performance) – Cia Maduixa presents DOT digital dance performance. If your kids are more of a culture vulture or love the performing arts, head down to Trinity Laban to watch this amazing dance performance by dance company Cia Maduixa. Press releases describe the performance as “blending precise digital projections, with dancers’ bodies and a bespoke score, DOT is as mind-bogglingly clever as it is charming.” Want to see a snippet? Watch the DOT performance trailer here

Suitable for age 3+. There will also be free pre-show and post-show arts activities for the kids at 10:30am and 3:15pm. See more info on Cia Maduixa and how to book tickets here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween half term
Cia Maduixa DOT performance at Trinity Laban (Photo by Jordi Pla)

Friday 27

Greenwich Market, SE10
10am to 4pm – Miss Libby Rose Sewing workshop. The sewing costume workshops are for kids only and due to popularity we must state it is just one costume per child. The costume making choices for this year are: Spooky Pirates, Wicked Witch, Curious Cat, Halloween (or Frozen) Princess, Zombie, Dracula, and Day of the Dead. There will be a fashion show of all the costumes at 4pm and a winner will be chosen for best design.

Suitable for ages 4-7 yrs old. This is a free event but booking is required via Eventbrite – book your child’s place here

Greenwich National Maritime Museum, SE10
11am to 4pm – Halloween party: Lost in the ice! Join us on a horrifying journey through the icy depths of the Maritime Museum at our annual family Halloween party. There will also be a spooky story parade, a portable photo booth to take scary selfies for memories and a trick or treat trail. Tickets cost £8. Read more about the Halloween party here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween half term

Saturday 28th

The Vanbrugh Pub, SE10
12pm to 4pm – The Vanbrugh Funday. A fun day for all the family; there will be face painting, best dressed competition, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, lots of frightfully good food and live music from 8pm to end your night in a fangtastic way! More details here on The Vanbrugh pub’s website

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family things to do at Halloween half term
Halloween Family Funday at The Vanbrugh pub in Greenwich (source: The Vanbrugh)

Sunday 29th

Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10
10am to 4:30pm – Halloween in Greenwich by Events Inspire: The event is aimed at families and offers lots of Halloween themed activities each day. On Sunday, there will be craft activity (Halloween mask making), storytelling, a magic show, Punch & Judy puppet show, costume parade and finish off with some spooky music. There will also be street food and drink stalls, jewellery and craft stalls. The full programme can be seen on the Eventbrite page here where you can register for your free tickets.

The Albany Deptford, SE8
2pm to 5pm – Disco Kids: Spooktacular party. Get dressed in your spookiest get up and head over to The Albany this Sunday for a fantastic disco party! Suitable for kids age 7+ and adults too! Expect fun, fun and more fun! Tickets cost £6, family tickets £20.

For more info, visit http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/2133/Family/Disco-Kids:-Spooktacular

I wish you all a frightfully fun half-term! 🙂

 

 

#StreetFans: The Fan Museum’s latest exhibition on street art and fan-making

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Musuem #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Captain Kris, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

Last week marked the opening of a new exhibition at The Fan Museum in Greenwich. Nestled along a row of Georgian homes on Crooms Hill, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just another pretty  house from looking at the building’s exterior. The museum has been open since 1991 and is only a short walk away from historical Greenwich.

Inside, you’ll discover an immaculate garden, a stunning orangery which is open for afternoon tea and a museum home to thousands of fans originating from all over the world. Due to lack of space, only a handful of collections are on show at one time. The latest exhibition, Street Fans is currently on display until December 31st 2017. It features the work of 29 street artists, 1 fan maker and just over 50 fans celebrating the diverse creativity of contemporary art and the traditional craft of fan-making.

The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans
Temporary Exhibition Space | Source: The Fan Museum

Each fan has been uniquely designed by the street artists and crafted by fan maker, Sylvain Le Guen. The artists were presented with several mediums to play with which included spray paint, acrylic, pen markers and even mixed media.

“Curvilinear tangles; precise geometric compositions; typographic scribblings evoking ancient hieroglyphics; demonic felines; buildings spinning violently around a vortex – the pleasure each artist took in creating their designs is palpable.” – The Fan Museum

All of the fans were crafted to respect the artist’s design. I have a few favourites but the one currently at the top of my list has to be Jordane Saget‘s Arabesque #2. I really love the mesmerising pattern of the fan which is not only beautiful but also has a calligraphy-like quality to it. The fan itself looks simple yet elegant, minimal yet intricate – it’s that kind of juxtaposition that I love.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Jordane Saget, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen

Why fans?
Fan-making is a traditional craft that has existed for centuries however it’s becoming a craft that’s been forgotten. As the world moves into a more digital way of living, traditional craft skills such as piano, parchment and fan making are dying out and even Prince Charles himself said more needs to be done to preserve them for future generations. The Telegraph quoted Prince Charles; “traditional crafts are as much a part of our shared heritage as our wonderful historic landscapes, beautiful buildings, rare breeds of native farm animals and varied museum collections.” It’s good to hear that the Prince is also passionate about the survival of such crafts in the UK.

Some of the biggest names have worked on this project including the likes of Pure Evil, Lily Mixe, Annatomix, Sr. X, RUN, Louis Masai and many more. There’s a favourite fan for everyone – whether you’re into geometrics, pop art, optical illusions, graffiti or fine art. As long as you love art you will admire this creative collection.

What will happen to the fans after the exhibition?
The museum’s curator, Jacob Moss explains that there needed to be something more than just a financial incentive in order to get the artists to partner up on this project. So after December 31st, these stunning fans will be returning to their rightful owners, the artists. Jacob mentioned that he will try to acquire a few select pieces for the museum’s own collection but did not reveal which ones they’d be.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: RUN, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition launch
Artist: Dale Grimshaw, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Philippe Herard, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

Once you’re done exploring the Street Fans exhibition, you can also take a look at the rest of the museum and the other fan collections including other contemporary ones and more older, traditional ones. The Fan museum is family friendly; there’s a children’s activity trail for the kids to get involved in discovering the fan collections and a small gift shop to make your visit a memorable one. The Fan Museum is closed on Mondays but open Tuesdays – Sundays.

Got a burning question for Europe’s leading fan maker, Sylvain Le Guen? Head down to Lewisham Southwark College on October 10th at 5:30pm for a special Q&A with Sylvain and The Fan Museum’s curator, Jacob Moss.

More info here: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/events/street-fans-qa-lewisham-southwark-college

The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fam Museum Street Fans The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fan Museum Street Fans ExhibitionExhibition
Street Fans exhibition at The Fan Museum (source: The Fan Museum)


I was invited to a blogger’s launch by The Fan Museum to review the Street Fans exhibition in exchange for this blog post. All words, photos and opinions are my own. Photos that are owned by The Fan Museum have been credited respectively.

Our day trip to the Museum of London Docklands

During August, Museum of London Docklands had put on a range of free events for the whole family. These included workshops like jewellery making and creating artwork as well as story-telling days and interactive workshops about the history of London’s tunnels.

The Tunnel: Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition displayed objects that were recovered from the construction dig including as human remains that were found in Liverpool Street, Victorian chamber pots that were found near Stepney Green, and Crosse and Blackwell jars that were found near Tottenham Court road.

Alongside the Tunnel exhibition, an interactive workshop called Time Tunnellers. We were invited to attend the blogger’s launch of the over 5’s workshop but missed it due to bad weather and traffic. We still made it to the museum, just not to the event so we explored the museum instead. We had a look at the permanent collections at the museum. LO was really fascinated with the cutlass display and the whale tooth carving in the city and river gallery.

Time Tunnellers workshop

On LO’s birthday, we returned back to the Docklands museum and booked in for the free Time Tunnellers workshop. LO started off being really scared of taking part in the event so we had to take it all a bit slowly. As he warmed up to the workshop and saw the other children taking part, he started to become a little more at ease with the activity and got stuck in. I think he ended up really liking the workshop. Below is a slideshow of photos from the workshop. I found it really fascinating and the staff were really interactive and got the children and adults all participating at one point. 🙂 Some of the artefacts on display at the workshop were real findings from the actual Crossrail excavation such as the glazed ceramic pieces.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands Time Tunnellers
Time Tunnellers workshop for the over 5’s

After the workshop, we spent a little more time exploring the museum again. We checked out the Children Mudlarks gallery which is a free play area at the museum (needs to be pre-booked online or at the museum) but didn’t stay long enough as it was time for me to go to work… the joys of part-time work and parenting!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands
home time!

There’s always lots going on at this museum and I think people tend to forget about it compared to the bigger museums like the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Museum of London in Barbican. If you’re nearby the docklands, head over to this museum for a bit of history – the kids will definitely love it and I’m sure grown-ups will too!

For upcoming free events in September, visit the Museum of Docklands website.


NB. This is a collaborative post.

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands

Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

Christmas is now approaching thick and fast – can you believe there’s under two weeks left already?… Where has this year gone?!

Every year I try to make it my mission to take LO to see Santa – and as this is Baby Girl’s first Crimbo we couldn’t miss out on a Santa’s Grotto visit. We were invited by the Museum of London Docklands to come and visit their Victorian Santa’s grotto. The museum is located at West India Quay, a tiny walk from Canary Wharf making it a central location for those living or working in the city. Also unlike other Santa’s Grottos which are in shopping centres, this one is in a museum (you basically have two wicked visits rolled into one!).

We went along last Sunday. It seems like Sundays are the busiest days at the museum so if you would love to avoid the hustle and bustle I’d recommend going on a weekday or even Saturday (which seemed less busy). We actually arrived late to our Santa appointment but the team were so accommodating and we were still allowed to enter.

We decided to head straight to the Grotto as we were late and checked out the museum after the Santa visit. The Grotto is located on the second floor and was quite easy to find – you just follow the Santa footprints on the floor until you reached the entrance to the special place. There was a little buggy park so you can leave your pram but it is at the owner’s risk. I had no valuable items in mine so I left mine there – I did not want to be lugging my Urbo around even though it is a small pram. When we passed the lovely decorative old Victorian town we reached the queue to see Santa. There was a lovely little crafts table to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults stood in line for the children to see Santa.

Santa is a busy guy around this time of year so a small wait to see him is to be expected. LO and Baby Girl were actually so well behaved in the queue. It was amazing like I had karma on my side haha! LO contained himself and behaved so well despite the other children around him letting loose a bit, I saw the calmer reserved side to him that day.

We ended up waiting a total of about thirty minutes so I guess we weren’t the only latecomers to the Grotto. The Santa’s helper asked LO for his name and for Baby Girl’s before letting us enter Santa’s cosy little home. Upon seeing Santa LO’s little face lit up. He sat down and the big guy asked if LO has been naughty or nice this year and gave him instructions of leaving out the milk and cookies for Santa to come and have carrots for the reindeers to munch on. We had our photo taken with Santa by the little helper (free print but we purchased an additional one for £8) and just before leaving Santa gave LO a little pre-Christmas gift. It was a cute little wooden toy of a boy – a lovely gift I thought and LO seemed quite fond of it too.

Meeting Santa

The photos the helper took for us were lovely but slightly blurry. I don’t know if it was due to the dim lighting in the place or the helper’s photography skills. There were some good ones but the photo I picked was the best (see above). All of us were smiling but… half of Santa was cut out! I didn’t even notice it until we go home but it’s okay as it’s a lovely photo and there was an extra person there (Uncle Al was there with us). 🙂 Daddy P has said he would like to go again and get another photo done but it’s just about finding time to schedule in another visit before Christmas… perhaps a visit on Christmas Eve would be nice but we’ll see!

After our visit we checked out the rest of the museum. I love museums and this one had so much to show us. There’s a lot of history in that place it made me feel quite proud to be a south-east Londoner seeing all that stuff haha. The museum is free so we’ll definitely be returning to check it out again. They also have a lovely interactive play area for under 5s in the Mudlarks Gallery area which is also free but needs to be booked in advance.

Processed with MOLDIV
Please excuse the blurriness, I took it on my iPhone at night

If you want more info on the museum or see what else they have going on, visit the link below:
http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands/whats-on


NB. We were kindly given tickets to see Santa for the purpose of this review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.

Review: Above and Beyond exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

We have everything available to us at our doorstep – literally! There is a Costa Coffee store opening soon right downstairs and I’ve been telling my friends I don’t know if that is a good idea because I will probably tell Daddy P to watch the kids while I hide out in there behind my sugar-free caramel decaff latte.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

I love living in Greenwich.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about an exhibition that is currently on in the National Maritime Museum until August 29th called “Above and Beyond”. I also wrote in the post that it was aimed at kids from 7+ which is what it states on the Royal Museums Greenwich website however when we went, there was a lot more younger children (preschoolers) at the exhibition which was lovely to see as I didn’t expect that. (I think Baby Girl was the youngest visitor on the day we went.)

National Maritime Museum

The NMM is one of the Royal Museums Greenwich alongside Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House – all of these places are available for viewing pleasures but I believe the National Maritime Museum offers the most free galleries and exhibitions out of the four. It is also one of the most baby-friendly museums I’ve been to so far.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

| watch our video – click play below|

The Above and Beyond Exhibition

Our day out to the exhibition was much better than I anticipated. Mainly because I was slightly worried that LO won’t enjoy it but it was quite the contrary – he absolutely loved it! We were lucky enough to be invited along to review the exhibition for my blog, which I kindly accepted. 🙂

I’ve also been given an exclusive promo code so all of you lovely readers can get 10% off your tickets.
Just use the code MUMMY10 when booking online or directly at the admissions desk.

The day we decided to head out to the museum it started raining lightly but all was well as I brought along with us LO’s umbrella so he could stay dry – I don’t mind the drizzle as much. We got our Peppa Pig umbrella from The Works for just £3.00. So cheap as all the other children’s brollies I found online were around £10-14. (That is extortionate!)

Once we picked up our tickets at the admissions desk we headed to the lift to take us downstairs. Inside the exhibition were lots of interactive stations where you could learn about how aircrafts fly in the air, how sonic waves travel and how they affect the nose of the planes. You can also take a virtual elevator ride to outer space and fly your own supersonic jet simulator. LO wasn’t interested in the big children’s games and instead preferred playing with the buttons on the sonic waves machine. He had fun so I didn’t mind – instead it gave me time to walk about and explore other parts of the exhibition.

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

We took the virtual elevator ride to outer space and saw the edge of planet Earth. It was amazing! We also found out what commercial planes are constructed from and learnt about the different space rockets and shuttles that have been sent to space. There were to-scale miniature versions of the space crafts which looked so cool. There are staff members in the exhibition who I believe you could go to for more information if you wanted to find out more about something specific. Most of the older children were playing at the flight simulators – there were even people queuing up to play!

The AHOY! Children’s Gallery

After we were done with exploring the Above & Beyond exhibition, we headed back upstairs to have a quick play in the AHOY! children’s gallery before going home. LO’s been to play here once before and loved it then and it was no different this time round. He was confident in playing around the areas by himself and really enjoyed playing with the foam ships and inside the little play house.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

It’s aimed at children from 0-5 years so expect to see plenty of toddlers and preschoolers running about. You may also find a few mums with babies hiding out in here too. 🙂 I love this little area – it was only opened about a year ago but I think really adds a fun element to the museum and also it’s the one place where you can let your kids roam free and scream and shout with potentially annoying anyone else. Haha!

I hope you liked our video and review. Have you been to any museums lately?


NB. We were kindly given tickets by Royal Museums Greenwich to review this exhibition. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Event Reviews

Review: Into Space with Q Pootle 5 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Last week we were invited to come along and experience the sold-out event, Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5. It was a special event put on by the Royal Museums Greenwich as part of their Holiday to Space series, held at the Royal Observatory. I previously posted a blog about this event which you can read here.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Q Pootle 5 Review
Entrance to Greenwich Park from the high street

Our day started off at 10am but we left about 30mins before as we only live down the road. Due to the location of our home, we ended up at the South entrance of the park, near Greenwich High Street so we had to walk up to the Royal Observatory through the park. It took us about 15 mins to walk up there and LO managed to get up without a stroller as I decided against taking it. Baby Girl was at home with Daddy P so it was just Mummy and LO time – something we’ve not done in such a long time. When we reached the top, we were a tad thirsty so headed into the Pavillion Cafe where we stocked up on water, juice and sandwiches as LO didn’t have any breakfast before we left – we’re usually still in bed at 8am haha! 🙂

Once we arrived outside the Royal Observatory we could see all the other families also waiting for the event. Like I mentioned earlier, the event had been sold out – I never knew it was so popular! When the staff opened the Observatory gates, families were kindly escorted into the Peter Harrison Planetarium.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Event Reviews
Peter Harrison Planetarium, Royal Greenwich Observatory

The day’s itinerary was as follows…

10:00am
| Watch Q Pootle 5 shows in the Peter Harrison Planetarium

After “checking in” we headed downstairs to the main planetarium. We were amazed, neither me or LO had seen such a place before so it was a special moment (for me!) and I could see that he was really curious to discover what was around him. He gets really fidgety when he gets excited! LO finally managed to calm down and we sat while the museum’s astrologist, Brendan, explained what we’ll be watching and introduced Nick Butterworth to us. Nick is the creator, author and illustrator of Q Pootle 5 which is a children’s TV cartoon series about friendly aliens aired on Cbeebies. You can watch episodes here

We watched two episodes of Q Pootle 5; the first one was about Q Pootle 5 and his friends join Planet Dave in awaiting the arrival of Comet Gordon. The gang put on a lovely show with music, bunting and more. The second show was about a satellite that accidentally fell on planet Oki Doki. Q Pootle 5 and his friends help to repair the satellite then helped to launch it back into orbit.

11:00am
| Creator Nick Butterworth talks to us about how he created Q Pootle 5

When we had watched the shows, we were split into two teams; red and blue. We were Team Red. We were then escorted into a small room where Nick Butterworth talked about how he came to create Q Pootle 5. It was lovely to hear him explain how much planning is involved when turning a 2D illustration into a 3D animation. There is a lot of science and technical stuff at work here! Nick told us there was about a team of forty involved in the making of Q Pootle 5.

11:20am
| Participate in a group space activity

Once the talk was over, we swapped with Team Blue and went into another little room where astrologist Brendan set up our space activity. The kids learnt about how shadows on the moon, what moon craters are and how they’re made. Brendan then asked all the children to grab a bit of plasticine and make their own crater. LO had other ideas; he didn’t want to turn his long sausage-shaped plasticine into a moon crater and preferred to keep it straight. My little boy for some reason is rarely in the mood to take part in group activities, he’d much prefer just to play by himself or in one-on-one.

11:45am
| Nick Butterworth’s book signing

After playing with our plasticine, LO needed a quick toilet break. On our way back from the toilet, it was time to get ready to head on out downstairs onto the planetarium’s terrace where Nick Butterworth would be book-signing. We were a little early so I decided to take us to the museum shop – a big fat mistake!

Everything was fine at the start; we looked around the shop, played with a few toys then dum-dum-duummmmm!! LO wanted to buy the large space rocket. It was £15 and I wasn’t ready to part with the cash so tried using different strategies to get him out of the shop. It worked but then once we were outside – bam! – LO pulled out of the bag a big, fat (not to mention loud) tantrum. The more I tried to talk to him and calm him down, the louder he screamed and whined. I knew what it meant. It was time for a nap. He had been up for too long and he was ready to sleep.

We didn’t have the stroller and still waiting for Nick to arrive, I didn’t want to leave and not get the book signed as we had come all this way and who knew when we would see Nick again to have him sign it. I stuck to my guns and didn’t cave in by buying him the toy. We sat down in the terrace cafe and I gave him a few dinosaur sweeties to try and kick-start his energy. It worked a little. We eventually got our booked signed then thanked Nick, his wife and the RMG staff for hosting a brilliant day out and headed home. We walked back down the way we came and stopped at the little ice cream shop for a little ice lolly to cool us down.

Nick Butterworth (creator of Q Pootle 5) signing our book 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Q Pootle 5 at Royal Observatory

It was a brilliant day out and we had lovely weather. When we got home, we snuggled up with Baby Girl and just chilled out for the rest of the day. A perfect ending to a perfect day. 🙂

watch our day out: –

 


NB. We were invited to this event by the Royal Museums Greenwich. All words, opinions and photos are my own. Photos that are not mine are credited respectively.

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Things to Do in Greenwich for Free

Free things to do in Greenwich during the Summer Holidays

Everybody loves a freebie and when you’re strapped for cash, free things to do can become the best way to treat the family to a lovely day out without spending a penny. Here are a few of my favourite (free) things to do in Greenwich over the summer holidays…

Greenwich Peninsula

The Peoples Brick Company and architecture firm Something & Son have commissioned a one-of-a-kind installation at the NOW gallery that encourages visitors to get involved and participate in quarrying clay and moulding your own brick. If you want to take part, pop along to the NOW gallery at the weekend and get your hands dirty. All of the bricks made will be mass-fired on September 17th and then will be used to build a permanent folly which will stand at Greenwich Peninsula.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Things to Do in Greenwich for Free

Greenwich Park

Parks are a great place for a run around, to see wildlife and horticulture, have a picnic, etc and best thing is that it’s usually free! Royal Greenwich Park has lots of wonderful areas to explore from the flower garden to the deer encounter, to the children’s play area and the secret garden.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Greenwich Park’s children playground

Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market is a great free place to go. It’s filled with stalls selling everything from food to fabrics. Over the summer holidays, every Wednesday is “Wicked Wednesdays” – a day filled with crafty workshops for kids. There’s also some Weds in August where they are holding free yoga workshops.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog
One of the entrances to Greenwich Market

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is free to enter and has a lot of free galleries for the whole family to enjoy; there’s the Ahoy gallery aimed at 0-5 year olds, the All Hands gallery and the ship simulator is aimed at over 7’s, the Great World map is ideal for everyone.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review
National Maritime Museum

Sky Studios at The O2

If you want to have a bit of fun, head over to the Sky Studios at The O2. Previously, they hosted a special Paw Patrol meet & greet event and now they’ve got virtual Sky Sports event on. You’ll be able to have fun with their green screen and pose with your favourite footballers – you can then save your photos digitally to a card which you’ll receive upon arriving. All you’ll need to do at home is log on to the Sky Studios page, type in your code and voila you’re photos will be available for downloads.

The Greenwich Mummy | Sky Studios at The O2
(Photo Credit: The O2)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition

Review: Visit the Above and Beyond Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

School’s over and the summer holidays are now here! 

With the beautiful weather around, why not treat the family to a wonderful day out in Greenwich? You can head down to the high street for a spot of shopping, stroll around Greenwich Park and admire the flower garden or deer encouter, or you can pop along to one of the Royal Museums of Greenwich (RMG) and see what’s on. The National Maritime Museum has a spectacular intergalactic exhibition on for kids this summer.

LO does enjoy good stories about space and he’s a big fan of rockets (after his dinosaurs and cars of course!). I discovered this when we went along to see Adventures with Sam Outer Space at Greenwich Theatre last year. The National Maritime has so much to offer! We love visiting and I think LO enjoys it there too – we’ve gone a few times to see the main gallery and then have a little play around in the new AHOY! childrens gallery.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition

The Above & Beyond Exhibition is open from Friday 27 May–Monday 29 August
(Read on to get 10% off your tickets)

The Above and Beyond exhibition looks like it would make a great day out for the whole family. Your day out could be as follows:

11am – Visit the Above and Beyond exhibition and have lots of fun
12:30pm – Have lunch at the Museum café
1:30pm – Check out the Ahoy gallery (aimed at under 7 years old) or Check out the All Hands gallery for children aged 6+
2:00pm – Let the kids have fun with the Great Map whilst you sit down for a drink at the Neptune café which is in front of the map so you can easily keep an eye on the kids
2:30pm – Take a look around the rest of museum if you’re not too tired
3:30pm – Stop and shop at the National Maritime Museum – perhaps you’ll treat yourself to a cute little souvenir or gift?
4:00pm – End the day as the kids will have probably be needing a rest or their nap by now 🙂

I purely just made this up by the way but it’s the only way I could demonstrate how much there is to do in the wonderful museum. There’s lovely places to eat, great free galleries and tons of interactive stuff for the kids to do, why wouldn’t you not want to spend a day there? Plus, if it starts to pour down with rain (knowing British weather, it could happen!) you’ll be indoors so you’ll stay nice and dry while waiting for the rain to pass.

Here are some amazing photos of what’s in store at this space exhibition, courtesy of RMG.

It looks fantastic!
I can’t wait to take LO along to see it! I can see why this space exhibition is aimed at bigger kids as the interactive games involved are a little advanced for pre-schoolers and toddlers. LO is only 3 years old but he loves interactive shows so much I know he’ll have a great time regardless… Plus, I will be with him at all times so I will just have to use my imagination and make it for fun and enjoyable for him. I will also be vlogging about our day out so don’t forget to come back and check out the post and vlog. 🙂

http://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/above-and-beyond-exhibition


Your Special Blog Discount Code

Get 10% off your tickets today with the blog discount code, courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich. Simply quote “MUMMY10” when booking.

Where can I book the tickets?

You can book your tickets in three different ways:

  • Telephone – call the bookings line: 020 8312 6608
  • At the museum admission desk – ideal for you if you’re already there or in the area

The choice is completely up to you.

Happy Summer Holidays! 🙂


NB. I worked with Royal Museums Greenwich on their Above and Beyond campaign. In return, I was kindly invited to review the exhibition which I will be posting up later on. All words and opinions are my own and images used in this post have been credited to Royal Museums Greenwich respectively.