Monday, May 16, 2011

Kensington Gardens and Science Museum

I love that there is so much to do here. And a lot of free things to do here too. We haven't even left the city of London and we feel overwhelmed with the amount of things to do. In fact, we have weeks planned out ahead of us. And don't even get us started on seeing Europe. We almost get frantic thinking that two years is not enough time to see Europe!

Because it seems like we have been dragging our kids from palace to palace we thought we would do a day for them to roam free and play and just go at their pace. We started our Saturday by going to Kensington Gardens, adjacent to Hyde Park, which has the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Playground. It has a loose Peter Pan theme - the centrepiece is a pirate ship, with a mast that older kids can climb, a stone crocodile with a stone beach cove where you can play in water, tepees, and so much more.

Once they had their fill of the playground we then walked around the park to head to the Science Museum, but made stops along the way to see the bronze Peter Pan statue...

and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

We had no idea that this beautiful building was across from the museum. (It is located in an amazing, expensive area and I can't imagine how much the church pays for that building.) I believe this is where the Hyde Park Ward meets, right Shannon?

The girls favorite part about the Science Museum was the water play area. Marisa made sure that no one took the only purple boat there and Natalie made sure that no one took 3 boats she tried holding in her hands all at once and playing at the same time. So possessive that little girl.

Most museums are free here except for some of the exhibitions. Love it. We were seeing things faster than we expected so after the Science Museum we headed right next door to the National History Museum. There was a butterfly exhibition called Sensational Butterflies on the grounds of the museum so we did that first because the girls were SO giddy about it.

The girls loved carrying these little cards around the exhibit to collect stamps along the way as they learn about butterflies. They didn't like that not a single butterfly landed on them. :( Although, one butterfly got so close to Natalie that its wings brushed up against her eye. She didn't like that. She kept saying, "Eye..." and the scowl on her face afterwards was hilarious.
The butterfly above was Tim's favourite. When its wings open up it is this really pretty light blue. Marisa's favourite butterfly was all black with pink tips on its wings. Of course.

We did go inside the National History Museum for a quick glance since we were obviously right there, but the place is so massive so we are definitely going back. And check out the building that it is in. Amazing. And the inside is stunning.

We kept hearing about a restaurant called Nando's here and it has been recommended by my friends who have lived here before as well so we decided to hit that up for dinner. I had my pepi-pepi sauce HOT and Tim had his EXTRA HOT, which is the hottest available. It was actually really good. So hot and good I couldn't stop eating or else my lips and tongue would burn like fire. So good though!

It was a wonderful day. I look forward to weekends so much here. Our girls are getting used to us dragging them everywhere. They love it though.
But note to self: Check tfl BEFORE heading out to the city for the weekend for closed tube lines. It took us like 2 hours to get home last night... :) Still learning.
At least we got to walk across the London Bridge! Another item to check off our list.


becca b said...

I'm working on my jealousy towards all of your rad experiences. I was doing a great job until you went to Kensington was such a big part in the creation of Peter Pan (which is my fav book of all time...I have like 6 different copies), and there are whole chapters about Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens after-hours... ahhhh I can't believe you went there! Glad you're having such a great time!

Haylie said...

I miss you Natalie and Marisa. Please come for a visit.

shannon said...

Yes, that's my ward's (Hyde Park) building! So many times we'd go to the Science Museum, Natural History or V&A after church. Or maybe play hooky at the Hummingbird Bakery across Cromwell Road. Wait, I didn't just say that. I would never do such a thing :)


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