Side Street Style: A weekend exploring London's West End with Kids

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

10/08/2017

A weekend exploring London's West End with Kids

London adventure


I still remember like it was yesterday my own excitement as a child heading into London to see Starlight Express on the West End with my parents, it was a big deal and I was captivated from start to finish, it is one of my favourite childhood memories and I was thrilled to be reliving this experience with my kids.

We boarded the train early in the morning and I'm not sure who was more excited, me or the kids about our trip to the Capital, either way I knew it was going to be a fantastic weekend away and  wasn't wrong. As soon as we arrived at Paddington station we made our way to the Lyric Theatre in the West End, picked up our tickets and stood in line as the atmosphere started to build as more families joined. August is the best time to introduce the wonderful world of theatre to your kids as it's Kids Week in London, a month long initiative that allows kids to go to an array of West End productions for free with a full paying adult.


West End with kids


Being Julia Donaldson fans it seemed only fitting that we took the boys to see What the Ladybird heard, a wonderful and gentle introduction to stage adaptations that captured the imaginations of both my 2yr old and 6yr old and provided an hour of music, dance, laughter and intrigue. The show was seamless from start to finish and the performances were excellent. The Lyric Theatre itself makes for a beautiful setting as it retains so many original features and is really quiet breathtaking inside. We left the show all on cloud nine, still lost in the story and magic of it all.


Fountain

Radisson Blu


After the show we stopped in a Burgerista, a gourmet burger bar only a few meters away from the theatre for a delicious veggie pesto Halloumi burger before heading over to Leicester square and the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire hotel which looks right out onto the square and fountains and only a few minutes walk from all the Theatres in the area. 

Of course the fountain was of huge interest to the kids as lots of children were having fun running in and out and getting completely soaked but with huge smiles on their faces, with no exception for our boys. Luckily the hotel was only a few steps away and with such a quick and welcoming check-in we were upstairs in no time with them in dry clean clothes. I really just want to point out how lovely and accommodating all the staff at the Radisson Blu are for families, while we checked in there was a small table with sweets and fruit infused water which kept the boys occupied for a moment before they were present each with a small Lego gift.


Radisson Blu hotel

Radisson Blu suite



As we were staying as a family the hotel had upgraded us to a more spacious junior suite which offered us more than enough space and made for the perfect base for exploring the West End. We also had a wonderful view across Leicester Square perfect for people watching as well as being only a stones throw away from all the action. The room was luxurious but also child-friendly and it was really nice to have a moment to relax on the sofa with an espresso before heading out again. 

We decided to make the most of the location and jump in a taxi for a 5 minute trip to Covent Garden and The Transport museum as both of the boys are obsessed with trains and the underground. We visited this museum about 3 years ago and even since then its improved in terms of providing lots of space for young kids to play as well as some new interactive displays which provided hours of fun.


Transport museum

London transport museum


After a busy day in the capital it only seemed right to end it with a bang and somewhere really special  to sit down and eat so we jumped back in a taxi and headed back to the West End and the very popular Planet Hollywood. I had never been to Planet Hollywood but with John being somewhat of a film buff and it's just been voted as the most child friendly restaurant in London for the 3rd time in a row we knew it would be good. From the moment we arrived we were well looked after from our friendly and welcoming server and I was really pleased to see not only did they have plenty of vegetarian options but also a great mix of indulgent and healthy dishes as well as some eye popping desserts.


Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood London


The atmosphere in Planet Hollywood was electric and the kids loved dancing to the music in their seats as well as exploring the restaurant and discovering all the film memorabilia with our favourite being the hand prints and seeing if any of our hands fit those of the Hollywood elite. 

The food was also really good with our eldest opting for a margarita pizza which he gobbled down, our youngest had pasta although all the excitement had got to him and he fell asleep in the middle of supper! John had a steak and I went for the sizzling vegetable fajitas which had all the trimmings of sour creme, guacamole and hot and spicy portobello mushrooms and roasted veg. We ended the evening with a big sharing ice-cream sundae and left felling very full and huge smiles on our face. 


Radisson blu

Crossiant


After a restful night sleep we woke up early and took things slow with a nice long bath for both the boys before heading down to breakfast. One of our favourite things to do is to try out the breakfast at a hotel and the Radisson Blu has to be up there with one of our favourites. The staff were attentive and fantastic with the kids and the selection of cereals, freshly baked breads and pastries along with smoothies and bircher muesli were great. My son dived straight into a big bowl of Greek Yogurt with chia seeds while we waiting for some cinnamon French toast and Mexican scrambled egg and avocado


Mexican scrambled eggs

breakfast bar


After a quick check out and being able to leave our luggage safely at the hotel we headed back out to make the most of the morning. We headed over to the Natural History Museum which is a firm favourite with my eldest but because of half term it was busier than usual so if you are planning to go leave early to avoid the queues. We enjoyed some down time exploring the wildlife garden where they were doing some pond dipping as well as seeing inside a beehive before making our way back to the hotel and back to Paddington station. 


London adventure


Selected theatre shows are free for kids throughout August for #kidsweek with a full paying adult. Check out their website here for more details – www.kidsweek.co.uk. We were invited by Kids Week to spend the day exploring the West End and enjoying one of the shows for the purposes of this review but all opinions are our own.

17 comments:

  1. This is lovely it sounded like you had a fantastic time as a family

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel, yes we had a great weekend exploring the West End and the kids loved it

      Laura x

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  2. What a fantastic weekend! We have seen many shows over the years taking advantage of the Kids Week scheme including the Lion King. Thank you for linking up to # CulturedKids

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  3. Sounds like u had a fab time as a family. What the lady Bird heard is one of our favourite books.

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    Replies
    1. It was such a lovely stage adaptation :)
      Laura x

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  4. Omg the breakfast in the boxes looks so cute. I would love to take my son to London but as we live so far away it's too expensive. Looks like you had a great time and made some fab memories x

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    1. The breakfasts in the box were so yummy and super cute :)

      Laura x

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  5. That hotel looks amazing, and Planet Hollywood is always a good shout for a day out x

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  6. This looks like such a fun day out!
    I have never been to the Transport Museum, I should take my nephew :)

    Dani x

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  7. Great post, glad you had a great time in my home town xx

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  8. This looks like lots of fun! I've never been to the Transport Museum but it's not my list now after seeing your pictures.

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  9. I would like to take my nanny boys to see What the Ladybird Heard too. We are also Julia Donaldson fans

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  10. It looks like you had such a lovely time. The food looks lovely, especially the breakfast.

    Ami xxx
    www.ami-rose.com

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  11. You've had such a beautiful and exciting staycation! I can't wait to be able to take my baby girl to London :)

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  12. looks like a lovely family break, we love What the Ladybeard Heard!

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  13. I love Planet Hollywood, it's always so much fun! I've actually never been to the London one! xxx

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  14. ahhh i haven't been to the transport museum since i was a child, i LOVED it! i have been meaning to go back again but never seem to have the time spare when i'm in london.

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Lovely comments

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