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    • alicon
    • By alicon 13th Sep 17, 11:54 AM
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    alicon
    London!
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:54 AM
    London! 13th Sep 17 at 11:54 AM
    Hi,


    We are going to London next weekend to visit family, I have two kids - age 5 and 3. Can anyone recommend things to do whilst in London with kids that wont cost a small fortune please?


    Also, while we are there, I'd imagine we will be using the tube to travel, can you buy any sort of family day ticket to keep costs down? We have a family & friends railcard, if that helps?


    thanks!
Page 1
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 13th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
    What you need if you're ever going again is an Oyster card for each adult. Under 5s don't pay so you're OK for the 3yo. TFL site is the one to look at for info on the 5 yo. There are day tickets.

    The parks are free, the museums are free (except for special exhibitions) - what do your children enjoy?
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    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Sep 17, 9:47 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 9:47 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 9:47 PM
    You don't need an oyster card, if you have a contactless credit or debit card. Use it like an oyster card. There is a daily cap and it is cheaper than buying a day ticket. You do need one card per (paying) traveller, and remember to use the same card for the whole day if you make several journeys, otherwise you won't benefit from the daily cap.

    In terms of what you do, it deeds a bit on what your kids enjoy, and where in London your family lives / plans to meet you.

    The Science Museum and Natural History Museum are both free to enter and suitable for children of that age (V&A and British Museum are too, but are probably less interesting to children of those ages.

    You can take them to see the guards at Horseguards Parade - get your timings right and you can see them changing the guard.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
    https://www.timeout.com/london/kids/activities/free-things-to-do-with-the-kids-in-london has more ideas
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 14th Sep 17, 8:50 AM
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    peachyprice
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:50 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:50 AM
    Children up to the age of 11 travel for free as long as they are travelling with a fare paying adult, so no need for a family card, if you have contactless card that will be easiest for you, otherwise you an buy an oyster at the tube station that will need topping up.

    As for free/cheap things to do, there's plenty! Most of the museums in London are free, the Museum of Childhood is one of my absolute favorites. The Horniman isn't free, but it's cheap (£2-£4). Outdoors there's the Princess Diana memorial park that is free, there's the Olympic park, Coram's Fields, London Transport museum is free for children, but £17.50 for adults. There are also a few city farms around.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 14th Sep 17, 9:09 AM
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    rach_k
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 9:09 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 9:09 AM
    The museums are good (although don't expect younger kids to manage to see much in each!) but my kids' favourite thing to do in London is to go and walk along the Southbank, as long as the weather isn't bad. You can watch the London Eye go round (don't pay to go on it, it's pretty boring for a child), there's a lovely carousel, street performers (think acrobats, moving statues, musicians - all kid friendly stuff), a nice grassed area to sit (I think there's a playground too, although not sure), you can watch skateboarders do their stuff (I have to drag my kids away), a book shop for browsing, a book stall for buying (cheaper!) and a couple of family-friendly places to eat, plus you can watch the river, take a nice walk and if the tide is right there's a funny band that play down on a tiny beach sometimes.
    Last edited by rach_k; 14-09-2017 at 9:40 AM.
    • Cloudydaze
    • By Cloudydaze 14th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
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    Cloudydaze
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
    When going through the gates at the tube with your children, make sure you use the luggage ones.

    As well as being wider, they are also give you more time to get through which minimises the risk of someone getting left behind!
    • pollyanna24
    • By pollyanna24 14th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
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    pollyanna24
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    Can you use the same contactless credit card for two adults?

    Might need two separate ones, not sure.
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    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Sep 17, 7:11 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:11 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:11 PM
    Can you use the same contactless credit card for two adults?

    Might need two separate ones, not sure.
    Originally posted by pollyanna24
    Yes, you would need one each. You can't use the same one for two people
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 14th Sep 17, 11:09 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    I do apologise for my outdated information! Do not often go to London, and would always use my Oyster card anyway as it is linked to my disabled railcard ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
    • lauretta
    • By lauretta 23rd Sep 17, 7:58 PM
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    lauretta
    OP hasn't explained very well. Yes, you can use a contactless credit card instead of Oyster - but you have to register it first, with the TFL website. It's up to you whether you are happy leaving your credit card details on TFL's database; personally, I still think it's safer to use the Oyster card and top it up online with whatever I think I will need. Or register a contactless credit card with a really low credit limit - then, if it gets hacked, they won't be able to run up a big bill on your card.
    You also have to take into consideration that Oyster cards aren't free any more - you have to pay £3 for each new one.
    But before you get into buying, or registering, cards to use on the Tube: are you sure this is the right method of transport for you, with a 5 year old and 3 year old? Are you sure you can get them up and down long and steep escalators, possibly in heavy commuter traffic? Will they be frightened of the whooshing noises in the tunnels, and the rush of air as the trains approach? Having seen much older children have total meltdowns when faced with this much unfamiliarity ( I saw one child on the Jubilee Line clear an entire platform with his screaming,his head virtually rotated!), you might want to think about buses, or even taxis. Just saying.
    • Nicki
    • By Nicki 23rd Sep 17, 10:36 PM
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    Nicki
    I live in London and use my contactless debit and credit cards all the time on the tube and buses. Have never registered it with TFL and have never had a problem. Has never been suggested to me that I need to!

    Would suggest you don't travel during rush hour if you can avoid it however, because why would you want to!
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 24th Sep 17, 12:21 AM
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    hazyjo
    I live in London and use my contactless debit and credit cards all the time on the tube and buses. Have never registered it with TFL and have never had a problem. Has never been suggested to me that I need to!

    Would suggest you don't travel during rush hour if you can avoid it however, because why would you want to!
    Originally posted by Nicki
    Agree - you don't need to register debit/credit cards.

    Also agree - I'm 47 and avoid tubes whenever possible lol! Scary place for kids as too busy. You absolutely cannot stop, and you have to know where you're going. There is no time or place to faff around or stop and gather your thoughts or belongings (or kids!). Nobody goes slow, and patience wears thin if people in front of you stop. Everyone is in a rush. You can't even wait for people to get off the platform and join the back of the queue as the next tube will be in by then.

    Sounds awful to anyone from outside, I agree. That'll be BECAUSE IT IS! Truly awful lol!
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 27th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
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    onomatopoeia99
    OP hasn't explained very well. Yes, you can use a contactless credit card instead of Oyster - but you have to register it first, with the TFL website.
    Originally posted by lauretta
    This is inaccurate, there is no need to register it with TfL.

    If you get discounted travel for any reason, you need an Oyster, my friend has her disability discount registered on her oyster card which she couldn't do with a contactless credit / debit card.
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    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 27th Sep 17, 8:35 AM
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    peachyprice
    OP hasn't explained very well. Yes, you can use a contactless credit card instead of Oyster - but you have to register it first, with the TFL website.
    Originally posted by lauretta
    Sorry, but you absolutely DO NOT have to register your card. OP, this is completely untrue.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 27th Sep 17, 8:39 AM
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    onomatopoeia99
    Also agree - I'm 47 and avoid tubes whenever possible lol! Scary place for kids as too busy. You absolutely cannot stop, and you have to know where you're going. There is no time or place to faff around or stop and gather your thoughts or belongings (or kids!). Nobody goes slow, and patience wears thin if people in front of you stop. Everyone is in a rush. You can't even wait for people to get off the platform and join the back of the queue as the next tube will be in by then.

    Sounds awful to anyone from outside, I agree. That'll be BECAUSE IT IS! Truly awful lol!
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    I'm 48 and loved travelling the underground as a child, still do! Only place you can't stop is at the ticket barriers, but you have loads of time to prepare for them, get tickets out, shepherd children together etc etc as you ride up on the escalators.

    I'll take the Central line over a bus any day!
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
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    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 27th Sep 17, 9:43 AM
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    hazyjo
    I'm 48 and loved travelling the underground as a child, still do! Only place you can't stop is at the ticket barriers, but you have loads of time to prepare for them, get tickets out, shepherd children together etc etc as you ride up on the escalators.

    I'll take the Central line over a bus any day!
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Eastbound on the Central Line at just after 6pm? It's chocka whenever I try to get on! Yep you do have time on the escalators (so long as you're all standing on the right), it's more the platforms. Maybe it's cos I'm usually getting the tube when my trains are down/delayed meaning there's a whole trainload of extra people getting on the tube...


    I like the bus Horses for courses lol.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • katiegizmo
    • By katiegizmo 25th Oct 17, 2:48 PM
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    katiegizmo
    My two love the Tate Modern, big and weird stuff in it, you only pay for exhibitions. Good area too you can see the Globe/south bank etc

    I haven't tried but these look good, just waiting for my youngest to grow a bit
    https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/walks/city-visitor-trail/Pages/city-childrens-trail.aspx

    Hornimans is fab, olympic park, covent garden, trafalgar sq & portrait gallery

    we have a story book at home about a girl visiting London, one time we followed the story seeing the same sights she did, that went down very well
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