Travelling with your kids can be hard work, but a great way to keep them engaged and good-humoured during your travels is with facts about where you are visiting that they will love and consequently make them excited about where they are. London is as brimful of West End restaurants as it is fun facts, so here are some to get you started – but trust that you will always be just around the corner from another!
The youngest Kings and Queens were younger than them
Do you reckon your child thinks they are old enough to be the Queen or King of England? A quick look at Queen Elizabeth will tell them that they would still have quite a way to go. Well, truth be told, they are probably already older than the youngest Queen of England – fact any young one will relish in! Mary, Queen of Scots, became queen in 1542 at the age of 6 days. They are also likely older than the youngest King of England, who was Henry VI, who was 8 months and 26 days old when he became King.
There are hundreds of dinosaurs in London
Tell that fact to your kids and you will likely get an eye roll and maybe an explanation that actually, mom and dad, dinosaurs are extinct. Maybe they aren’t quite roaming London, but South Kensington’s Natural History Museum is home to a wide variety of dinosaur species’ skeletons, skulls and bones. Take them here and you are likely to have yourself some very smiley faces.
You can eat a chocolate frog!
Anything from the trolley, dears? The Harry Potter enthusiasts among the kids will be thrilled to know that just like their fictionally fabulous witches and wizards, they too can get their hands on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (vomit flavour included) and the chocolate frogs which lept from the pages and screens into our childish hearts. Go to either Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios in Watford for the full studio tour, or just to King’s Cross train station to the Harry Potter Shop to get all the film-favourites and take a picture at Platform 9 and ¾ .
The Queen is on Instagram
The kids of 2019 will be both shocked and delighted to know that this year, the Queen posted her first ever Instagram post to the official royal family Instagram account. She did not post any selfies or a picture of her salad, but she did post an image of a letter from 19th century inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage. She even got a round of applause after she had done so – safe to say many a child wishes they got a round of applause from their parents every time they posted on social media!
Shrek, Donkey and Fiona live in London
If your kids are fans of Shrek and his adventures with his friends in Far Far Away, then they will be thrilled to learn that they are currently living in London – not in luxury hotels London, but in Shrek’s Adventure on the South Bank. This activity is an attraction for kids of all ages, where they are tasked with helping Shrek’s friends locate him when he has gone missing. Tickets include a 4D movie and interactive fairy tale shows.
They can run a city
Are your kids sick and tired of having adults tell them what to do? Then they will love the fact that there is an entire city in London run by kids – KidsZania. This amusement center puts your children in charge with 60 real-life activities to partake in. It has its own airport, hospital, police station, newspaper and currency and they have to get themselves a job and navigate their way through this mini real-world.
The Queen has two birthdays
Most kids’ favourite day of the year is their birthday, so they will love the fact (or be eternally jealous of the fact) that the Queen gets to celebrate two of them. Her actual birthday is 21 April, but she has the second one, which is considered the public official one, on a weekend in June so that everyone can celebrate when the sun is shining!
The Buckingham Palace guards won’t move
No matter how many funny faces your children pull at the guards outside Buckingham Palace, they won’t laugh, flinch or move in reaction. Many a traveller has attempted to make them budge, but nobody has been successful. However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that they do not have to ignore you if you pose a threat – so no need to too much silliness!
London used to stink!
Many kids find themselves hopelessly giggly at the prospect – London used to smell like poo. For two months in 1858, the City of London was terrorized by a sewage smell like no other. Though a little toilet-humour always pleases a little rascal, they will be very grateful that they are visiting now and not back when the contaminated Thames turned the city into one big loo.
The Tower of London had a pet polar bear
Henry III was gifted… wait for it… a polar bear. This in itself is a fact the kids will love – though it is advised they don’t go putting that on their Christmas list or you will all be sorry. He kept it chained up in the Tower of London so it couldn’t escape, but with a long enough lead that it could reach the River Thames and catch fish.
These facts are fool-proof ways to amp your kids up about London so that the next time you decide to visit London City Suites By Montcalm, they are almost as excited as you are! You will find that them showing an interest in some of the weird and wonderful elements of London life will really elevate the experience for them – especially when looking over at the likes of the Tower of London and imagining a pet polar bear rummaging around in the water for dinner, or when they are tucking into a soil-flavoured jelly bean in their newly acquired Gryffindor hoodie.