Under 5s

Places to go which work well with the younger Mayhems under 5.

  • hengistbury head ferry boat 4On the river at Christchurch – Dorset
    It is just like ‘Swallows and Amazon’ the grandma next to me exclaimed and I thought how right she was. Now Swallows and Amazons is a classic childrens book but Papa Joe spent his boyhood reading ‘Biggles’.  Of course, The […]
  • montpellier mare nostrum 1Aquarium Mare Nostrum – Montpellier, France
    The waves crashed over the ship, the deck rocked with the force of the gale.  But fear not!   All The Mayhems had things under control and steered us to safety! The cool ‘Cers’ wind was blowing across Southern France so instead of the […]
  • london busBest London Bus Journeys
    My mother was a great explorer and when I was a little girl she used to buy a bus Red Rover ticket. We would go to The Green Man Roundabout at Leytonstone and ride on the top of a bus into Central London. Papa Joe and I plus The Mayhems also love […]
  • science museum podExperiment at The Science Museum
    The Science Museum in London has been one of our favourite museums and always made a great outing with our daughters. Papa Joe introduced our Mayhems to the museum when they were 4 and they loved exploring the Pattern Pod and the interactive […]
  • nat gal 1Living Paintings – Fun At The National Gallery
    20 ‘Mayhems’, all under the age of 5, sitting enthralled in front of a family portrait in an art gallery – amazing! The children were sitting in front of  ‘The Marquise de Seignelay and Two of her Sons’  when ‘The […]
  • thames_clipper_1On The Thames – Thames Clippers
    Think London, think the River Thames. There are so many exciting ways to explore the river. One of our favourite ways is to take a Thames Clipper catamaran along the Thames.  We managed to pick a glorious day and spent the whole trip on the outside […]
  • museum of london lord mayor coachMuseum of London – Barbican
    Our sophisticated  4 year old ‘Mayhems’ brought up on a diet of Peppa Pig etc. could not understand why Papa Joe and I were delighted to watch a Flowerpot Man saying ‘Weeeed’ and ‘Flobbadobba’. We were  wandering […]
  • raf museum london dusting the planesFlying high at the RAF Museum, Hendon
    Papa Joe is a volunteer tour guide in the flight gallery at the Science Museum so was intrigued to find out that the volunteers at The RAF Museum at London have a totally different role. We had arrived early and were just having a welcome coffee […]
  • discover for Journey to Space1Expand The Imagination at ‘Discover Children’s Story Centre’ – Stratford
    The Discover Children’s Story Centre is a magical place, full of activities to stimulate story telling and creativity. They even have an online story library. The Indoor Story Trail and The Outdoor Story Garden are designed to expand the imagination […]
  • museum of london docklands exteriorMuseum of London Docklands
    It is lovely when you show your friends a place you really like and then they in turn share it with their family. Papa Joe and I took our friends to The Museum of London/Docklands which is housed in an old sugar warehouse at West India Quay. […]
  • mystic seaport working aloftMystic Seaport – An Amazing Maritime Museum
    I have no head for heights and Papa Joe is the same so we both watched with admiration as the crew unfurled the sails on the training ship Joseph Conrad.  We were spending the day at Mystic Seaport, the largest maritime museum in the USA. There were […]
  • museum of childhood kitchenMuseum of Childhood – Bethnal Green
    Papa Joe and I took the Mayhems with their mother to The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. We carefully timed our visit so that we were in time for the Animal Magic sensory storytelling session. It certainly worked its magic and had all the […]
  • Charles River Bridges, Having a Boston 'Tea Party' Little Italy Bakery, Old Boston Syate HousePapa Joe and Grandma Jacqui’s New England Road Trip
    Papa Joe and I decided to combine a wedding in Connecticut with a road trip. We flew to Boston, drove to the wedding, and then took 2 weeks to explore New England. The wedding was at the end of August so we were just before the main […]
  • BELSAY HALLBelsay Hall- let your imagination run riot
    Our friends Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Bob recently took their 4 year old grandson, ‘L’, to Belsay Hall, an English Heritage property about 15 miles north west of Newcastle Upon Tyne in Northumberland. He had a great time battling […]
  • science museum the garden 1The Science Museum Basement – where science comes alive!
    When I was a little girl my mother and I used to buy a ‘Red Rover’ ticket for the buses and go to the children’s gallery at the Science Museum in South Kensington. I loved turning the handle to make the water rise up on the model […]
  • cumberland pencil museum ticketThe Cumberland Pencil Museum.
    Of course a ‘lead pencil’ has lead in it! Actually no –  the centre of a pencil is pure, solid graphite. To find out why it is called ‘pencil lead’ Papa Joe and I visited delightful Cumberland Pencil Museum. Having […]
  • strawberry picking 2Sunshine! Wimbledon! Let’s Pick Some Strawberries
    The sun was shining, the phone rang. ” How about strawberry picking” my daughter asked. “Great idea” I replied. We packed hats, sun cream and insect repellent, and luckily our daughter had baby wipes  There’s nothing […]
  • bishop park beach and pool 2Bishop’s Park Fulham – ‘seaside’ by The Thames
    If you find yourself in West London on a hot day there is no better place to visit the ‘seaside’  and relax and cool off with the Mayhems at Bishop’s Park.  Papa Joe and I were walking through the park and were attracted by the […]
  • Hatfield Marine centre newport 5Hatfield Marine Science Visitors Center -Newport, Oregon, USA
    Touch a sea anemone! Create a tsunami! You can do both for free at The Hatfield Marine Visitor Center. The center showcases the work of adjoining Oregon State University’s Marine Research Center. It is full of fun interactive exhibits to help […]
  • nat hist tring 3Natural History Museum -Tring Hertfordshire
    “Are we going to the dead animals museum” our Mayhem asked. “Yes” replied Papa Joe “Oh good” Who would have guessed that when Walter Rothschild was 7 and said “I am going to make a museum” that his […]
  • Dalston eastern Curve Gardens entance muralDalston Eastern Curve Garden – A Haven in Hackney
    It was only by chance that Papa Joe and I stumbled across Dalston Eastern Curve Garden which has been lovingly developed on the disused Eastern Curve railway line in Hackney (East London). We had just missed our bus, and as we turned to look at […]
  • colchester castle chariotColchester Castle
    Which is easier to drive without crashing – a car or a chariot? I don’t think Ben Hur has to worry about competition from either Papa Joe or me when it comes to taking part in a chariot race. It was exhilarating but surprisingly […]
  • lt guardLondon Transport Museum
    It is usually Papa Joe who gets enthusiastic about trains but I must admit I did get excited when I walked into the carriage of an old tube train at the London Transport Museum. I went to school by ‘tube’ every day and always watched the […]
  • stockyards cattle drive 1Cattle and Cowboys at The Stockyards Fort Worth Texas
    When Papa Joe and I were little we always watched Westerns. Papa Joe loved ‘Bonanza’ and still uses the theme tune as his phone’s ringtone! I always imagined being a cowboy, riding the range and visiting saloons just like Butch […]
  • Birmingham canal waterbusA Day Out In Birmingham City Centre – 5 Places to Visit
    Papa Joe and Grandma Jacqui had a day out in Birmingham City Centre without The Mayhems! We enjoyed wandering around the city centre and are sure that we will be back with them.  With this in mind, we made this list of suitable places to visit with […]
  • greenwich walk 2Quiz Walk : Greenwich Meridian and Park
    A delightful walk, 1¼miles long, with fantastic views across the Thames Buggy friendly  – a gentle uphill climb to The Observatory between 2 and 3 – lots of seats to rest at.  Between 3 and 4 is a very short gradient. Between 6 and 7 is a […]
  • alligators at hamat gaderUnusual Israel
    Where in the world can you find the following places to take The Mayhems which are all within 60 miles of each other? a museum dedicated to Japanese Art a wonderful collection of Salvador Dali’s bronzes hot springs to swim in complete with […]
  • dinosaur cryCrystal Palace Park- Monsters and Amazing Mazes
    To sports fans Crystal Palace is a football club or a sporting venue for athletics and swimming.  However as a Girl Guide I always associate Crystal Palace with the girls who came to the first scout rally here in 1909. They gave Baden Powell the […]
  • wimborne model village 8Wimborne Minster’s Model Town – Dorset
    “Look there is where Daddy works” shouted our friend Fred’s 4 year old granddaughter when she looked into the tiny church at Wimborne Minster’s Model Village. Her Daddy is a wedding photographer, and as they peeked inside the […]
  • © Geffrye Museum, London’The Geffrye Museum
    The Geffrye is a delightful museum, an ocean of calm a short distance from the bustle of Liverpool Street and Shoreditch. Set in a series of old almshouses, you are drawn both ‘through the keyhole’ and back in time into living rooms across the ages. […]
  • Spitalfields Farm 3Spitalfields City Farm
    In 1912 my mother was born in a flat near Petticoat Lane Market in the East End of London. When I was little she used to take there and we would wander the busy streets seeing places she used to play. Imagine how surprised she would have been to […]
  • mudchute city farmCity Farms – in the middle of a town!
      Did you know that there is a farm with pigs, sheep, rabbits, ducks and  three alpacas called Ben, Jerry and Tom just a mile away from The Houses of Parliament. Papa Joe and I were amazed to discover Vauxhall City Farm in the middle of London […]
  • deen sheepIt doesn’t have to cost the earth – outings for the under 6s
    Our tips to save money Take advantage of low season offers. During school holidays prices for for attractions and some soft play centres go up. Always check to see if buying tickets to attractions online will save money. Decide if it is worthwhile […]
  • denver art museum 1Denver Art Gallery, Colorado
    Denver is a fun city especially if like Papa Joe and myself you find yourself visiting during the crazy Denver Zombie Crawl – how many Zombies make a weird world record? We saw some great art work as we walked through the crowds, with people […]
  • poole museum 1Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court
    Would you like to design your own museum? Well you can – by using Poole Museum’s special ‘DIY Museum’. It has all sorts of small bits and pieces in the drawers and The Munchkins, hopefully without quarrelling, can decide what […]
  • mudchute city farmMudchute – a city farm and nature reserve in the heart of London’s Docklands
    Did you know that one of the largest free urban farms in Europe is within a mile of the large office blocks of Canary Wharf. The park covers 32 acres of green open space including a nature reserve and was created out of derelict land on the Isle of […]
  • woolwich arsenal 4Things to do at Woolwich Arsenal
    Papa Joe and I went to the tall ships festival on The Thames and discovered that The Woolwich Arsenal is being redeveloped and is a great place to take the munchkins. Now served by DLR and trains fron central London it is easy to get to and will […]
  • hells gate bc 1Hell’s Gate Airtram on The Fraser River – British Columbia, Canada
    As we stopped above Hell’s Gate, all we could hear was the deafening sound of millions of gallons of melt water flowing through the narrow gorge beneath us.  It was late spring and we were travelling along The Trans-Canadian Highway to the […]
  • arundel wetlands centre 2WWT Arundel Wetland Centre
    Our friend Sylvia has just visited The Arundel Wetland Centre. She had a great visit and and told us that we must take The Munchkins there. We asked her what it was like and this is what she thought. Yes, it is good for kids. They do pond dipping, […]
  • swanage railway at Corfe CastleRide The Swanage Railway To Corfe Castle
    I am not sure that the munchkins really understand our fascination with steam trains but it brings back great childhood memories for Papa Joe and myself so we loved our recent trip on The Swanage Railway. This restored heritage railway takes about […]
  • tillamook forest center 1Tillamook Forest Interpretive Center – Oregon
    Sometimes you come across the most interesting places by accident. We were driving to the Oregon coast when we stopped for a walk by The Wilson River by The Jones Creek campground. As we walked beside the river we saw a long pedestrian suspension […]
  • bournemouth winter gardens 3Candlelight Nights – a 100 year old Bournemouth Tradition
    When I was little we came to Bournemouth every summer and a highlight was the traditional candle lighting in The Lower Winter Gardens. Fast forward 30 years and Papa Joe and I took our daughters to do the same thing. It didn’t matter if […]
  • changing Guard 9Buckingham Palace – Changing The Guard with Christopher, Alice and The Mayhems
    ‘They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace Christopher Robin went down with Alice.’ When I was little, my mother used to say  A. A. Milne’s poem (see below) to me as we watched the soldiers changing guard at Buckingham […]
  • national maritime museum 3The National Maritime Museum – Greenwich
    If you are in Greenwich then visit The National Maritime Museum. It has had a makeover and the galleries with large collections of model ships have been transformed into themed galleries with displays of paintings and memorabilia. There are some fun […]
  • city cruises 3On The Thames – City Cruises
    Think London, think the River Thames. There are so many exciting ways to explore the river. A great way to explore the river is by taking one of The City Cruise River Boats. The boats are a leisurely way to travel and their large open-air decks […]
  • Druridge_BayVisit the coast in Northern England for a great day out
    The nice thing about The UK being an island – actually several islands! –  is that nowhere is very far from the sea and we have some great beaches to visit. Our friend Ruth has told us about some great places they go to with their family […]
  • wetlands egg3 places with animals to visit in South Tyneside and Gatehead
    If you are living near or visiting the South Tyneside and Gateshead areas then our friend Ruth has recommended these places to visit.  The choices are rather animal centred, but then so is her grandson Leon. […]
  • global treasure squareThe Global Treasure App
    Earlier this year we were visiting the excellent Riverside Museum in Glasgow and discovered that you can download a free quiz / treasure hunt to your phone to complete as you walk around. What a brilliant idea! It is just right to entertain the […]
  • detective treasure 2Treasure Hunts
    A cold wet day – what should we do, where can we go? The excitement of Christmas is wearing off and there is still a week to go before the grandchildren go back to school. Museums and Art Galleries are good to visit at this time of the year but […]
  • riverside car wallGlasgow’s Riverside Museum
    Memories Memories When Papa Joe was a little boy, he lived in Glasgow and he can still reminisce about the trams, trolley buses and the smell of ‘The Subway’. On visits back to see family, we would sometimes go to the Museum of Transport […]
  • littleton museum farm 2Living History In Action – Littleton Museum Colorado
    suitable for toddlers to 14.  Allow 2 hours This summer Papa Joe and I had a great holiday exploring Utah and Colorado without the grandchildren!!!! Our daughter and her two munchkins were also going to be holidaying in Colorado so she asked us to […]
  • paradise wildlife park meerkat3Paradise Wildlife Park – Broxbourne Herts
    I had visions of having to spend my day stuck in a narrow tunnel trying to retrieve Abbie. She was having a great time as she had gone through the tunnel to the centre of the Meerkat enclosure to see them and did not want to come out. Finally, to my […]
  • winchester jane austenWinchester City Centre – 5 things to do
    Recently we went to the The Winchester Science Centre and Planatarium and, after having fun, there we spent a few hours in Winchester City Centre. A city of contrasts – within a small area you can see delightful medieval buildings, Winchester […]
  • belmont childrens farm aBelmont Children’s Farm – Mill Hill
    When do you realise that eggs hatch into chicks, which grow into birds? I am not sure that 2 year old Abbie knew but she loved the little chicks in the incubator and it was hard to tear her away from watching them. Belmont Children’s Farm has […]
  • ragged school museum classroomThe Ragged School Museum – Dr Barnardo’s Free School
    Suitable for all age groups – on 3 floors – no lift Sit up straight, don’t fidget, no talking. Are your hands clean? Are you ready to experience a lesson at The Ragged School Museum? Yes –  then try to visit on the 1st Sunday […]
  • mountfitchet 1The House on the Hill Toy Museum – Stansted
    “Look a Dalek” Another voice piped up “I had one of those” It doesn’t matter what age you are there are toys and memories for everyone.  You are sure to find something to reminisce about among the 80,000+ items on […]
  • van hage trainVan Hage – A Garden Centre With A Difference, Ware Hertfordshire
    How many times have you heard a little voice from the back seat in the car either demanding food or a toilet.  We now consciously take note of garden centres when we travel as they usually have a cafe, toilets and things for children to look at. […]
  • tree house soft play 4Treehouse Family Play – Bournemouth – Soft Play, But Not As You Know It
    Suitable for  0 – 12 If you’re in Bournemouth town centre, the Treehouse represents a welcome departure from the usual indoor play centres. When my daughter was in Bournemouth recently she took her 2 year old to the Treehouse. Now my […]
  • bekonscot model village train 2Travel Back to the 1930s at Bekonscot Model Village and Railway, Beaconsfield
    Thank you Mrs Callingham! In 1928 she insisted that her husband move his model railway into the garden or she would leave. Luckily for us he agreed and built the delightful Bekonscot Model Village for his train set. Daisy and Sky loved watching all […]
  • Tiggywinkles-statistics 2Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital and Visitor Centre – nr Aylesbury, Bucks
    Grandpa – what happens to wild animals if they are injured? A few lucky animals are taken to Tiggywinkles – the World’s Leading Wildlife Hospital. They do amazing medical work with injured British wildlife like hedgehogs, badgers, […]
  • trent park wras 3The Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) – Trent Park, North London
    Suitable for under 5s W.R.A.S is a great charity that runs a rescue centre and hospital for wild animals in North London. The centre is open to visitors every day except for Christmas Day.  We visited the centre and saw a mixture of  birds and […]
  • Goat Centre feeding goatsBuckinghamshire Goat Centre
    Grandpa – can I really feed the goats and rabbits? Of course, said Papa – these animals are so friendly that even one year olds can have fun with them.  So we walked through the gates and bought a little bag of food pellets. Then we went […]
  • castle compton 1aCastle Compton – A Medieval Fortress
    As we drove into the car park everyone exclaimed “Oh Wow!  It really is like a castle!”  The front of the house has high crenelated walls with towers and a portcullis gate. The first manor house was built in the mid 14th century and the […]
  • swanage punch and judyPunch and Judy on Swanage Beach – Dorset
    We love coming to Swanage as it seems to have everything you need for a traditional seaside experience. Watching Punch and Judy on the sands, taking a boat trip, fishing for crabs from the quay or walking and exploring the neighbouring headlands, […]
  • Golders Hiill Butterfly HouseGolders Hill Park
    “Its always fun to watch deer scampering around, and see some birds and small animals”. Papa Joe said. When they reached the Park, he realised that he had forgotten to mention the butterfly house, the children’s play area and the […]
  • sandbanks ferry 1The Sandbanks Chain Ferry
    The captain walks to the control tower. The gates clang shut. The black ball slowly rises to the top of the forward mast. The rattle of chains start. The “Bramble Bush Bay” chain ferry is on its way across the mouth of Poole Harbour. […]
  • corfe model village castleCorfe Castle Model Village and Tea Rooms
    The Corfe Castle Model Village and Tea Rooms is one of our favourite places to visit. Sometimes we just stop for their delicious Dorset Apple Cake.  At other times we spend longer, enjoying the model village and the peaceful gardens. Well it should […]
  • teignmouth from pierTeignmouth – A Traditional Devon Seaside Resort
      As we looked down at Teignmouth beach we heard the comment “Why is the sand red?” We are so used to golden sandy beaches that the red beach was a complete surprise.  The answer became apparent as we walked east to the red […]
  • cass park pad pool 2Paddling at Cassiobury Park , Watford
    When I said that I had just been to Cassiobury Park my daughter complained and asked why I hadn’t taken Abbie (age 1 and 355 days) with me.  Well (a) I was looking for a nice place to eat my sandwich and (b) I did not realise what a glorious […]
  • emirates_airline_excelOver The Thames -The Emirates Air Line
    Think London, think the River Thames. There are so many exciting ways to explore the river. The Emirates Airline is a cable car with a difference.  Most cable cars are designed to take you up a mountain, but this one sweeps you across The Thames at […]
  • bournemouth pierBournemouth – 3 things to try
    Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.  Over the years, Bournemouth on the south coast has become a second home for us, our children, and now our grandchildren.  We love taking them to play on the sand, but here’s our pick of places to play […]
  • ally pally 2Ally Pally – One Of The Best
    When I was a Mayhem I knew ‘Ally Pally’ as the place where the BBC television news was broadcast from. I never realised it was really called Alexander Palace and includes a magnificent park, ice rink and venue for all sorts of activities […]
  • skylineThe Horniman Museum Gardens
    The Horniman Gardens are part of The Horniman Museum and have been revamped in 2012.  They are a great place to wander around and although situated on a hill most of the main areas of interest are on level ground just outside the museum. The views […]
  • hornimanThe Horniman Museum
    No wonder the Horniman was a finalist in the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013. The Museum describes itself as an inspiring, surprising, family-friendly, free attraction in South London’s Forest Hill.  As we walked around we were in total […]
  • cass park cafeCha Cha Cha Cafe at Cassiobury Park, Watford
    What a life saver the Cha Cha Cha Café was.  I had been walking all morning and was desperate for a coffee and was pleased to be able to get a really large tasty latte.  Once refreshed I looked around and saw the child friendly menu and heard the […]
  • venue-ballSoft Play at The Venue Borehamwood
    As soon as we turned into the car park a voice from the back seat babbled ‘Soft Play , Soft Play’  This is one of Abbie’s favourite places and she could not wait to get in. After paying (don’t forget to get a parking refund) […]
  • maze hcpAmazing who you meet in Hampton Court Palace Gardens
    What is the etiquette when you meet a king and his cardinal strolling through their gardens   Should you bow and curtsey or say ‘How do you do Sire?’ It was lovely to meet the owners of Hampton Court Palace, originally it belonged to […]
  • bugalooGo Wild at The Galleria Soft Play – Hatfield
    If you are looking for a very large, light, and airy Soft Play Centre then Get Wild at The Galleria is the place for you.  The under 3 area is just right for our little grandchildren, and our friend’s little girl who is 6 loves the main […]
  • deen not2Deen City Farm and Riding School
    Spring is here, all the baby animals are arriving at the Deen City Farm and the spring flowers are looking great in their gardens.  What a great time to the visit the farm.  While we were at the there we had great fun peering in all the animal pens […]
  • vaux city f 2Vauxhall City Farm
    Vauxhall City Farm is a quiet haven tucked away between the busy streets and high-rise buildings near the bustle of Vauxhall Bus and Rail interchange.  It is such a surprise to see a city farm so near to central London. It’s very small but the farm […]
  • morden hall park 1Morden Hall Park- the countryside in suburbia
      We had a deligtful afternoon exploring the grounds at Morden Hall Park and going to Deen City Farm (see separate post). It was easy to push our buggy on a network of paths and stroll along the River Wandle, a haven for wildlife. Next time we […]
  • polka theatre 5Polka Theatre, Wimbledon- watch, perform, pop in and play
    The Polka Theatre is a great place to visit.  It is dedicated to bringing theatre to children and has a range of workshops and shows catering for the very young to early teens. The theatre foyer and cafe are open during the day, Tuesday to Saturday, […]
  • coram sand 2Coram’s Fields – no unaccompanied adults Bloomsbury
    The sign says it all – this is the place for children not adults.  Last weekend we finally had a child with us so at long last we have been able to enter and explore all that Coram’s Fields has to offer.  It was well worth it and if we […]
  • val-drink-2Valentines Park, Ilford – memories, memories
    Over 55 years ago my mother used to bring me to Valentines Park and I was amazed to see figs growing there.  A few years later I went to the school adjacent to the park so got to know it well.  You can just spot the school behind the trees in this […]