Friday, October 10, 2014

When in London

The outside of Ripley's
You never know when you might end up in London looking for things to do with kids.
We had been to London several times before we ended up with a 7-year-old who wanted more from life than riding in a black cab or looking at Buckingham Palace from afar.
This time around we were specifically searching for adventures that would appeal to Jack the grandson.
We started with the London Zoo which is a far cry from the San Diego Zoo experience or even the Hogle Zoo.
This is a low-key, smaller-scale zoo with lots of monkeys and a butterfly exhibit.
It's a charity endeavor so the price is a little steep unless you shop in England at their version of Costco.
It's also very English so there are quite a few things for children to do. The English are big on entertaining the youngsters with little games and puzzles all about.
Ripley's Believe It or Not is another option, again, fairly expensive but the young boy's idea of sheer fun.
creepy cow
Jack without legs
There are lots of creepy and odd things to look at, a mirrored maze to work through, magic tables, a Hogwart's Castle made of 600,000 matchsticks, the elephant with two trunks, a knitted Ferrari, an all-wooden Ferrari, shrunken heads, torture devices, whatever trips your trigger.
Go there if you have kids between about 8-14.
It's their kind of deal.
Another choice would be to climb on board the Cutty Sark and see what a tea importing sailing ship looked like.
Children can play the games that are set up here and there, figuring out how to load the ship without tipping it over, guiding the ship through the harbor.
They can try out the bunks designed for crew members who were short.
Jack and a very tall guy
They can man the wheel.
If you like you can talk with the captain for a bit.
And, if you have cash in your pocket, you can spend an afternoon in the Hamley's toy store: six stories of all kinds of gadgets and gizmos.
The marketing folks have set up demonstrators about every five feet so you can see how the latest toy works and salivate after it.
It takes a good while to see everything and even longer to make a decision about what to buy.
It took Jack a couple of hours to choose.
creepy head
If we'd had more kids with us, we'd probably still be there.

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