Discover: Where to find Santa’s Grotto in London this Christmas

Where can you find Santa’s Grotto in London?

The simple answer is… everywhere!

There are loads of places where you can take the kids to experience Santa’s Grotto no matter what part of London you’re from. I’ve mainly sourced out the ones most local to me but you can even find a grotto by heading to your closest shopping mall and maybe even department store.

Some of the big department stores experiences (Harrods, Hamley’s, Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges) are all sold out already! It seems like every year when I look, I’m always too late however it’s not a bad thing as the tickets for these places are usually around £25+ which is extortionate in my opinion. Christmas should not be all about commercialising and keeping pockets fat for the big companies. Instead, head to your local events and support your local or small businesses.

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There are also free Santa experiences at shopping centres so check those out too. I will carry on updating this post as we draw closer to Christmas in case I come across others. So without further ado, here’s a list of where you can find Santa in Greenwich and the surrounding areas:

Santa’s Grotto at Greenwich Market

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Search for Santa's Grotto in London
Credit: Greenwich Market

Dates: November 30 – December 24
Price: £5
 (proceeds going to the Greenwich & Bexley hospice)

The Grotto in Greenwich is a great little local spot. It’s right in the heart of the old covered market so you can enjoy the festivities around the area, grab something to eat before queuing up to see the Big Guy. Children also receive a small gift during their visit. If this is your child’s first experience or you just want a relatively short experience, I’d recommend seeing Santa here – it’s a no-frills visit but at least you can still get a photo with Santa and save your money for Christmas shopping!

https://www.greenwichmarket.london/events/detail/father-christmas-2019


Victorian Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Credit: Museum of London Docklands

Dates: November 29 – December 23
Price: £10

For a Santa experience with a bit of a difference, I would recommend coming to see Santa at the Museum of London Docklands. It’s a great museum in general and will definitely keep the kids busy. There is even a play area for the under 5s called Mudlarks Gallery and is free however you will need to reserve your child’s space. You can do this online or on the day. I’d recommend online to avoid any disappointment as the Mudlarks gallery does get full very quickly. Tickets for this year’s Santa visit is £10 per child.

A few years ago we visited the Santa’s Grotto here and got some really nice photos however I remember the queue was extremely long! Staff are on hand to check on you every 30mins or so and to usher you into the room where Santa is. You can read our Victorian Santa’s Grotto experience review here

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/santas-grotto?id=23408


Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield Stratford City

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Santa's Grotto experiences in London
Credit: Caleb Woods via Unsplash

Dates: November 21 – December 24
Price: £7.50
(parents, children and infants all require a ticket)

I really loved the Santa experience we had at Westfield Stratford City years back when Little Man was a toddler. I don’t have any photos to share with you of the experience but I remember it was really immersive. It started off with families being ushered into a room to watch a short show about Christmas then we were slowly ushered into another room where we then waited to meet Santa. The price was only for the experience and the photoshoot but we had to buy the images. I think I bought a framed photo and a photo bauble.

This year, the experience has a North Pole theme where families will be “magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto.” The kids will then receive a gift and have a photo opportunity with Santa. After that, you’ll be ‘magically transported’ back to London.

https://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/entertainment/events/santas-snowflake-grotto/54380


Selfies with Santa at Lewisham Shopping Centre

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Dates: December 17 – December 24
Price: FREE

Last year, Lewisham Shopping Centre had a Santa meet & greet event and we were invited along. The Santa and elves from The Holly Jolly Co. were so lovely and really made the experience special for us. The team are entertainers and are also available for party hires so check them out if you want to host an event and in need of good friendly entertainers. This year, they are back again so make sure you pop along from Tuesday 17th December until Christmas Eve!

We also donated gifts to the giving tree. You pick the the tag that you want which has a child’s age and gender on there so you can pick a gift for them. Buy your gift(s) then come back and the staff will help you attach your tag. I let the kids pick a child each. If the tree is there again this year, we shall do the same. After all, Christmas is about the gift of giving and spreading joy to all.

https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/articles/come-meet-santa-claus-lewisham


Santa’s Grotto & Christmas fayre at Lesnes Abbey

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Dates: December 7 & 8 
Price: FREE

A two day Christmas extravaganza at Lesnes Abbey. With over 30 different craft and gift stalls, a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and live festive music. On Saturday you’ll enjoy a Christmas Market, Grotto, stalls, mulled wine, minced pies and lots of kids activities. For Sunday there will be more new stalls and the kids can be entertained on the Frozen bouncy castle and indoor Christmas pop-up disco. Amazing!

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/events/event/7168/lesnes_abbey_christmas_grotto_and_fayre

with love x

Linking up with:
Linking up with the #DreamTeam

Family things to do this Halloween half term (in and around Greenwich)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween

With Halloween night just a week away, there’s plenty to do this October half-term. There’s lots going on in the Greenwich area but if you fancy venturing out a little more, here are some of the best events that I’ve come across so far that’s suitable for the whole family, some are free and some are paid so there’s something to suit everyone!

Monday 23rd

Eltham Palace Gardens, SE9 (events throughout the week)
From creepy crafts and a fancy dress competition for the kids to pumpkin carving for the whole family, head down to Eltham Palace one day this week for some fun-filled entertainment. Pumpkin carvings cost £4 and on at select times; see here for more info

Discover Stratford Children’s Centre, E15 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Chris Wormell Dinosaurium book signing event. If your little one is dinosaur-mad then this is event is not to be missed. Chris Wormell will be reading from his book and the book signing will be at the end of the event. If you’re only free for the morning, don’t miss out on

11:30am – The Gruffalo film screening. For one day only, it’s going to be a popular one so pre-booking is essential. Entry to events includes admission to Discover’s story world and storytelling space. While you’re there, why not book to see the Gruffalo and other stories exhibition? It’s on throughout the week and at different times during the day. See the full list of events at Discover Stratford here

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
Kids Halloween craft workshops will be on at Greenwich Market from Monday to Thursday. They are drop in sessions so no need to book in advance. There will be other workshops and events going on throughout the week (see below).  More info on Greenwich Market events here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Pumpkin carving competition for the family at Eltham Palace

Tuesday 24th

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Free Flying Mat Kids yoga (also on Wednesday). Time to downard dog and rest in child’s pose. Treat the kids to a fun yoga flow in a bustling environment. No need to book, just turn up and have fun!

Museum of London Docklands, E14
Dear Zoo storytelling for under 5s – this storytelling of Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo looks at the animals that arrived on London’s docks years ago. At the end of the storytelling, an interactive session of learning how to build crates with different materials should have the children interested and excited. Best of all, the event is free and there’s three time slots for the day. More details on the Dear Zoo storytelling here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Free mat yoga for the kids at Greenwich Market (Source: Yogi Beans)

Wednesday 25th

Greenwich Market, SE10
2pm – Flying Mat Kids yoga, free event

Thursday 26th

Charlton House, SE7
10 to 1pm (drop-in) – Holiday Histories: Haunted Houses. This fun workshop is ideal for kids wanting to exhaust their creativity and craft skills. Learn how to make a haunted house using a variety of different materials. Create something extravagant like a centrepiece or something smaller as decoration. The session cost £1.50 per child and the price is inclusive of all the materials for the session. Suitable for age 4+, more info on the haunted house craft at Charlton House here

Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music, SE8
11am and 2pm (BSL interpreted performance) – Cia Maduixa presents DOT digital dance performance. If your kids are more of a culture vulture or love the performing arts, head down to Trinity Laban to watch this amazing dance performance by dance company Cia Maduixa. Press releases describe the performance as “blending precise digital projections, with dancers’ bodies and a bespoke score, DOT is as mind-bogglingly clever as it is charming.” Want to see a snippet? Watch the DOT performance trailer here

Suitable for age 3+. There will also be free pre-show and post-show arts activities for the kids at 10:30am and 3:15pm. See more info on Cia Maduixa and how to book tickets here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween half term
Cia Maduixa DOT performance at Trinity Laban (Photo by Jordi Pla)

Friday 27

Greenwich Market, SE10
10am to 4pm – Miss Libby Rose Sewing workshop. The sewing costume workshops are for kids only and due to popularity we must state it is just one costume per child. The costume making choices for this year are: Spooky Pirates, Wicked Witch, Curious Cat, Halloween (or Frozen) Princess, Zombie, Dracula, and Day of the Dead. There will be a fashion show of all the costumes at 4pm and a winner will be chosen for best design.

Suitable for ages 4-7 yrs old. This is a free event but booking is required via Eventbrite – book your child’s place here

Greenwich National Maritime Museum, SE10
11am to 4pm – Halloween party: Lost in the ice! Join us on a horrifying journey through the icy depths of the Maritime Museum at our annual family Halloween party. There will also be a spooky story parade, a portable photo booth to take scary selfies for memories and a trick or treat trail. Tickets cost £8. Read more about the Halloween party here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween half term

Saturday 28th

The Vanbrugh Pub, SE10
12pm to 4pm – The Vanbrugh Funday. A fun day for all the family; there will be face painting, best dressed competition, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, lots of frightfully good food and live music from 8pm to end your night in a fangtastic way! More details here on The Vanbrugh pub’s website

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family things to do at Halloween half term
Halloween Family Funday at The Vanbrugh pub in Greenwich (source: The Vanbrugh)

Sunday 29th

Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10
10am to 4:30pm – Halloween in Greenwich by Events Inspire: The event is aimed at families and offers lots of Halloween themed activities each day. On Sunday, there will be craft activity (Halloween mask making), storytelling, a magic show, Punch & Judy puppet show, costume parade and finish off with some spooky music. There will also be street food and drink stalls, jewellery and craft stalls. The full programme can be seen on the Eventbrite page here where you can register for your free tickets.

The Albany Deptford, SE8
2pm to 5pm – Disco Kids: Spooktacular party. Get dressed in your spookiest get up and head over to The Albany this Sunday for a fantastic disco party! Suitable for kids age 7+ and adults too! Expect fun, fun and more fun! Tickets cost £6, family tickets £20.

For more info, visit http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/2133/Family/Disco-Kids:-Spooktacular

I wish you all a frightfully fun half-term! 🙂

 

 

Review: On Blackheath Music Festival

NB. This post contains affiliated links. Should a sale occur, I/my blog would receive a payment as a result of this. For more info on affiliate links, take a look at my disclaimer page.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | On Blackheath Festival Review

Music. Food. Fun.
That’s pretty much everything you would want or expect from a festival. When I received an email asking if I would like to head down to a local festival event I was really excited. The On Blackheath Music Festival was held over the first weekend of school – LO had just started his first day that week and thought it would be a nice treat for LO and me to go along.

On Sunday
We arrived on Blackheath green around 2-3pm. It was so windy but LO was so excited to go to a festival, he didn’t even feel the cold. I picked up my ticket from the desk office and was given a pass which allowed me to come and go as I wish. The festival was massive and I couldn’t help but think to myself that if the day was sunnier there would’ve been much more people.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | On Blackheath Festival Review
Got my pass! 🙂
Working out where most things were, LO and I headed over to the family playground area first. I was on a tight budget so kept him away from all the paid stuff although he could see the helter skelter clearly and was begging to go on it. It was only £2.50 a ride but I had no cash on me. There were cash machines inside the festival but it didn’t offer free withdrawals so I stuck to my guns and told LO just to enjoy the free stuff instead. We went near to the children’s tent where there was a storytelling going on and comedian Julian Clary was signing his latest children’s book in the smaller tent beside it. I wrote a post last year about Julian Clary reading with children so I really wanted to meet him but he was gone by the time we made our way over to his tent. Maybe next time.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | On Blackheath Festival Review
LO at the top of the ship
LO had so much fun on the pirate’s ship by the Albion Kids Show, he was a little hesitant at first but then got stuck in climbing about and really enjoyed it. He didn’t want to leave! When I started to feel little droplets of rain, I took LO and ushered us inside the children’s tent to listen to the storytelling by Mike Dodsworth. He had an amazing energy and was able to hold the children’s attention for a full 60mins with the power of his words and story. We came in halfway but figured out that it was a story about a prince who was searching for a beautiful princess. He found such a princess but she was locked up under the sea in a castle that was guarded by a giant fish. The prince learnt how to swim and catch the giant fish with his net, free the princess and brought her back to her kingdom. It was a lovely story and there was even a chance for everyone to take part in the story by acting out little parts in the story. LO is really into children’s books like these, especially Julia Donaldson ones so I was very happy that he enjoyed the storytelling too.

When the storytelling ended LO and I wandered further down into the festival. We saw the main stage where singer, KT Tunstall was next in line to perform and I managed to just catch a glimpse of the John Lewis live cooking stage however wasn’t able to get to it to sit down and watch. LO was starting to tire so I got us a pizza and drink to liven us up – it was a pepperoni one and was so tasty but quite pricey at £10.00 a pizza. We watched KT Tunstall perform ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ and ‘The Other Side of the World’. It wasn’t until it was halfway into Black Horse that I looked down and saw that LO was sleeping whilst standing and realised it was time for us to go home. The night was still young (at 5pm) and I didn’t want to leave. I told myself that I would take LO home, get changed then head back out. That didn’t happen.

We got into our Uber and headed home. Once we got indoors, I didn’t want to leave the warmth to stand in the cold. I love my warmth and with winter soon coming, I didn’t want to increase my risk of getting chilblains as I have poor circulation in my feet. Regardless of leaving early, we had a fabulous time. I was gutted I wasn’t able to see any live cooking demos as that was one of the main reasons I was really excited to go to the On Blackheath festival but when you have little ones, their needs need to come first and unfortunately for me that meant us leaving early to let bubba rest.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | On Blackheath Festival Review
We had a great time at On Blackheath music fest!
I’d definitely love to come back next year and hope that we will be greeted with warmer weather. It’s a brilliant local event and I’m so glad it comes round every year. 🙂


This is a collaborative post with John Lewis. I was given two tickets to attend the On Blackheath Music Festival. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

The Hunting of the Snark is coming to Greenwich Theatre!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Days Out: The Hunting of the Snark
Photo credit: Simon Annand

The Hunting of the Snark is heading to Greenwich Theatre on Sunday 24th September following a West End run this summer. The production is based on Lewis Carroll’s poem and follows a ragtag gang of bold adventurers as they set off on a quest to catch the mythical Snark.

The show is suitable for children from ages 4+ and will start on Sunday at 14:00 and is said to be a great one so don’t miss out, there’s still tickets available. If you are in Greenwich and looking for something to do with the family, treat them to a fun day out to the theatre. LO loves the theatre and we are always looking for our next show to go and watch.

If you’re too eager to see what the performance will entail, I can grant you a sneaky peek… just take a look below, taken from the cast’s press performance of the show:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Days Out: The Hunting of the Snark
Photo credit: Simon Annand

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hunting of the Snark at Greenwich Theatre

“Side-splittingly funny, joyful, fast-paced and bursting with a soundtrack of witty songs by an award-winning songwriter, The Hunting of the Snark is a tour de force that‘ll delight, excite and entertain…”    – Snark Productions

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hunting of the Snark at Greenwich Theatre
Photo credit: Simon Annand

The Hunting of the Snark Vaudeville Theatre Polly Smith (The Butcher) Credit Simon Annand

The Hunting of the Snark Vaudeville Theatre Simon Turner (The Banker) Credit Simon Annand

The show looks amazing. I’m really sad that I won’t be able to take LO to go and see it because the photos above have really got me intrigued to see how the whole show pans out. Just look at all those bright colours and that man in the crazy ruffle costume is sure to get some laughs from the audience. I think this show is going to be one that both the kids and parents will enjoy, expect to laugh hard and often! 🙂

After the one-day performance at Greenwich Theatre the show will be moving around the UK as part of its national UK tour which is set to end mid-November.

To book your tickets or for more information:
http://www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/


Photos by Simon Annand | The Hunting of the Snark | Vaudeville Theatre

Our day trip to the Museum of London Docklands

During August, Museum of London Docklands had put on a range of free events for the whole family. These included workshops like jewellery making and creating artwork as well as story-telling days and interactive workshops about the history of London’s tunnels.

The Tunnel: Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition displayed objects that were recovered from the construction dig including as human remains that were found in Liverpool Street, Victorian chamber pots that were found near Stepney Green, and Crosse and Blackwell jars that were found near Tottenham Court road.

Alongside the Tunnel exhibition, an interactive workshop called Time Tunnellers. We were invited to attend the blogger’s launch of the over 5’s workshop but missed it due to bad weather and traffic. We still made it to the museum, just not to the event so we explored the museum instead. We had a look at the permanent collections at the museum. LO was really fascinated with the cutlass display and the whale tooth carving in the city and river gallery.

Time Tunnellers workshop

On LO’s birthday, we returned back to the Docklands museum and booked in for the free Time Tunnellers workshop. LO started off being really scared of taking part in the event so we had to take it all a bit slowly. As he warmed up to the workshop and saw the other children taking part, he started to become a little more at ease with the activity and got stuck in. I think he ended up really liking the workshop. Below is a slideshow of photos from the workshop. I found it really fascinating and the staff were really interactive and got the children and adults all participating at one point. 🙂 Some of the artefacts on display at the workshop were real findings from the actual Crossrail excavation such as the glazed ceramic pieces.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands Time Tunnellers
Time Tunnellers workshop for the over 5’s

After the workshop, we spent a little more time exploring the museum again. We checked out the Children Mudlarks gallery which is a free play area at the museum (needs to be pre-booked online or at the museum) but didn’t stay long enough as it was time for me to go to work… the joys of part-time work and parenting!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands
home time!

There’s always lots going on at this museum and I think people tend to forget about it compared to the bigger museums like the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Museum of London in Barbican. If you’re nearby the docklands, head over to this museum for a bit of history – the kids will definitely love it and I’m sure grown-ups will too!

For upcoming free events in September, visit the Museum of Docklands website.


NB. This is a collaborative post.

Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Image: Courtesy of Museum of London Docklands

Christmas is now approaching thick and fast – can you believe there’s under two weeks left already?… Where has this year gone?!

Every year I try to make it my mission to take LO to see Santa – and as this is Baby Girl’s first Crimbo we couldn’t miss out on a Santa’s Grotto visit. We were invited by the Museum of London Docklands to come and visit their Victorian Santa’s grotto. The museum is located at West India Quay, a tiny walk from Canary Wharf making it a central location for those living or working in the city. Also unlike other Santa’s Grottos which are in shopping centres, this one is in a museum (you basically have two wicked visits rolled into one!).

We went along last Sunday. It seems like Sundays are the busiest days at the museum so if you would love to avoid the hustle and bustle I’d recommend going on a weekday or even Saturday (which seemed less busy). We actually arrived late to our Santa appointment but the team were so accommodating and we were still allowed to enter.

We decided to head straight to the Grotto as we were late and checked out the museum after the Santa visit. The Grotto is located on the second floor and was quite easy to find – you just follow the Santa footprints on the floor until you reached the entrance to the special place. There was a little buggy park so you can leave your pram but it is at the owner’s risk. I had no valuable items in mine so I left mine there – I did not want to be lugging my Urbo around even though it is a small pram. When we passed the lovely decorative old Victorian town we reached the queue to see Santa. There was a lovely little crafts table to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults stood in line for the children to see Santa. Continue reading “Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands”

Review: Above and Beyond exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

We have everything available to us at our doorstep – literally! There is a Costa Coffee store opening soon right downstairs and I’ve been telling my friends I don’t know if that is a good idea because I will probably tell Daddy P to watch the kids while I hide out in there behind my sugar-free caramel decaff latte.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

I love living in Greenwich.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about an exhibition that is currently on in the National Maritime Museum until August 29th called “Above and Beyond”. I also wrote in the post that it was aimed at kids from 7+ which is what it states on the Royal Museums Greenwich website however when we went, there was a lot more younger children (preschoolers) at the exhibition which was lovely to see as I didn’t expect that. (I think Baby Girl was the youngest visitor on the day we went.)

National Maritime Museum

The NMM is one of the Royal Museums Greenwich alongside Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House – all of these places are available for viewing pleasures but I believe the National Maritime Museum offers the most free galleries and exhibitions out of the four. It is also one of the most baby-friendly museums I’ve been to so far.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

| watch our video – click play below|

The Above and Beyond Exhibition

Our day out to the exhibition was much better than I anticipated. Mainly because I was slightly worried that LO won’t enjoy it but it was quite the contrary – he absolutely loved it! We were lucky enough to be invited along to review the exhibition for my blog, which I kindly accepted. 🙂

I’ve also been given an exclusive promo code so all of you lovely readers can get 10% off your tickets.
Just use the code MUMMY10 when booking online or directly at the admissions desk.

The day we decided to head out to the museum it started raining lightly but all was well as I brought along with us LO’s umbrella so he could stay dry – I don’t mind the drizzle as much. We got our Peppa Pig umbrella from The Works for just £3.00. So cheap as all the other children’s brollies I found online were around £10-14. (That is extortionate!)

Once we picked up our tickets at the admissions desk we headed to the lift to take us downstairs. Inside the exhibition were lots of interactive stations where you could learn about how aircrafts fly in the air, how sonic waves travel and how they affect the nose of the planes. You can also take a virtual elevator ride to outer space and fly your own supersonic jet simulator. LO wasn’t interested in the big children’s games and instead preferred playing with the buttons on the sonic waves machine. He had fun so I didn’t mind – instead it gave me time to walk about and explore other parts of the exhibition.

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

We took the virtual elevator ride to outer space and saw the edge of planet Earth. It was amazing! We also found out what commercial planes are constructed from and learnt about the different space rockets and shuttles that have been sent to space. There were to-scale miniature versions of the space crafts which looked so cool. There are staff members in the exhibition who I believe you could go to for more information if you wanted to find out more about something specific. Most of the older children were playing at the flight simulators – there were even people queuing up to play!

The AHOY! Children’s Gallery

After we were done with exploring the Above & Beyond exhibition, we headed back upstairs to have a quick play in the AHOY! children’s gallery before going home. LO’s been to play here once before and loved it then and it was no different this time round. He was confident in playing around the areas by himself and really enjoyed playing with the foam ships and inside the little play house.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

It’s aimed at children from 0-5 years so expect to see plenty of toddlers and preschoolers running about. You may also find a few mums with babies hiding out in here too. 🙂 I love this little area – it was only opened about a year ago but I think really adds a fun element to the museum and also it’s the one place where you can let your kids roam free and scream and shout with potentially annoying anyone else. Haha!

I hope you liked our video and review. Have you been to any museums lately?


NB. We were kindly given tickets by Royal Museums Greenwich to review this exhibition. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

Review: Into Space with Q Pootle 5 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Event Reviews

Last week we were invited to come along and experience the sold-out event, Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5. It was a special event put on by the Royal Museums Greenwich as part of their Holiday to Space series, held at the Royal Observatory. I previously posted a blog about this event which you can read here.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Q Pootle 5 Review
Entrance to Greenwich Park from the high street

Our day started off at 10am but we left about 30mins before as we only live down the road. Due to the location of our home, we ended up at the South entrance of the park, near Greenwich High Street so we had to walk up to the Royal Observatory through the park. It took us about 15 mins to walk up there and LO managed to get up without a stroller as I decided against taking it. Baby Girl was at home with Daddy P so it was just Mummy and LO time – something we’ve not done in such a long time. When we reached the top, we were a tad thirsty so headed into the Pavillion Cafe where we stocked up on water, juice and sandwiches as LO didn’t have any breakfast before we left – we’re usually still in bed at 8am haha! 🙂

Once we arrived outside the Royal Observatory we could see all the other families also waiting for the event. Like I mentioned earlier, the event had been sold out – I never knew it was so popular! When the staff opened the Observatory gates, families were kindly escorted into the Peter Harrison Planetarium.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Event Reviews
Peter Harrison Planetarium, Royal Greenwich Observatory

The day’s itinerary was as follows…

10:00am
| Watch Q Pootle 5 shows in the Peter Harrison Planetarium

After “checking in” we headed downstairs to the main planetarium. We were amazed, neither me or LO had seen such a place before so it was a special moment (for me!) and I could see that he was really curious to discover what was around him. He gets really fidgety when he gets excited! LO finally managed to calm down and we sat while the museum’s astrologist, Brendan, explained what we’ll be watching and introduced Nick Butterworth to us. Nick is the creator, author and illustrator of Q Pootle 5 which is a children’s TV cartoon series about friendly aliens aired on Cbeebies. You can watch episodes here

We watched two episodes of Q Pootle 5; the first one was about Q Pootle 5 and his friends join Planet Dave in awaiting the arrival of Comet Gordon. The gang put on a lovely show with music, bunting and more. The second show was about a satellite that accidentally fell on planet Oki Doki. Q Pootle 5 and his friends help to repair the satellite then helped to launch it back into orbit.

11:00am
| Creator Nick Butterworth talks to us about how he created Q Pootle 5

When we had watched the shows, we were split into two teams; red and blue. We were Team Red. We were then escorted into a small room where Nick Butterworth talked about how he came to create Q Pootle 5. It was lovely to hear him explain how much planning is involved when turning a 2D illustration into a 3D animation. There is a lot of science and technical stuff at work here! Nick told us there was about a team of forty involved in the making of Q Pootle 5.

11:20am
| Participate in a group space activity

Once the talk was over, we swapped with Team Blue and went into another little room where astrologist Brendan set up our space activity. The kids learnt about how shadows on the moon, what moon craters are and how they’re made. Brendan then asked all the children to grab a bit of plasticine and make their own crater. LO had other ideas; he didn’t want to turn his long sausage-shaped plasticine into a moon crater and preferred to keep it straight. My little boy for some reason is rarely in the mood to take part in group activities, he’d much prefer just to play by himself or in one-on-one.

11:45am
| Nick Butterworth’s book signing

After playing with our plasticine, LO needed a quick toilet break. On our way back from the toilet, it was time to get ready to head on out downstairs onto the planetarium’s terrace where Nick Butterworth would be book-signing. We were a little early so I decided to take us to the museum shop – a big fat mistake!

Everything was fine at the start; we looked around the shop, played with a few toys then dum-dum-duummmmm!! LO wanted to buy the large space rocket. It was £15 and I wasn’t ready to part with the cash so tried using different strategies to get him out of the shop. It worked but then once we were outside – bam! – LO pulled out of the bag a big, fat (not to mention loud) tantrum. The more I tried to talk to him and calm him down, the louder he screamed and whined. I knew what it meant. It was time for a nap. He had been up for too long and he was ready to sleep.

We didn’t have the stroller and still waiting for Nick to arrive, I didn’t want to leave and not get the book signed as we had come all this way and who knew when we would see Nick again to have him sign it. I stuck to my guns and didn’t cave in by buying him the toy. We sat down in the terrace cafe and I gave him a few dinosaur sweeties to try and kick-start his energy. It worked a little. We eventually got our booked signed then thanked Nick, his wife and the RMG staff for hosting a brilliant day out and headed home. We walked back down the way we came and stopped at the little ice cream shop for a little ice lolly to cool us down.

Nick Butterworth (creator of Q Pootle 5) signing our book 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Q Pootle 5 at Royal Observatory

It was a brilliant day out and we had lovely weather. When we got home, we snuggled up with Baby Girl and just chilled out for the rest of the day. A perfect ending to a perfect day. 🙂

watch our day out: –

 


NB. We were invited to this event by the Royal Museums Greenwich. All words, opinions and photos are my own. Photos that are not mine are credited respectively.

 

Free things to do in Greenwich during the Summer Holidays

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Things to Do in Greenwich for Free

Everybody loves a freebie and when you’re strapped for cash, free things to do can become the best way to treat the family to a lovely day out without spending a penny. Here are a few of my favourite (free) things to do in Greenwich over the summer holidays…

Greenwich Peninsula

The Peoples Brick Company and architecture firm Something & Son have commissioned a one-of-a-kind installation at the NOW gallery that encourages visitors to get involved and participate in quarrying clay and moulding your own brick. If you want to take part, pop along to the NOW gallery at the weekend and get your hands dirty. All of the bricks made will be mass-fired on September 17th and then will be used to build a permanent folly which will stand at Greenwich Peninsula.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Things to Do in Greenwich for Free
For more info, see below:
http://nowgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/the-peoples-brick-company-something-son/

Greenwich Park

Parks are a great place for a run around, to see wildlife and horticulture, have a picnic, etc and best thing is that it’s usually free! Royal Greenwich Park has lots of wonderful areas to explore from the flower garden to the deer encounter, to the children’s play area and the secret garden.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Greenwich Park’s children playground

For more details and opening times, see below:
https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park

Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market is a great free place to go. It’s filled with stalls selling everything from food to fabrics. Over the summer holidays, every Wednesday is “Wicked Wednesdays” – a day filled with crafty workshops for kids. There’s also some Weds in August where they are holding free yoga workshops.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog
One of the entrances to Greenwich Market

Click below for more details on Wicked Wednesdays at Greenwich Market:
http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/events/story/wednesday-workshops-for-crafty-kids

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is free to enter and has a lot of free galleries for the whole family to enjoy; there’s the Ahoy gallery aimed at 0-5 year olds, the All Hands gallery and the ship simulator is aimed at over 7’s, the Great World map is ideal for everyone.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review
National Maritime Museum

Click the link below to see what’s on:
http://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum/families>

Sky Studios at The O2

If you want to have a bit of fun, head over to the Sky Studios at The O2. Previously, they hosted a special Paw Patrol meet & greet event and now they’ve got virtual Sky Sports event on. You’ll be able to have fun with their green screen and pose with your favourite footballers – you can then save your photos digitally to a card which you’ll receive upon arriving. All you’ll need to do at home is log on to the Sky Studios page, type in your code and voila you’re photos will be available for downloads.

The Greenwich Mummy | Sky Studios at The O2
(Photo Credit: The O2)

For more info on the Sky Studios latest event, click here:
https://rewards.sky.com/home/sky-at-the-o2/sky-studios/

Cbeebies Q Pootle 5 & Nick Butterworth at Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Greenwich Mummy - Q Pootle 5

The Greenwich Mummy - Q Pootle 5
On Tuesday 26th July 2016, Cbeebies Nick Butterworth and his alien Q Pootle 5 will be at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich hosting a special event called ‘Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5‘. The Cbeebies author, producer and illustrator will be performing an interactive story-telling complete with live illustrations and hosting a special craft activity for the children.


On the day

The day will kick off at 10am when all of the children will be watching episodes of the hit Cbeebies series under the starry morning planetarium. Nick Butterworth will then present his interactive show and read from his latest book. The morning is rounded off with a wonderful craft activity for the kids. Visitors will also get the chance to explore Royal Greenwich Observatory’s giant Moon map and craft lunar landers to land on it.

From 12pm to 1pm Nick will be book-signing so make sure you bring along your Q Pootle 5 book (which is what I’m going to do) or purchase one on the day from the Astronomy Centre shop to get a lovely signature from Nick and make the day extra special.

I will attending this exclusive Greenwich event to cover the story – hopefully I will remember to SnapChat the day (my SC handle is @greenwichmummy) and I’m sure you’ll see photos on Instagram too. 🙂 Make sure you check out my blog a few days after the 26th for my review.

Tickets are priced at £6.00 (per adult/per child). That makes it £24 for a family of four – not bad at all for a day out in Greenwich. The price of the ticket also includes access to all areas of the Royal Greenwich Observatory including the planetarium which is great. Kids can explore the starry skies after the show.

Who are the Q Pootle 5?

The Greenwich Mummy - Nick Butterworth's Q Pootle 5
Anti-clockwise from left; Groobie, Oopsy, Pootle, Stella and Eddi

If your kids watch Cbeebies, they’ll probably know who the Q Pootle 5 team are. They are a bunch of friendly aliens living out in space on planet Oki Doki.

Here are the main characters:

  • Q Pootle 5 – known as “Pootle” to his space friends. Pootle is a friendly green alien and the main character in the show.
  • Oopsy – She is Pootle’s best friend. Oopsy’s pink and lives in an upside-down rocket.
  • Eddi – He is a two-headed purple alien. Eddie like to talk to himself a lot and is really shy/timid compared to the others.
  • Stella – Stella is yellow and wears pink wellington boots. She lives in a treehouse and loves gardening. When she has spare time, she loves playing her bagpipes.
  • Groobie – He is the eldest member of the gang. He is orange with thick purple eyebrows, and can be a bit forgetful. Bud-D is Groobie’s robot; you can see him in the header image at the top of this blog post.

Never seen the show? Click the following link to watch Q Pootle 5 on BBC iPlayer

Who is Nick Butterworth?

The Greenwich Mummy - Nick Butterworth
Meet author and producer, Nick Butterworth

Nick is the author, illustrator and executive producer of Q Pootle 5. His children’s books are widely available in bookstores and online. His TV show is aired on BBC’s Cbeebies channel. He has wrote many other fabulous children’s book such as “One snowy night”, “Present for Freddie Small” and “Tiger in the snow”.

If you are looking for a family day out with the kids, come to the Royal Greenwich Observatory on July 26th for this magical event!


*I worked with Royal Museums Greenwich on this post to help promote their latest event. In doing so, they have invited me to attend the event which I will review in a later post. All words and opinions are my own. Photos are credited to Google.

Days Out: Meeting Paw Patrol at The O2 Sky Studios

The Greenwich Mummy | Sky Studios at The O2

Last weekend LO and I had a lot of fun in our local area. We decided to take a trip around Greenwich and also visit The O2 as I was told that the Paw Patrol pups were going to be making an appearance at The O2 Sky Studios as part of the brand’s new Sky Kids app launch. It was a lovely day out for the whole clan – me, LO, Daddy P and Baby Girl.

Sky Studios at The O2

The Greenwich Mummy | Sky Studios at The O2
(Photo Credit: The O2)

I heard about the event a few days in advance so decided to announce the fun day out over Twitter and two mummies Facebook group for the local and surrounding area. The Sky Studios opened at 11:00AM on Saturday to the general public but an hour earlier  at 10AM for press and invited bloggers. Unfortunately, we turned up at the public time and missed the earlier window but we were still kindly greeted by the friendly staff who showed us around. On the first level there was three interactive booths where you can sit down and take a photo with the Paw Patrol crew, Ninja Turtles and many more. It’s done via a green screen on the computer which was really fun. I didn’t join in but Daddy P did – even Baby Girl got a lovely photo with LO. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | Sky Studios at The O2
The Sky Studios kids area at The O2 opens until June 17th

 

When we (well, LO) got tired of taking photos, we headed up to the next floor where the pop-up play area was located. Here we was able to pop bubbles on an interactive screen, take photos with the Scooby Doo crew as well as Ben and Holly’s kingdom. There were cute little toadstool chairs and tables for the kids to sit down and take part in activities such as colouring in, playing with stickers or have some fun on the interactive tablets nearby. The Sky Studios itself is open all year round however the cool kids are will be here until June 17th.

We was told that the Paw Patrol pups will make their appearance around 12 noon so when it was almost time we went to queue up to meet the pups and get our photo taken. The turnout to meet the pups was fantastic! There was a lot of people that came by. Some who missed the chance on Saturday would’ve been able to catch the pups again on Sunday.

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle Blog

When queuing the Sky staff asked the public which pup they wanted to come out first – Marshall or Chase and the crowd chanted for the former. That meant Chase wasn’t going to make an appearance til later that afternoon as the meet & greet was scheduled for 12-4pm. When it was our turn to meet Marshall, LO got really shy and didn’t want his photo taken without Daddy P with us. So we ended up with a lovely family photo with Marshall which was really nice.

Getting around by Thames Clipper

After we had the photo taken, we decided to head up to Greenwich in style – on the Thames Clipper. This riverboat service operates daily from North Greenwich (sometimes Woolwich Arsenal) to the London eye/Waterloo. There are other clipper services available that covers different areas. The views on the Clipper were amazing. We originally wanted to take it up to Waterloo then go the London Aquarium but as the weather wasn’t great we just decided to go for a meal instead. Baby Girl is still exclusively breastfed so I didn’t want to go too far from home as this was officially our first big day out together.

We got the Clipper service from the North Greenwich Pier and took it to Greenwich pier which was one stop. The service was super fast and really comfortable. The riverboat is well kitted out with a lovely cafe bar serving hot and cold drinks as well as snacks. I definitely recommend everyone to try the Thames Clipper at least once as it’s a lovely way to travel and currently isn’t susceptible to any traffic.

When we got off at Greenwich we headed to Nandos for a quick lunch and a chance for me to breastfeed Baby Girl – she feeds every 2hrs so it’s really hard to do anything for long. I quickly scoffed down my lovely dish of spicy chicken livers and salad before getting comfortable to feed baby. After we all finished our meal, we had a look around the area. It started getting cold and time for LO’s nap (I was also really tired) so we decided to head back home on the Clipper. When we got home, I put LO to bed then went to co-sleep with Baby Girl. As LO had a lot of fun, he slept soundly for a good 3hrs which was sheer bliss!

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle Blog
LO had a great time at the Sky Studios

_
About the Sky Kids app

This lovely day event was for the launch of the Sky Kids app; a kid-friendly app designed specially for children without any annoying ads, is safe and secure to use, and free to download for Sky TV users. It’s available on android and iPhone as well as tablets inc. iPad. For more info on the app, click here


NB. The Sky Studios at The O2 is free to enter and open year round but we were invited to the character meet & greet and sent a complimentary day pass for the Thames Clipper in exchange for this blog review.