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Enjoying What's On Our Doorstep: London Eye Popping Days Out

My summer resolution is to enjoy more of what's on my doorstep. I'll hold my hands up and say I don't do enough of it. I'm quick to spend lots of time dreaming about, planning and executing trips abroad but I can also be a real home body and not go out and explore my own surroundings.

I don't know about you, but I feel like there's something special about London in the summertime. The atmosphere is incredible and there's always so much to do. Now that Baby Girl is very nearly two she loves being out and about. I like to keep her busy in the mornings and if I do she's nearly almost guaranteed to have a long nap in the afternoon which keeps her from being grumpy and is a win win for both of us.

Last week Baby Girl and I, as well as some of the extended family ventured out to Southbank for a fun filled morning. I was a bit nervous heading somewhere so touristy during the summer holidays but we started our morning pretty early and I didn't even feel aware of crowds, even with a buggy in tow.

Baby Girl loves spending time with her cousins and it was so cute to see them frolicking along the promenade together. BG was quick to notice Big Ben. Clocks are her new favourite thing. She kept pointing and chanting "tick tock tick tock". I've said it before but it's so incredible to explore with Baby Girl and see the world through her eyes. Even something I've seen 100 times before looks and feels different with my princess by my side.

Baby Girl and her cousins enjoyed donkey rides in the Jubilee Gardens. Her cousins are six and four years old and went first. BG was squealing with excitement watching them but I was a bit dubious as to if she would be brave enough to give it a go herself. When it was her turn she marched up to her donkey gave it a gentle pat and requested my assistance to get her on her donkey who was named  Trooper. She was a bit unsure when she noticed Trooper was eating grass and I thought she might want to get down but I assured her she was OK and she just trusted she was. I walked with her through her ride and she loved it. I even heard her call out giddy up! Where does she learn such things? 

After the donkey ride we headed over to have a ride on the London Eye. 6 years living here and I've never been. We went fast track when means we didn't have to wait in the really long queue. I don't find anything enjoyable about being in queues and I think any kind of fast track option is well worth it when it comes to touristy things. Within 10 minutes we were at the base and boarding our capsule.

It was hilarious to see many of the adults were nervous of the height and sitting in the seats right in the middle of the capsule while the kids were running around peering straight down the glass admiring London from above. London is such a beautiful city and I really enjoyed the view. The trip around took about 20 minutes and I was really glad I finally did it and got to enjoy it with my loved ones. 

FACT: The capsules travel at the pace of 26 cm per second. You hardly notice you are moving.

We explored further down Southbank. There's loads to do. Entertainment. Buskers. A patch of beach to enjoy some sandcastle making and sand between your toes. People watching. We made our way to the restaurants for some lunch. They're all bundled together and there's quite a few chain type restaurants to choose from. We went for Giraffe because it was the most kid friendly. Baby Girl enjoyed her time with the colouring bits and the helium balloon they gave her. I wasn't blown away by the food but it filled a spot.

We were home by 2pm, just in time for BG to go down for a mammoth nap which gave me the afternoon to get loads of stuff done. We had such a lovely day and it's made me feel so much easier about being spontaneous and having more days like this. 

Any tips on where I should go next for a kid friendly day out?

If you're wanting to plan a similar day, here's some handy info:

London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE 7PB

Closest Tube Stations 
Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross or Westminster

Bus Routes
211, 77 or 381

Opening Times For Summer 2016
10.00am - 9.30pm

London Eye Prices
Book in advance for a 30 time slot and the current online prices are - 
Standard Entry: Adults £21.20 | Children £16.10 (under 4 free) 
Fast Track: Adults £27.95 | Children £22.95 (under 4 free) 

Other Things To Do 
Create your own "Eye Popping Day Out" and combine some other popular London attractions to the price of your ticket for a discounted price - Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium or DreamWork's Shrek's Adventure

* The lovely team at Exposure hosted us for our wonderful donkey ride and London Eye experience

Kat x

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