Activities and a place to eat in London for a 5 year old
February 21, 2015 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm taking my son to London during the Easter school holidays, main activity is to visit the Natural History Museum. He loves dinosaurs, space and spicy food! Any thoughts on where else he'd love to visit? Any restaurants/cafes you can recommend? He loves all things spicy, current favourite food is Vietnamese Ca Ri Ga...
posted by chr to Travel & Transportation around London, England (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The planetarium?
posted by KateViolet at 1:13 PM on February 21, 2015

If you're going to the Natural History Museum, might as well pop into the Science Museum - they have a bit on space. They also have the very interactive 'LaunchPad' bit which is aimed at kids but also good for playful adults.

I think the zoo is ace, but probably better for a full day.
posted by kadia_a at 1:21 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Does he by any chance also like trains? Because if he's never been to the YO! in York, you could stop by a YO! at St Pancras, Paddington or Waterloo stations. It's not amazing sushi but it does come via conveyor belt so is a huge hit with my favourite short people. (I mean, there is also the Transport Museum if he does like trains, but they lack sushi...)

Otherwise, I would suggest Drummond Street NW1 which has plentiful, cheap and delicious Indian food.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:43 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

When my then-5 year old daughter visited London a few years ago, she loved the Launchpad at the Science Museum, the Princess Diana playground in Hyde Park, and the British Museum. Although she loves dinosaurs (triceratops represent!), she wasn't thrilled with the Natural History Museum.
posted by mogget at 2:20 PM on February 21, 2015

Seconding the Planetarium in Greenwich - they're sufficiently child-friendly that I took my (almost) 3yo son last week and he had a blast. It's also close to the Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, the Meridian, and I'd be amazed if you couldn't find somewhere good to eat nearby.
posted by doop at 2:23 PM on February 21, 2015

There's tons of Indian places.
posted by brujita at 3:22 PM on February 21, 2015

Best answer: If you do end up going to Greenwich on a weekend, the market has a fantastic food court. The Ethiopian food stall in particular is great.

Otherwise, has he tried Korean? Bibimbap is spicy but kid-friendly. I like Myungga, behind Liberty, but there are plenty of other options, particularly around the British Museum. If he's never tried okonomiyaki there is Abeno near there too (and the less staid Abeno two near Leicester Square). They have some delicious but truly weird desserts as well.
posted by tinkletown at 5:06 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Definitely the Science Museum! Lots of space stuff there, and it's literally next door to the Natural History Museum.

I wonder if your son might also like the Transport Museum? I visited because there was (at the time) a display of Underground posters I was interested in seeing, but the whole place turned out to be fascinating. There's dozens of real-life buses, trams and train cars from various eras on display, and they seemed very popular with the young kids who were there.

If you go to Greenwich, and you don't mind a little cheese, you could take one of those tourist boats that go from the pier near Westminster Bridge. The guides are very personable, and they tell lots of stories about the history of London and the various buildings you pass on the way. We only took it because we had a free voucher, but it turned out to be a surprisingly fun experience and one I happily would've paid for.
posted by Georgina at 6:49 PM on February 21, 2015

American family here. My five year old loved the Tower of London. He loved being in a castle with lots of suits of armor and weapons. Seconding others about the Planetarium.

As for food, he really liked the food area at Harrods. I let him pick out a few different things then we went and ate outside.
posted by obol at 7:58 PM on February 21, 2015

I highly recommend Sen Viet, a tasty, authentic, easy-on-the-pocket Vietnamese restaurant. It's a great place for dinner, and I think they're also open for lunch? Always frantically busy, but whenever I visited they were very friendly and accommodating.
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 2:10 AM on February 22, 2015

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