Located on the edge of London and Surrey, Kingston-upon-Thames is a lovely place to live. It is also a lovely place to visit. And if you live nearby, why not give central London a miss and visit one of the many fun attractions?
Kingston Town Centre - There is loads to do in Kington. There are restaurants, shops, soft plays (Jellybugs is our favourite), and there's also a nice bowling alley in the Rotunda. The Kingston Museum is educational and fun. Kingston also has a cool exhibit of falling down red phone boxes. Great for your Instagram. There are also special (free) activities for children on Thursdays during school holidays (Thumbs Up It's Thursday), including arts and crafts sessions at the Bentalls Centre, The Rotunda as well as the Eden Centre and Cass Arts.
Boat Rides - You can take a boat along the Thames, courtesy of Turks. Turks offers free rides to children on Thursday mornings from Kingston to Hampton Court Palace. When we went, we had a wander in the garden next to Hampton Court, and then had lunch in their cafe. But you could pay for entry to Hampton Court Palace and make it a full day. Or you could let the children run around the new Magic Garden, which looks pretty cool. It is a one hour and 15-minute round trip ride from Kingston to Hampton. The boat ride was long enough to be scenic and enjoyable without being long and boring (which can be an issue with small children).
Cheap Movies - There is an Odeon cinema at the Rotunda. On weekends and school holidays, there are special 'kids' screenings for £2.50 each. There is no booking fee if you book online. Perfect for a rainy day.
Richmond Park - Even though it is called Richmond Park, it can be accessed through Richmond, Kingston, East Sheen and Roehampton. It is a great day out, especially if you don't want to spend any money. Bring a picnic or else come after breakfast (the park is much busier in the afternoon so we tend to visit in the morning). There is a small playground near Kingston Gate, perfect for toddlers. There is a bigger playground, with sandpits, next to Petersham Gate. We drive up to Pembroke Lodge for the views and for afternoon tea. Isabella Plantation is perfect for letting the kids run around while exploring exotic plants and flowers.
The Rose Theatre Kingston - We are great lovers of The Rose. But besides putting on fab family shows, they also offer acting classes and workshops (and there's a cute cafe). This Easter break, they are showing The Witches from Tuesday, 29 March until Sunday, 10 April. The Witches is based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, and looks to be magical. In addition to this, during Thumbs Up It's Thursday, they are offering The Witches Magical Workshop. This free workshop, aimed at ages 7-11 will involve a mix of games and acting exercises.
And if you would like to take your family to see The Witches, then why not enter my giveaway??!! As the show is sure to be scary, it is advised that children should be seven and over, and come with brave adults. The giveaway finishes on the 1st April, so you will need to be around then to tell me which day you would like to attend (the family ticket is for two adults and two children).