The Week Ahead for South Florida 1/29/14

Entrance to WB Harry Potter Studio Tour London
Invisible cloak with green lining at WB Harry Potter Studio
Invisible cloak WB Harry Potter Studio Tour London

I have been feeling the pull of London this week, can’t wait to go back although I don’t think I have a choice.  Those of you who are Harry Potter fans should check out my review of the Harry Potter Studio Tours in London!  If you are headed over the pond anytime soon, this is a must see!  It is an amazing place, even if you aren’t a potter head, but have an interest in movie making.  The detail of the sets and artistry that goes into them is nothing less than incredible.

 

 

My Little Pony Friendship Train ReviewI thought I would re-share the video review of the My Little Pony Train.  My daughter got this Christmas before last and she has been playing with regularly ever since.  I stepped on it last night in the middle of the night and seriously it rivals Lego’s for pain!  She has no idea how close she came to losing this thing.  I don’t think she would ever forgive me for throwing it out though.

This is the week ahead or Click Here for the Full List

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Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martins in the Fields London

St. Martins in the Fields & Cafe in the Crypt

On our last trip to London, we were wondering around near Trafalger Square.  It was actually hot and sunny and we were all dragging a little bit and looking for a good place to sit and cool off for awhile.  (Not to mention a certain person need the loo (aka the bathroom).  We saw some stairs that went down below the sidewalk and of course we had to figure out where they went!  As it turns out they went to the St. Martins in the Fields Crypt.  It was all stone and there was a cafe, bathrooms, a shop and a chance to do some brass rubbing!

My very talented husband put together a little video of our activity so you can  get an idea of what this amazing place was like.  It would be very easy to miss this place and it is truly thanks to the curiosity of a six year old that we had to explore!

Grovelands Park in Winchmore Hill, London

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillWe headed out one chilly, wet Sunday morning to Grovelands Park.  While visiting the London area we always seek out parks.  I think parks (other than tea) are one of the things that the British do best!

Grovelands has the required cute cafe, with snacks, cold drinks and of course good coffee and tea!  The patio overlooks the kids playground and the lake.  It is a lovely place to enjoy a few quiet moments.  The patio also has a few plastic houses for the toddlers to play with while their parents catch their breath!

This park has two playgrounds, the one near the cafe is for younger kids and has all the Grovelands Park Winchmore Hillstandards plus it is wheelchair accessible.  The second playground is a natural climbing area for bigger kids.  I love this area, it is in the wooded area of the park and is a perfect place to practice those climbing skills.

We walked through the wooded area and climbed trees, crossed a dry creek bed, and enjoyed nature to the hilt!

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillThis park has a lovely wide path that parents and kids were busy running, biking and walking around the large lake.  There is huge field that seemed to be the best destination for dogs to run, kids to play ball and even picnics.  Don’t forget the outdoor workout station for the parents to use! Oh, I almost forgot there were kids fishing in the pond too!

We could easily spend an entire day here playing and picnicking and biking!

Click Here for the location and directions to Woodlands Grove Park.

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill
Loved this sign, asking that you not feed birds bread, but cut up grapes and frozen peas instead.

How you can help keep this site running
If you have found this site helpful and want to keep us writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page.  This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting.  Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site.  We really want this information to be free and available to all.

Thanks for your support!

Special Thanks to our sponsors for making this site possible!
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Trent County Park in London, UK

Trent Park

Trent ParkWe always have to visit Trent County Park whenever we are visiting London!  I love the country feel, the natural walkways and my daughter loves the playgrounds!  This park has over 400 acres of land.  We hike the area (at a very, very, very slow pace) in about an hour, and I love the views of rolling meadows, hay fields, small ponds, open fields for football (soccer) and large woodlands.

Younger Playground at Trent Park
There are 2 playgrounds, the one for kids under 8 is right by the Cafe.  I love this playground and it is clearly well thought out!  It is built with natural materials that blend into the wooded area around it.  It offers some great “ropes course” type challenges that are just right for younger kids.  It also has a climbing area perfect for toddlers and tiny tots.

Cafe at Trent Park
The younger playground is right next to the cafe!  This is one of the best things about parks in the UK!  You are almost always guaranteed a cup of tea at least!  The Cafe at Trent County Park did not let us down!  We got burgers and sandwiches that were fabulous!  The staff was great and there was even indoor seating that was very comfortable!

The older playground is much the same as the younger one, but much, much more 8 & up  Playground at Trent Parkchallenging!  Ropes courses, and high climbs built with wood and natural materials are aimed at kids 8 and up.

There is also a really neat ropes & zip line course on the property.  We didn’t get to try it because the minimum age is too old for my child yet.  It is called Go Ape and it looked really fun!  I can’t wait to try it on our next Trent Park Go Ape Entrancetrip when my daughter is old enough.  The views of Trent Park from the ground are stunning, so I can only imagine that from the tree tops they will be spectacular! I chatted with one Dad and his son who had just completed the course and he said that it was “challenging, but doable”.

According to signs in the area the park is part of Walk the Look Trent Parka Green Belt and you can hike 150 miles around London from this point.  .

Trent County Park is located near the Cockfusters & Oakwood Stations.  For more information and Directions Click Here.

The Week Ahead for South Florida (From London) for 6/26/14

The London Eye
Big Ben
Big Ben

We are a little sad this evening, this will be the last post from London!  We have had such a great time, wondering London, visiting parks, but most of all spending time with Nana & Papa.  We have invaded their home, run their washing machine constantly, eaten all their food and are grateful to have such great people in our lives!

It was lovely to see my daughter get to know her grandparents better, and I will never forget how she and Nana can sit and giggle together.

Click here for the full list of upcoming events, or scroll on down to see a few pictures of some of the places that I will be writing about in the next few months.

The Palace
I wonder if the Queen is home?

Palace

Kevan kindly gave us a tour of the famous Who Shop & Museum.
Kevan kindly gave us a tour of the famous Who Shop & Museum.
The Globe
I was dying to get in here, however we arrived to late to tour the inside.
The London Eye
The London Eye
Canal Boat Tour of Regent's Canal
Canal Boat Tour of Regent’s Canal
Big Ben
Big Ben

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full list of upcoming events

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The Week Ahead for South Florida (from London) 6/17/14

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near London
Image of Landscape at at Caple Manors Gardens in Enfield UK
Capel Manors Gardens

Wow, we are having a whirlwind visit at we usually do!  We went today to Capel Manors Gardens (Click Here for a review of previous trip) and got lost in the Hedge Maze.

Yesterday, we went into London and saw the Natural History Museum (I am working getting a good review together about it), munched our way through China Town and (of course) went to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (again).

We jumped off the tube (underground) at Earls Court Station to visit the Tardis (it’s a Doctor Who thing) again.  I have a written a few blogs about what Geek Families Must See in London!  There are a number of free and easy places that will really thrill big and little geeks!

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near LondonWe had the best time at Hatfield House in Enfield Town.  The history here is really incredible, everything is very old!  You can see the pictures of our visit to Hatfield House here.

My pick of the week is the are the Regal $1.00 Movies.

 

Click here for the full list of upcoming events

Thanks to our sponsors, please be sure to check them out!
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Hatfield House Museum, Gardens and Shops near London UK

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near London

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near LondonWe have been having a lovely trip to the London area this time around.  Well, we always seem to.  My in-laws claim we bring the heat with us from Florida!  It has been near 80 and sunny everyday and the humidity has never been over 50%.  There has been a cool constant breeze, so perfect for me!  Those of you from Florida will understand that this is perfect weather. Those here in the London area seem to think it is very hot. I will say, that it is perfect outside, but since no one has AC here, the tube and indoor places can be uncomfortable.   I can’t believe all the amazing photo’s of the castle’s (sorry, not castles, houses and palace, apparently there is a difference) with blue sky and white, fluffy clouds!

We headed out to Hatfield House, and we didn’t even get to finish seeing everything!  We Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near Londonstarted our day with the House Museum Tour, some shopping, and of course the Gardens!  We will have to come back another day to see the Children’s Adventure Playground and the Farm!

The House

The House Museum is amazing!  This house is 400 years old, it is still  lived in (well a portion of it anyway) by the family.  It is truly like walking into the past.  There is one section that still has the original floor and you can imagine the people who may have

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near London
Toys displayed in the armory at Hatfield House.

walked there.  The grounds also includes the Old Palace that was used as a nursery for Princesses and Princes of England.  (I called it a Castle and was informed that Hatfield House is a House and the Palace is a Palace and neither are Castles.  King Henry VIII even owned it in 1558.

Okay, so here is the scoop, if you have really rambunctious kids little tiny ones, I would suggest that you take turns going through the house, while another adult entertains the kids.  If you have school age kids ask for the Animal Quiz when you get in.  The kids can search each room to answer questions and learn a little history as they go.  My 6 year old was impressively good, so you know your kids and what would interest them.

I loved the kitchen and I could just imagine how many people it took to make all that food from scratch, grinding herbs and four, the pastry making room, the ovens, even a scullery!

The Gardens

Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near LondonThe Gardens are my favorite part!  There are little hidey holes where the kids get a kick out of sticking their heads through to see you, loads of amazing real grass that just screams “take your shoes off and walk on me”.  For those with stroller (aka buggies for the Brits) there are paths creating a perfect place for Mommas (Mums) to get out with babies in good weather.

The sculptures change out every September, we had a great time taking pictures with them.  Different gardens are open on different days. I also loved the wildflower meadows it  also had some sculpture and art.

The Shops

This area had some shopping and a Cafe.  The shopping was fun, the gift shop had some Hatfield House Museum and Gardens near Londonreasonably priced things and also some high end things.  Probably something for everyone.  They had some unique toys that were very tempting to me, like “How to build a Crystal Radio just like your grandfather did”.  I am wishing now that I had bought it.  Also they had some great knight, and soldier play clothes.  They were around 19 pounds (I don’t have the pound sign on my computer) so that is something like 35 dollars.

The Cafe was okay, the bathrooms were clean and tidy.  That is always nice.  There was room for strollers inside (buggies) that always makes eating easier for Mommas (Mummies).  The only complaint I had was that the cafe had run out of bottles of water (aka still water).  I had to hunt some down at the Sweet Shop (yeah, that was unfortunate).  The cafe then ran out of trays, then utensils and it was not really very busy.

The Sweet Shop

We were traveling with a friend from the US who (like my husband) grew up in the UK.  They had a great time in the sweet shop and said it took them back to their childhood.  So you have to pop into the sweet shop and pick up a bit of candy (sweeties).

Click here for the link to Hatfield House for prices, and directions.

 

The Week Ahead for South Florida (from London) for 6/12/14

Captain Hooks Ship at Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Captain Hooks Ship at Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Captain Hooks Ship at Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Hope you are keeping cool, because we sure are! This is just one of the places we are visiting here in Jolly Old England.  We are having a lovely time, and I can’t wait to write more about the amazing parks here.  The thing I love most about London is the parks!  There are flowers and roses everywhere, and there is always a place to get a cup of tea while the kids play.

My daughter has asked specifically for this park, it really is a lovely way to escape to Neverland, even if it is just for a few hours!  Click here for our review of the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in London.

Splash Pad A1A & Atlantic in Pompano Beach
Splash Pad A1a & Atlantic in Pompano Beach

Since the sun is sometimes hard to find here in London, my pick of the week is the splash pad on the beach in Pompano Beach! 

Click here for the full list of upcoming events

Thanks to our sponsors, please be sure to check them out!
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The Week Ahead for South Florida 5/28/14

Image of Ruins & Landscape at at Capel Manors Gardens in Enfield UK

Well, I can’t believe there is only a week and half left for us!  I am finding more summer fun

Image of Ruins & Landscape at at Capel Manors Gardens in Enfield UK
Capel Manors Gardens

events to add to the list everyday!

I wanted to take a moment to remind you to check out your local libraries.  If you have not yet check out their schedules, Broward and Palm Beach County Libraries have full summer schedules with shows, crafts, and book readings for all ages.  I couldn’t possible list all of the them here for each local library.  We have attended magic shows, Lego programs, and all kinds of amazing kids shows at the libraries over the year!  You won’t regret it!  Click Here for Broward County Libraries and Click Here for Palm Beach County Library Programs.  Don’t forget to check your local City Libraries too.  Oh, and Nova Southeastern Library has amazing programs!  Trust me, take 10 minutes right now and fill up your calendar with all the amazing free summer Library Programs!

Check out the Summer Picks Tab above to see some great options and deals, like free bowling, cheap movies and museum passes!

Image of Landscape at at Capel Manors Gardens in Enfield UK
Capel Manors Gardens

We are gearing up for our summer trip, and it looks like this will be a big one!  I can’t wait to write about all the amazing places there are to visit with kids in London!  Here is just one of the great places we visited the last time were there!  I am certain that we will be doing a repeat visit.  Here is a hint HEDGE MAZE!!!!!!!!!!  Capel Manor Garden just outside London.  Click here to see all the beautiful gardens and read about our visit!

Click here for the full list of upcoming events

Thanks to our sponsors, please be sure to check them out!
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What Geek Families Must See in London, from TARDIS to Platform 9 3/4

Waiting for the Doctor to return to his TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London
Waiting for the Doctor to return to hisTARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London

****Update******

We headed back here this past summer to try to stalk the Doctor.  He was nowhere to be found, but the Tardis is still there!  I wanted to add this link for my fellow Whovians.  One of my readers sent it in.  Google Maps lets you enter the Earls Court Tardis and even walk around a little!  Follow this link for a Timey Wimy Wibbly Wobbly look. Thank you Google Maps.

*******
I am truly a geek at heart but luckily my slightly geek family is very understanding and tend to join into my geek like passions, like finding the TARDIS in London and even trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station.

We had the great luck to get to go to London earlier this summer during the Queens Diamond Jubilee.  We were so lucky to get to see some really great places for kids.

For anyone visiting the London area I will be posting over the next week or two many of our favorite family friendly places.

I thought I would start today with a couple of easy and free ones!  The kids love to ride the train and tube so even getting there will be fun!  I know this will probably only appeal to those of you who are geeks like me! But I promise I have more to come that will appeal to everyone!

TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London
Waiting for the Doctor to return to his TARDIS parked outside Earls Court Station in London

Take Ride on the TARDIS:  Okay well maybe you won’t get a ride but, at least you can get your picture taken with it. If you or your family are Doctor Who fans then you cannot miss this! My darling husband found this for me and what a find it is!  Yes, We found the TARDIS. You know the Doctors Time And Relative Dimension In Space Ship? The hubby  earned big brownie points with me for finding this!  It is parked right in front of Earls Court Station.  You can’t miss it!  Earls Court Station is on the Underground Piccadilly Line.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to London to see it, Google Maps now has a really cool opportunity to see inside the TARDIS.  Check it out!

Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London

Platform 9 3/4:  For those of you who are Harry Potter fans!  You must get your photo taken at Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4.  Yes, it is  really there.  Okay, I must remind you not to really run into the wall though because, sadly you are a Muggle and the wall will hurt you.  The Department of Transportation and the Ministry of Magic left a luggage cart half way through so you can find it easily!  Kings Cross is a main Underground and Overground Station so it easy to get to from almost anywhere.

 

 

Muggle husband trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London
My muggle husband trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross in London

 

We saw many wonderful places and had an amazing summer. We had the chance to see The Harry Potter Studio Tour ( we loved it) and The Princess Diana Memorial Playground which was the most amazing playground I have ever seen, and The Hedge Maze at Caple Manors Gardens and College in Enfield was one of our favorites!