Days out with the kid!

I don’t know about you,  but to me this has been the longest summer holiday EVER!

OK so it’s probably feels like it more for me as a stay at and “try to” work from home mum.  Yep It’s been me and the boy all summer long, we’ve had day trips, lazy days and crazy mad days where we just don’t want to be around each other.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d never change what I have.  I wouldn’t ever return to commuting, working 9 to 5 and stressing about problems that I should have left at the office.  But this summer has truly been a testing time for both me and B Boy (my soon to be 6 year old).

It’s definitely been a a very different experience with him this year.  Last year was great we had fabulous weather and even if we went to the park every day, he was always happy to go and there was always a friend to play with.  This year the weather was fine for the first part but after a long last term at school we spent many just chilling… and then came the rain!

Through school, books at home and the internet he’s been discovering the world around him and insisting on visiting random stations on the London underground (he seems to think Russell Square is going to be an amazing landmark – kids!!)

So we explored London and it actually reminded me how amazing my hometown really is.  I’d literally forgotten.  As a kid my parents would often take my sisters and I on random trips to the city!

Some days we’d just hop on the train and go for a walk around the parks or stop by Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. As little girls we were always excited and couldn’t wait to see where our next adventure would take us!

Naturally I couldn’t wait to share this experience and recreate new and wonderful memories with my child. Our adventure started well, all smiles and wide eyed on the train and then came the “are we there yet?” Living just outside the big city means I’m always at least 10-15 stops away from getting off the train!

One of our first trips was to the National Portrait Gallery  I confess it was a first for me too!  I don’t know why I’d never been here before.  Both B boy were pleasantly surprised.  I think what made his day was seeing a fantastic portrait of his favourite writer of the moment Julia Donaldson, painted by Peter Monkman

If you don’t have a child under 7yrs, you’d be forgiven for not knowing who she is,but I’m sure if you looked her up, you’d recall at least 1 of her books. B boy was never a fan of the “Gruffalo” like many children everywhere. Hiis favourite was “What the Ladybird heard” but I think it’s great Julia has created a wonderful world for kids to explore and seek out their favourite tale – For me it’s “Room on a broom”.

In true tourist tradition, I picked up a few postcards for my boy to for show and tell (as well as few keepsakes of pictures that I loved!)

Julia Donaldson by Peter Monkman (left), Princess Julia in Meadham Kirchoff by Ben Ashtion (centre),  Darcy Bussell by Allen Jones (right) were my personal favourites.

Those close to me know how that I have an interest in the Tudors & Stuarts, since childhood, I guess it’s one of the era’s you first learn about at school and so stuck with me throughout my life and let’s face it, there was never a dull moment back then!  So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the collection at the Portrait Gallery! Yep I geeked out just a bit, and that was when I lost B boys interest!  
Luckily he had is grandad with him to keep him entertained whilst I tried to take it all in, but like all parents, kids come first and let’s just say I’m already in the process of planning a day out with friends to go back and take it all in…without any distractions!
I’ll definitely take B boy back again for sure, after all it was his choice and curiosity that made us go in the first place! I just hope his obsession with Russell Sq wears off soon lol!

If you’ve never been to the National Portrait Gallery – GO it’s just nice to walk through and see all the collections.  It’s really child friendly and some installations are video or audio based which is pretty cool.  It’s the first time I had taken B boy and he’s almost 6. He loves art and couldn’t believe some of the work there was actual paintings (some were so detailed even I thought they were photos!) What’s great is it’s location – right round the corner from the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square so you’re right in the middle of it all.  There’s so much to see at the gallery you probably won’t get through it all (unless the kids sleep through it all lol!)

Did you guys visit any great places of interest? I’d love to hear what you got up to and what’s on and where to go where you are.


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