International Children’s Day

Headline Date 06-06-2018

International Children’s Day was on June 1st, but there’s no reason why you can’t plan plenty more family-friendly activities! Established in 1925, June 1st is marked with children’s events and activities, and promotes children’s rights and wellbeing. Here are a selection of perfect places in Victoria that are fun for all the family, so you can celebrate all summer long.

Royal Mews

The current Mews – built in 1825 – is home to the royal carriages and is one of the grandest working stables in existence. Once used to store the royal hawks in the reign of Richard II until it was destroyed in 1534, the building (then located in Charing Cross) was later repurposed as a place to store the royal horses and relocated to the wonderful Victoria area. The Mews only became active during the reign of Queen Victoria, and even then the Mews were used as a school for the children of families working at the palace. Nowadays, the Mews house and train the Windsor Grey and Cleveland Bay horses that pull the royal carriages.

Children can enjoy various activities on the premises. Under-5s are welcome to attend ‘Little Foals’, an arts and crafts activity held from noon to 2pm. There’s also ‘Family Saturdays’ on the last Saturday of every month, featuring arts and crafts and tours exploring the lives of the royal horses and history of the Mews. The Mews’ ‘Children Art Week’ on June 16th promises a variety of entertaining activities too!

Green Park

Green Park is one of 8 Royal Parks, and covers an area of just over 40 acres. Quieter than some of the other Royal Parks, Green Park has a range of fountains, memorials, and statues, and offers a quiet family retreat away from the hubbub of the city. Perfect for picnicking and with open play spaces for children, Green Park is the perfect alternative to the more popular green areas in London.

An exciting sight to watch out for in Green Park are the Royal Gun Salutes, which take place there on State visits, at the State Opening of Parliament, and for the Queen’s Birthday Parade. Normally fired at midday, the salute fires the basic 21 rounds and an additional 20 rounds in Green Park because it’s a Royal Park.

St James’s Park

Surrounded by landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Whitehall, St James’s Park is a perfect place to take your kids for a day out. Opened to the public in the 17th century, the park used to accommodate cows in the 17th and 18th centuries, and fresh milk could be bought from the park ‘Lactarian’. Covering an area of nearly 57 acres, St James’s Park is home to a population of pelicans and has been for nearly 400 years. Originally presented as a gift to King Charles II by the Russian Ambassador, the pelicans quickly got comfortable and have resided in St James’s ever since. Other eye-catching locations include the Buckingham Palace flower beds, a familiar sight during the processions and ceremonies that take place in the area.

St James’s Park is perfect for a short trip or day out, visit the memorials and flower beds, watch the pelicans during feeding time, explore the different terrains, or try and identify locations used in the filming of ‘101 Dalmatians’. Walking Tours and band concerts from end of May to end of August) are also open to the public.

Seafresh Restaurant

Established in 1965, Seafresh has been in the heart of Victoria for over 50 years. Family-run, Seafresh is family-friendly and provides high-quality service and generous dishes for a reasonable price. The restaurant has a large menu, serving fish, meats, and a selection of specials. More importantly, it serves fish and chips, and which child can say no to a dish as classically British and child-friendly as fish and chips?

Giraffe World Kitchen

With vibrant colours and flavours, Giraffe is ideal for kids to try flavours inspired by dishes around the world in a lively restaurant. Giraffe is all about excitement, exploring the unknown, and being adventurous with cooking. They are family-friendly and have kids’ menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From classics like burgers and fries, bangers and mash, and pasta, to more exotic katsu chicken, quesadillas, and curries.

Victoria Palace Theatre

Recently reopened after a 20-month refurbishment, the Victoria Palace Theatre is a great way to entertain children in the evenings and give them lasting memories for years to come. Opened in 1910 by Alfred Butt, the theatre has since been an integral part of Victoria’s cultural life, hosting London’s biggest shows. Now, redesigned for the 21st century, the theatre presents the critically-acclaimed show, ‘Hamilton’. However, if this isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe try ‘Wicked’ showing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre just round the corner – both are great for children over the ages of 7.

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