One of the challenges of having two children at home through the week and through the winter is keeping them occupied through the day. My wife and I have been lucky enough to have time with our two both at the weekends and, for the time being, on Monday and Tuesday, but it can be difficult knowing what to do with them without resorting to the television. This is heightened in winter, when the weather can be bad, and when many attractions remain closed until the spring.
I’ve always been of the opinion that you should get out of the house with them, but it can be difficult to find somewhere new to go which is entertaining for them as it is for you, and which doesn’t cost a fortune. Last Tuesday, we decided to take the train and tube to Covent Garden to see what that brought us. At the very least, there’d be stuff to look at.
Covent Garden was indeed busy on a cold day. There were the usual street entertainers between Neal Street and the market (40p contribution for Beth to have a photo taken); there was the Lindt Egg Hunt, with 101 giant painted eggs hidden around the market (no spend required, but free chocolate given out) and the usual shops and markets with unusual things to look at and investigate. Toots ran around the cobbles of the market with boundless energy. She even found a painted egg that matched her dress.
For lunch, we escaped to a nearby Pizza Hut for the buffet – not perfectly healthy fare, but some veggies were put away and we were all heartily fed for just over £6 each, and got a free balloon. After looking in a few shops for mummy (warm and lots of colours) we retreated to Monmouth Coffee where the communal tables meant we chatted to a man called Cheddar, who looked like Daniel Craig, and a group of female Cordon Bleu students who were giving out their chocolates (and there were LOTS of them) that were the product of a recent class.
We had most of the day out, and after the previous week’s expedition to wander round Harrods, we felt we’d had another day of adventure in the big city whilst keeping costs to a minimum and giving the kids something to do and something different to look at. In a place the size of London, anything can happen at any moment; you can meet anyone and have a small moment of magic that lingers. It’s always better to go out and see if you can find it. And those free chocolates were fantastic.