A Great Day Out! RAF Museum Hendon

I’m always looking for inexpensive family days out (in Herts or North London Area), not that we can’t afford it but I object to paying and arm and a leg to spend quality time with my daughter. @annieqpr one of my twitter mates recommended the RAF Museum in Hendon.

Earlier this week my daughter asked to go to an airport and I duped her by taking her to the local outlet centre which looks like an airport.  I think you’ll agree from the photo.  She had a great time running around but I don’t think the ride-on airplane fooled her. So I thought it was only fair to make more of an effort!

We had a great morning at the museum and it was all free, including the parking!  I’m not a plane enthusiast but my husband is a real anorak.  His father serviced planes during the war, which I attribute to this fascination. I’ve also been told that it’s a bloke thing.  I learned the date they painted black and white stripes on the bottom of planes, the equivalents to German planes and the process of recovery planes from lakes in Europe.

I really didn’t mind though because Madame absolutely loved it.  She just ran around shouting plane, plane, plane!  There’s also an interactive section for kids…she’s a bit young to get a lot out of it, but she did get to press buttons and things happened.  Plus, her daddy got to make a fool of himself on a glider and sat in a tiny helicopter (Roberts R22).

We ate in the Wings restaurant, which I wouldn’t recommend, but you could take your own food as there is an area for those who do.

All in all, a great day out!

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Loophole 2 for 1 London Attractions

I can’t believe how much it costs for a family day out!  However, with a bit of research courtesy of Google I found a way to save a few pounds.  I hope this helps you save a few pennies and enjoy a great day out with your family.

At the moment there are loads of 2 for 1 offers on London Attractions if you travel to London by train (London Aquarium, London Zoo, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, etc).  However, if you’re not travelling into London by train and want to take advantage of the deal there is a loophole.  All you need to do is to buy a single ticket (e.g. from Vauxhall to Waterloo) which will only cost a couple of quid.  You can do this either at the station or online.  Do note that underground tickets are not accepted.

We went to the London Aquarium this morning and took advantage of this and saved £20.50.  As there is no congestion charge on weekends we decided to drive as it was the cheapest option.  We were able to park at the foot of the London Eye at the Apcoa Parking on Belvedere Rd.  It would have cost £46 if we took the train (£30 in train fares and £16 entrance fee).  To drive, it cost £25.50 (£7.50 for 2 hrs parking, £16 for entry, £2 for single train fare, plus a bit of diesel).

We really enjoyed the Aquarium but to be honest if we paid the full price we would have been disappointed!  Sadly, we blew the savings on a couple of hotdogs on the river bank.

What to do with a Toddler when it rains?


Surprise, surprise it’s been raining here again for the last couple of days.  I had no idea that on average it rains 160 days a year in the UK.  I don’t know about you, but I find these days to be very challenging.  There are a lot of great ideas for indoor play online; play dough, cooking, crafts, imaginative play and if all else fails CBeebies.  


However, as my daughter is pacing up and down like a caged animal I find myself desperately needing to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Yes, I could bundle her up in her all and one, wellies and brave the rain but I really don’t fancy it sometimes. 


There are a lot of much needed indoor soft play centres but I can’t face them on a rainy day, especially school holidays. There’s always the danger that I’ll have an altercation with a parent whose rambunctious child flattens my daughter in an area that they shouldn’t be in, in the first place.  So, I’ve been racking my brain for some ideas that won’t break the bank.  


This is not an attempt at ‘look at me aren’t I a wonderful mum’ but I’m genuinely desperate for low cost ideas and this is just to get the ball rolling.  Here are a few ideas that I’ve come up with, it’s definitely not exhaustive and please do add to the list.  I would be most grateful.


Toys Store

A few weeks ago we went to Hamley’s in London.  It was brilliant. You could easily waste an hour or two and there’s no danger of buying anything, as it’s all outrageously overpriced.  Yes, the trip into London will cost you, but you could also visit a store local to you; Toys R Us, The Early Learning Centre and a favourite of ours is Wilko’s.


Garden Centre

We ventured to a garden centre today.  Result!  Madame loved running up and down the aisles of plants, but it also had animals, an aquatic centre and an adventure playground display.  They don’t need to know that I have no intention of buying a Wendy house for £5000.


Local Farm Shop/Butchers

We tend to buy our meat from our local butcher (Hedges, in St Albans).  Not only great prices but we can also have a look around the farm (cows, sheep, lambs, etc).  I’m not looking forward to the day she makes the connection between the lambs and the ones in the refrigerated display!



I haven’t been yet, but thinking of venturing down tomorrow. They have cats, dogs, and fowl.  I’m terrified of dogs but hopefully I can coax a friend (@elladickson) to come along so she can go into the dog kennels. 


Don’t worry about bringing home a stray, as they don’t allow families with children under 5 to adopt.  Shucks!


Camping/Outdoor Outlets

This is another one that I haven’t tried yet.  But, I think a shop full of tents set up would be a huge hit, slight danger of losing her but you don’t have to travel to Scotland and freeze your butt off on a mountain side!


I can’t wait to hear your ideas.  Don’t understimate yourself, I’m sure your ideas are brilliant!