Tuesday, November 17, 2015

October 2015 Half Term

I have a love hate relationship with the kids' school half term breaks (See what we did for October 2014 half term).  I love the chance for a decent break before the usual Christmas & Easter times.  We get a chance to sleep in and stay up late.  It also provides for another opportunity to travel Europe.  When we stay in London, the best part is that I get to take my kids out into the city to experience the amazing things I see when they are in school.

There is one piece of half term that irks me - everyone else.

All of the schools in England (and possibly quite a large percentage of Europe) are off at the same time.  So that means the museums are beyond packed.  If you can book something in advance, you had better book it six months ahead because the Brits are planners.  Despite my annoyance with crowds, we try to cram in everything we possibly can.  This October, I let the kids help decide some of the itinerary.

Saturday: MC Escher exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.  I've known his art for a long time, but I never knew it belonged to him!

Sunday: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - The autumn leaves are in their full glory, and we were happy to spend the day amongst them.  It's a UNESCO World Heritage site, too.    

Monday: Ai Weiwei exhibition - I left the kids home with Matt so I could see it.  Phenomenal show by a great artist.  There might also have been some walking in the city since the sun was shining.  We needed a top up of tea from Fortnum & Mason.  

Tuesday: Tower of London - My annual pass expired at the end of October, so we had to visit what we could one last time.  We brought one of Oldest Kiddo's friends along so that made for a really nice day.  The weather cooperated so much that everyone in England decided to go to the tower as well.  The Tower of London is another UNESCO World Heritage site.  Matt left for a week in America so I'll entertain the kids for the next seven days.  Wish me luck. 

Wednesday: Oldest Kiddo went for a sleep over at a friend's house in the afternoon.  I took Youngest Kiddo out for a dinner date to the ever exciting mall.  A little Five Guys & Cherry Vanilla fountain Coke makes me happy.  Some window shopping at Lego makes him happy.

Thursday: The day after a sleepover usually necessitates a rest day for her.  No one complained about watching movies in our jammies all afternoon.  A friend dropped her toddler off for a few hours while her older kiddos had swim lessons.  He was more than happy to play trains the whole time.  

Friday:  We had a big to do list to complete today to get ready for a few weekend birthday parties.  So we went back to the mall for lunch and a little shopping.  We barely made it home before the sun went down.  

Saturday: Halloween in London is super low-key.  Oldest had a birthday party in the morning and Youngest had one in the afternoon.  Then we all went out trick or treating with friends in the evening.  They received some interesting candy.  A few houses passed out marshmallows, single unwrapped marshmallows.  Ew.

Sunday: We had a full week to complete homework, but did we do it?  Heck no.  After pain au chocolat, the kids labored through their work.  When I say kids, I mean I played referee through each task because they could not have cared less about doing it.  As you can see from out the back window, there was nothing to see anyway. Pea soup out there, it was.

Next week is back to school for them (YAY!!), and I'm back to my real job - touring the city with some brunch mixed in for good measure.  


  1. It looks like the perfect mix of tourism, down time, and time with friends!

    1. I've learned that the kiddos really enjoy staying home, so it's in everyone's best interest to not force culture upon them.