Oct 18, 2012

London with Preschoolers: Pimlico & Chelsea, Part 2

From the weekly farmer's market at Orange Square to the National Army Museum's Kids' Zone.

Farmer’s Market on Orange Square
A Saturday morning highlight on Pimlico Road is the Farmer’s Market. The selection of fresh produce, baked goods, and nibbly food is great — T loves stopping by for a pretzel en route to our Chelsea activities, and I find the quiches especially tempting.

For a more substantial meal, The Orange restaurant opposite the square offers child-friendly half portions at reduced prices, though T always goes for the kids’ pizza Margherita and ice cream combo.

Royal Hospital Chelsea
This retirement home for British soldiers is accessible to visitors (for free and without reservations) Mondays to Fridays, 10 am—12 pm and 2-4 pm. The grounds, which include a little high street (with T’s beloved sculpture of an elephant in Pensioner’s uniform) and plenty of greenery, are a great setting for a short walk - and all the resident Pensioners we’ve met have been very welcoming towards rambunctious toddlers.

National Army Museum & Kids’ Zone
The Kids' Zone in the basement of the Army Museum is probably my (and T's!) favorite preschooler activity in London. It has amazing climbing frames with slides, interactive toys including large rocking-horses, and a soft play zone for the teeniest attendees. It's relatively small – no three-storey indoor jungle gym – but that makes it easy to keep track of the kids. The Kids’ Zone is open every day of the week for ticketed one-hour sessions (£2.50 / child), which need to be booked in advance through their website.

Depending on the child’s patience, the National Army Museum itself (free entry) is also worth perusing, and the cafĂ© has snacks and sandwiches on offer.

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