Amelia Whent may be six, but she knows what she likes and she isn’t afraid to say it. Her parents, Colette and Mark Whent, are keen that their little imps Amelia and Noah (19 months old) enjoy all that family-friendly London has to offer.
Here are Amelia’s top picks, delivered with an assurance that only a six year old can muster.
Amelia loves Shrek with a passion. She says, “When you go up in the lift, there is a screen on the ceiling. A gingerbread man looks down and talks to you. You know how it can be boring in a lift, right? But this is not, so that’s my favourite bit.”
There’s a maze, a magic bus ride and then there’s Shrek. You can also see other characters but her favourite is Fiona. “I really like how she looks and she’s really nice.” So nice that Millie even has a Fiona costume, complete with a wig!
And she adds, “The thing that’s really funny is that there’s a pretend kind of wood which you can hit with your hand but it doesn’t hurt because it’s like… bendy. Donkey’s there too. We wear glasses and sit on the benches behind Donkey in a bus and it’s pretending like its flying the bus.”
Getting there: Situated on the South Bank of the River Thames beside the London Eye, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
Sea Life London Aquarium
There’s a star attraction at Sea Life and Amelia is its firm supporter. “I really like when we go and see the penguins. There’s also a glass tank with fish and sharks and some people are afraid of walking on it. I’m not afraid, but if you are, then you should walk really slowly.” Wise words indeed. We also like that Sea Life’s message Breed, Rescue, Protect is a wonderful concept for kids to learn about.
Getting there: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB.
London Eye has captured Amelia’s imagination. “When it goes round, it’s really good because you can see what’s happening below. You can see Big Ben, all the water (Thames river), and the people look really tiny like little dolls,” she says, rather fascinated by the image in her head.
Getting there: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
Amelia loves parks and the generous green spaces in London. “We had a picnic in Hyde Park and my brother kept running away and my mummy kept chasing him. We were chasing pigeons and my mummy took a picture of us,” she says happily. So does she like hanging out with her brother, “You know how little brothers can be really annoying…?” Oh yes, we do.
Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, Speaker’s Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
Getting there: London W2 2UH.
In the summer in particular, the Science Museum is buzzing with interactive events and activities for kids. “I like the big wheel with the lights on it. The best bit is the moon and space section. They also showed us how the kitchen is in space.”
Her knowledge extends to space suits as well. “You know how you’d be really hot in your space suit? So they had these cold things to make it less hot and that’s why I thought it was really cool.”
Among other things that caught Millie’s curious eye was a picture of the first man who went to the moon and the “old-fashioned” cars. “You’ve seen the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? The car reminded me of it and I started humming it.”
Getting there: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
The Natural History Museum
The dinosaurs are a magnet for kids but they can be quite imposing. “I was really afraid,” she confesses. “The big T-Rex, he was scary!” From dinos, mammals to creepy crawlies, the Natural History Museum has 36 gallery spaces, all free to the public.
What else does she remember other than the dinos? “The gift shop?” she says. And then concludes with a giggle, “I’m funny.”
Getting there: Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD
Also check out Where to Stay in London: The Ultimate Sightseeing Guide by Hotels Combined.