A is for . . . Art, American and All Aboard

By on March 12, 2017

The A to Z of family friendly activities in London starting with the letter A.

It was my turn to come up with the first day, which seemed fair as this whole escapade was my idea.

We started with an ART gallery. We went to the Now Gallery which is a small gallery next to the O2 Arena in North Greenwich. To start with it was easy to get to because North Greenwich station is accessible so we could bring the pushchair, always a plus because Henry is not a little baby so although the carrier is an option, having a pushchair is preferable. Although don’t get me started on how inaccessible London Underground is.

The Now gallery has an exhibition called the Iris by Rebecca Louise Law. It’s an art piece of 10,000 Iris’s suspended from the ceiling using copper wire. We visited about a week after it was installed so the flowers had died but had still retained their colour and their impact. We laid on cushions on the floor and looked up. Henry seemed to enjoy the flowers and laying on the cushions with his dad part. I have never actually heard of the Now Gallery, I must confess I only knew it existed because there was a morning of weather forecasts from there on BBC Breakfast. I was a little disappointed that there was only one piece of art displayed although it was a very striking artwork.

Cushion time with Daddy
The view from the floor in the Now Gallery

After the gallery, we went for a little stroll and then headed into the O2 for lunch. We decided on an AMERICAN themed lunch and headed to 5 guys for burgers and fries. I really like the burgers they do at 5 guys but the main perk of this place for me is the drinks machine. I’m breastfeeding Henry and currently not drinking any caffeinated drinks because of that. I know that the caffeine probably won’t affect Henry but as I can avoid caffeinated drink I do. But anyway back to the point, the drink machines at 5 guys have like 20 or more decaf options! I went with decaf cherry diet coke, it’s my favourite.

I love me some burgers and fries

After lunch, a feed and nappy change for Henry we decided that we need to add some more ART, as it was such a nice day we decided to take the boat down the Thames to Tate Modern. So we went ALL ABOARD the Thames Clipper, yeah I know it’s getting a bit tenuous now.

We saw 2 exhibitions as Tate Modern as well as sitting in the turbine hall and taking in the new immersive art experience there. The exhibitions we saw were Robert Rauschenberg and Wolfgang Tillmans. Robert Rauschenberg is an AMERICAN artist and the exhibition included a large selection of his work including prints, sculpture and a great piece of art which involved bubbling clay which mesmerised Henry. Wolfgang Tillmans is a photographer, the exhibition of his work was arranged thematically rather than in a timeline which is more common for exhibitions. His work includes a focus on photography techniques so there were rooms dedicated to the process of photography as well as the advancement in photography during his career. I preferred Tillmans as did my husband, Henry I think preferred the colours and sounds of Rauschenberg.

After another change for Henry, lots of baby change facilities available although I think I found the worst one next to a hand dryer which scared Henry, whoops. I then fed Henry whilst taking in the immersive art in the Turbine Hall by Philippe Parreno. It’s a series of changing sounds, lights and images which fill the entire turbine hall.

That was the end of our first alphabetically themed date, all in all, A success. Very excited for the next date organised by my husband.

Have you got any favourite A locations in London for family activities?

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A to Z of Family London

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Henry at tower bridge

Since we had our son my husband and I found that we weren’t getting out of the house to enjoy London like we used to. We used to spend at least one day of every weekend going to a gallery or exhibition or at least finding a fun new place to eat. Henry came along and we started either spending all weekend at home or at least very close to home.

We wanted to change that and that’s where the A to Z of family (read baby) London comes in. We kind of stole an idea from a mum friend of mine but gave it our Hazell family twist. Here are the rules:

  • We alternate between myself and my husband as to whom the responsibility for the letter falls to.
  • The date must be family friendly i.e. Not too far, baby change facilities, actually lets babies in!
  • It can be somewhere we’ve been before but we must do something different there. So we could go back to the British Museum but there must be a new exhibition for instance.
  • There has to be somewhere for lunch there too, I’m still breastfeeding so food is very important to me.

So this blog will be a chronicle of the Hazell family adventures as well as some other ideas we come up with on the way.

I hope you enjoy joining us on our adventures and that we inspire some of your own.


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