For the third year blogger Daria Shchetinina (@dashalondon.uk) is in London as a mom, and she, like other parents living in this city or family tourists who come to the capital of Great Britain with children, is always worried about a question: where to go with the child? To answer this question, Daria has put together a themed itinerary for a great walk around London. More places and ideas for a weekend getaway with kids can be found [in her feature on zimamagazine.com](https://zimamagazine.com/2021/08/marshrut-nedeli-etot-dikij-london-ili-gde-poznakomit-rebenka-s-zhivotnymi-v-britanskoj-stolice/).
London has a lot to offer not only toddlers, but also older children. The city is immense in size and there are plenty of entertainment venues in every borough. But in this itinerary, I've gathered the addresses of parks, zoos, aquariums and farms within London where you can introduce your child to the world of fauna. And you don't have to buy a ticket to the London Zoo, although I highly recommend it too.
The Japanese Garden in Holland Park is home to London's peacocks. And probably the most interesting place in the whole park. Peacocks don't have a permanent place to roam - they roam freely throughout the area, but are most often found near the entrance to the Japanese garden. It is not recommended to feed the peacocks with bread. If you want to give them a treat, it is better to bring food intended for the birds. Here you can also watch huge fish of extraordinary beauty from a stone bridge.
Many people associate the Natural History Museum with dinosaurs. And for good reason, because in the central vaulted hall the skeleton of a diplodocus hangs, and in the hall devoted to these reptiles, the Tyrannosaurus rex roars menacingly. But what few people know is that the museum has a wildlife garden with sheep that play an important role in the wild garden ecosystem. Children ages three and up are encouraged to explore a small patch of unspoiled nature, going in search of spiders, toads, chirps, and wild berries, mosses, and lichens. You can check the opening hours on the museum's official website.
It's no secret that London is home to many green parrots. But not everyone knows the places where you can feed them peanuts, seeds or apples right from your hand. One of them is Kensington Gardens. The entrance to the park is on the side of Lancaster Gate tube station. Head towards the Peter Pan Monument and, after walking down the path for another hundred metres, you're sure to see the habitat of the green-feathered birds.
And in this park, which is a favourite of Londoners, there are two horse training grounds at two diametrically opposed points. One is next to the Hyde Park Playground and is where members of the Royal Horse Guards practice their riding skills.
Another site of private stables is also in Hyde Park, with the entrance located on the Victoria Gate side. There are paid riding lessons for adults and children from the age of four, including private lessons, and anyone can watch the horses from a fairly close distance.
As you stroll through St. James's Park, notice the sprawling fig bush at the entrance to the bridge in the middle of the park. Parrots love it too.
England is famous for its traditions, so it's not uncommon to see horses on the streets of the capital, as even the royal mail is delivered to Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage. There are two mounted sentries guarding the entrance to the Royal Horse Guards between 10:00 and 16:00. They change every hour. Here you can not only see the horses, but also take pictures with them, and the bravest can even pet them.
If you want to introduce your child to marine life, the Sea Life London Aquarium is the best place to do so. It has a collection of over 350 species from all over the world. Its three floors are divided into 14 thematic zones. The Aquarium's exposition is based on two reservoirs: the Pacific and the Atlantic ones. The living conditions of the marine inhabitants in these aquariums are maximally close to their natural conditions. At the end of the tour, children and adults are invited to touch sea stars in small open-air aquariums. Admission is chargeable.
There are many urban farms in London that you can visit with children for free or by donating a couple of pounds. At almost every farm you can try milking a goat, bottle-feeding goats, petting sheep and holding fluffy rabbits. The farm is home to sheep, ducks, geese, pigs, rabbits, donkeys and alpacas. Children can take a ride on a pony, learn to ride a horse, and experience the role of a farmer. You can also watch a show of little mice.
London's Royal Parks are rich in birdlife. There are several species of gulls alone: lake gulls, mew gulls, herring gulls and sea gulls. In the waterholes at Kensington Gardens and Hyde, Regent's, St. James and Battersea, you'll find a wide range of waterfowl such as black swans, mandarin ducks, Nile geese, egrets and even pelicans. In the spring, duck pairs walk their ducklings in the parks, and this is a good opportunity to explain the subject of "family" to children by way of live example. Children enjoy watching the babies. Battersea Park also has a small zoo. In addition to enclosures with animals and birds, there are several playgrounds on the territory of London Zoo, as well as a real tractor, a fire engine and a helicopter. And everyone can feel like a fireman, tractor driver or a pilot, sitting in the cockpit. There is a charge for admission.