7/24/16

Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg Reveal

These kids are going to be so sad when we head back to the US without Kinder Eggs. Did you know that they've been banned in the US since 1938? You can read a little more about the history of the Kinder Egg here. Enjoy this unwrapping!

7/21/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: A Visit to the London Zoo

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

A Visit to the London Zoo
The weather in London has been stunning lately. I really think this city gets a bad rap when it comes to weather. Since it's been so nice the kids and I decided to take a day and spend it at the London Zoo. Now I should tell you that Jacksonville has an amazing zoo. No aquarium, but our zoo is out of this world. For this reason we typically don't even bother to visit zoos when we're on vacation. But they really wanted to so we decided to give it a go. I knew the London Zoo would have to be something special to really wow my kids, and it didn't disappoint. 
For starters, this zoo is massive. It even has an aquarium (take that Jacksonville). If you're an American, think Animal Kingdom or Busch Gardens, but without the rides. That's the quality, cleanliness and size of this particular zoo. My kids loved wandering around to see all of the animal exhibits.

My favorite part of the zoo was Gorilla Kingdom. I swear, it seemed like every enclosure had some type of baby animal in it. We sat for a long time just watching the mamas and their babies interacting. The kids thought it was amazing, especially since they'd never seen baby apes that close up (and neither had I for that matter).
While everyone loved Gorilla Kingdom, I must say that the kids' favorite part of the day was the Lemurs. When they say "In with the Lemurs" they aren't kidding. You are literally walking around inside the Lemur enclosure.
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that we went into this area 6 times during our visit. If you go, I recommend attending one of the Lemur talks. They tell you all about them, but the also feed them at this time so they are very active.
Trying to get a good Lemur picture!
Overall our day at the London Zoo was nothing short of amazing. The beautiful weather helped in that aspect, but the zoo itself is well worth a visit if you're visiting London with kids.

Thank you to the London Zoo for giving us complimentary admission in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and we would have gladly paid to attend this wonderful zoo.

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7/19/16

London Theatre with Kids :: Wicked

This post is part of my Summer Abroad with Kids series. You can read all about our summer travels in London with kids here.


One of the things top on our list of to do this summer in London was to take in as much local theatre and arts as possible. The accessibility of theatre for families in London is unlike anything we have in the states. One of our most anticipated shows for this trip was Wicked.

My daughter has been begging for tickets to Wicked for years. As soon as we knew we were coming to London we went ahead and purchased our Wicked tickets.

My husband and I had seen Wicked 7 years ago when it came to town, but this was the first time for the kids. They are huge fans of the Wizard of Oz and have been looking forward to the show for a while.

Wicked was just as amazing as you would expect. My daughter called it a "dream come true" and my son loved some of the witty references to the original Wizard of Oz story. Overall, it was a great show the entire family enjoyed.


7/14/16

London Theatre with Kids :: Matilda

This post is part of my Summer Abroad with Kids series. You can read all about our summer travels in London with kids here.


One of the things top on our list of to do this summer in London was to take in as much local theatre and arts as possible. The accessibility of theatre for families in London is unlike anything we have in the states. Last week we decided to take the kids to see Matilda.

Holy cow, this performance knocked our socks off. I've been a fan of musical theatre since a young age and Matilda is one of the best shows I've seen a long time.


We bought the cheap seats for the show for a few reasons. First, there weren't a lot left since it was short notice. Second, I wanted to get tickets to a few other shows so we decided to go cheap in order to see more. 

View from the cheap seats.

I used the site Theatre Monkey to read the reviews on all the different seat options at the Cambridge Theatre. This was the best way for me to find out the best of the cheapest seats. 

Overall, Matilda gets 2 big thumbs up from all the members of our family. Both kids (ages 6 & 9) thought it was amazing. My son even commented that our seats were terrific.

7/12/16

London Theatre with Kids :: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

This post is part of my Summer Abroad with Kids series. You can read all about our summer travels in London with kids here.


One of the things top on our list of to do this summer in London was to take in as much local theatre and arts as possible. The accessibility of theatre for families in London is unlike anything we have in the states. Our first arts experience in London was a visit to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


We decided to attend a performance at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a performance geared towards kids and was attended by school groups. It was an excellent chance for our kids (ages 6 & 9) to enjoy a trip to the orchestra.


If you're visiting London I highly recommend a visit to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was fun for the whole family. Royal Albert Hall is a stunning venue that even my 6 year old could appreciate.

7/10/16

Happy Sunday :: Time for Another Kinder Egg Reveal

Once again, I'm sharing one of our Kinder Egg reveals with you. We've been spending the summer in London so they kids have had a blast unwrapping chocolate eggs.

7/7/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: London SeaLife Aquarium

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

London Sea Life Aquarium
My kids love aquariums, since we don't have one in Jacksonville we try to visit the aquarium in any city we go to, and London was no exception. It was a rainy afternoon last week when we stopped by the London Sea Life Aquarium for a visit. 

Inside the underwater tube.
The first thing you notice when you visit the London Sea Life Aquarium is how dark it is. It took a little while for my eyes to adjust, but once they did you realized that the darkness made it possible to appreciate the sea life so much more. The water seemed to glow in all the tanks as you moved throughout the aquarium. 


The exhibits at the aquarium were interesting and some of them were even interactive. The kids had a great time exploring and learning about all the different fish and habitats around London. 


I'd say you need a few hours to make your way through the entire aquarium. There are different tours and behind the scene activities you can pay extra for, but we choose not to. Everyone had a great afternoon exploring the aquarium and I'm glad we went.

Thank you London Sea Life Aquarium for giving us complimentary tickets in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
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7/5/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: All Aboard the London Duck Tours

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

All Aboard the London Duck Tours
When I told the kids we'd be taking a Duck Tour in London they looked at me like I was crazy. Then when I explained to them what exactly a Duck Tour was, they were excited and couldn't wait to get on board. So what might you ask, is a Duck Tour? The London Duck Tour is an amazing amphibious adventures that takes you though the major sights of downtown London. Then when you're done on land, your vehicle takes you into the water. 

Ready for our tour!
Our guide showing us some pictures of the original ducks.
The tour was great and we loved having someone explain the sights and history in London. For example, did you know that the first street lights ever used in the world were located right outside of Big Ben? I would highly recommend trying out a Duck Tour if you're in London. The experience is really unlike anything else we've done while visiting. Here's a little video I took of us going from land to water. The kids thought it was the coolest part.


Thank you London Duck Tours for providing us with a free tour in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

6/30/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: Prepping Kids for Travel with Lonely Planet Books

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

Prepping Kids for Travel with Lonely Planet Books
When we started planning our summer abroad I immediately began to research books to help prepare our kids for the new places we'd be visiting. After asking some friends who travel regularly with their children I decided Lonely Planet would be the best source of books for our family.

So here are a few of our favorite Lonely Planet Books (links to books are affiliates).

Pop-Up London - London will come alive with this beautiful and colorful pop-up book from Lonely Planet Kids. With a set of six stunning pop-ups and gorgeous illustrations, this book is the perfect introduction to the magic of London for any age. Perfect for younger kids, ages 4-7.Not for Parents London: Everything You Ever Wanted to KnowThis is not a guidebook. And it is definitely 'not-for-parents'. It is the real, inside story about London. In this book you'll hear fascinating tales about famous and infamous people, creepy underground places, dark history and strange characters galore. Check out cool stories about graffiti artists, murdered princes and people from all over. You'll find royalty, punks and sleuths, and some amazingly weird food. Great for ages 8+.London City TrailsDiscover London's best-kept secrets, amazing stories and loads of other cool stuff from the comfort of your own home or while visiting the city! But, you don't have to be a visitor or armchair traveller to enjoy this--Londoners are sure to learn new things about their very own city too! Perfect for ages 7-12.Make My Day London - This was a unique guide that allows you to effortlessly plan your perfect day. Flip through the sections and mix and match your itinerary for morning, afternoon and evening. Start the day with a ride on the London Eye, spend the afternoon exploring art at Tate Modern before enjoying a West End show in the evening; all with your trusted travel companion. Planning your city adventure has never been so easy and fun. This book was not designed for kids, but my 9 year old loved planning out our adventures so I'm including it. Perfect for the older kids who think they're too cool to travel with the family.

In addition to the ones listed, we also enjoyed some books about Paris. My daughter loved the Paris City Trails. There's also a beautiful Pop-Up Paris, and a Not for Parents Paris book that we loved.

Thank you Lonely Planet for sending me some of these books so my kids could read up before out trip. All opinions are my own.


6/28/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: 10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market
One of the top to-do items on the list for our first week in London was to visit the Borough Market. I knew we'd want to stock up on some groceries, but it would also immediately give us a chance to be immersed in everything London. 

Before you head out to the market with your kids I have a few tips for you. 
1. GO EARLY! I'm not kidding. We were there at 10:15am and it was perfect. By 1:30pm I was ready to get out of there because it was just too crowded to try to navigate the area with kids. 
2. Take a reusable tote bag to carry all your purchases.
3. Bring cash. 

Honestly, the kids loved the market and we're already planning a day to go back. Here's my Top 10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market.

1. Lots of Fresh Fruit - Not just fresh, but already cut up and ready for you to enjoy. Most of the stalls also had a fork for you so you could enjoy your fruit right away.

2. Live Lobsters - I'm not going to lie, I didn't even point out the live lobsters to the kids because we're from Florida and they've seen lobsters before. But they still spotted them and loved looking at them through the glass. 

3. Your Choice of Fresh Juice - In addition to the fresh fruit, there's also a plentiful supply of freshly squeezed juices. Pretty much any flavor combination you can imagine is available.

4. Ice Cream - Creamy and sweet and delicious describes the ice cream the kids had at the Borough Market. Don't be fooled by that sassy stare in the picture. She loved the ice cream, she hated that I made her stop eating it long enough to get a picture.

5. A Chance To Try New Things - One of the things I loved most about the market was that you could sample such a wide variety of foods. My son tried some wheat grass juice (that he decided he didn't like) and then both kids tried some wild boar sausage (that they loved). 

6. CHEESE - My kids love cheese and they loved sampling all the different varieties available at the market. We ended up buying a few different varieties to bring home to our flat.

7. Sweet Treats - In addition to the ice cream, my kids also sampled cookies, brownies, macarons, chocolates and so many other sweets. We did purchase a few to bring home, but even the samples were enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

8. You Never Know What You Might See - I mentioned that the kids tried some wild boar sausage that they loved, but we also saw zebra burgers, ostrich eggs, ground crocodile and many other specialties that we've never seen in the States.

9. See How It's Made - My kids loved watching the grilled cheese booth toast and scrape the gigantic wheels of cheese, but on certain days there are also cooking demonstrations you can watch as well.

10. It's Fun for the Whole Family - The Borough Market really didn't disappoint when it came to family fun. There was something for everyone to enjoy.

So let's hear it parents... have you taken your kids to London's Borough Market? What was their favorite part?