After the success of our day out at Hampton Court Palace for Family Fantastical watching Horrible Histories, we jumped at the chance to visit Kensington Palace. The show was different this time; a random yet perfect combination of The English National Ballet and The Science Museum.
Off we set with all the boys, the teen included. Family day out!
We got the tube to Kensington High Street and walked to the palace, taking in the sights of London and the many retail outlets that we were not going to be able to enjoy… (another day when kid free).
Once in the grounds, the children ran free. A beautiful park, safe and vast. Perfect for little legs. We followed the well placed Family Fantastical signs to the open air theatre. It was positioned in the Orangery Garden, in sight of the palace and next to the breath-taking Diana garden. The royal surrounding brings added magic to the day.
After being provided wrist bands for Family Fantastical toilets and a quick bag search, we were in. It was already packed with families and picnics. We set up camp and started to tuck in to our lunch. As before, there was a refreshment tent and souvenirs to buy.
Just as the comedian who was MC for the day, came on to the stage, the heavens opened. We were prepared for this. We got the rain coats on, food hidden away and Pimms out. The teen scarpered to the back of enclosure with the brolly to take cover. Due to blocking people’s views, we were not allowed the umbrellas in the audience and luckily the rain macs did the job.
The English Royal Ballet came to the stage to perform Sleeping Beauty. It was a 45-minute version of the story and truly mesmerising. The children were transfixed. They had a fantastic narrator which flowed with the ballet. The dancers performed flawlessly through the torrential rain which must have been incredibly hard on the slippy stage. Just before the end of their performance, the sun appeared as Sleeping Beauty was being saved. A perfect ending.
The comedian was back on with more jokes for the children and audience participation. Next was the Science Museum. A non stop show of experiments, facts, bangs, fire and flying frogs. The big one got into this one. Education in a fun and visual way. The children we gripped; hands over ears, liquid nitrogen splashing on the stage, flowers shattering and explosions. If science lessons were like this, then we would have paid a lot more attention.
The whole show lasted for 75 minutes in total and just as it finished, the black clouds appeared. We were not fazed by the weather and made the most of our London day out. First a visit to the Diana Garden. This was very moving. We sheltered under the tree canopy and took it all in. All within view of the palace. Next we walked to Diana Memorial Playground. At this stage the rain really upped a gear and we had to shelter under a tree.
The playground is brilliant and we really recommend a visit.
Not only is it secure and safe, it caters for all ages and is all designed with children in mind. You could spend the whole day there. With the promise of ice creams, we managed to persuade the children to make the journey home. Theo especially enjoying his!
Very easy tube journey home and back to the car. Three very tired boys and two mummies who were on their last legs.
The day was a great success. The older boys in ore of the Science Museum. The little one prancing around the kitchen as a ballet dancer. These shows are not only set in the most stunning settings, but they are snippets of experiences children may not have seen before. Short enough to hold their attention and long enough for them to get a feel of the performance. It is very relaxed; you can picnic, the children can move around if they need and it just feels special. It is very well organised and all comforts accounted for- cushions, refreshments, staff on hand and event toilets provided.
For a summer holiday activity, we were able to make it in to a whole day out. Even the train journey added an extra sparkle to the day. The rain did not defeat us!
Check out our YouTube channel for the Vlog.