Things to do in the UK on your Family Vacation-Visit the Amazing Kensington Palace!
Kensington Palace is a great place for kids! Kensington Palace is not exactly a museum or show house as it is still used as a Royal residence for some members of the Royal family including Prince Harry. Your teenage daughters might want to catch a glimpse of the UK's most eligible bachelor! Princess Diana lived here from 1981 until her death in 1997. The palace includes the building itself, furnished royal apartments and extensive gardens. The Kensington Gardens are now part of the Royal Parks of London and cover 270 acres adjacent to the palace.
Your children will love checking out the room with all the photos of Kensington Palaces's most famous residents. The palace has recently reopened after a £12 million facelift. Children can pretend they are on an official royal visit to see King George in the King's State Apartments by climbing the King's Staircase as the guests of King George I and II did. In the Presence Chamber there is a gilded "throne" that belonged to King George II's son Fredrick. In the Privy Chamber is a magnificent mural on the ceiling painted in 1723. More intricate decoration can be seen in the Cupola Room, the King's Drawing Room and the Council Chamber where you can see period costumes. In the Queen's State Apartments you can see where Queen Mary II lived, dressed, ate and played.
A great effort has been made to bring the palace into the 21st century with the addition of multimedia information. your family can learn about Queen Victoria through her own words in "Victoria Revealed" an exhibition which combines audio extracts from her journals, some of her personal belongings and her favorite art work. One of the modern additions to the palace is the Luminous Lace, a light instillation which uses 4km of electroluminescent wire and almost 12,000 Swarovski crystals.
Kensington with Kids
- The Kensington Palace website is full of fun games your kids can join in including exchanging "letters" with the Lord Chamberlain. Another game leads the kids through the palace to multi-media installations and live interactive theatre. Also on the Kensington Palace website are other games, cartoons, quizzes and trails for kids to explore like the cartoon game "Beat the Kensington System". In this game kids must find clues in the cartoon story of a 14 year old Queen Victoria living in the palace.
- When the kids need a break visit the Orangery Restaurant where there is a children's menu and a children's version of afternoon tea. Another eatery on the site is the Palace Café where kids can pick and choose items to add to their Very Hungry Caterpillar lunch box.
The gardens are a great place for kids to run around and play among the many paths, water features and statues. Take them to see the statue of peter Pan and the Italian Fountain.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from May to September at 12 noon and 2pm there is a free Garden History Tour.
On these tours you get to enter parts of the garden that are usually closed off to the public like the Sunken Garden.
The Palace is open daily from 10am to 6pm (and 5pm in winter) the nearest tube stations are Queensway, Bayswater and High Street Kensington. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £12.4 for students and under 16 year olds enter for free.
If you book on the Palace website prices are about £1 cheaper.
Fun Things to Do in London with Kids
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