As part of our series of things to do in London with a toddler, today we visited The O2 in the Docklands.
** Warning, this is not a typical review like the others and contains a lot of poo.**
Unlike her Mummy who actually visited it when it was called the Millennium Dome, Lady P has never been to The O2 or the Docklands before, so whilst she isn’t old enough to go to a gig there just yet, when a family-friendly activity came up there I jumped at the chance to take her.
I am of course talking about the opportunity to meet Peppa Pig and George at the Sky Studios – a free event for the Easter holidays.
I decided to drive to The O2 as getting there on public transport from our home in north London would have involved various changes on the train and tube, but mainly because I wanted to avoid the loss of my own marbles in the process.
I was also booked into the hospital for a minor procedure later that day which meant I couldn’t eat after 12pm because of general anaesthetic, so my plan was get there, stuff our faces, see Peppa and George, grab a coffee, and shoot off home so that Lady P could nap on the way.
Perfect plan! Or so I thought…
There are various car parks near to The O2 but as it was still the school holidays, the closest ones were obviously full. Not to worry though – the next one wasn’t far away and looked a bit emptier.
I eventually found a space and patted myself on the back for a straight forward and even relatively pleasant journey with a sleeping toddler for most of the way.
“Hurrah” I thought – she’ll be in a great mood to meet her favourite oversized and a bit freaky cartoon characters!
Time check: 11.20am
Once I’d got the buggy out of the boot and woken the toddler from her slumber, we set off to the find lunch.
As soon as I got closer to The O2, I stopped to tuck her blanket up as it was dragging on the floor and smelled that all too familiar odour…
Now, I need to explain that Lady P had a bit of a tummy bug at the back end of last week and since then has had the occasional yellow liquidy poo that has leaked everywhere. I thought we were past that stage though as she’d got her appetite back day, but…
Today was no exception. The poonami struck again.
Even better news; having walked to virtually all of the food establishments in the hope to find baby changing facilities and order some much needed grub (even that awful world buffet one that I’d never usually even consider) none opened until midday, and that was what time Peppa was appearing.
So off we trot to back to Costa for a baby change and quick sandwich.
More good news; Costa don’t have a baby change – the nearest one is RIGHT BACK WHERE I JUST WALKED FROM, which when you can almost feel yourself leaving a trickle of a yellowy substance around the perimeter of the stadium, seemed about 234 miles away.
Luckily there was no queue. Small victories.
I won’t go into details as I can imagine if you are reading this for ideas of things to do with young children, you’ve probably already been there. Essentially I had to strip her down to her birthday suit – trying to avoid pools of poo and piles of baby wipes – and get her changed as quickly as possible, whilst desperate for a wee myself and getting increasingly more hungry.
Then given that the buggy was now a no-go area, just load it up with stuff to try to mask the smell.
Time check: 11.52am
8 minutes until those stupid pigs arrive.
Even though they were now starting to open, there was no time for me to go into the restaurants to get lunch and given that the entire contents of my child’s food intake had just leaked all over SE London, I decided she needed something plain.
Lucky girl got a plain bread roll, drink of water and some Kiddylicious wafers.
And as I had to eat at this time too, I got the hot cross bun, banana, and bit of pizza that I’d packed for her lunch! Not quite the big lunch I was planning to get me through the next 10 hours.
Time check: 11.58am
A jolly man came over to jeer up the crowd of people probably wondering ‘what that smell was’, and informed me about a new app available for Sky customers that allows you to watch every single episode of kids TV on their roster. Looked pretty good and one to look up if you have a tablet. Check out the Sky Kids app.
Time check: 12pm
Oink oink, out come the pigs!
After a half-hearted ‘wake up Peppa, wake up George’, the pigs arrived and posed for pictures with the visitors.
A photo posted by Rhian Harris (@fromtumtomum) on
Lady P didn’t freak out except when I tried to stand her with them to take her picture – a definite ‘no’ from her, but accepted some drawings to colour in and a PP sticker, and seemed fairly happy to explore the Sky Studio green screens and pose for a photo with Paw Patrol (“paw-tol”).
By 12.20pm, I had to search out some hand sanitiser gel as I feared I had the poo all over my hands, and then decided the day was a successful as it was going to be – especially as I’d now run out of spare clothes for Lady P at this point.
As it just started to rain, having paid the parking ticket (£6) and put Lady P back in the car seat, you can imagine how happy I was that I couldn’t find her much-loved comforter…
Luckily after a few minutes of running through my options, I found Lulu and reunited her with her loving owner before making a cool sharp exit.
That’ll do pig, that’ll do.
The low down:
- Website: theo2.co.uk
- Prices: Events vary but the Sky Studios attraction is free.
- Location: The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX.
- Inside the M25 and outside the Congestion Zone. Restaurants, cafes or bars on site as well as Tesco Express just outside.
- Best way to get there: Very accessible by all modes of transport. Check out their travel advice here.