29 August 2021

What is new and fun at Madame Tussauds London 2021

Have you guys been to Madame Tussauds London? I visited it with my eight year old daughter in June, and it was a blast from the past for me. The last time I visited Madame Tussauds was well over twenty years ago, when I was a teenage tourist visiting London. There is definitely a lot more today and some new attractions added in 2021! Lots to see at Madame Tussauds, so here are some of the highlights of our visit. Scroll to the end to see a quick summary of the most important things you need to know.

madame tussauds entrance nicole kidman

madame tussauds helen mirren queen for a day photo

So what was included?

The biggest attraction is of course the wax dolls of famous people. The first collection is of various film stars and other celebrities popular right now - for example there was Helen Mirren, Eddie Redmayne, Kim Kardashian and so on. The next wax figure collection was film - so this included characters and mini sets from films such as Alien (separated from the wider collection as not suitable for littles ones), King Kong, E.T. Breakfast at Tiffany's and so on. Then the sports hall, where you could take pictures with a variety of sports stars, such as standing next to Mo Farah on a podium. Fourth major section was royalty and historical figures, fifth collection was of music performers where you could also listen to records by some of the people featured. 

Second major attraction was the historical section, which explained how Madame Tussauds started (by doing death masks of the executed during French Revolution) and featured some of her original work. There was also a "taxi ride" through the history of London, which as a nice little touch. You got to sit down for a short ride through different displays and a short story of London. 

Third major section was about the popular film franchises - so there was a Marvel section, a 4D cinema, and a Star Wars section. There were amazing places for taking photos with a wide variety of characters from Marvel, such as Black Panther, or Spiderman, and this collection ended with a 4D cinema experience (which is an extra £2.5 per person). 4D cinema is definitely worth it, even if you have to pay extra. It is short, so you might not need to buy pop corn though even if it is on offer ha ha! I'd say, sit at the back or middle to back for best views. Then finally there is the Star Wars collection, which as well, had fantastic photo opportunities with characters from all the films!

beyonce madame tussauds

mo farah madame tussauds

tea with the queenmadame tussauds

What did I think of the experience?

I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought, and my favourites were the Star Wars area, Marvel area, the history of wax works, and the 4d movie (extra £2.5/person). It was surprisingly fun to see what size celebrities are in real life, and see all kinds of animatronics, and learn about the history of wax works, especially as I've long put this place down as a gaudy tourist attraction. 

My phone almost died with the amount of photos my eight year old wanted to take. Every. Single. Figure.  Regardless of whether or not she knew who they were. She enjoyed listening to records by some of the notable musicians at Madame Tussauds, and is now a big Amy Winehouse fan. 

All in all, a fun visit. We spent nearly two hours there, and it is definitely a fun place for kids and teens! Good time to visit now as well with less tourists, so we walked right in, no queue and while busy inside, it felt OK. Very little social distancing or masks but there we go, if that's concerning than best avoid for now.

han solo madame tussauds

madame tussauds chewbacca photo opportunity

madame tussauds r2d2 star wars droid

rey from star wars madame tussauds

hulk madame tussauds

spiderman madame tussauds

et madame tussauds

king kong madame tussauds

Top tips for visiting:
  • As there are less tourists in London now, there are hardly any queues to get inside, so great time to visit Madame Tussauds!
  • Despite lack of queues and lower capacity taken in, it is busy inside. Photo opportunities are mostly quick to get in on though, so not that much waiting for them. 
  • Social distancing and corona safety: At times there are "traffic jams" of people so social distancing is difficult. Many people wore their masks, but whipped them our for quick photos with the wax dolls. More on safety restrictions by the attraction here
  • Perfect for 6+ to teens, and older kids are more likely to recognise the figures. My eight year old recognised hardly anyone, not even her favourite actors from Harry Potter series. Despite this, she enjoyed it a lot. 
  • 4D cinema is definitely worth the extra £2.5 per person - just make sure to sit at the back or mid to back for best views. It's a CGI film, and has some extra effects too! More on it here

Have you visited Madame Tussauds?

You might also like: Why visit Science Museum with kids in 2021? and SeaLIFE Aquarium London with kids

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outside madame tussauds

madame tussauds pinterest

madame tussauds pinterest

17 August 2021

What we thought of Code Ninjas Enfield overall and holiday camp experience

I signed my daughter up for Code Ninjas Enfield holiday camp, and here is my review of the overall set-up and the course. It was really interesting to find out more about this place as I have walked past it quite a few times when shopping in Enfield Town. Code Ninjas Enfield is run by a current Head of Computer Science, who is passionate for coding and all things STEM. 

Code Ninjas promises to teach kids about coding in a safe environment. The flexible curriculum for kids aged 7-14 teaches the kids 3 programming languages (JavaScript, Lua and C#), and there are also lessons for kids aged 5-9, and holiday camps at summer, and autumn and Easter half terms. Quite intriguingly there were also offers for a Parents Night Out, where you can leave your kids for an hour or two while you enjoy and adult meal... 

Anyway, on to the review!

Location and facilities:

Location of Code Ninjas Enfield is very central to Enfield Town, and easy to get to walking or driving. There are parking areas nearby, although a quick drop-in and drive is difficult as you can't park right outside it. 

Inside the facilities were clean and modern, and children's and adults bathrooms were separated. All staff wore masks, and parents were asked to wear masks too. 

There was a friendly staff member at the front of the house greeting incomers and ensuring everyone checked in. Outside the classroom dojo there are benches, where parents are asked to wait for their child, rather than going in themselves to get them. I really liked this from a safety conscious aspect as well - this meant no-one could wander in or a child could not leave without the staff noticing. 

Code Ninjas Enfield outside

Code ninjas enfield inside

General teaching 

My daughter tried an introductory session, which is a 30 minute play session with one of the senseis, who is quite intensively helping them to get accustomed to the computer and games. After the introductory session, if the children continue at the classroom by taking regular sessions, the senseis are hovering around helping them, but not as intensively and kids have more free time with their games in between learning about coding. As they learn more, they progress through different levels of coding skills. 

Much of the education on coding at Code Ninjas is learning through gaming, and Roblox and Minecraft appear to used a lot for older kids (+7yo). This will of course be a fantastic place for kids that love gaming, and gets them learning too! However, it is important to note that for kids (or parents) that aren't keen on gaming Code Ninjas might not be a right fit. 

Reviewing the holiday camp: Become a YouTuber course

Since my daughter has been talking about wanting to be a YouTuber for a while now, I booked her into the Become a YouTuber camp at Code Ninjas. This camp was three full days, from 9AM to 4PM, with one hour lunch (packed lunch to be provided by the parent). From a parental perspective, a full day like this was great as it allowed me to have a good chunk of hours for work during those days. 

During those three days she set up her own channel, having come up with her niche and name, learned about copyright and search engine optimisation (using descriptive language and key words), used Canva to design thumbnails, and an animated intro and end rolls for her videos, and shot six gaming videos for her channel. They also learned to do screen recording and some video editing, and how to do time marks for their videos. 

All in all, she was very happy and came back bouncing with excitement everyday. She had great fun with her gaming buddies everyday, and is now very keen to "get lots of subscribers and viewers" on her Harry Potter- inspired gaming channel. 

From my perspective, I was really happy to see how much fun my daughter had, how much the kids learned and got to do, and how confident my daughter became using a computer. An area of improvement could be to introduce some variety in the videos - now all of them were based on gaming, probably because it is easy to record and many kids love gaming. Introducing some variety, for example filming a review video or a tutorial, would teach kids about different types of content.  

Overall summary

All in all, I was really happy with the experience. Safety of kids at Code Ninjas Enfield was great, and my daughter really enjoyed her time there. I also really liked the look of some of the other courses, such as Adventures in 3D Printing, and Robotics Bootcamp Using Lego Solutions, and STEM-day courses and I am sure to book my kid on one of them in the future.  

That said, Code Ninjas are not the cheapest of courses, and they vary from £40 for a half day course, to £250 for a course of three full days. Similarly, the lessons are on the dearer side of children's hobbies. This is to be expected of course with technological costs, and small course sizes, but may be prohibitive for some parents. 

seating area enfield code ninjas

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