Trooping marvellous, or how to enjoy a big outdoors event with small children

15 Jun

Red Arrows fly past

Hideous mental images of crushed children have always put me off going to big outdoor events in the past.  But after six years of afternoons spent safely in the local playground, I’m ready for more of a challenge.  Also, if we are planning to take off round the world, we should really have a bit of a practise.  

So recently, we’ve been bolder about our outings and have realised that we can have a great time, as long as we plan everything really carefully,

DSC_0137take lots and lots and lots of wipes,



DSC_0078enough food to satisfy the four year old’s tape worm,



DSC_0119more water than we think it’s possible to drink,



DSC_0147and a buggy for restraining wayward toddlers, or as a place for tired children to sleep.



This weekend, we went to the Trooping of the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday celebrations, and had a lovely day, with the only incident a pair of wet pants (the two year old’s not mine).

DSC_0114Pre-children, we’d have arrived early, stayed late and taken part in everything going on.  These days, we’ve lowered our expectations.  There is no point attempting to see everything available because you will exhaust everyone, and spend hours crushed against barriers waiting for the parade, concert or flypast.  We try to get a flavour of the event but stay on the fringes so the children have a bit of space to run around.  At the Trooping of the Colour, we heard the military bands, got close to lots of soldiers marching through St James’ park on their way back to the barracks, enjoyed the RAF fly past and even saw the regimental mascot being taken back to his kennel.  But we didn’t fight our way through the crowds of DSC_0091people five deep to watch the main parade along the Mall.   Also, for children, the main event is not necessarily the most interesting.  Dickon’s favourite thing all day was seeing the police motorbikes whizzing down Birdcage Walk.  And Evie and Ned were delighted to get so close to the soldiers marching through the park.  We had a lovely day, and as an American tourist we overheard said “it’s just like Mary Poppins”.  Although I didn’t see any nannies flying with umbrellas, so maybe not.DSC_0110


15 Responses to “Trooping marvellous, or how to enjoy a big outdoors event with small children”

  1. Maternal Tales 16/06/2009 at 8:59 am #

    Sounds great – gorgeous photos as usual. You forgot to add suncream to your essential list!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 17/06/2009 at 9:21 pm #

      You are right! I also forgot to say that we write our mobile phone number on their arms if it’s really busy.

  2. Littlemummy 16/06/2009 at 9:22 am #

    Great photos, and I’ll be bearing those tips in mind. Was wondering how to tackle the Disney parades with a three year old just today.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 16/06/2009 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks. When we went to Disneyland Paris, we loved the parades and found a really good spot, on the route, but a little out of the way, with space for the children to play behind us, but a great view. It’s worth scoping out a spot early, because it does get really crowded, but we found they didn’t mind waiting as long as they had space and snacks. The route is really long, so there’s usually a good spot to be had.

  3. Linda 16/06/2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Brilliant post. As soon as they invent a 25th hour in the day I need to update our blog to feature some of your fantastic posts…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 16/06/2009 at 2:53 pm #


  4. Milla 17/06/2009 at 8:13 pm #

    what a great blog, I loved the reminder of when mine were small – now that damp pants seem kinda sweet. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on mine, just LOVE Miss Vile, well not really, OBVIOUSLY!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 17/06/2009 at 9:29 pm #

      ta v much!

  5. Eva Rees 18/06/2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Great shots! A lot of thinking ahead with the kids — we haven’t learned that skill yet 😉

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2009 at 6:22 pm #

      You learn that lesson the first time your child gets hungry and the queue at the food stand is more than one person long. Patience is not something small children are known for and they are very vocal about making their feelings known.

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  1. Friday Links | - 26/06/2009

    […] How To Enjoy A Big Outdoors Event With Small Children – Victoria of It’s a Small World After All is SO RIGHT when she says, “Pre-children, we’d have arrived early, stayed late and taken part in everything going on. These days, we’ve lowered our expectations.” Hire Me As A Blogger […]

  2. Visit a gallery, take in a show, have a nap… « It's a small world after all - 07/11/2009

    […] and celebrations.  They can be very exciting for toddlers as well as older children, as long as you plan your day carefully.   Most toddlers love flypasts (Trooping of the Colour), marching soldiers (also Trooping of the […]

  3. It’s the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival! | - 04/05/2012

    […] but if it’s the outdoors you are after, Victoria at ‘It’s a Small World After All is Trooping Marvellous. […]

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