Craig and I both work full time, and with Craig working every Saturday and both children having football every Sunday, it's very hard to enjoy a day out all together. On Sunday though as it was the beginning of half term we had a football free day and certainly made the most of our family day out!
When we were asked if we would like to come and visit the Emirates Aviation Experience the geek in me was very excited! Craig is a mechanic so is always interested to find out how things are put together. However, Craig is also very scared of flying! Its always a struggle to get him to agree to a holiday that involves flying. Its something that really upsets me as I really love holidays and adventure and desperately want to take the children on more foreign holidays. So my main excitement for the day was that the whole experience may alleviate Craig's fear!
We are very lucky that Greenwich and the O2 area is only a 40 minute car journey for us, and actually by the end of the day I questioned why we didn't visit the area more often!
When we arrived the children were very excited, they could see the Emirates Air Line cable cars in the Sky and were fascinated! But more on that later, the first part of our day was a special treat for Craig! He had half an hour flying a simulator A380 plane. It was amazing! The simulator experience is for up to 4 people but only people of a certain age can actually be a pilot. Craig was Captain and Chester was asked to be co pilot! Millie and I were given seats behind, and felt included in the whole experience. The experience is 30 minutes and in that time Craig and Chester managed to take off from 3 different airports, and make successful landings 3 out of the 5 attempted times! I was secretly hoping that it would help to cure his fear, and whilst I don't think it has completely done this, I do think it has helped!
Walking around the exhibition there was lots to keep the children (and adults!) entertained. Through an interactive game we learnt how the airport staff work together to turn a plane around quickly and efficiently.
We watched a video in the surround cinema with a moving floor, which showed how luggage goes from check in to the plane.
But saving the best until last, we got to get up close to a Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine and see how it works. I must admit that some of it was a bit too mechanical for me, but Craig was fascinated!
We probably spent about an hour in the exhibit area and although we had seen and done everything, we had to peel the children away! They would have been happy to stay in there longer!
The next adventure for our family day out was a trip on the Emirates Air Line cable car! Chester and Millie were very excited about this! Sadly Craig bottled it at the last minute as it was a bit too high for him! I think he had visions of it swaying about in the wind, but it wasn't like that at all! It was a really calm ride, we could see for miles!
It was roughly 10 minutes each way so we had plenty of time to spot the landmarks. Chester was very happy that he spotted Olympic Park. Millie and I were very happy to spot the Golden Syrup Factory haha!
We were also very lucky to see two planes come in to land at City Airport, I think that was the highlight for us!
The capsules were big and could seat around 8 people comfortably, I saw a couple take on a pram which was no issue at all, so very family friendly. The Cable Cars run from the terminal at the O2 to a terminal very close to The Excel, which also makes for a great DLR and other tube connections.
Whilst we were in the area we also popped into the O2 for a meal and had a look around some of the exhibits. We spent a full day in Greenwich and came home exhausted but happy! Chester and Millie are already asking when we can go back!
For more information and prices for Emirates Aviation Experience and Emirates Air Line please take a look a the website here.