Mommy in London

Trying to figure things out!

Our Day at the Olympics

on August 1, 2012

We were lucky enough to go to the Olympics yesterday!  I’ve written quite a few previous blog posts about preparing for it, so you may be sick of hearing about it, but the day finally arrived!  It felt like Christmas and holidays all rolled into one, but of course that caused a lot of anxiety about everything being perfect, and now we’re still completely exhausted!

Luckily, all of my preparation did pay off.  I had our bags packed the day before with everything we needed, so we just had to get ourselves ready in the morning and get going.  We decided to make our journey simpler by not going through a major station but staying on one train and going the long way around.  I think this was right because this way we had seats the whole time and E was settled and able to eat his breakfast at his own pace (and entertain all of the other train passengers with his breakfast excitement, he squeals over fruit!) Bringing the collapsible stroller was the right decision because we were able to feed him in there and he had a bit more room to sit and play.

When we arrived at Stratford Station it was a bit of a walk through to the Olympic Park so we kept him in the stroller.  Everyone was so nice, the volunteers and the soldiers were all smiling and pointing us in the right direction.  Security into the park was a breeze. there were no issues with the food and drinks that I brought in for E.  We found the Aquatics Centre and were waved through a family lane so we didn’t have to queue and shown to the pushchair storage area, which was also quick and easy to use.  We then had E in the Baby Bjorn and found our way through the venue to our seats.  We were quite high up, but had a low barrier in front of us, which meant that we had a great view and were able to hang our flag off of it, as well as not having people in front of us for Ethan to grab at (I can just imagine him trying to pull their hair!)

He was so good for the entire event, happily bouncing up and down on our laps, getting very excited with all of the clapping and cheering around us 🙂  It did get a bit noisy at times (when Brits were swimming) so then I tried to cover E’s ears.  In the future I would think about getting headphones to protect his ears, especially if going to finals or other noisier events.

In the venue there were baby changing facilities, but I’m not sure if there was anywhere quiet to breastfeed.  I didn’t ask anyone, but from what I could tell there would not have been anywhere.

After the swimming was finished we stayed at our seats to let the Aquatic Centre clear out a little bit so that we weren’t stuck in the crowd.  We made our way out and picked up our stroller from the storage area without any fuss and made our way out to explore the rest of the park.

Throughout the park there were baby changing facilities, and in one room we found there was a place to sit and breastfeed (even though it may not have been intended for that purpose).  I would have liked to see some more baby friendly facilities, obviously that is not what the Olympics are intended for, but I think it’s nice to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible.

There was a variety of food available around the park, but unfortunately all of the food that we had was overpriced and not very tasty.  I would definitely suggest taking in food for babies and children and am so glad that we didn’t take the risk of trying to find healthy food for E to eat at the Park.  All of the seating in the food areas was picnic tables, so again I was glad that we had E in the stroller because we were able to feed him in there, we had brought the Tot Seat, but it works by attaching to a chair, which we didn’t have.

After lunch we made our way to Park Live, a large grassy area with big screens to watch a variety of Olympic events.  I don’t think that I had it on my packing list (in a previous post) but I had brought a small picnic mat, which was also a really important thing to bring.  After sitting for so long on the train, in the venue and for lunch, E definitely needed to have some freedom to crawl around.  He was happily crawling around on the grass, playing with his toys and making friends with everyone around us.

After that it was E’s nap time, and so we put him back in the Baby Bjorn (he won’t really sleep in forward facing strollers, there’s too much to look at!) and explored a bit more of the park.  We saw the NBC area where they were filming the Today Show, and even spotted Ryan Seacrest with Aly Raisman (American gymnast)’s parents.

We then went to the Olympic Megastore!  There was a huge queue, which we thought was crazy for a shop, but you get so caught up in it all that you just have to go 🙂  But yet again we were treated nicely for having a baby with us, we were waved over and bypassed the line completely.  It was crazy inside the shop, but I did manage to get a few cute things for E 🙂

This cute gold Wenlock that you can only buy at Olympic venues

And the cutest little shoes!!!

After that we had been pretty much all around the park so we headed over to the mall!  Westfield Stratford is right beside the Olympic Park, and we hadn’t been before but hoped that the facilities would be as good as the other Westfield mall in London.  We got in and headed straight for the Parents Room to change and breastfeed E with lots of space and comfy seating.  That’s the way it should always be done!

Then of course we shopped a bit (there’s a Victoria’s Secret there, the first in London) and decided to give E his dinner there, rather than on the train on the way home.  The mall was also fun because there were loads of athletes walking around, we even sat beside some of the guys from the Spanish water polo team while we had our coffee!

The journey home seemed to take forever, and of course E then found it much too exciting to watch people and refused to sleep.  But he was still very happy, giggling away and making people smile.  Overall he was so good all day long, we are so lucky to have such a well behaved baby and I’m so glad that we took the risk of bringing a baby to the Olympics.  He may not remember it when he’s older, but we have loads of photos and stories to tell him, and he’ll always be able to say that he was there 🙂

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3 responses to “Our Day at the Olympics

  1. marine says:

    hello

    we are also going to the olympic this sunday with our 6 months baby !!
    I found your post really helpful. thanks a lot for that:-).
    I have anyway some question: we have ticket for us but not for the baby. the match is at the basket ball arena which is in the olympic parc. i’m trying to figure out if we can come with the stroller & let it at the entry of the arena in a secure place. when you enter the olympic park with the stroller, did you have a place for the baby or was it like us?

    • Hi,
      We also didn’t have a ticket for our baby, but in the aquatics centre you didn’t need one. I would assume that it’s the same for the basketball arena as it is in the park. We just went through with our stroller and the volunteers were really helpful and told us where to store it before going inside the arena.

      Have a fantastic time!

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