It's been a little while since I posted on activities for little ones (I did do a Mini London Part 1 post back in September see here). As the weather warms up I'm so excited to start spending more time outside and checking out some of these places. This is part 2 of our top London picks with children, indoor and outdoors, as we all know we can't rely on the Great British Summer weather!
This iconic, South East London, open air cycle track offers Strider balance bike sessions for 2 - 5 year olds on Tuesdays, 9 - 10.30am and Wednesdays, 3.30 - 4.30am. A great open space to test out those little legs, balance and co-ordination skills before stepping up to a pedal bike. There are 10 strider bikes and helmets available to hire and you can also just bring your own. We haven't tried it yet (friends have and say its excellent, see the lovely Peggy in the photo above!) but would like to give it a go this year as Finn gets more independent (need to crack the scooter skills still!)
Sessions cost £3 and include bike and helmet hire, games and races are sometimes offered too depending on the group.
Screenings for family audiences every Saturday at 11am. We love the open foyer spaces of the Barbican and there are always lots of things to see and do, even just running around this iconic building is fun. On the third level there is a hidden tropical oasis with the second biggest conservatory in London, home to exotic fish and tropical plants and trees.
We went to a Julia Donaldson theatre production last summer at the Leicester Square Theatre which was a great success. They provide booster seats for little ones and definitely take your own little bags of popcorn! It looks like they are showing The Scarecrows' Wedding, based on the book by Julia Donaldson (suitable from +3yrs) from July and Stickman from November.
The Unicorn Theatre has Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine showing from 20th May. This theatre (nearest tube is London Bridge) puts on award winning shows for Children and Young Adults. Tickets from £10
OK so this isn't exactly London but I wanted to include it as it's new and looks amazing! We are hoping to try this out in the coming months. Friends have been and it looks like so much fun. It's an interactive play garden set within King Henry VIII's former tiltyard and is filled with a moat, battle towers, dragons and a maze. Aimed at 2 - 13 year olds, Under 5's go free.
We finally visited the Olympic Park with Finn the other weekend and it was a real hit. It's a brilliant space for taking a bike or scooter for some practice and has some excellent play areas and cafes. We went to the Tumbling Bay playground in the North of the park where they have tree houses, water play areas, sandpits, swinging bridges and of course go and get your pic taken by the Olympic rings! The Timber Lodge Cafe had some nice childrens food and it was a good space to eat in or outside.
This sweet little cafe in Highbury Islington, is a great spot for having a coffee and cake whilst your little ones can play in the soft play area. It's a tasteful place and the mini soft play area also has dressing up, ball pit, toys and books. Plenty to keep little ones entertained. Food and cake is all made in their own kitchen and they serve Caravan coffee. They also have weekly activities from story telling to African music. We've been a couple of times and it's also a popular spot for grandparents to take little ones.
This unique seven acre playground can be found in the heart of London between Kings Cross and Holborn. The park is open all year round from 9am until dusk and is free and open to children and young people under 16. Adults can only enter if they are accompanied by a child. Perfect if you're looking for some space to run around in central London.
Run by a charity there is a city farm, playground, sandpits and a paddling pool in the summer. We are yet to go but I'm curious to see what it's like and also try out the cafe, Pistachios in the Park, always Finn's favourite part!
DINOSAURS! Always a Finlay Fox fave. This collection of over 30 dinosaur statues were created around 1854 and are the first attempt anywhere in the world to model dinosaurs as full scale, 3D active creatures. Free entry (it's all outdoors) plus plenty of other fun things to do in this South London park including a petting zoo, playground and maze.
These family raves take place monthly on weekend afternoons (2 - 4 hour party people rather than 24!) - they include top DJ's, fancy dress themes, bubble machines, free glow sticks, face painting and play doh tables. BFLF make sure each event is unique with everything from hula-hoop demonstrations to synthesiser workshops to interactive light installations. The parties are held in interesting and quirky venues; clubs, arts spaces and pubs, which help create the ambience of being at a real rave.
We are yet to try out but think it sounds like serious fun. £10 for an adult, £6 for a child and free for pre-walking infants. Aimed at 0 - 8 year olds, venues are now across the country, get your party shoes on.