Half-term is fast approaching
London is a city of entertainment. It’s packed, from the proverbial rafters to the basements below, with many marvellous things to do – but the luxury of choice can make planning family days out a challenge to organise. But there are ways to keep everyone happy – it’s just a matter of finding the right place for you. With half term a matter of days away, we’ve put together some suggestions for where to go for a memorable day out in the capital.
Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, E14 3HP
The last thing you’d expect to find in the shadow of Canary Wharf’s gleaming towers is a rural idyll, but that’s exactly what awaits at Mudchute Park and Farm. Across 32 acres, meet sheep, pigs, ponies and an array of friendly rare breed critters. There are regular community events to enjoy, and a charming café if anyone gets peckish. The farm is open from 9 to 5, 7 days a week; entry is free and special farm tours can be organised on enquiry.
Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham, RM8 2JR
If you’ve got a skating fanatic in the household, or just an eager beginner, Extreme is the perfect place to hone skills and have fun. London’s largest indoor skatepark opened earlier this year, and has been designed for all, however many wheels you prefer – from skateboarders and in-line fanatics to scooters and BMXs. There’s also an awesome array of climbing walls for all abilities, with expert staff on hand to advise. An energetic setting ideal for birthday parties, there’s even a viewing gallery to kick back, relax and enjoy the action. Excitingly, Extreme is about to get even more so – with the arrival of a 2,125 square metre trampoline park this autumn, the first of its kind in London.
1A Princeton Street, Holborn, WC1 4AX
Heading to the centre of the city and looking for something a bit unusual to peak the interest? Novelty Automation is a unique inner-city arcade, celebrating the wonders and wit of automation. Mixing satire with engineering, this is a bawdily entertaining trip into a lost art. Twinned with the Under the Pier Show at Southwold, this is a little corner of seaside frivolity in Central London.
Warple Way, Acton, W3 0RQ
For something a touch less genteel, check out one of London’s finest karting circuits. With a challenging 500m track to get the adrenalin pumping, there are now kids karts ready and waiting, suitable for the over 8s. With designated family events and kid’s track days to enjoy, it’s the perfect spot for family-friendly thrills – just a 10 minute walk from Acton Central Overground station.
Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA
One of London’s most enchanting museums, it’s often overlooked in favour of its more opulent relatives in Kensington. The Museum of Childhood is an enlightening and entertaining experience for all the family, particularly the under 7s. There are many hands-on and creative tasks to engage with (check out what’s on soon), whilst the exhibits tell the story of youth through the best possible medium – toys!