It’s officially Summer and the long school holidays are tantalisingly close. With hours, days and weeks to fill, we’ve come up with our favourite ways to keep you and the whole family entertained and maximising the sunshine (or avoiding the rain).
The Centre for Wildlife Gardening
28 Marsden Rd, London SE15 4EE
Nearest stations: East Dulwich / Peckham Rye
A small patch of land on a quiet residential street in South London makes a surprisingly idyllic world for mini-beasts. The Centre for Wildlife Gardening in Peckham has a range of habitats for little ones to explore and learn about wildlife. The centre boasts four ponds, a wildflower meadow, stag beetle sanctuaries, a hotel for insects, as well as a stall selling plants and honey from the centre’s own hives. It’s a great day out for children curious about the natural world, perfect for budding young David Attenborough’s.
Clip ‘n Climb, Chelsea
19 Michael Road, London, SW6 2ER
Nearest Tube: Fulham Broadway
Fancy racing your seven year old up a climbing wall? Look no further than the Clip and Climb centre in Chelsea. With the aid of a safety harness, a guided rope and a 10 minute introduction to the basics of climbing, the Clip ‘n Climb centre is an excellent way to entertain (and exhaust) your children for an hour. There are several different activities and walls to try including the speed climb, the checker plate and, only for the daring, the twister plate.
Image: Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm
1a Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QA
Nearest tube: Bethnal Green or Hoxton Overground Station
You don’t need to get (too) muddy to experience life on a farm as a visit to Hackney City Farm brings a much-needed taste of farming life to city kids. Here you can bring Old Macdonald to life by stroking the pigs, collecting organic eggs and feeding the goats. Running for over 20 years, the farm has become an integral part of the local community. Volunteers put together veg boxes to sell in the Farm Shop, and the farm hosts a shed-load of activities and workshops which offer something for all of the family. This includes children’s pottery classes (for an additional £5) and baby music classes in the straw bale building.
The Ritzy, Brixton
Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Ln, Brixton SW2 1JG
Nearest tube: Brixton
Even though it’s ‘summer’, it’s still London, meaning the chance of rain is a given. In case of showers it’s good to know that kids can pay as little as £1.50 for the cinema in Brixton. The Ritzy, part of the Picturehouse chain of cinemas, is a charming venue a short walk from Brixton tube station. Inside, the box office and cafe offers popcorn from a vintage machine as well as a fully stocked bar for grown-ups. On a Tuesday and Thursday at 11am it’s Toddler Time, with screenings of kid’s favourites such as Peppa Pig and Tractor Ted. There’s also Kid’s Club at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, when both kids and adults pay only £1.50 for the latest screenings. Absolute bargain. If the sun does happen to show its face, you’re also not far from Brockwell park for zip-lining, a miniature railway and a wet play area.
Image: Zip Now London
Zip Now London
Carlisle Lane, Lambeth, London SE1 7LE
Nearest tube: Waterloo
If extreme sports are more your thing, skip the park or scaling The 02 (far too much effort) and enjoy the view of London from the height of nine double decker buses! The ‘world’s fastest, longest city-centre zip wire’ in Lambeth is back for another year after its huge success last summer. The 35-metre drop and 50kmph speed will have your kids amazed, if maybe slightly terrified! It might be a quick trip but, finishing close to Waterloo, it will leave you plenty of time to explore all that Southbank has to offer. Zip Now is only open until October and children must be aged over 8. To book your space find out more here.
So where will you take your family this summer? With so many different options available you’ll be busy until September. Let us know what you’ve got planned in the comments below!