That dreaded week is coming up; the time when parents scramble around to find something to keep their little darlings entertained long enough to open a bottle of wine. It’s the week known as half term. But desperate dads and melancholic mums don’t need to worry; we’ve found five perfect activities to get the little ones out of your hair.
Hackney City Farm, Haggerston
Everyone enjoys getting muddy (as long as they don’t have to do the laundry). Hackney City Farm is the perfect place to let your kids have a bit of outdoor fun. The farm boasts an impressive collection of barnyard animals including geese, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, ducks and chickens. The farm is extremely community focused, with farmyard days organised for local school kids as well opportunities for people to volunteer. Local produce including freshly-laid eggs are also for sale. So bring down a group of juniors and show them another side of London life away from its Tube and skyscrapers.
Image from Revolution Karting
Revolution Karting, Mile End
Do your kids enjoy life in the fast lane? Then get them behind the wheel of a go-kart at Revolution Karting. As long as they’re taller than 5’ (1.52m) they can race around London’s best track. And at £25 per driver, it’s not too hard on the wallet. Who knows, you may have a mini Lewis Hamilton living under your roof. Plus, unlike many other kid-friendly activities, you’ll have fun doing this one with them.
Snakes and Ladders, Brentford
If your children have a little too much energy to sit quietly for more than five minutes, then Snakes and Ladders is where you need to take them. The Brentford centre has a huge three-tier playframe full of slides, ladders, ball ponds, and rope climbs. There are separate areas for two to five year olds and for the big kids to run, shout, scream and burn off some energy. If you can encourage a few of your friends to take their kids along too it will give you time to have a long catch-up while the apples of your eyes are having their own fun. Win, win.
Photo taken from Brit Movie Tours
Movie Tours, London
Try as you might to get kids excited about the historic landmarks of London, they often aren’t interested – and after all there’s nothing worse than dragging a bored child along with you. So why not go on a tour you’ll both enjoy? Brit Movie Tours provide bus and walking tours to movie and TV locations dotted around London. Want to see where Four Weddings and a Funeral, About Time, Sherlock, and James Bond were filmed? Want backstage access? Then this is the tour for you. To make it even more entertaining, you should encourage your kids to dress up as their favourite character. Go on, learn some facts Londoners may genuinely be interested in while keeping your kids entertained for the whole day.
Explore Kent, Kent
It may surprise you, but there is a lot to do outside the M25. Kent, aka the Garden of England, is easier to get to than you might realise. Trains regularly head to Ebbsfleet and Ashford from Stratford International, just outside East Village. You can take your kids horse-riding at the Blue Barn Equestrian Centre, on long ramblings walks across the fields and countryside, day-long bike trails, or visit the 100-acre Rare Breeds Centre.