Top 10 places to take the kids this summer

It’s week one of the big hols and if you’re already stuck on how to entertain the kids, ideal flatmate are here to help. Read on for the best activities in the sun or in the rain this July and August. 

Always check opening times, where applicable, and age suitability. 

1. Mudlarking on the Thames.

Organised by the wonderful Thames Explorer Trust with 2 hour sessions led by experienced guides trained in health and safety. Let your kids become watery scavengers as they hunt on the river’s edge for historical treasures- clay pipes, Victorian earthenware jars, perhaps a piece of Tudor pottery. Educational as well as great fun. 

2. Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Opened on the 30th June, 2000 in memory of the late Princess, this free playground is a magical place for children to play in and explore. You’ll find a huge, wooden pirate ship, a sandy beach, sensory trails, teepees and lots more besides. There’s also an area for less able and able-bodied children to play in. A safe environment for kids to let off steam with security at the main gate. Plenty of seating for accompanying adults. Very popular, so get there early if you can. 

3. Royal Observatory Greenwich

Visit the centre of the world’s time (try explaining that to an 8 year old!), home of Greenwich Mean Time. Lots to see here for older kids as well as Ted’s Space Adventure,  an observatory planetarium show for 3-7 year olds- perfect for little astronauts everywhere. Standing on the world famous Meridian line is a pretty unique experience. There are plenty of interactive activities to try out as well. 

4. Battersea Park children’s zoo

A great day out for all the family with a fabulous selection of small animals to see: meerkats, otters, donkeys, guinea pigs, lemurs and red necked wallabies to name just a few. Daily talks given by friendly keepers and an excellent play area for toddlers to let off steam. The cafe is small, so perhaps bring your own food. 

5. London Film Museum in Covent Garden

Suitable for older children, this museum is an absolute must for James Bond fans. Being able to get up close to the original cars from all the films – including ‘little Nellie’! – is just amazing! Excellent gift shop as well. 

6. Hackney City Farm

is a family-friendly city farm with a good selection of well-cared for animals to view. Activities range from feeding and petting the animals, pottery sessions for children and beekeeping. Beautiful gardens and a great cafe, the Frizzante. 

Entrance is free. 

7. Tate Modern

Uniqlo Tate Play is TM’s programme to help families of all ages to play together and get creative. This summer, ‘Mega Please Draw Freely’ is an invitation to turn the enormous Turbine Hall into a work of art with everyone, young and old, encouraged to doodle and sketch to their heart’s content and become part of this experience. Calling all those budding Van Goghs in the family! 

8. Lee Valley White Water Centre

Set in the River Lee Country Park and purpose built for the London Olympics, the Centre is easily accessible from the capital. Hydro-speeding, canoeing, kayaking and world-class water rafting are all on offer. A great day out for older kids, especially, but not exclusively, when the sun shines. Excellent instructors make this an unforgettable experience. 

9. Emirates Air Line cable car

London’s only cable car crosses the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. Flights in individual cars are about 10 minutes each way.  Magnificent and unique bird’s eye views of the capital’s skyline. One ride costs just £3.50 which you can pay using your Oyster card. Staff are very friendly and helpful. 

10. Hampton Court Palace 

Discover Henry VIII’s favourite residence including the Great Hall and Tudor kitchens. 60 acres of enchanted gardens, the world’s oldest puzzle maze and an under 5s family room make for a very special day out. The Magic Garden is a unique playground with battlements, towers and several grottos. Water features help you cool off on hot days. There is truly something for everyone here. 

Under 5s go free and don’t need a ticket. 

Happy Summer, everyone🌞🐒🐝🐴🌻🍦🚣🏻‍♀️🎨🎟🚡🏰🚸🌳