LOCAL THINGS TO DO OUTDOORS
For better weather days of adventure
Fantastic beautiful community garden opposite the Dalston CLR James library. Famous for its annual Halloween carving festival. Great place to take a picnic and relax on a beanbag under a tree (bean bags provided!). They run children’s workshops during holidays and occasionally in term time – see website. They serve coffee in cafetieres, cakes and booze.
Hackney city farm
Situated in Haggerston park, about 15 minutes walk away. They have donkeys, chickens, pigs, ducks and a couple of goats. They also run a small pottery school. The cafe is excellent, particularly for a Sunday roast; so good, it can be hard to get a seat.
Spitalfields city farm
Perhaps a bit too far with a buggy & bored toddler to walk, best go on the overground to Shoreditch high street (3 stops) and walk from there. It’s a brilliant farm, with play area plenty of animals and a pretty tree house to enjoy a picnic in. They have a much bigger variety of animals then Hackney city farm, its much bigger, with more of an ‘eco’ vibe – but no fancy café (although a stones throw from Brick lane for food and drink).
Swimming – Lido, London fields
Hipster central. Fifty meter Olympic outdoor pool, great for hot summer days (although beware, on very popular days they operate a 1 in 1 out queuing system), and heated for winter time. Very little shady area for little ones in the summer. Nice café.
A hidden gem and just across the Kingsland road. This has a HUGE outdoor adventure playground, with nature garden, indoor play facilities, sports and arts and crafts. They run an after school and school holiday drop in scheme and can cater for children with special needs providing 1:1 care and supervision. Suitable for ages 5 and up.
Highbury fields 1 O’clock club
Does what it says on the tin! Highbury fields also has a large playground, sandpit/waterplay, café with toddlers area and swimming pool. Across the road from Highbury Islington station.
Big museum, exhibiting all things to do with… childhood. Be prepared to be depressed to find all the toys you had as a child – in a museum case. Lots of interactive things to do, and a full school holiday events & activity programme on offer. Great café.