SUMMER HOLIDAYS S.O.S
SUMMER HOLIDAYS S.O.S – the best family day out ideas!
Save Our Sanity! Banish boredom with these ideas for a family day out on your doorstep…
1 ANIMAL FUN
There’s no shortage of fun places for animal lovers. Try Bockett’s Farm near Leatherhead where there are sheep, llamas and donkeys, hop on board a tractor ride and watch the pig races. In SW19, you’ll find Deen City Farm, where you can get up close with alpacas, donkeys, and rabbits. Battersea Park Zoo has many cute critters. Or kids can help out in a junior ranger session at London Wetland Centre in Barnes.
2 SPLASH AROUND
With the Thames on our doorstep, kids can go kayaking or paddle-boarding with the likes of Back Of Beyond Adventures on the Richmond riverbank. Pack a picnic and book an electric GoBoat in Kingston, pottering along to Hampton Court and back. Splash around at an aqua park such as Thorpe Lakes with inflatables and slides.
3 BURN OFF SOME ENERGY
With several adventure playgrounds, zip wires, bouncing pillows, underground tunnels and high ropes, Hobbledown in Epsom will keep the most energetic kids entertained. There’s a new Hobbledown opening in Hounslow, too. For an adrenaline-fuelled day, take to the treetop walkways at Skywalk Adventure in Esher.
4 FOR TINY TOTS
Head to lands of make-believe at Picnic Play Centre (Kingston) where kids can dress up and play in their own tiny town with mini shop, fire station and theatre. Or try the enormous three story soft play structure as well as a soft zone dedicated to crawlers and pre-walkers at Chelsea’s Gambado.
5 TOP PLAYGROUNDS
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to play areas. The Magic Garden in Hampton Court has dragons, water play, tents and walkways between castle turrets. At The Children’s Garden (Kew Gardens) there is a vast playground boasting wooden structures, water pumps, a splash area, balancing balls, playhouses, slides and more. Wimbledon Park has two playgrounds and you can feed the ducks on the lake too with feed from the café.
6 PICK UP A NEW SKILL
Try skateboarding at My Little Boarders in Clapham, which teaches children aged 4-15 how to skateboard, and offers weekend clubs, after school clubs and holiday camps. Or try your hand at painting pottery at one of the Pottery Cafes, either on Northcote Road near Clapham Junction or in Fulham near Parsons Green. Here you can decorate mugs, plates, jugs, vases and more.
7 SEE A SHOW
Wimbledon’s much-loved Polka Theatre is a must. As well as its ever-changing programme, there are workshops, too, and a play area and kid-friendly café. Or head to The Puppet Theatre Barge, which is back in Richmond this summer.
Chessington World of Adventures has a fabulous range of rides for children of all ages. And Thorpe Park is a great choice for older kids with all its coasters.