With the summer holidays now well under way, we’ve put together our top picks of things to do with your kids in East London over the summer and the best thing is, most of them are free.
The Castle is almost as fun from the outside as it is inside. This former Victorian water pumping station actually looks like a castle, and now you can climb all over it. Taster sessions for children and families are being run during the day throughout the holidays so you can all try your hand at bouldering and rope climbing (www.castle-climbing.co.uk)
This fantastic garden was created on the old Eastern Curve railway line. Open every day, the perfect place for kids to explore or even try their at gardening. They are also running ‘Family Fridays’ every Friday throughout the summer with live music and activities. You can bring your own picnic or treat yourself to some of the delicious homemade, locally produced food and drink from the café. Wood fired pizzas are also served on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. (www.dalstongarden.org)
This wonderful museum in Hoxton is running free art, design, craft and baking workshops throughout the summer for children of all ages. With a huge range of activities from quizzes, and nature trails to arts and crafts and storytelling, there is something for everyone. (www.geffrye-museum.org.uk)
Explore free workshops and activities through Hackney's Libraries and Museums this summer. From drawing and creative crafts to robotics and even coding for kids! There are hundreds of different activities to choose from.
Download their events guide here
This much loved East London city farm is a hit with children and adults alike. A great way for kids to learn about animals and nature, you can even get involved with helping to manage the farmyard at their mini farmers club held every Saturday. They also have weekly pottery and mosaic classes for both adults and children. (www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk)
There is nothing better than messing about on the river, or canal in this case. Laburnum boat club offers kayaking and canoe lessons for all abilities as well as narrowboat trips along the Regent’s Canal.(www.laburnumboatclub.com)
With 10,000 acres of open spaces and sports venues, there is no better place to let your children run free than at Lea Valley Park. Watersports, horse riding, cycling, ice skating, nature reserves and even a beach park, this place really does offer the A-Z of activities and has a whole hosts of events gong on through the summer for the while family to enjoy. (www.visitleevalley.org.uk)
This brilliant charity funded by the Arts Council provides writing and after-school clubs for children in the neighbourhood aged between 8 and 12. Covering all areas of creative writing, members have written lyrics which professional musicians made into songs; had their stories made into picture books; written and even distributed their own newspaper. (www.ministryofstories.org)
If you live outside the catchment area you can still enjoy exploring their ghoulishly good Monster Supplies shop on Hoxton Street where you can pick up a pot of fairy dust or even take home a jar of cobbywobbles but watch out for the werewolves!
This magical museum has so much going on over the summer. The one museum where you definitely won’t see ‘do not touch’ signs, quite the opposite in fact as children are encouraged to explore and play with many of the toys on display here. There are daily workshops and activities from storytelling to outdoors games as well as week long summer camps to really let your kids immerse themselves in creativity. (www.vam.ac.uk)
Another great city farm where children can take part in the animals daily care and have the opportunity to learn about their needs. They are also running their Wildclub throughout August where children can help harvest tomatoes, look after the animals and even try their hand at outdoor cooking. (www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org)
This Alice in Wonderland themed creative space is running an art camp throughout the summer where children can discover a new craft everyday from pottery painting and making clay pots with a potters wheel to silk printing, mosaic and felting. (www.wonderlandceramics.com)
If you are thinking of moving to East London, have at look at our neighbourhood guides to find out more about what the area has to offer.