Like many parents with young kids, finding a place in your area that is really child friendly and full of fun activities can be difficult. More so if you have just moved into the East London area. Here are our top 3 recommendations sure to put a smile on the kids face while being a safe, fun and imaginative learning experience the whole family can enjoy.
1) The Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, E14 4AL
If you are looking for museum with the west end feel, but not quite able to get to the city then the museum of London Docklands is a great place for kids. The museum is linked to the Museum of London so expect a lot of fun activities and variety to keep the little ones busy as well as the older kids. There are also upcoming Easter Family events this Easter at both the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands.
Remember to check what activities are going on especially during the Easter break and confirm the times of events and age limit for each event. Late admissions are at 5.30pm. Some events to check out are Victorian Tea Party (ages 2-5) and Noah’s Ark (minimum age 5). Admission is free and so are advanced bookings.
For current and upcoming activities check the website for details www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands or call 020 7001 9844. Look up any changes by contacting them or checking on their website before you set off on your journey.
The museum is free and open 7days a week between 10am and 6pm.
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2) Brooks Farm, Skelton’s Lane, Leyton, E10 5BS
This is a great atmosphere for kids to learn about animals as well as get close up and personal with them, and to be exposed to different farm animals they may not have seen before. They’ll enjoy counting the chickens and learning the difference between a hen, chick and a cockerel, and there is an ecology area and allotment areas where children can learn the importance of growing fruit and vegetables. What is more amazing is that all the activities are linked to the National Curriculum with staff equipped with expert knowledge on the animals for very focused learning.
Admission is free, but you might need to book to let them know when you will be coming. There is a charge for certain activities like group tours, workshops and guided tours of the farm. The activities are locally tailored, affordable and are made to combine learning and fun.
The farm is fully accessible, safe and child friendly with disabled parking facilities.
A young mother called Erica called the farm “a great place for her kids to get creative, get life skills and learn”. “You don’t get many places with hands on activities like milking the cow – which is safe as it is a life size plastic cow. My 2yr old loved watching his brother milk a plastic cow.” said Erica.
For more information on Brooks Farm check out their website or contact them on 0208 539 4278. Be sure to ring and book even if just visiting the farm to avoid disappointment.
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3) V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA
The museum opens between 10 to 5.45pm Monday to Sunday, with free admission. There is a wide range of collection of teddy bears, puppets, toys, clothing and other goods which will get the little ones minds running. What is very impressive is that the museum has an excellent Special Education Needs (SEN) scheme which is designed to give children with special needs the best access to learning opportunities. The museum features a range of National Curriculum activities and learning facilities.
Also, there is a great display of life through the eyes of children with autism which is in conjunction with the National Autistic Society – it will run until July 2011 and is a must for any family. You’ll also want to catch the food exhibition, “Food Glorious Food” running until the 25th April 2011.
With its child friendly and baby and toddler friendly atmosphere the children will be engaged for hours. All galleries, exhibition are free with a great range of activities including Animal magic with stories for babies, toddlers and the under 5, art activities, telling tales and I spy.
The museum is situated in Tower Hamlets, one of the most culturally diverse places. Sam, a mother living locally described it as “a great place for kids to explore”.
It is worth checking the website or contacting them on 0208 983 5200 to check current activities and times before setting off with the little ones.
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I hope this list of 3 great places to visit in East London will help keep your little ones busy during the day learning new things and unlocking their potential!
What are your favourite places to go with kids in East London? Add them below…
Many thanks to The Museum of London and The Museum of London Docklands, Brooks Farm and V&A Museum of Childhood for their and providing details and images for this article.