To help out ideas-strapped parents in London, Family & Friends Railcard, which saves a third off most adult rail fares and 60% off kids’ fares, has compiled ten free activities and days out to keep families entertained in the capital city.
1. Make a date with a dinosaur at the Natural History Museum
With over 80 million specimens spanning billions of years, it’s unsurprising that this attraction has over five million visitors every year – and best of all it’s free to visit. See the world-famous dinosaurs (including a huge T. Rex), take a journey through a spectacular Earth sculpture, and see scientists at work in the Darwin Centre.
2. Meet some furry new friends at Vauxhall City Farm
With ferrets, ducks, pigs and alpacas (to name a few), Vauxhall City Farm offers a piece of the countryside in the busy capital. With an ecology area, herb garden and a picnic spot, this is perfect for a family day out.
3. Explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Set across 560 acres, this urban park is perfect for exploring – spend the day walking through parklands and taking in the spectacular sites of the London 2012 venues. There’s also impressive play areas for the kids. In the north of the park, Tumbling Bay features rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and wobbly bridges, while in the south, there’s a climbing wall and waterworks fountain.
4. Feeding time with the pelicans of St James’s Park
St James’s Park is home to some special residents; the park’s famous pelicans can be seen sunbathing on their favourite rocks in the summer near Duck Island. Every day, from 2.30pm-3.30pm, visitors can witness these impressive social creature fed fresh fish.
5. Get your skates on with London Skate
Taking place on Wednesday evenings during the summer months, London Skate invites people to join a two-hour skate session through London on a pre-planned route. Hundreds of people take part, creating a fun and inclusive atmosphere – and as long as you can stop and turn-around on your skates, you can take part.
6. Take a trip down the Thames
Out on the waters of the Thames you can enjoy a whole new view of London. This free ferry travels from Woolwich and North Woolwich, and while it’s not a very long journey, if you’re in the area it’s great fun for the kids and a novel way to get out on the Thames.
7. Visit the Sky Garden
For fantastic 360 degree views of London, visit the Sky Garden (situated 155 meters up!). You’re free to wander around this unique space which sits across three storeys – with landscaped gardens, an observation deck and an open air terrace to explore. Remember to book tickets in advance, as there are only a limited number of spaces each day.
8. Enjoy outdoor entertainment at The Scoop
The Scoop is an outdoor amphitheatre, situated near Tower Bridge. During the summer months this unique venue hosts theatre productions, live music and film screenings for free! The Scoop can seat 800 people – and there’s no need to book, just turn up and enjoy the show.
9. Get scientific
With seven floors to explore, the interactive Science Museum in South Kensington is a great day out, providing entertainment and education for all ages. Under-eights can enjoy the Pattern Pod and learn about the importance of patterns, while the Launch Pad hands-on gallery always proves popular.
10. Visit the Children’s Park
The Children’s Park in Mile End Park gives kids (of all ages!) a fun space to let their imaginations run wild. It features a rope slide, scrambling wall, impressive climbing frame, and a dedicated area for under-fives. Equipment has also been recently installed to appeal to children with disabilities as well as their able-bodied playmates.
For more information visit www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk