Summer In The City: Our Tips For Great, Inexpensive Days Out

The lido at Brockwell Park is just one of many attractions there
The lido at Brockwell Park is just one of many attractions there
It just takes some planning, some packing and a sun hat... Lulu Luckock's suggestions for summer holiday outings don't require you to spend a fortune.

The stupendous summer holidays stretch before us! What a wonderful feeling, or perhaps it’s not for you?

It can be tough juggling work and play whilst trying to keep everyone, including you happy?!

You’ve planned the shared childcare, gorgeous grandparents are booked to cover as many days as they possibly can, and the sleepovers are almost all sorted.

The ‘real’ holiday (for you) by the sea or pool is booked for late August and you can’t wait!

But, have you run out of ideas for things to do with the children on your days off? Places to go in the city that everyone will enjoy, destinations that won’t rip you off or cost the earth?

If you feel a little stuck here are a few ideas:

Brockwell Park

SE24 9BJ

Abundant with a rich variety of great things to do for every age Brockwell Park is a great destination for any family.

Ponds with homegrown swans, a Lido, a water paddling area for little ones, a great playground, a beautiful walled garden perfect for hide and seek, a BMX track, and a café housed in the hall with delicious ice cream.

There is also a brilliant child-friendly Community Greenhouse that runs inexpensive children’s workshops and other events, book online.

You will even find a miniature railway in Brockwell Park that runs on Sundays.


The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ

This museum was constructed in the 1930s on the site of the Foundling Hospital, with a history that will startle your older children; this museum is well worth a visit.

With great free family events that can be booked online, you will be pleased to hear that entrance is free for children.

On leaving the museum head to Coram Fields, a stones throw away to run off some excess energy in the seven-acre park and playground. This park has a strict policy for no unaccompanied adults to be allowed in without children.


Fulham Palace and Bishops Park 



 A short walk along the river from Putney tube, Fulham Palace and neighbouring Bishops Park are a real treat to visit for the whole family.

The palace and park are open every day and admission is free.

The gardens that surround Bishops Palace are quiet, safe and secluded and the walled garden is the perfect place for a picnic.

The lovely Drawing Room Café located in the Palace serves some great food and fresh drinks, if you run out of your own and the museum inside the Palace hosts some great free events for children.

Neighbouring Bishops Park is full of surprises with a unique urban beach and a skate bowl along with a farmers market on Sundays.



Craven Cottage


 If you’ve got time, a great treat for the older children would be to visit Craven Cottage the home to Fulham Football Club. The oldest football stadium in London, it’s a short walk from Bishops Park along the river.


Some other ideas:

The Museum of London – if you go on the DLR get a seat at the front so you can all pretend to drive the train.

Science Museum – go straight to the Wonder Lab on the top floor if you have twos and older, don’t waste your money on the many simulators they now tempt you with.

Southbank Centre – always something going on there when you show up there for an impromptu visit.

The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace – check the times on the Royal family website.

Horniman Museum – great collections and touring exhibits and wonderful gardens for a picnic.


How to organise your all-day adventure:

This is an all-purpose plan with some helpful tips to get everyone onboard and ready to enjoy a great day out.

(This plan that can be used for every adventure; it won’t take long for the children to be doing it for you. Children tend to love a routine.)


My Adventure Action Plan

Try to include everyone in the planning, the more shared the adventure the better it will be everyone, including you! 😉

– A few days before the day arrives start talking about where everyone would like to go, throw the choice out to them, museum, park, event?

– Take a vote, makes it a democratic decision!

– Plan the route using public transport if possible. Check TFL, Citimapper.  (A front seat at the top of the bus is the perfect start and end to any outing.)

– Research the destination and if possible print off a map. A map definitely means adventure!

– Using the map get the children to write a ‘to do’ list with all the things they would like to see and do when they’re at the destination, they can tick their list off as you go.

– Check the weather.

– On adventure day everyone needs to pack his/her own backpack with their choice of two things (toy, book etc) that they will carry, (their choice and their responsibility), swimmers and one of those easy dry, easy to roll towels (dependent on destination).

–  Picnics can be made after breakfast, each team member chooses a simple filling and if possible makes and prepares their own sandwich putting it in their own reusable box and popping it in their backpacks. Get the children to wash and wrap their fruit and veg too and fill up their own reusable water bottles.

– Picnic rug, sun cream, extra water, ball, frisby on board the buggy and you’re ready to roll!

– Throw in some kind of hidden treat snack, in case of emergencies!


Hats on and off you go

(You’ll all be guaranteed a good nights sleep for one and all on return).

Have fun X

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