Weird and Wonderful Things To Do with the Kids in Post-Lockdown London
(2021 • 05 • 20)
Our hometown of London is beginning to open up again after months in lockdown, and I could not be more excited! If you’re like me, you probably can’t wait to get out and explore. However, the huge crowds sure to be flocking to the Natural History Museum and London Zoo may be a little overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for children who’ve spent the past year social-distancing. So, to help you out, here are my top picks for weird and wonderful - and lesser known! - things to do in London right now.
Located in South East London’s Forest Hill, the Horniman is a veritable cornucopia of wonder… and home to a very fat walrus.
The museum, opened in 1890, aimed to bring information about cultures around the world to the people of Britain. Now, the Horniman encompasses a butterfly house, beautiful gardens with views over London, an aquarium, galleries exploring world cultures, a nature trail, a music gallery full of strange instruments, an animal walk, a nature base complete with bee hive, and a natural history gallery: home to the legendary, overstuffed-in-a-bit-of-a-taxidermy-accident Horniman Walrus.
There’s so much to see and learn, there really will be something for all the family! Booking is required, but most parts of the museum have free entry.
Prepare to let your imagination run wild in this bizarre shop in Hoxton. Selling ‘bespoke and everyday items for the living, dead and undead’, you can find everything from moonlight in a jar to the salt made from the tears of home schooling. It’s sure to inspire some wonderful imaginative play and storytelling in any child!
Even better, all proceeds from the shop go towards the Ministry of Stories, a charity devoted to raising confidence, imagination and potential in the young people of East London through writing. You can learn more about their incredible work here.
Cable cars may sound like an expensive treat for holidays in the alps, but did you know that you can ride one right here in London - and pay for it with your Oyster card?
The Emirates Air Line connects Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, sailing high over the Thames. The 10-minute flights are perfect opportunities for little ones to spot the buildings of London’s skyline. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even book a VIP experience, complete with private car and souvenir brochure!
Here at MEplace, we’re passionate about introducing children to the natural world around them - and there is nowhere better to do that than the London Wetland Centre.
From otters to kingfishers, dragonflies to wild orchids, life of every kind thrives in this West London Eden. You and your little one will be able to spot all kinds of natural wonders - plus there’s a play area!
Pre-booking is mandatory at the moment, but children under 4 go free.
You may think a museum about the postal service would be pretty dull… but you would be incorrect!
Located between King’s Cross and Farringdon, this museum gives little ones the chance to send a message via pneumatic tubes, learn about cryptic Victorian postcards, dress up and even ride the underground Mail Rail. There’s so much hands-on fun to be had!
Pre-booking is currently mandatory for all visitors.
This park, located in Bromley, is most famous for its namesake: The Crystal Palace.
The Crystal Palace housed the Great Exhibition, and burned down in 1936. You can still see the foundations, complete with sweeping staircases and regal sphinxes. However, this is not all that lurks within the park…
Watch out for dinosaurs! Commissioned in 1852, and unveiled in 1854, the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs were the first sculptures of dinosaurs in the world. However, given their age, the sculptures are less-than-accurate depictions, instead showing what archaeologists of the time believed the creatures to look like. They’re certainly weird and wonderful!
Elsewhere in the park, you can also find a maze (and not an easy one - it took me a surprisingly long time to find the centre), and glimpse a wide range of exciting birdlife, including woodpeckers and swathes of bright green parakeets.
Ever wondered what a medieval castle would look like if it was bought by millionaires in the 1930s? Well you can find out at Eltham Palace!
The estate is recorded in the Domesday Book, and is known to have accommodated a young Henry VIII. While it still retains a medieval minstrels’ gallery and great hall, much of the building was refurbished in the 1930s by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. The result is an Art Deco masterpiece. There’s a huge amount to see, and the gardens even include a wonderful playground for if the little ones need to let off some excess energy.
Throughout half term, they’ll also be running a series of family-friendly events, complete with performances and storytellers!
Pre-booking is essential, but under-5s go free!
And of course, the MEplace Weekend Studio!
Every Saturday, children aged between 3 and 8 can join us for sessions in Yoga, Drama and Crafts! Each week, we have brand new sessions and guest teachers - all of whom are accomplished professionals in their respective fields. Click the link above to book your place!
There’s so many incredible things to see and do in London this Spring, and I hope this list has given you some fresh ideas to keep the little ones entertained.
Content Creator at MEplace