Out & About | London for Toddlers

The next in our series of posts dedicated to specific age groups and what there is for them to see and do in London is London for toddlers. You can find our London for Babies post here. In this post discover what there is to do with an 18month-3 year old in London.

Natural History Museum

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With rooms full of dinosaurs, creepy crawlies and life size animals you can spend hours here. The rooms are big enough to let toddlers out of their buggies to have a toddle around. There are 5 cafes and restaurants that are all family friendly.

Open everyday (except 24,25,26th December) 10am-5.50pm

Admission is free apart from certain exhibitions.

V&A Paddling Pool (summer)

The prettiest paddling pool in all the land. What better way to cool down on a hot day in the city. In the inner courtyard there is a large but shallow pool of water surrounded by grass where you can spread out a picnic rug and watch your little ones splash around.
Once dry or perhaps before a dip, the museum is extremely family friendly with children’s trails, backpacks and hands on discovery areas. There are three family friendly cafes and you can bring a pack lunch and eat them in certain areas.

Open daily 10am-5.45pm

Admission is free apart from certain exhibitions.

Science Museum

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The garden, located in the basement of the museum is advertised for 3-5year olds, however we know plenty of babies and toddlers have had so much fun exploring this space. A wonderful water play area (waterproof aprons provided but bring a change of clothes as toddlers are good at getting wet!), soft bricks and other blocks to build, areas to climb and a sensory area full of mirrors and buttons to press.
Up on the ground floor is the pattern pod which has an interactive pond projected onto the floor, a dance pod and interactive drawing pads amongst loads of other fun things.
On the very top floor is the aviation room with planes old and new and a space big enough for toddlers to run free.
There are 4 family friendly cafes and even a milkshake bar. There are also plenty of areas to eat packed lunches.

Open daily 10am-6pm (except 24,25, 26th December)

Admission is free apart from certain exhibitions.

Little Angel Theatre

Up in Highbury and Islington you will find the puppetry theatre that is Little Angel Theatre. They offer wonderful theatre experiences for children and have a regularly changing calendar of whats on.
During term time as well as theatre they also run Tiny Tots, a playtime for children aged 4months-3years old. On Thursdays 10.30-11.30am, find out more here.

Unicorn Theatre

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Near to London Bridge is the Unicorn Theatre. There is always lots going on at this theatre and they even do birthday parties as well as lots of workshops as well as performances throughout the year.

Polka Theatre

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Situated in Wimbledon, the Polka theatre offers a wide range of children’s theatre throughout the year. They also have a family friendly cafe, playground, garden and fun filled foyer with toys, books and dressing up.

Eddie Catz

A soft play centre in Earlsfield, Wimbledon and Putney. Each centre also offers lots of choices of classes. Including ballet, Club Petit Pierrot french classes, Playball and Monkey Music to name a few. They do birthday parties and have family friendly cafes. You’re not allowed bring in your own food.

City Farms

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There are over 16 city farms in London and they all great and very toddler friendly. Growing up in a city shouldn’t mean children only get to see wildlife when you leave London. See horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, rabbits and many more. Some farms also have lovely cafes and look out for special events during school holidays.

Picture House Cinemas Toddler Time

There are 10 picture house cinemas spread out over London. They offer Toddler Time, usually at 11am, which is for preschool children and their carers and Kids Club which is for any child and their carer. They also offer autism friendly screenings.

Battersea Children’s Zoo

Watch the otters being fed and then run down the tunnel and pop out the bubble window into the middle of the meerkat enclosure. With monkeys, donkeys, emus and many many more animals to see and a fantastic playground complete with a real fire engine children can climb inside and a large sandpit. There is a small cafe within the zoo and plenty of picnic tables if you want to bring a picnic.

Open 7 days a week. Children under two go free, children over two cost £7.50 and adults cost £9.50.

London Zoo

Situated at the north end of Regents Park, ZSL London Zoo is a great day out. See tigers, gorillas, giraffes, lions, penguins the list is endless. They also have playgrounds and a water play area in summer, so remember the children’s swim stuff and a towel. There is a family friendly restaurant, cafe and food kiosk within the zoo.

Open 7 days a week from 10am.

Barnes Wetlands Centre

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Over 100 acres of land make up the Wetlands Centre in Barnes. See rare ducks, swans and geese, otters, butterflies, dragonflies and frogs. So much space for toddlers to explore, including a large adventure playground, water playground (in summer) and an indoor discovery zone.

Open 7 days a week from 9.30am.

Flip out

Flip Out has three trampoline parks in London. One in east London near East Ham tube, one in Brent Cross and another in Wandsworth. They offer mini flipper sessions for under 5’s and their carers so you don’t need to worry about your little ones getting squished by over enthusiastic older children or teenagers. Check the website for mini flippers times as they vary between sites.

Postal Museum

The Postal Museum has it’s very own play space for children aged 8 and under. Set out like a mini town, there are trolleys, pulleys, slides and chutes to keep them entertained.

Sessions last 45minutes starting at 10am and then on the hour until the last session at 4pm. You can book your tickets here.

Talacre

Talacre is a community sports centre in Kentish Town. They have a soft play centre called tree tops for children aged 3months to 11 years, although be warned their baby area is small but toddlers can manage most parts of the soft play area but may need a little help from their carer. Find the timetable and book online here.

Talacre also offer parent and toddler gymnastic sessions in their gymnastics hall.
Weekdays 9.30-10.15am & 10.30-11.30am
Sunday 9.00-9.45am
Times vary during school holidays, so check with reception first.

Gambardo

Gambardo in London located in Chelsea on Townmead Road. A huge soft play area with spinning cups and dodgems. They have a dedicated two and under area. There is a cafe onsite. Beware this place gets very busy at weekends and during school holidays.

Open 9.30am-6.30pm 7 days a week.

Hullabaloo at The Sheriff Centre

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With a main soft play area for 2-10 year olds and a smaller section for under twos. The centre is housed within a church that also has a family friendly cafe and post office. Play sessions last one hour and start when you arrive apart from on Saturdays when they start on the hour as they tend to be busier.

Open 9-5pm Monday-Saturday.

Photos
http://wwww.swlondoner.co.uk
http://londonmumsmagazine.com/
http://llove.lambeth.gov.uk
https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/7280-wwt-london-wetland-centre
http://www.churchnw6.co.uk/community/the-sherriff-centre-at-st-james/

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