Paddling and splashing!

The paddling pool at West Ham Park.

At last… At long last… The chance to complain about being too hot, instead of it being too rainy or too cold or too something else. This weekend has been all about being outdoors in the park and the paddling pool (as well as doing battle with sun cream and hats and unwilling toddlers).

Here are two parks I’ve posted about before, but without previously having tried out their very fine paddling pools.

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Fairlop Water Country Park and Boulders!

Fairlop Water

If you want an outdoorsy day out that’s nearby and on the Central Line, Fairlop Water Country Park is a good option.

Set around a sailing lake, the park includes a large outdoor boulder park with artificial rock climbing boulders for bouldering enthusiasts (‘bouldering’ is climbing on low-level rocks, without ropes) – a great place for parents who climb and can tag-team looking after the kids. Some of the boulders are less steep and ideal for children or beginners to have a go scrambling up (though children will need close supervision as there are some big drops).

Climbing boulder

There is plenty of shady grass around the boulders for picnics, and gravel areas for the digger enthusiasts in the family… Continue reading “Fairlop Water Country Park and Boulders!”

Highbury Fields forever…

Phew – it was boiling this weekend and I think the hot sticky weather is set to stay for a little while longer.

If like me you spend a lot of time in Victoria Park, the Olympic Park and Mile End Park, you might find the post about parks I wrote a few weeks back useful. You’ll find six alternative suggestions of places to spend a sunny day – some even have paddling pools or other water-based play.

And here’s another option.

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Just a quick one, but (in this household anyway) excitement is building…

Stratford’s Discover Children’s Story Centre is due to reopen in ten days or so on 23rd July 2016, but you can already book tickets for the new Dr Seuss exhibition. Do it now! The whole place has undergone a major refurbishment whilst closed for a couple of months. And this article in the Guardian suggests it’s going to have been worth the wait.

Continue reading “I DO LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!”

Exercise ideas to fit around childcare

Exercise makes me feel SO much better, especially when I’m stiff and achey from carrying small children all day – but it’s hard to find time to do any… Even if you can hand the kids to someone else for a while, it’s rarely long enough or often enough to travel to and work out at a gym or exercise class, especially in the early months with a new baby.
So I’ve been looking for ways to work out at home in whatever snatches of time I can get when the kids are asleep. Here are my two favourites. Any suggestions, please share in the comments!

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Valentines Park

Valentines Mansion (photo: valentines

If you fancy a change of scene, I can recommend Valentines Park, which includes Valentines Mansion and Gardens. I admit I’d never heard of it myself until it was recommended to me and we’ve been a couple of times recently.

I feel like I should have known about it already though – not least because it was the third placed London park in the People’s Choice Awards 2015 (our very own Vicky park has been the winner for the last two years).

It’s actually a huge park and two visits haven’t been enough to see the whole thing, but here are some highlights.

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The Museum of London

The Museum of London, Barbican. Photo:

Unlike its sister museum, the Docklands Museum, the Museum of London doesn’t have a dedicated area for toddlers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. It’s one of the places that’s on our list when a rainy weekend comes.


Continue reading “The Museum of London”