Having children in one of the biggest cities in Europe surely can’t be an easy thing with reckless drivers, busy tubes and crowded streets, but there are many advantages to having kids in a big city. As you might have guessed, there’s always something going on to keep them busy and active such as an exhibition at the Natural History Museum, a new Disney movie at the cinema, Legoland or even just a fun street fair in your neighborhood. But what about the weekends when all you want to do is sit down, relax or grab a coffee with your best friend?
There are a few places in London that specialize in the well-being of both small children and their loving parents. I personally don’t have children but am a happy aunt of 5 little monsters and am always looking for places to take them if/when my sister will trust me with a full weekend with them. I’m just kidding, I’m an amazing aunt, they’re just a bit too young for that at the moment. But let’s get back on track, the first place on my list is called The Corner House, found in Brook Green on Shepherds Bush Road. This place has everything you ever dreamed of. You can sit down and enjoy your flat white, whilst your kids and their friends play in the indoor children area, filled with books, toys, and even a ball pit! Not only does this place have a great space for children, it also offers yoga classes for grown-ups, and cooking, ballet and football classes for the little ones. Book your classes in advance to enjoy a perfectly well organized day for the whole family. Note that if you have teenagers, the place has good quality Wi-Fi and delicious brunch and lunch menus.
If you’re feeling a bit more energetic on a Saturday morning and the sun is finally peeking through the grey skies – look no further. Get all your children in the car/tube and head to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the day. There’s truly something for everyone, and the entrance is free! Between delicious choices of cakes and drinks, beautiful walks through the parks and a fun tumbling bay playground, every member of the family will find their happy place. This is also an ideal way to let your kids run around and breathe in some fresh air, but can also turn into an educational trip due to the site’s Olympic history. You can also introduce your children to new sports such as badminton or tennis, try out a Zumba class, climb up the ArcelorMittal Orbit to get the best view of London, or simply take a stroll around the park.
As for kid-friendly restaurants, the list is long! I personally recommend trying out Abeno Too, an interactive Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden. Children love the Japanese pancakes, cooked right in front of your eyes in theatrical movements. But if Japanese cuisine is not your cup of tea, how about visiting the Vauxhall City Farm for a day of education and feel-good foods? We strongly recommend the pesto pasta. And if you’re in the mood for a family dinner, book a table at Tredwell’s. This British fine cuisine restaurant has a family special menu, with a seven-course tasting menu for children. Just remember, wherever you go – pack some books, snacks and a change of clothes in case your child gets a little hungry or decides to jump in the puddles!
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