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The ArcelorMittal Orbit

Fun summer activities for kids

Local things to do with kids of all ages, that won’t cost a fortune

Swan around

Swan pedalos

Soak up the views of London’s skyline as you bob around the wetlands of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in your very own swan pedalo. Get the grown-ups to do the legwork, while you snap some photos!

Open weekends and during school holidays, 12–5pm; queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

Life’s a beach

Children in pool

Paddle in the rock pools or build sandcastles in the sandpit before finding the hidden treehouses and navigating the wobbly bridges and slides at Tumbling Bay Playground nestled within the International Quarter.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

Art attack

Spend a day exploring the Art in the Park trail at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There are 28 works of art of all shapes and sizes dotted around the park – from murals to sculptures and even living art, see if you can find them all.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

Play time

Biodiversity Playground Westfield

Dare to explore inside a giant fish that’s 12 metres long? Or sail a paper boat before hopping onto a lily-pad, just like a frog? Creative play is what it’s all about at the free Biodiversity Playground on the Lower Ground Floor at Westfield Stratford City.

Westfield Stratford City, Lower Ground Floor, outside

Strike out

Bowling ball and bowling shoes at All Star Lanes Westfield

Lace up your bowling shoes for some friendly competition at All Star Lanes, Westfield Stratford City. Refuel the gang afterwards with fifties-style burgers, delicious hotdogs and milkshakes at the Lanes Kitchen.

Westfield Stratford City, 2nd Floor; allstarlanes.co.uk

Ice, ice baby

Ice cream roll from Pan-n-Ice

Try your hand at the South East Asian art of ice cream rolling during a special masterclass at Pan-n-Ice in Westfield Stratford City. The best bit? You can even take your frozen creations home – if they last that long!

Westfield Stratford City, Ground Floor; book online at pan-n-ice.co.uk

Screen saver

Children wearing 3D glasses

Fancy watching one of the latest blockbuster films with a huge bucket of popcorn? Head to Vue cinema where you’ll find 20 screens and all the newest releases in 2D and 3D including Barbie (out now) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (out on 2 August).

Westfield Stratford City, Second Floor; myvue.com

Fun at the farm

A sheep at Hackney City Farm

It’s not every day you get the chance to visit a working farm, right in the heart of London. At volunteer-led Hackney City Farm, you can get up close to the donkeys, goats, pigs and sheep or explore the gardens.

1a Goldsmiths Row, Bethnal Green, Tuesday–Sunday, 10am– 4.30pm; hackneycityfarm.co.uk

Adventure city

Child with binoculars

There’s a packed line-up of fun kids’ activities at Westfield Stratford City this summer. Fancy dressing up as an explorer or a bug detective to learn all about creepy crawlies, or crafting your own binoculars then going on a bee hunt? You can do all this and more in centre.

Westfield Stratford City, 29 July – 12 August, 11 – 4pm

Waffle on

Waffle bubble wrap

Student project turned viralsensation Bubble Wrap, home to the original Hong Kong bubble waffle, has arrived at Westfield Stratford City. Try a signature waffle, loaded with salted caramel and strawberry cheesecake gelato or get creative choosing your own toppings.

Westfield Stratford City, Ground Floor; bubblewraplondon.com

Take the plunge

People in the London Aquatics Centre pool

Need to cool off when the weather is too hot? Head to the London Aquatics Centre for a refreshing dip, join family fun sessions and the chance to make a splash in the Olympic-sized swimming pools. And the best part? No membership is required.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; londonaquaticscentre.org

Brave new world

Slide at the Discovery Children’s Centre in Stratford

Let your imagination run wild at the Discovery Children’s Centre in Stratford – climb aboard pirate vessels, fly a spaceship or even explore a majestic castle. You can also book to see live story-telling or themed exhibitions during this immersive play experience.

383–387 High Street, Stratford; discover.org.uk

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