That’s it. School’s out. Here comes the best part of 7 weeks of juggling: work, childcare and activities – all to keep the school-age members of the family entertained. To make life a smidgen easier we thought it would be helpful to compile a quick list of things to do and places to go, so the little darlings aren’t simply glued to the Xbox or PlayStation for the holidays.
We know that the unpredictable British weather can play a big part in changing plans – so we’ve approached it from a fair or foul weather perspective – as being adaptable with plans is what it is all about. So if you’re stuck for inspiration for things to do in Wandsworth in July and August – read on – we hope you’ll find it here…
Battersea Park formally opened in 1858. It played host to the Festival of Britain’s Pleasure Gardens in 1951 and – with lots to do on offer – has long been a favourite of Londoners as a summer destination. Many of the buildings in the Park have recently been refurbished.
For those that like their scenery there’s a 1km riverside promenade, fountains, ornamental and ecological areas and notable trees. Art lovers may find the Pump House Gallery inspires (currently exhibiting ‘What is Home?’ by a group of Arabian artists sharing their concerns about the world). For the sports-mad there are tennis courts, running track and fitness centre, all weather pitches – plus changing facilities.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Situated in the park is the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, always a firm favourite with younger families. There’s plenty to see – from the exotic, such as meerkats, monkeys and reptiles – to the more domestic, including sheep, rabbits and donkeys. There are play areas for the little ones and a cafe for Mum’s and Dad’s to sit and relax.
A family ticket is £29 and the Zoo is open daily from 10am – 5pm in summer.
Tooting Bec Lido
In a heatwave, London can be unbearable. That’s where a trip to Tooting Bec Lido can be just the ticket. At 91metres, it’s the largest open-air freshwater swimming pool in England – so is the perfect place to to take the family for some swimming fun and to cool down. There’s a 15m paddling pool for the little and the Art Deco complex, which includes a cafe, is open from 7am – 7pm to.
If you are going, Wandsworth Council offer some useful advice on ‘how to keep the pool fresh‘ – which helps avoid any necessary and frustrating closures, because no one wants this to happen…
Crazy Golf at Wandsworth Park
Budding Rory McIlroy’s might appreciate a round or two at Wandsworth Park’s Crazy Golf – Putt in the Park. It’s not your average crazy golf course and has built a worthy reputation as one of London’s best courses. It’s a great place to stop and unwind too – with a lovely ambience to the adjoining cafe and decking.
There are plenty of predictable-but-fun indoor attractions in London. Plenty of theatres give discounts on last-minute matinee performances – so you could catch a show. There are more cinemas than you can shake an Oyster card at. If you’re after something little more unusual to do with the family – here are a couple of ideas:
Shopping might not be to everyone’s taste – but a a day out buying stuff in the Southside can be a lot of fun. At Southside you could combine it with a trip to the cinema and a spot of lunch. With all the brands you’d expect – Southside is open from 9am to 9pm – so there’s plenty of time in the day to enjoy your shopping trip. Get all the travel and opening details on the Southside Shopping website.
Museum of Wandsworth
If local history is of interest in your family, then the Wandsworth Museum – recently relocated to Battersea Park – is a great destination. Charting Wandsworth’s history with artefacts and records from the past 25,000 years – museum staff will be putting its resources to work with a series of Family Fun days. They’re Free and not confined to the Museum itself – taking place in locations all over Wandsworth, including the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park Children’s Centre, Garratt Park, Sprout Community Arts Centre and various borough libraries.
Booking is essential – a full schedule and further details can be found on the Wandsworth Museum website.