Spring activities for the young ones
Parks and Outdoors
Need some fresh air? Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park runs a variety of clubs and events including the Bow Beasties Wildlife Club and the Forest School.
Tower Hamlets Tennis runs a variety of affordable sessions for ages 7 to 11+ in Vicky Park. Check for dates and times:
The Tumbling Bay playground in the north of the Olympic Park has rock pools, tree houses, wobbly bridges and more. To the south of the park there’s gigantic red rocks to climb, oversized swings and sandpits to keep your little ones happy all day. More ideas on the website:
Pop down to Vicky Park boating lake for regattas & sailing with model boats. 11am Sundays.
London Fields Lido offer swimming lessons and they give stages 3-8 swimming classes again. Go to betterlessons.org.uk for details and booking. Plus of course, there’s Mile End Leisure Centre, York Hall in Bethnal Green and the gorgeous Aquatics Centre, QE Olympic Park.
Try some ballet and contemporary dance classes with the East London Dance School at the Chisenhale Dance Space in Bow.
There’s ballet for children at the Hackney Forge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call Mafalda on 07550 722 693 for details and check out the blog:
Music and Drama
Diddy Bugs. Try Hackney Forge on a Wednesday morning. Cbeebies actress Samantha Seager runs acting classes for little tots.
Piccolo singing, music & dancing for babies and toddlers runs every Wednesday and Friday, V&A building, Victoria Park. Toddler class 10am, baby class 11am. Drop-in.
Stefanie 07708 451314.
Baby Music Class in the Straw Bale building at Hackney City Farm. 10-10.45am and 11-11.45am.
Free drop-in activities at Museum of Childhood, including arts ‘n’ crafts, tours, trails & storytelling. For ages 3-12 years. Cambridge Heath Road, E2.
There are plenty of centres around here. From Lee Valley Riding Centre on Lea Bridge Road: leevalleypark.org.uk/go/horseriding/ to Aldersbrook Riding School aldersbrookriding.co.uk, where the children can go on a ‘riding picnic’ in Wanstead Flats. The Docklands Equestrian Centre in Beckton is also a great place:
Arts ‘n Crafts
Hackney City Farm hosts The Young Hackney Fine Arts Programme, taught by Noel Basualdo. An after school club for children aged 7-16, it provides learning experiences in drawing and painting from observation. The class runs during term time on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 16:00 to 17:45 or 16:15 to 18:00 at the Hackney City Farm. All materials are included and all abilities welcome. Email Noel for availability and fees:
Wonderland Ceramics offers after school pottery classes on Thursdays, 4.30 – 5.30pm during term time. Children will be taught basic clay techniques including pinching, coiling and slab building and throwing on the potter’s wheel. Booking and payment in advance; £135 per term/10 weeks. Siblings 10% discount.
Can’t make a Thursday evening? Every Sunday there are drop-in children’s pottery sessions at Hackney City Farm. 11am-1pm and 2-4pm. £5. Goldsmith’s Row, E2.
Stories and Creative Writing
Storytime for the under 5s at Victoria Park Community Centre every Tuesday from 10am to 11.30am. 5 Gore Road, E9. FREE.
Storytelling with music and refreshments for under 5s at Dalston Library,Thursdays, 11am-12 noon
Chatterbooks reading group (ages 8-12) at Clapton library, Third Tuesday of the month: 4-5pm.
Call 020 8356 7480 for more info.
Creative writing for children aged 7-14 at Dalston Library, first Wednesday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm
Yoga for babies…
Baby-focused classes using massage, classical yoga postures, stretches and balances adapted to their stage of growth. Fridays, Royal Inn on the Park, E9.10.45am-11.45am. £6.50.
07902 227 669
…and their mums
Yoga for Mums and Babies, every Tuesday at 10.15am with tea and biscuits afterwards. Hackney Forge, E9.
07958 645 978 or email
Activity times may change, so please do check on times/availability via the websites or phone numbers provided after each entry.