15 Things To Know About City Parenting in East London
5 THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A PARENT IN LONDON
The magic – showing Sax the view from the Sky Garden (or his dad’s office) or being down on the Southbank looking across the river at all the beautiful old buildings.
The mix of people – you can find your crew whatever you’re like. We’ve met so many lovely people since having kids in the city so we make sure we have lots of fun whilst helping each other out as much as possible.
The sheer amount of things to do: where else could you squeeze into one weekend a family barn dance and mini rave with a wood fire pizza stop at the pop up on your road, a visit to one of the best galleries in the world (for free) and then a walk in the woods!
Having a good Dad squad! There are lots of young families in London and a lot of Dad’s who are in the same boat as me. It’s great to have a new social network to call on and nip down the pub from time to time
Easy transportation – we love getting the train and tube, or jumping in an uber. We don’t have a car, and it’s really been no issue so far with 2 young kids. Anywhere we want to go is easier to get to by public transportation anyway, and it means we can interact more on the journey
4 PLACES YOU LOVE TAKING YOUR KIDS
Tate Modern: an excellent place to meet friends as there’s space for energetic kids to run in the Turbine Hall and there’s a café on hand parents. It’s always worth asking if they’re running any art classes that day as there’s always something going on for kids. The installations in the Turbine Hall change throughout the year and are always awe inspiring for the little people and adults alike.
V&A: I think it would take a month of visiting everyday to see everything there is to see at the V&A and by that point there’d be something new to see! the new exhibition road quarter is worth a visit and the inner courtyard is great for kids. There’s always something brilliant to see so I usually aim to do one part of the gallery and then time to eat - the V&A café is beautiful!
Spitalfields City Farm: Our favourite day out involves time at the city farm. They have a tree house and a teepee for colouring & reading. There’s a lovely mix of animals and there’s a huge volunteer network, you can even volunteer as a family. Love the Stepney City Farm too!
National Portrait Gallery – if you go on a Wednesday morning they run the sweetest class for kids. A specialist from the gallery takes the kids through the archives and sets up a little rug in front of one of the grand pictures. They then tell the most fascinating story of what the picture is about with music and props.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: This is such a good place to visit and meet friends – the Tumbling Bay play park is good for all ages and the café there isn’t bad though we usually take a picnic. It’s always fun to go to the Pool of Champions too if you fancy raising a future Olympian! And there are little bike sessions for toddlers on their balance bikes or older kids on pedal bikes at the VeloPark.
3 THINGS THAT YOU DISLIKE ABOUT BEING A PARENT IN THE CITY
Stations without lift access – carrying the pram with baby whilst keeping an eye on your toddler on the stairs is a nightmare!
Having a small garden – and we’re lucky to even have a garden at that! Many parents are living in flats
A lack of a good source of information about what’s going on – there is Time Out and a few other kid themed websites, but they usually promote larger scale events or things you already know about. There’s nothing about local stuff going on, so if you’re struggling for an idea of what to do it can be frustrating
2 OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT
Dishoom - THE BEST BREAKFAST NAAN ever ever ever. Kids love it, relaxed atmosphere-my fave branch is the one in Shoreditch.
And picnic – there are so many food markets (Borough, Broadway etc.) and so many green spaces. We usually grab a huge bag of delicious food and from March-Sept you can catch us eating outside whenever possible.
1 ITEM YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR CITY
Sling and our Scoot ‘n’ Pull (basically the hardest thing is having tired kids so you can carry one and pull the other)