From boat rides to ice cream tasting, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Dad this weekend. It’s time to make the most of this glorious weather and get out and about in London with the kids
Satisfy his sweet tooth at the Gelato Festival
Artisan gelato masters from all over Europe will gather at this three-day Gelato Festival to celebrate the very best in frozen desserts, as they compete for the title of European Gelato Champion. Be one of the first to sample your way through an array of new and unusual flavours, including chocolate miso and coconut, extra dark chocolate with real Yorkshire tea and even flamed Pernod with pepper and strawberries. And if brain freeze takes over, there will be plenty of space to sit back and take a break, or pop into the Gelato School to learn all about the history of Italy’s creamy wares. Finally, don’t forget to vote for your favourite creation before you head home!
Where? Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW
When? Friday 16 to Sunday 18 June, 11am to 7pm
How much? £12 each
Spot hidden green spaces courtesy of Open Garden Squares Weekend
Allotments, hidden roof-tops and pop-up flowerbeds are among some of the 230 secret gardens open to the London public for one weekend only this month. Some of the stunning spaces taking part in Open Garden Squares Weekend include the Tate Modern Community Garden (SE1), often used by locals for growing fruit and herbs and featuring a wildlife pond, the Crossrail Roof Garden (E14) which sits above Canary Wharf station, and the architecturally brilliant Nomura International at No.1 Angel Lane (EC4R). The size of eight tennis courts, it includes stunning water features, a kitchen garden and breathtaking views of the capital. Enjoy everything from special tours and self-guided walks to an array of children’s activities.
Where? Venues across London
When? Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 June, times vary
How much? Adults, from £10; under-12s go free
Enjoy the perfect Sunday roast at The Lillie Langtry
As part of the Evening Standard‘s London Food Month, family favourite The Lillie Langtry in West Brompton will be hosting a dreamy Sunday afternoon combining kids’ activities, delicious food (including its renowned Sunday roasts prepared by head chef Alberto Pasqualin), Bloody Marys, the Sunday papers and a relaxed atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy. There will even be male grooming available for dads in need of a pamper…
Where? 19 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UE
When? Sunday 18 June, from 2pm
How much? See menu for details
Dance the afternoon away with Big Fish Little Fish
Pop on your jim-jams, grab your favourite teddy bear and get ready to be embarrassed by Dad’s dance moves, with Big Fish Little Fish‘s Pyjama Party Family Rave at The Bedford Arms this Sunday. Resident DJ Will Nicol will be spinning club classics, hip hop, electro and UK garage that both parents and kids will love, and the dance floor will be filled with everything from glitter cannons to bubbles and giant balloons. And when you’re not partying, there will be themed crafts and Playdoh tables, with tents, tunnels, ball pits, baby chill-out spaces and more. And don’t panic, Dad – there’s a licensed bar too.
Where? 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9HD
When? Sunday 18 June, 2pm to 4.30pm
How much? Adults, £9; children, £6; pre-walkers go free
Sail and sight-see with MBNA Thames Clippers
There isn’t a better way to take in London’s incredible sights than from the River Thames, and with MBNA Thames Clippers‘ River Roamer experience, dads sail for free this Sunday. Take in landmarks such as the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral while you enjoy a relaxing beverage (or two) from the bar. There will even be activity packs to occupy the little ones, as well as an app audio guide for an insight into the capital’s iconic sights. The ticket also allows you to hop on and off as you please – so you can also make the most of the city’s 16 piers, including Westminster and Greenwich.
Where? Various routes across London, see website for details
When? Daily. The Dads Go Free offer is available Sunday 18 June only.
How much? Adults, £16.30; children, £8.15. To take advantage of the Dads Go Free offer, pre-book one adult River Roamer ticket online with the code THANKSDAD17 to get one free
Take in the street vibes at Battersea Power Station
Enjoy everything from live music to face painting at Battersea Power Station‘s Circus West Village this weekend, which will be hosting its street food festival, packed with a programme of events for little ones. Dad can tantalise his tastebuds with some of the best street food around, including buttermilk fried chicken from Mother Clucker, Po Boy sandwiches from Hank’s and artisan pizzas from Born & Raised. And when you’re suitably full, there will be a whole host of daddy-themed activities, including cape-making, superhero transformation pods, a giant outdoor Scalextric and a special Father’s Day show in the Village Hall.
Where? Circus West Village, Battersea, London SW8 5BN
When? Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 June, from 11am
How much? Free, prices vary for specific activities
Enjoy an Olympic experience at Lee Valley VeloPark
What better way to treat thrill-seeking dads and cycling fans than with an experience at Lee Valley VeloPark, where they can follow in the footsteps of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy by cycling on the very same velodrome track made famous at the London 2012 Olympics? In addition, dads can have a go at BMX on the remodelled Olympic course, with all the different features it has to offer. Kids sessions are also available.
Where? Abercrombie Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3AB
When? Sunday 18 June
How much? £60 each, including bike hire and helmets
Dig into sundaes at Fortnum & Mason
As part of Kids in the Kitchen for London Food Month, Fortnum & Mason is inviting families to The Parlour to take building their own ice cream sundaes to a whole new level. Visit the special ice cream cart in the first-floor demo kitchen and build your very own frozen works of art – don’t forget to give it a name, too! Choose from a selection of delectable ice cream and sorbet flavours and sumptuous toppings. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it. Spoons at the ready…
Where? 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER
When? Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June, 12pm to 6pm
How much? From £6.50 each