Whether you want to dive into nature, journey into the future or forage for your own feast, Rosy Edwards finds family-focused activities in the capital that are sure to spark questions about the world around us
Look into the future at The Crystal
Not only is The Crystal the world’s most sustainable events venue, its permanent exhibition explores the future of our cities in a fun and child-friendly way. There are touch-screens and exhibits, films and animations, and immersive experiments where children can learn about sustainable building and our role in protecting the planet for future generations. Even the journey is eco-friendly: jump on the Emirates Air Line cable car to get there.
Where: Royal Victoria Docks, Siemens Brothers Way, London E16 1GB
How much: Free for children under 18, £8 standard adult entry, £5 with concessions
Eat well at Wahaca
This family-friendly favourite has serious eco-credentials. All its fish is sustainable, vegetables are grown as close to London as possible and every restaurant converts its waste food into biogas and liquid fertilizer. In fact, the entire business is carbon neutral. This has to be one of the tastiest ways to celebrate the planet!
Where: Various across London
How much: £5.25 for the Kids menu
Go green at Kidzania
It might surprise you, but the role-play village features a Fashion Recycling Factory where little ones can learn the value of recycling their old threads. Meanwhile, over in the Smoothie Kitchen and the Fruit and Nut Bar Makery, there’s a strong emphasis on the origin of ingredients from around the world.
Where: KidZania London, Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
How much: Family tickets from £90
Explore the Horniman Museum
The Horniman is a Green Flag venue and an eco haven for children, both indoors and out. There’s the Aquarium and Natural History Gallery to roam around, or head outside onto the Animal Walk where staff have created mini allotments to grow fresh food.
Where: Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ
How much: £3 for children, £5 for adults
Dig deep at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
Calling all green-fingered folk! Come along to Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and volunteer at the Big Dig in the community garden. Children will learn to grow herbs and veggies and discover what bees and butterflies need to stay healthy. Put on your old clothes and get stuck in.
Where: 13 Dalston Ln, London E8 3DF
How much: Free
Walk with the animals at London Wetland Centre
With nine venues across the UK and over 3,000 hectares of wetland to conserve, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is the perfect place to learn about natural eco systems and the wildlife that lives there. The London venue is just 10 minutes from Hammersmith and well worth a trip.
Where: Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT
How much: Free
Escape to the country at Mudchute Park and Farm
Mudchute is little piece of countryside right in the heart of London. Here, little ones can connect with the land and the animals with which we share our world. There’s every type of farmyard animal to visit, from sheep and cows to llamas and alpacas, and if you’re brave enough, start a gentle conversation about the food chain. Younger children can handle the small animals every day in Pets Corner from 1-3pm.
Get lost at the Natural History Museum
There are truly few better places to learn about our planet than the iconic Natural History Museum, and whether your kids are crazy about crystals or fossil fanatics, there is something for everyone. The museum is divided into four, colour-coded zones that each relate to a different aspect of the globe; visit them all and you’ll glimpse rare minerals, join scientists at work, plunge into the underwater world and discover the mighty power of volcanoes.
Where: Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
How much: Free