Here’s a list put together through recommendations of other MVMs. Some are just around the corner (but more than a quick walk) and some are further afield but should all make suitable day trips. For more ideas, here are a couple sites specialising in this stuff – Away with the Kids and Play and Stay.
Rascals and Toddler World at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre
LEGOLAND – Windsor
Peppa Pig World
at Paultons Park, New Forest, Hampshire
There are several farms that aren’t too far away that you can either visit to see the animals or pick your own (PYO) fruit and veg – or both. A handful are listed below as well as some resources that will help you find more:
Belmont Children’s Farm
Highly recommended by a MVM on Facebook. Thanks Paula. Since then more mums have recommended this Mill Hill farm. “Great for toddlers to feed the animals and for the tractor ride!”
Kentish Town City Farm
“Very close by, not too big but loads of farm animals and lots of activities for children, I believe they have an orchard as well.” –MVM Burcu
Crockford Bridge Farm
About an hour away in Surrey. Pumpkin picking (as well as other seasonal PYO).
“The farm is called Garsons and is located in Esher just outside London. It took us just over 1h 15 min to get there. We spent a blissful morning and afternoon – having a picnic and picking strawberries, raspberries, red currents and one cauliflower – the range of vegetables and fruits on offer was huge. The boys had a whale of a time – picking and eating – and we were close to having them both weighed as surely they must have contained more fruit than what was in our baskets! If a picnic is not a preference, there is a nice looking large pub with loads of outdoor space just as you drive into the farm. Top tip: don’t park in the first car park that you see, but drive until you see the fields, otherwise you will have a long walk!” In addition to the seasonal PYO described here, they also have pumpkin picking.
For a cool mixture of fun, play & education, Odds Farm is the ideal outing for families, schools, groups and birthday parties – essential adventure for kids of all ages!
Acres of fun for the whole family, where you can discover your true animal instincts! There is an exciting programme of special demonstrations everyday with extra weekend and holiday children’s activities, so there’s always something new to see at Willows Farm Village.
The Lookout Discovery Centre
From one of our members: “I can highly recommend The Lookout Discovery Centre. It is a bit of a drive — near Windsor — but worth it. It is a children’s hands on science centre located in a wooded area. The indoor exhibits are great even for very young ones and there are some non-science play areas (ball pit, large toy supermarket with lots of plastic food) for little ones too. You can rent mountain bikes (some with child seat) and ride on wide groomed forest trails. The playground is large and good”.
Highgate Wood Park & Cafe
A Maida Vale Mum recommended we visit this park in the north of London, and it was well worth it! It is a close drive, with a great playground and cafe. A nice change of scenery, and not very far away. Read up on the fascinating history of this wood before you go!
An easy day trip with or without a car. We took the train from Victoria Station (1 hour, the kids loved it). They have a shuttle bus on the other side which takes you straight to the castle. It has beautiful grounds, a very manageable castle for the kids to walk through and a fantastic new adventure playground. There is also a great hedge maze, falconry shows and an aviary. Highly recommend!
Hop Farm Country Park
Set in 400 acres of unspoilt Kent countryside, this once working Hop Farm is one of Kent’s most popular tourist attractions. The spectacular Oast village provides the perfect setting for a great family day out in the Garden of England.
Aldenham Country Park
This is a great day out and a good deal too. Only £5 a car! Pooh’s hundred acre wood is gorgeous and will entertain for hours. The adventure playground is excellent. And the animals are great fun to look at too. There is a place to buy snacks, in case you want and a picnic area.
Parents’ Paradise in Watford
“good soft play centre in Watford for those who have access to cars. Seating area in the middle where you can enjoy a coffee whilst keeping an eye on the children playing – especially good on rainy days.” –MVM Karen
LongLeat House & Safari Park
It is about and hour and a half to 2 hours drive but a really good day for the kids (and I really enjoyed it too!) there is a safari section where you drive your car through and then the house where there are plenty of kids activities – trains/ boats small animals bird show etc. A very full day of fun. –MVM Justine
Woburn Safari Park
Woburn Safari Park is a drive-through safari park close to the M1. It took us about 1h to get there. We went with Tom last year and he really enjoyed it. The animals do get quite close though at times, so you shouldn’t be afraid of a monkey jumping onto your bonnet. They also have a big inside play area with slides for older children and a small soft play area for the little ones. –MVM Tine
Ruislip Lido Railway
Recommended by MVM Zoe.
Recommended by MVM Zoe.
Here are some other places to find ideas!