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God's own junkyard, neon sign workshop

Five last-minute things for families to do in London

Neon art, a dinosaur safari and more ways to keep yourself and your little Londoners busy at short notice

By Time Out in association with Cadbury

Found yourself with excess downtime and nothing planned to keep boredom at bay? Don’t panic – here are five great ways to fill an afternoon in London with no booking – or even queueing – required.

We at Time Out aren't the only ones saving the day for parents this summer. Freddo, the adventure-loving cartoon frog, is all about seeking out fun and helping out his friends. You can experience Freddo's first ever comic and audiobook adventure – ‘The Missing Hop’ – by searching 'Missing Hop' on the iTunes store. Perfect for those long car journeys...

Barnard Park Adventure Playground

There are playgrounds, then there are adventure parks, then there’s this. As well as a multitude of wooden structures to scale, traverse and dangle from, there’s also a water feature for cooling off in, a football pitch, a basketball court, organised arts and craft classes and an amphitheatre (this is Islington, after all) that hosts regular kid-friendly alfresco performances.
Copenhagen Street, N1 0JH.

City of Sculpture
Andy Parsons

Crystal Palace Park

Much more than a green expanse in which to gobble sausage rolls and practise cartwheels, there’s enough in this verdant patch of south London to keep kids entertained for days. Start by exploring the giant hedge maze, then, if you make it out, go on a prehistoric safari by tracking down the park’s famous dinosaur sculptures, bust out some tricks in the skate park and hire a pedalo on the boating lake.
SE19 2GA.

God's Own Junkyard

God’s Own Junkyard

Kids and art galleries generally don’t mix well, but then most art galleries aren’t full of the sort of beautiful, brightly glowing neons that’ll leave younger visitors transfixed. The collection here is just a small selection of pieces created by the late Chris Bracey, who began by making signs for Soho clubs in the ’70s, before plying his colourful trade in the film and TV industries.
Walthamstow, E17 9HQ.

Granary Square

A trip to a proper water park requires all sorts of troublesome planning, so why bother when most kids will enjoy this simple but equally refreshing alternative just as much? The 1,080 water spouts work their splashy magic throughout the day, and, being Granary Square, options for a post-frolic feed are plentiful. Make sure kids turn up in their swimmers, and pack a towel.
King’s Cross, N1C 4AA.

WWT Wetland Centre

London Wetland Centre

This 105-acre wildlife reserve is built around four disused Victorian reservoirs, and plays home to kingfishers, herons, falcons and more. Budding Bill Oddies can observe the feathery action from six different hides, before moving on to pond-dipping or, if you time it right, a bat walk. Pack a picnic and prepare for them to be utterly nonplussed the next time they see a pigeon.
Barnes, SW13 9WT.


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