Kidults of London listen up: you no longer have to grow up. The city has become one big adult playground - from massive slides and tree climbing, to ultimate frisbee, boating lakes and Lego robots – it's bubbling over with childish silliness for big kids. So, forget about your pension plan and scrap your recycling routine, here's how to enjoy the simple fun of childhood in the capital.
CHECK THIS OUT: Summer in London for actual children
Big fun for big kids in London
Relive those blissful last days of term at Draughts, the arch-based home of retro tabletop gaming. Set your brightly coloured hippo avatar to work on those crazy spinning marbles and the beast with the fullest belly wins (in case you needed reminding of the rules). If this makes you weirdly peckish, there’s a tasty array of salads and charcuterie, plus a fridge full of craft beers. And for when it all kicks off later, there’s always Buckaroo…
Make like House Of Pain, and jump around on 150 grafted-together indoor trampolines at Oxygen. Their fitness classes and family-friendly bookings open from July 20, as will a swish mezzanine café where you can chill out and watch other people make total tits of themselves. The coolest option by far will be the ‘freejump’ session: for just £12.50 an hour you can flip, giggle and spring unfettered across the entire 27,000-square foot space.
The adult breakfast bowl can be a bland affair: muesli is dry, granola is lame and porridge is for peasants. So relive the colourful brekkies of your childhood with one of Cereal Killer’s fun flavoursome fusion ‘cocktails’. Our top tip is the ‘Double Rainbow’ (£4.70): Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, marshmallows and strawberry milk.
Ace craft beer types Brewdog have recently opened what they describe as an American dive bar in the basement of their Shoreditch bar. It’s called Two-Bit and is packed with retro arcade games and pinball machines, including one themed around the lives of Metallica’s thrash-metallers (we know). Get in line for a bash at ‘Space Invaders’.
Play Ultimate Frisbee with Rabble
Rabble’s health-conscious premise is brilliant: solo exercise is boring, so why not play games instead? Participants charge around London green spaces like Hyde Park and Clapham Common playing ultimate frisbee (and other knockabout classics like dodgeball), unwittingly running a few miles while they’re at it. Plus, they make friends, and attend social events ranging from laser tag to fancy-dress parties.
Various locations. www.jointherabble.co.uk
If your folks were twee enough to bake biscuits, then as a nipper, you no doubt strapped on a pinny and ‘helped’. Meaning you trod dough into the carpet and licked the spoon. The adorable Biscuiteers have a more civilised proposition: a monthly biscuit-icing masterclass decorating pre-baked treats over a glass of prosecco.
Go climb a tree at Ally Pally
Did you enjoy an idyllic, Enid Blyton-esque childhood shimmying up stout, ancient yews? Or, like me, spend your summers dangling from grimy suburban poplars? Either way, climbing trees is badass. The Great Big Tree Climbing Co will lead you and nine others (per session) into the canopy of a whopping great oak at Ally Pally, and supervise braver souls on a ‘branch walk’. Ropes provided (phew!).
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY.
Venue says: “Drop in for a coffee by day, stay for drinks and party vibes by night, then return for a chilled bottomless brunch at the weekends!”
What happens when you mix the best thing about childhood (Lego) with the best thing about adulthood (cocktails)? A booze-fuelled robot-building competition, that’s what. The rules are simple: 1) form a team of no more than five people 2) make something that looks vaguely like a robot 3) give it a name and a special skill. It will then be judged while you get pissed. Sound nerve-wracking? Fear not: your opponents will be bricking it too. Every Wed from 7pm.
The international staple of low-effort parenting that is the McDonald’s Happy Meal has been hijacked and given a sexy makeover by the slick burger pros at Foundation Bar in Covent Garden. Wolf down your choice of burger (beef, chicken, ‘dirty’) or a smoked hotdog with chunky Asian slaw from cute little boxes with cartoons on, just like the real thing. No toy, though. Adulthood sucks, right?