Fun days out for families in Islington
If you’re a parent with that nagging feeling that October half term is just around the corner and you haven’t got much lined up, don’t worry. You need look no further than your own neighbourhood. Islington borough is packed with fun family activities; from nature walks to sport, culture to history. Here are our top 10 ideas:
1 Gillespie Park Nature Reserve
Award-winning Gillespie Park is Islington’s largest nature reserve and home to Islington Ecology Centre – a visitor and education centre which can be booked for events. The reserve boasts more than 200 plant and almost 100 bird species – and 24 different types of butterfly. Head to the ponds to spot a rare newt, as well as frogs and dragonfly. Events for children take place throughout the year; everything from pond dipping to bat walks.
2 City Road Basin
There’s plenty to do along this tranquil stretch of the Regent’s Canal, from walking and cycling to feeding the ducks or stopping at a waterside café. You can also have a go at canoeing or take a boat trip.
3 Barnard Park
This large green space has lots of amenities. There are playgrounds for different age groups plus a football pitch for a kick about. Keep your eyes peeled for the regular events, such as performances by local artists and history exhibits.
4 Sobell Leisure Centre
Just minutes away from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, this leisure centre’s many facilities include an extreme trampoline park, junior gym and soft play area. It’s also home to the borough’s only indoor ice rink.
5 Islington Museum
Experience times gone by at the Islington Museum, which tells the history of the borough and its notable residents through fascinating artefacts, letters and recordings. The museum has a changing programme of free exhibitions – you can find out about the history of the music hall until 22 October – as well as talks and events.
6 Highbury Fields
Highbury Fields is Islington’s largest park and a site of local importance to nature conservation. Look out for the fun adventure play structure, the playground with sand pit and water play and sports facilities for netball, tennis and football. There’s also a leisure centre with a swimming pool and a café.
7 Freightliners City Farm
This urban farm gives children the chance to interact with animals they might not otherwise see. There’s a variety of farmyard friends, including cows, sheep and goats; many are rare and traditional breeds. There’s also a lovely garden and the Strawbale Café serving vegetarian food and farm-baked cakes.
8 The Little Angel Theatre
For families, Little Angel Theatre is a lovely day out, packed with puppetry magic. Beside the 100-seat theatre is the workshop, where all the new puppets are carved and constructed. Showing until November is The Dog with the Luminous Nose.
9 Emirates Stadium tour
If there are Arsenal fans in your family, this behind-the-scenes tour is a chance to walk in the footsteps of their heroes and view exclusive match footage. The tour includes access to the directors’ box, players entrance and home and away dressing room.
10 Culpeper Community Garden
An award-winning green oasis in the heart of the city, this tranquil garden is a beautiful place to visit. Hidden by high walls and encircled by great trees, it is maintained by volunteers.
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