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In the second of our series, we’re giving you suggestions for days out along your Tube line just a few short and straightforward miles away. Here you’ll find suggestions for the Jubilee Line ranging from temples to wetlands, church-based soft play to tiara window shopping. For those of us battling through the Underground with buggies, the Jubilee Line is also a winner for the relatively high (though not nearly high enough) number of stations with step-free access. They are not exhaustive lists, so please contribute your own suggestions on our Bringing Up Great Kids Facebook page.
Canons Park: Canons Park
An 18th century landscaped garden that was once part of the Duke of Chandos’s estate.
Neasden: Neasden Temple (BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir)
A splendid and a ornate Hindu temple, this is one of those can’t-quite-believe-you’re-still-in-London places. There’s a delicatessen, shop and vegetarian restaurant there too.
Neasden: Brent Reservoir
A site of special scientific interest, the wetlands here are great for birdspotters. Canoeing and sailing is also on offer. Take your big camera for scenic shots of the Wembley arch over the water.
West Hampstead: The Sherriff Centre Hullabaloo soft play
Yes, it is a soft play, but no, it is not in a building that looks like you’re serving at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Set in a beautiful church, there’s also a shop, a post office and cafe on site. If you live in NW6, do you need anywhere else?
Finchley Road: Freud Museum
One for older children, this museum, based in Freud’s final home, tells the stories of Sigmund and his daughter Anna Freud.
Swiss Cottage: Rascals soft play
I have seen it and can confirm that on the small and swiftly sliding scale of actually quite nice soft plays, this one does well. There’s good coffee in the cafe nearby for when you run out of steam.
Baker Street: Phoenix Palace dim sum
The place to recover from queueing for Madame Tussaud’s, this could be London’s child friendliest restaurant. A million highchairs good to go, super speedy service and fantastic dumplings. The yam in XO sauce is my favourite, the red and gold decor is my son’s favourite.
Baker Street: Baker Street station
If your children are Tube fans or history nuts, it’s hard to beat a trip to Baker Street, which is home to war memorials, ghost signs and Sherlock Holmes tiles.
Bond Street: The Wallace Collection
There is nowhere better in London if your idea of a good time involves looking at armour.
Green Park: The Royal Academy of Arts
After its recent refurbishment, the RA has a lot more exhibition space and several new cafes. Thankfully, the running around area in the courtyard remains untouched.
Green Park: Burlington Arcade
There is nowhere better in London if your idea of a good time involves looking at aquamarine tiaras. Better for small and well-behaved groups than large gatherings.
A week’s worth of activities just at this one stop. For bigger children, a trip to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Smaller children will love the beautiful walk over Westminster bridge to the London Aquarium. And the London Eye is a winner for everyone.
Waterloo: Southbank Centre
Poetry, puppetry, acrobatics, music and dance: it all happens here. And if you have a baby with you, there’s a lot of space where you can plonk them on the floor to crawl around. If you want to meet up with an NCT group or similar while bigger children play, the ground floor cafe is excellent.
Waterloo: Draughts board games cafe
There’s a huge games library and delicious looking burgers at this cafe, which welcomes family groups.
Southwark: Tate Modern
Curators do an excellent job of ensuring there are exhibits you can climb on, slide down, swing above or find disgusting.
London Bridge: HMS Belfast
Nine decks of Second World War history to explore. Go for lunch afterwards in Borough Market.
Bermondsey: Maltby Street Market
Traders here include The Cheese Truck, whose Instagram is almost indecent in its cheesiness.
Canada Water: The Brunel Museum, Thames Tunnel.
This museum celebrates the legacy of the great engineer and is also a venue for cinema, theatre and opera.
Canary Wharf: Giant Robot food court
It calls itself a rooftopia and says it serves yumplings, which sound like something out of Roald Dahl and are therefore good by us. They’re laying on activities and a grotto for Christmas.
Canary Wharf: Museum of London Docklands
The Mudlarks gallery here is just for kids up to eight years old. Among the many fun activities there’s a miniature dock for children to practise their stevedoring.
North Greenwich: Emirates Air Line
Go for a scenic cable car ride for views of East London and beyond. If you’re feeling flash, you can hire out a whole car for a (very select) birthday party. From the Royal Victoria side, you can catch the DLR, sit in the front seats and drive the train.
Koru Kids nanny Alannya says the children she takes care of love going to Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum: “there are lots of different things to do,” she says.
“It is a beautiful area…around the river there are plenty of nice spots with a view to sit and relax with an ice cream,” says Koru Kids nanny Irini. She recommends Surrey Docks Farm and its on-site cafe, and also the Early Excellence centre, where her charges enjoy playing with educational toys and the grocery shop simulation.
Stratford: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Whether you go for a Pedalo ride, your first badminton game, a picnic in the park or just to look at the splendour of the 2012 Olympic park, there is something for all ages here.
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