Tag Archives: London Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford

Water play area in the Tumbling Bay playground.

Water play area in the Tumbling Bay playground.

The whole of the London Olympic Park site in Stratford is now open to the public. We have been twice, once in the Easter weekend and once during the May half term, and it wasn’t too busy either time. It makes a great day out. You will need wheels and a change of clothes for kids.

There are huge expanses of smooth paved surfaces which makes it brilliant for scooting and everything is very spread out so a scooter and/or buggy is pretty much essential to avoid whingeing as you explore.

There are fountains in front of the stadium to play in and a small playground nearby with sand and water. The main playground, called Tumbling Bay, is near the Velopark and is a good 20 minute walk from Stratford station through the park. It has three big play areas including sand play for toddlers, water play for all ages with lots of pumps, channels and locks, and some amazing wooden and rope climbing structures for older kids.

On any vaguely warm day you can be pretty sure kids will end up wet and any visit should successfully tire them out!

Sand play area in Tumbling Bay playground.

Sand play area in the Tumbling Bay playground.

Best bits: The Tumbling Bay playground.

Cost: Free

Travel: Stratford, Stratford International and Hackney Wick are the nearest stations and are all step free. If you are driving to the Park, there is paid parking at Westfield Stratford City and Stratford International station.

Where to eat: The cafe next to the big playground has nice sandwiches and some hot food as well as indoor and outdoor seating but not much typical kid-friendly food. There are various kiosks selling coffee elsewhere in the park and lots more food options in Westfield.

Note: This trip works best for us as a morning visit to the park, followed by lunch at Westfield. We then round off the outing with a visit to the Lego shop to fill a tub with random Lego pieces for a special treat and still make it home well before the commuters. If you are blessed with a child who will happily nap in the buggy, it would be a rather neat way to follow a fun toddler morning with some serious shopping time.

http://queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/

If you get really organised, you can swim in the Aquatics centre in the park. The training pool is open to the general public and has family swim sessions on Fridays after 4, Saturday mornings and almost all day on Sundays. http://www.better.org.uk/leisure/london-aquatics-centre/page/272

You can also go up the Orbit to admire the views. http://arcelormittalorbit.com