Family Fun Day East London, Play, Learn, Stories.
Are you looking for a Family Fun Day in East London, where the kids can play and learn with stories? Then read on…
You know the kind of day when everything goes really smoothly? I mean the sort of day when you decide to visit somewhere new and exciting, you successfully manage to leave the house on time, have an easy peasy journey there, have a fantastic time once you’re there and it’s a great day all around? Well, that’s just the kind of day we had (2 grown-ups, 2 toddlers and 1 baby) when we made this trip recently. It was such a surprise to not only find it such an accessible place (more about that in a minute) but how much everyone loved it! I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you. And just so you know, I am not affiliated with the Story Centre in any way!
So what is it?
I’d seen it advertised when there was a Dr Seus exhibition ages ago and kept thinking, that looks fun, we must go. On their website they say ‘Discover Children’s Story Centre is a place where children and their families can enjoy playing, learning and making up stories together’. I think this really does sum up what it offers very nicely. They are a charity and do lots of great work with local schools too. They change the theme several times a year but it’s always book related. By the time we actually went, it was all about Julia Donaldson’s ‘Stickman’ and we’ve been again since then and it’s now ‘Monkey Puzzle’, also by Julia Donaldson – She’s such an awesome children’s writer!
Where is it?
Firstly, it’s super easy to get to and btw, it’s so much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside! Making the journey from Highbury & Islington station direct to Stratford was step free on the overground so it was a cinch. It’s then only a 5-minute walk to the venue from Stratford station (you need to exit towards the bus station and old shopping centre, cross at the traffic lights and bear right).
What can the kids do?
We booked our tickets a couple of days beforehand which I think is a great tip as some of the shows can get fully booked. You can buy tickets on arrival but you might miss the chance of a live storytelling show or a kids film in the top floor cinema.
There are two floors of play area – there’s a cave with lights and music inside, a slide, a creative corner to make things in, storybooks to read (of course!), space to run about and plenty to engage the little ones with. It feels a really well thought out place – though there are some stairs, (as well as lifts) that you’ll need to keep an extra eye on, especially as there are some paw prints printed along the stairs which although fun, can distract toddlers who aren’t great on the stairs to perhaps take a tumble.
There’s plenty of space for buggies etc as you go in though you are allowed to take them with you if you need to. What’s really great is the space for picnic lunches in the basement area. With a reasonably priced cafe on the 1st floor, it’s great to have as an option in case you need it. They serve kids lunches, sandwiches etc. All the things you’d expect really!
For when the sun is shining or everyone’s dressed for the wet or cold weather, an outside play area provides loads of fun too! To top it all, there’s a funky little shop on the way out (and in) that sell lovely little things. You might be tempted to buy everything! Hmm, that might just be me! Check it all here. There’s the option to buy a day pass or an annual pass. Even better, if your little one is under 2 years old then they are much cheaper!
At the end of the adventure
Finally, once you and the kids have had all the fun you can have for one day, why not pop to Westfield which is very close by for a bit of retail therapy while the little one sleeps a bit. Fingers crossed. Or you could simply head home, pop the kettle on and snuggle down for some stories that brought their imagination alive from today’s adventure!
I really hope you can get to enjoy all the Story Centre has to offer and have fun!