Any parent with small children will know that hibernating inside and pretending that January is not happening is not an option. Kids benefit greatly from being outside; as long as they are wearing appropriate clothing, they don’t mind if it’s cold and wet.
Parks are fabulous for scooting. We’ve picked our favourite London parks, North, South, East and West for scooting and playing. As well as long, paved paths perfect for scooting, these parks have great playgrounds. So what are you waiting for? If your little one needs to get outside for some activity, grab their scooter (and the ScooterSlingz bag for conveniently carrying it when needed) and off you go. We’ve included the best option for grabbing a coffee too.
North – Clissold Park in Stoke Newington
Clissold Park is a fantastic destination for urban explorers. The playground caters for kids big and small – there’s a sandpit with a pirate ship in the middle, a zip wire, slides built into the hill and swings galore. And if that’s not enough to keep the little ones happy, you can also scoot round to visit the mini zoo, with a small collection of exotic birds, chickens, goats and deer.
The park has its own café but you could also venture slightly further afield for your caffeine fix. Church Street in Stoke Newington has a lovely villagey feel and there are many cafes to try. We like The Good Egg, a new place on Church Street for a bite and a brew. Get exploring!
South – Brockwell Park in Brixton/Herne Hill
The play facilities in Brockwell Park have recently undergone an extensive renovation and there is much to keep both big and small kids amused. For the tiny tots there are sandpits, wooden houses, slides and swinging pirate ships. For the more intrepid, there’s a zipwire, giant wooden climbing structures, more sand and a rope bridges to clamber across. The park is hilly so scooting can be an adventure in itself. In hotter weather, there’s a giant paddling pool and water play to add further excitement to the day.
If you’re feeling thirsty, the Lido Café is a nice spot for a coffee. Or if you fancy exploring the area further, you are not far from Brixton Village which has many options for eating and drinking. And it’s a good place to take the kids as it’s a covered market so you can sit ‘outside’ and not worry about passing cars.
East – Victoria Park in Hackney
Victoria Park has two playgrounds to keep the youngsters happy. The 'pools playground' in the east side of the park has a fountain/paddling pool in summer and fantastic huge slides (take a handful of sand up with you for a super-fast ride) - great fun for kids and adults alike! There's a cafe, picnic tables and a small skate park for scooter stunt pros. The V&A playground in the west side of the park near Victoria Park Village is better for younger children with your wooden swings, slides and a great water and sand feature which make a great spot for paddling for little ones in the summer.
Victoria Park is big and there’s wildlife galore for the scooting youngsters to enjoy; including a deer enclosure, moorhens, grey and Canada geese and squirrels. The cafes in Victoria Park are havens for foodies – the Pavilion café near the V&A playground offers a mean brunch which you can eat overlooking the boating lake. There’s also chi-chi Victoria Park Village nearby with some excellent pubs and cafes for food.
It goes without saying that Victoria Park is fabulous for scooting as there are loads of smooth tarmac paths. Just don’t forget your ScooterSlingz bag for carrying the scooter when the playground calls.
West – Kensington Gardens in Kensington
The grandee of London playgrounds is surely the Princess Diana playground in Kensington Gardens. Kids are enthralled by the giant pirate ship surrounded by sand, the musical garden and the tepee camp. There’s also a tree-house encampment with walkways, ladders, slides and ‘tree phones’ to provide inspiration for other imaginative games. If it’s not too cold, January is a good time to visit as this place gets packed in the summer months. There are plenty of scooting opportunities in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. And if you’re feeling peckish, you can either grab something quick at the café connected at the playground or head further into Hyde Park where the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, located on the edge of the Serpentine does a mean wood-fired pizza.
Clissold Park - Hackney Citizen
Brockwell Park - www.Timberplay.com
Princess Diana Playground - LondonUpClose