This is a sponsored article on behalf of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Free Family Fun: Half-Term At Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
If you’re already a regular visitor to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park then we don’t need to preach the converted, but if you’ve still not squeezed in a visit to London’s newest park, now is a great time to do so.
Let’s take a look at that half-term check list: fun, affordable, outdoorsy (but with shade and shelter nearby), picnic-friendly, food and drink available, good access to toilets, plenty to explore by foot and bike but also a variety of events and activities to keep everyone entertained. Tick, tick, tick.
A big point to note: the park is free. Enter for free, explore for free, walk the trails for free, play in the water fountains for free, clamber on the climbing walls for free. Some of the special events carry a one-off charge (although most are still free — more on that below) and you’re welcome to relax in the lovely green surroundings in between activities.
Here’s a taster of what’s on this week:
Free Sports Sessions
Well, it is the former home of the Olympics, after all. Learn sporting skills from the professionals — choose from volleyball, rowing (on the canal!), cycling, football and a variety of Paralympic games. If you don’t fancy taking to the water, there’s even a virtual rowing machine challenge! 25-29 May, free, more info.
Indoor Sports Sessions
Want to practice your favourite sport in one of the world-famous former Olympic venues? Not a problem. From cycling sessions at the Velopark to swimming at the London Aquatics Centre, there’s plenty to keep budding Olympians on the go. Also, don’t get too excited, but we hear there may be an inflatable obstacle course in the Aquatics Centre too. Dates and prices vary, more info.
Mandeville Place Wassail Party
To celebrate the brand new orchard at Mandeville Place, visitors young and old are welcome to join the 'opening ceremony' and take part in a fun party with free activities such as face-painting, apple-bopping, sports sessions and storytelling. Little visitors will also be pleased to know they are encouraged to make as much noise as possible, to bring luck and fruitfulness to the new orchard as it starts to grow. 27 May, midday-4pm, free, more info.
Where’s Wally At The ArcelorMittal Orbit
The UK’s tallest sculpture has teamed up with Discover Children’s Story Centre — the UK’s first hands-on creative literacy centre for children — to create daily workshops for Wally-hunting wanderers. Meet the characters, play dress-up, take part in a variety of Wally-themed games. 23-31 May, midday-4pm, workshops included in standard ArcelorMittal Orbit entry price (from £5.95), more info.
When you’ve finished exploring the park by foot, take to the water on a boat tour along the canal. An expert guide will share facts on the sights as you pass through the landscaped parklands, ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Aquatics Centre and Lee Valley VeloPark. Tours last 45 mins and leave on the hour, so plenty of opportunities to hop on! Midday-5pm daily, £8/£4, more info.
And Finally … Relaxing
The park is your oyster with regards to relaxing and enjoying the 560 acres of green space all around you. Choose a secluded spot for a picnic, go on a themed walking trail (there are free guides to pick up), hire a bike and pedal your way around, explore down by the canal, discover the animal habitats, stop off in one of the park’s cafés, pay a visit to one (or all!) of the 25 permanent art sculptures in the park. You've got a whole week to explore!
For more information about the park and what it has to offer, visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website.
Last Updated 26 May 2015