Hackney top 7: where to take the kids outdoors
This community garden is a great retreat during half-terms and holidays, running art and design workshops inspired by nature, and serving pizza from the wood-fired oven.
Take a country break in the city at Haggerston’s Hackney City Farm, where kids can see and feed the animals and join an array of workshops, including baby music classes, pottery and meetings of the Woodcraft Folk.
Download colourful walking guides devised for families by social enterprise Outdoor People, taking you on a series of unexpectedly wild rambles through the borough. Seek out a hidden snake sculpture, kite-flying spots and a mysterious castle.
The undulating BMX track at Haggerston Park will keep bike-obsessed kids happy for hours, and the Hackney BMX Club hosts regular sessions and races.
A youth club, open to young people aged 9 to 19, with canoeing and kayaking on Regent’s Canal as well as landlubber activities: arts and crafts, cooking, clambering on the climbing wall, table tennis and aeroball, a combination of basketball and trampolining. Families can try canoeing or narrowboating and spend quality time together in Family Club, and there are term-time classes for young people with disabilities.
Swimming and diving
Clissold Leisure Centre has a dedicated toddler pool, and a training pool for classes and family sessions. The Tom Daley Diving Academy is based at the London Aquatics Centre, with lessons for kids and adults.
Take to the water at this surprisingly huge Stoke Newington reservoir and enjoy an open-water swim, plus sailing and kayaking classes for both kids and adults. The neighbouring east reservoir is a wetlands nature reserve.