Are you pining to get back into town post Covid? Sick of the sight of your local parks and cafes and ready to tackle the tube? I certainly am and what could be better than a trip to Covent Garden – London’s flagship destination for all things theatre, shopping and socialising.
But what does this once eclectic hub look like now? And more importantly what does it have to offer my toddler?
Here are five suggestions for a fantastic family friendly day in Covent Garden.
The Royal Opera House
Ahhh the ROH….world renowned, innovative, the hallmark of British art and culture. You may well be wondering where your spiderman clad toddler fits into all this. Catch them young and nurture the culture vulture in your child with Opera Dots. This interactive opera experience featuring the RoH’s world class talents is set against the cinematic backdrop of the iconic Paul Hamlyn hall. Together with Ballet dots these 45 min workshops are held on weekday mornings and are aimed at toddlers . Booking resumes in September.
Can’t wait till autumn? Luckily ROH have breached the gap with a month long offering of outdoor festivities by way of ‘Royal Opera House Unlocked’. Catch pop up performances, workshops and costume displays all over the streets of Covent Garden between 10th July -9th August.
Find more info here
Rhyme Time @ The London Transport Museum
Possibly the most child friendly museum in Central London, The London Transport museum has pulled out all the stops to welcome back it’s toddler fanbase post covid. Equipped with various play stations, interactive activities as well as the usual crowd pleasing buses and trains, the museum also boasts a song and storytelling session for under 5s on Tuesdays and Fridays. Adult tickets are priced at £18.90 and cover unlimited annual admission. Children go free.
Grab an Ice Cream
Covent garden is home to a plethora of wonderful gelatarias and ice cream bars, but have you visited Darlish? Long Acre boasts one of only two London Darlish outlets (the other is in St Albans) and is a destination stop in its own right. Drawing inspiration from the Middle East, Darlish reimagines the humble single scoop with flavours such as Tahini, Saffron and rose. The signature Baklava sandwich (pictured) is quite simply to die for. Whilst there is limited seating at Darlish, Leicester square and soho square are a stone’s throw away and offer a spot of grass and break from the mayhem. These are flavours you will want to devour in peace!
Watch some Street Art
At the time of writing Covent Garden is still emerging from covid paralysis and the entertainers are slowly starting to grace the streets despite the lack of foreign tourists. Sadly James St remains bereft of the much loved statues to allow for social distancing. However there is still talent to be enjoyed. Take your Darlish and grab a pew on the curb of the Piazza. Prepare for belly laughs a plenty as the performers jig, juggle, and joke for your child’s devoted attention.
Hit the Pool
Did you know that Central London’s only public open air swimming pool can be found in Covent Garden? We may not be going far this summer but pick a hot day and head down to Oasis sports on Endell street to bring a little Miami to your day.
Managed by ‘Better’, this little gem in the heart of town is a long loved institution. Expect no frills, but if you need some respite from the Summer Sun, this is a great way to recalibrate the troops during your time in town. There are two pools on offer side by side (one indoor, one outdoor) and a sun terrace with seating. Family Swim sessions are only available in the indoor pool at present with the outdoor pool reopening to families once restrictions are lifted. Children over 11 who are able to swim are welcome to the outdoor pool.
Adult swim priced at £6.15. Book in advance here.
The streets may be quieter but Covent Garden is still buzzing with colour and creativity. Plan ahead and take advantage of Central London without the chaos!
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