Things to do with kids in Hackney: the greenest borough in London


Hackney has become an urban landscape full of unique places to visit (cat cafe, anyone?) - here's our Local editor's pick of where to go and what to see

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Let's begin our visit outside - where should we head to?

Hackney has more green space than any other London borough, so it's hard to know where to start!

Clissold Park boasts two lakes (inhabited by terrapins), a paddling pool, playground, skate park, and animal enclosure - which features a butterfly house, aviary, fallow deer, goats and chickens.


If you fancy something a little edgier (it is Hackney, after all), Abney Park Cemetery now has a nature reserve - offering a maze of snaking paths round decadent crumbling statues. Our Twitter followers can't get enough of Dalston Curve Garden, which is built on the disused Eastern Curve Railway line. And let's not forget the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and incredible Tumbling Bay playground (open all year round).

Phew, after all that fresh air we're going to need something to eat...

Hackney has a fantastic selection of eateries. Whether you're in the mood for dining out or staying in, you will never go hungry with the array of food markets catering to everyone. 

Broadway market 

Take a stroll down Broadway Market on a Saturday morning, or venture to Stoke Newington Farmer's market. And if you're in the mood for locally-sourced fine produce mid-week, then check out the Food Assembly

If you don't fancy cooking at all, then take a wander to Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch, which is on every Saturday from midday to midnight.

Right, the family's all fuelled up and ready to go - where next?

If you're looking for something to do with little ones, there is an eye-watering selection of activities designed for babies and children of every age group.


Stretch on Broadway Market offers energising yoga for babies, children and adults too. Toddler Time at Hackney Picture House not only shows a regular preschool-appropriate feature, but has also had visits from Rastamouse creator Michael Da Souz and Bing creator Ted Dewan - something we've blogged about here.

Alternatively, you can try the insanely popular Tiny Tempo music classes, found across numerous locations, including Clissold House. Just make sure you get there early!

If we need to rest weary little legs, where do you recommend?


Hackney has an enviable array of coffee shops to cater for your every whim, from breakfast in bed to brunch with a blobfish! And you'll be pleased to know there are some utterly charming and extraordinarily children-friendly cafes about. 

We recommend The RussetThat Place on the Corner, a super charming spot nestled in Green Lanes, and the delightfully book-centric Hackney Pirates over in Dalston which will fulfil all your chill out needs.

<whispers> Can you let us in on Hackney's best hidden gem?

Springfield park, Hackney 

Springfield Park - we are still confused as to why this isn't more well known. It's a fantastic place where you can get a real sense of Hackney's former rural days. Offering spectacular vistas of Walthamstow marshes, its meandering hillocks and leafy paths provide a tranquil green oasis when you need a break from the city.

You can also potter along the Lea Canal, watching the gentle river traffic of canoes, swans, and narrow boats gliding by.

After an action-packed day for the kids, we've got a babysitter - so where to for a night out?

Hackney at night 

Of course, Hackney scores quite highly in terms of nightlife - a simple toss of a poorly aimed rock would immediately unearth one of the numerous shabby-yet-apparently-trendy cavernous night clubs. Whether that's your scene or you prefer a more sedate evening, Hackney truly has something for everyone.

For fine dining you could head to The Clove Club, in Shoreditch's former Town Hall, or sample the delightfully unpretentious grub of Floyds on the Lane.

Following that, you can catch a show at the world famous Hackney Empire, or take a trip down the Regent's Canal to The Proud Archivist - a venue that hosts comedy acts, such as Paul Foot, Bridget Christie and Russell Brand.

And finally, where can we go that's FREE?


Of course, a day out in London rarely comes cheap; however in Hackney you can enjoy a spot of time travel, without breaking the bank, courtesy of the Geffrye Museum and the Hackney Museum. Animal lovers can also visit the charming Hackney City Farm - all three are free of charge.

If you fancy meeting some local parents while your kids get stuck into some free activities, then come and join Mumsnet Hackney down at City Farm for a fantastic free Halloween party later this month. 

About the Local editor - Annika

A confirmed country bumpkin, I moved to Hackney in 2009 with full intention of making a break back to some fields at the first opportunity. Two children later, I am still here and living in Stoke Newington - I love everything London has to offer, although I am still unable to cross a road without looking like I'm being chased.

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Last updated: over 2 years ago