Bablands Awards 2020: the results

Raising tiny Londoners wouldn’t be half as hilarious without all the family-friendly hangouts, independent kids’ shops and tailored-to-tots activities that we’ve all missed like crazy over these last few miserable months, and it’s been heartbreaking to see so many our best-loved haunts closing their doors for good (RIP Small Print*, ABC Studios and Dreamcatcher, to name just a few).

With that in mind, I wanted to celebrate the incredible creative talent that’s gone into building every single one of these businesses, by asking you to nominate your favourites from across the capital for a special Bablands award. Literally hundreds of you voted – and I mean it when I say it took bloody ages to count all the votes – but seriously, it was so lovely to see so much local love going on.

Every single one of these places relies on us to keep them going, so let’s keep on bigging them up, buying from them and booking their Zoom events (and obviously going back to them IRL when we can). Here are the winners! Enjoy.


Best Play Cafe


Winner: Bear & Wolf, Tufnell Park

Runner-up: Apple Tree Children’s Cafe, Herne Hill


Best Kids’ Shop

molly meg

Winner: Molly Meg, Islington

Runner-up: Niddle Noddle, Crouch End


Best Museum Play Area


Winner: Sorted, The Postal Museum

Runner-up: The Garden, Science Museum


Coolest Non-Museum Play Space


Winner: Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford

Runner-up: Squish Space, Barbican


Best ‘For Parents’ Activity

byob walks

Winner: Bring Your Baby

Runner-up: Babble Talks


Best Children’s Bookshop

telling tales2

Winner: Telling Tales, Hackney

Runner-up: Pickled Pepper Books, Crouch End


Best Baby/Toddler Session: Music/Sign

bach to baby

Winner: Bach to Baby, various locations

Runner-up: Tots Tunes, Hackney


Best Baby/Toddler Session: Art/Culture


Winner: A Fine Mess, Archway

Runner-up: Little Feet, The British Museum


Best Baby/Toddler Session: Sport/Outdoor


Winner: The Hackney Playbus, Hackney

Runner-up: Grow Wild, Walthamstow


Best Family Activity

family sunday roh

Winner: Family Sundays, The Royal Opera House

Runner-up: Wake Up Gigs, Shoreditch


Roro explores Stephan Zirwes’ ‘Pools’ at Granary Square, Kings Cross

*You can still shop at Small Print online