Dadlands in Hackney: 31st May 2022

We used to be cool enough to live in Hackney. A melting pot of culture and creativity, the borough is best known for its post-bedtime entertainment, so you’d be forgiven for thinking there’d be limited opportunities for entertaining kids. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth, with the area having moved as rapidly in terms of family-friendliness as in general gentrification in the last decade or so. Its motto, Justitia turris nostra (Latin for “Justice is our Tower”), reflects the area’s history as a hotbed of social and political reform, and gives a nod to the tower of St Augustine’s Church – the borough’s oldest building and a key feature of Hackney’s coat of arms. Want to know more? Head to the Museum of the Home or Hackney Museum for a family-friendly local history lesson, or check out out our suggestions below for a fun-packed day trip that’s guaranteed to wear them out.

Hackney Empire, E8 1EJ will host three showings of its Jurassic Live production today. Suitable for all ages, this pyrotechnic-filled interactive show gives kids and adults the chance get up close and personal with magnificent creatures from the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods. Advanced booking is via the website (£13-20pp, concession details online), which warns of strobe lighting.

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, E8 3DF is a much-needed green space in the middle of an otherwise very urban jungle. This leafy retreat comes complete with a fully licenced café and bar. Grab a locally brewed beverage and let your brood explore the bottom end of the garden with its colourful stage and all the ride-ons they could dream of. Great for imaginary play for them and socially acceptable(ish) drinking for you.

Hackney City Farm, E2 8QA is a compact but busy farm at the southern tip of Haggerston Park. The perfect space to let little ones run around like headless chickens, it’s home to ponies, pigs, sheep and… chickens (though hopefully not the headless variety). A trip on this particular date will be a self-directed affair, but there are also kids’ pottery classes later in the week (times and prices on the website).

Ro checks out Morag Myserscough’s jazzy stage at Dalston Curve Garden, 2021