Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was built in East London for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is a modern Park with various sports venues holding events as well as an amazing modern green space with various fantastic areas to have fun for the whole family.
From the fountains where children can splash around and have fun, to climbing walls to test those muscles, playgrounds to not only release that energy, but to engage the brain. There are various green areas to have a picnic, plenty of benches by the riverbanks and pathways to have a rest and ponder.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is an absolutely AMAZING outdoor green space!!!
I have visited a few times with my toddler both on weekdays and weekend, (always in summer though), and we love it! It makes a great free day out, and if you do go, I suggest you allow for plenty of time as the park is huge. So if you are bringing a little one who gets tired easily, you might want to consider a pram or sling/carrier to rest those little legs sometimes. I found it very child friendly, where my 2 year old toddler can run around and who absolutely loves the Timber Lodge Playground and the water and sand play area.
Parents be warned – do bring couple of changes of clothing for your little ones as there is no doubt they will get wet! The playground is just by the café, so handy to get food and drinks, if you haven’t brought your own. The Olympic Rings are on the hill just nearby, so we had fun going up to look at them. Throughout the park there are little many things which my toddler found entertaining – whereas it is just to climb a hill or a wall, hop on the logs hidden between high grass, try the outdoor gym equipment or use the water pump to get the water out…
The Fountains where children can splash about are fantastic too, but, my two year old found them slightly scary – fountains out quite high at interchanging times, so possibly they are more suited for the older children. The fountains have benches next to them, so very handy for parents to put all the stuff down and dress/undress the little ones.
We haven’t done any of the paid things, such as visited the Orbit, which older children than my toddler would appreciate more, or haven’t gone to any of the events in the sports venues, Walking, Cycling or Boat tours but each time we went – we had plenty of things to do for free. In the summer of 2015, there was an amazing sandy beach created in the Park, together with amusements and various eating places around it. Hopefully this will be repeated annually.
We always took lunch with us and had a drink and cake at one of the coffee shops when going through Stratford Westfield City to or on way back from the Park. It is handy to know that there is a small playground on ‘The Street’ near Westfield, in case you want to break up the journey between the Park and the Stratford Station. Westfield might also be an idea to get food too, if you don’t want to spend your money in overpriced Park’s Café or Kiosks!
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST
Playground: 3 Playgrounds, I have only visited 2 of them.
The ‘Tumbling Bay Playground’ is huge and right by the café, it has large sand pit, many water pumps where children can play and create rivers, dams, lakes. Above it sits a large wobbly wooden bridge with net around it. All around the playground there are large wooden benches, where you can sit and keep an eye on children while having a coffee from the café nearby. Behind the water play area, there is a hidden swing and a huge wooden climbing frame with nets – for children over 4 I would say.
The 2nd playground, which is close to the Fountains (on the right from main entrance of park) has a sand pit area, large basket swing, climbing walls, running track and suitable for all ages. Behind it you can find a very large climbing wall for older children.
Cafe: 5 cafes in the park, so you are never away from food. We mainly had soft drinks and coffee in the cafes and had our own packed lunch as food in cafes does not seem too impressive and is expensive. You can get things like salad, fish cakes, macaroni cheese, burgers, various sandwiches and various drinks, including wine and beer. I found service to be very slow too when queueing for drinks.
There are plenty high chairs for the little ones and we had no problem eating our own packed lunch in the outside area of café with purchased hot drinks.
Toilets: The park map lists 8 toilet areas, but as the park is so huge they are very far in between, you have been warned!!! Whenever we visited, they were always very clean and spacious though. They all have changing facilities and are wheelchair accessible.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: The whole park is extremely pram and wheelchair accessible.
Parking: There are 5 paid for parking areas for visitors who are using venue facilities (such as swimming pool or any of the paid for venue events), they are first come first served basis. If you are only visiting the Park and haven’t booked any venue specific activities – you can park at Stratford Westfield City (chargeable too).
Nearest Station: Stratford, Stratford International, Hackney Wick, Pudding Mill and Leyton stations.
I always come to Stratford DLR – takes about 10/15 minutes to walk to the Park.
If coming on DLR stay on the same level of station – follow signs to Westfield Stratford City, when you exit the station take the lift one level up to the footbridge, cross it and follow on the left side of shopping centre, bear right at Fountain Square toward John Lewis and then left at Jamie’s Italian. At the end of the passage, cross the road into the Park.
Transport links: There are 9 tube stations and many buses and trains that serve the park. Click here for Full details.
Phone: 0800 0722 110
Email: [email protected].
Lots of free events for the whole family take place in the park throughout the year. The park also offers walking, cycling or boat tours.
The Park is open 24 hours a day, however certain areas might be closed off if an event is taking place, best to check the website.
The Park also is home of ArcelorMittal Orbit – the tallest sculpture in UK offering a bird’s eye view of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as well as abseiling experience (both chargeable).
Eating wise, we always brought a packed lunch for picnic, but you can buy refreshments at the Kiosks throughout the park (expensive) or at Timberlodge Café or EastTwenty Kitchen at The Podium.
It is a wonderful place for a day out!!
Review by Egle Gabalyte