As the thermostat goes up, so must we find places for our little ones to cool down. With Vicky Park fountains notoriously unreliable, it’s handy to know some alternative splash parks near East London.
Is the fountain of youth perhaps the ability to enjoy yourself as much as a child would at a splash park regardless of your age? There’s nothing quite like that gleeful splashy abandon is there? And so very amusing to watch. That, coupled with the relief of somewhere to cool down a frenetic, whiney, hot and bothered toddler is probably why so many parents in East London get impatient with Vicky Park fountains. Which are finally on! Long may it last.
It’s never been the most relaxing place on a summer’s day though, has it? Who would create something like that for slippery kids in swimming costumes!? So many steep banks! So many rough edges! So much concrete!? Did they hate children? To make matters worse, a park ranger once told me the entire system is so baffling that few of them know how to operate it, they have to have special training and it often breaks because it is unnecessarily complicated.
There was a time amid the excitement of the Olympics and all of the regeneration work that we thought they might give us a Lido. There was a Lido in Vicky Park up until the 1990s. It was very popular. Everyone loved it. So, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The End.
Or is it?
Apparently, Waltham Forest Council leaders won their campaign with promises of a Lido in their election manifesto. Take note TH Labour. Maybe we could get All Points East to chip in? On that note, why can’t All Points East be a family-friendly festival like Camp Bestival?
If you would like to register your interest for a pro Lido lobby group, please get in touch.
Another 9 alternative Splash Parks near East London
Don’t forget the sun cream, towels, hat, water shoes and a change of clothes for you and your little ones. Wear something that dries quickly if you’re not planning on wearing a swimsuit and running around like a nutter yourself. Anyone with a child under 5 years old will get wet anyways. You may as well see if you can rediscover the magic.
1 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park- Tumbling Bay water play and Waterworks Fountains
195 individually controlled jets of water, these fountains outside London Stadium provide a great place to cool off. Stand between the snaking pathway of the fountains and you will find yourself in a labyrinth of walls of water. Children generally love to sit on them.
2 Clissold Park Splash Pad
A fine example of what a splash pad should be. Nice smooth surfaces, no sharp jagged edges nor steep banks to fall down and plenty of wet playful surprises (watch out for the dumping water bucket). Good clean fun in a manageable space with prebooking to ensure it’s not too chaotic. Clissold Park is stunning and well worth the trip. You can say hello to the birds, goats and a small herd of fallow deer while you’re there.
3 Mile End Park Play Pavilion
Somewhat more reliable, Mile End Park also has a great little BMX track and playgrounds to go with this small splash park. You can check out the newly reopened Ragged School Café for refreshments nearby or sit in the outside deck of Asana.
4 Splash Park Barking
A safe ground with a variety of fountains. You can join in or relax while they play but bring something comfy to sit on because the loungers go quickly. The park has a mascot called Splashy to delight younger children while additional attractions like Walk-On-Water balls and pedal boats are available. There’s also a Bounsea inflatable assault course and a Magical Unicorn lake with unicorn pedalos. It costs £4 per adult and £7 per child or £18-£21 for family tickets to use the splash pad for 90 minutes. Walk on Water balls, pedal boats and assault course are all extra.
5 Gauging square Wapping
A pretty one to visit for a night splash if your kids can tolerate a late night as there are lots of jets with lights that change colour. The feature includes 130 water jets that are not consistently strong but they do pick up and can become more powerful and change height up to 6m. It would be more interesting for children if this happened more frequently. No way to check if the fountains are on before visiting.
150 Vaughan Way, London, E1W 2AH
6 Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms South Bank Centre
Shooting jets of water into the air, the fountain creates rooms that disappear as quickly as they emerge. An interactive sculpture at the Southbank Centre by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, whose combination of architecture and technology produces sculptures which are joyful, engaging and playful. Water shoes and tshirts recommended. There’s so much on this summer too with The South Bank Centre’s Planet Summer.
7 Fellowship Square Walthamstow
The hub of so many fun summer events with community vibes, grassy lawns, places to chill and colour changing fountains to keep the kids cool and happy. Well played Walthamstow!
8 Granary Square
It’s just a hop, skip and a jump for many East Londoners now to Granary Square and the kids love it! With great restaurants and lots of special events, this place is a sprawling playground for adults too. 1080 jets all individually controlled and lit turn this refreshing oasis into an urban beach.
9 London Bridge City -Summer by the River
With a whole calendar of free entertainment at the Scoop including film and Wimbledon screenings, live music and interactive performances. The fountains here come with extra benefits, not least a bar that serves Pimms!
Fancy getting a bit wetter? Check out our round-up of cool pools, lakes, beaches and lidos near East London.