Springfield Park

Springfield Park is the only park in Hackney with really steep hills. Which makes it brilliant for sledging in winter. But there’s loads to see and do all year round, including giant trees, weird-shaped hedges, and a playground with a pirate ship.>

Ministry of Stories

There are a lot of shops in Hoxton Street, but one is weirder than all the others. Look at the window display of the Monster Supplies shop at number 159, and you’ll see all sorts of strange things for sale – including fang floss and fear in tins! This is the secret headquarters of the Ministry of Stories, a place where young people come to get inspired and put their imaginations to work through creative writing.>

Hackney Marshes Adventure Park

An award-winning adventure playground made for kids, by kids. Local children helped out with the design of this playground, which has all sorts of great things to play on like a space ship, a tree house a spinning maypole and a zip wire. Join in one of the weekly guided activities and have fun trying something new, like building a den or cooking on the outdoor barbeque.>

Laburnum Boat Club

What’s the best way of getting around Hackney? Instead of taking the bus, you could always try a kayak! Laburnum Boat Club is a community project that gives young people a chance to burn off energy and make friends while trying out water-based activities on the canal. As well as kayaking, you can go canoeing and narrowboating. And if you’d rather stay on dry land, there are games, art activities and a climbing wall.>

Sutton House

Walk through the door of Sutton House, and you will step back in time almost 500 years to the age of the ‘Terrible Tudors’. This beautiful red brick building is the oldest house in Hackney. It was built in 1535 for Sir Ralph Sadleir, secretary of state for King Henry VIII. Inside the house you can see oak panelled rooms with hidden doors, original fireplaces and a real Tudor kitchen.>

Hoxton Hall

Are you a superstar in the making? If you fancy a go at acting, art, dancing or making music, the place to do it is Hoxton Hall. This Victorian venue isn’t just for watching artists and performers – it’s a place where you can be an artist or a performer yourself. Young people can join free creative sessions and workshops, and make use of the modern music studio, rehearsal and performance spaces, and a design suite.>

Word on the Water

Ahoy there, book-lovers! Word on the Water is a local bookshop with a big difference – it’s the only one in London that floats. This shop is actually a canal barge, and it chugs up and down Regent’s Canal and the River Lea, often mooring up by Springfield Park, Mile End or Broadway Market. Come to buy a book, stroke the cats, listen to poetry readings or even hear music on the roof stage.>

WaterWorks & Middlesex Filter Beds

Get back to nature in the city! Just off the busy Lea Bridge Road, the Waterworks Nature Reserve is a wild oasis where you can see all sorts of rare birds, plants and bugs in their natural habitat. A short stroll away, the Middlesex Filter Beds has even more wildlife, an interesting history, some very cool artworks and other surprises. The visitor centre has plenty of info about the wildlife and history of the reserve and the filter beds.>

Dalston CLR James Library

Question: what do Harry Potter, the B.F.G. and Charlie and Lola all have in common? Answer: they all live in Dalston. OK, you might not spot them in Nando’s, but you’ll definitely find them on the bookshelves of the Dalston CLR James Library. This library is massive, it’s brand new, it’s got its very own kids’ section and there isn’t a cobweb in sight. Fill your head with amazing stories, and take one home for free.>

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

When you’re on Dalston Lane with the cars and buses roaring by, it’s hard  to believe that there’s a beautiful garden hidden just around the corner. But wander through the wooden doorway next to the Hackney Peace Mural, and that’s exactly what you’ll find. Full of trees, flowers and wildlife, the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a great place for a picnic or just some peace and quiet. There’s a pavilion where kids can take part in gardening and cooking workshops and other creative activities.>

Abney Park

Abney Park is home to one of the wildest cemeteries in the whole of London. There are old trees, overgrown plants, hidden paths, a ruined chapel and a children’s garden – not to mention hundreds of weird and wonderful gravestones. It’s a historic place that’s full of mystery and stories, and it’s perfect for exploring and having adventures.>
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