Here are some fun (and frum) activities we have done recently:
Over Pesach we went to St Albans, where there is a park with an outdoor gym, plenty of space for playing with a ball, a lake with birds and even some Roman walls for the history freaks. (We even had a backup of a museum in the park, in case it rained!) Another day we went to Dunstable Downs for kite-flying, where we met 2 large multi-generational families of Chassidim, who were also having a good time flying kites. Outings like this are kosher in content, cheap/free and provide opportunities for exercise and appreciating the wonderful world Hashem made.
Our children’s primary school went for this idea for their Lag B’Omer outing. The school is always sensitive to the fact that people’s finances are tight and that many parents don’t want to lay out substantial amounts of money for 2, 3 or 4 children to go to an amusement park. This year, they took the older children, either by bus or car to Hampstead Heath, where they walked down to Parliament Hill, to fly kites which they made in school, play in the adventure playground and do some other activities. The kids had a really good time, despite getting drenched on the way home, although it seems that the highlight was calling the police out because a woman walking her dogs became rather aggressive when asked if she could do it a bit further away from the children!
I recently took the younger children to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which was a lot of fun, particularly the interactive displays in their Beautiful Games temporary exhibition. Our Year 2 son, who has been learning about the Great Fire of London in school, enjoyed a trip to the Monument, followed by a bus ride past St Pauls and visit to the War, Plague and Fire Gallery in the Museum of London.
Our youngest son and I went to the Tate Modern last week, where we saw the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, which was excellent, if disturbing, (I avoided the film with the warning about explicit scenes!) and the Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan exhibition, which was quite good. We both particularly enjoyed the huge man outside, which is an overspill from their Damien Hirst show, and having lunch on the balcony overlooking the river.
In fact, if you are looking for an interesting walk, or a different place to go on a date, then the South Bank is excellent. Around Waterloo Bridge there’s the London Eye and street performers, then there’s the South Bank complex, which often has free events and sometimes has booksellers outside, a la Left Bank, and between London Bridge and the Tate Modern, there’s Borough Market, the Clink, Vinopolis, the Golden Hinde, the Globe and then the Tate, all of which are interesting, and almost all of which can be enjoyed in some way without compromising one’s religious principles.