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Top Things to do in London this Father's Day

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by Serena Reidy (subscribe)
Freelance writer and avid reader living in the North of London. Check out my blog at www.ramblingsofanotherunigraduate.com
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Restrictions have eased up in London, which means that you'll be able to celebrate Father's Day in person this year. Pubs, museums and attractions across the city have opened up again, so you won't be restricted to Facetime or going for a walk in your local area next Sunday. Show your dad or the father figure in your life just how much you care about him by making this Father's Day one to remember. Treat him to a delicious pub lunch; take him on a tour of his favourite sports venue; discover a new park; or check out the latest exhibitions at London's many galleries or museums. Father's Day is only a week away, so it's best to plan out how you're going to spend the day in the next couple of days. There's bound to be something on this list that will make your dad smile.

1. Go for a pub lunch

What dad can't resist a pub lunch?! Book a traditional Sunday roast at your dad's favourite pub so that you don't have to rush out to your local supermarket the night before to find something to cook him. The Old Bull and Bush, The Clissold Arms and The Freemasons Arms are three pubs in north London I'd recommend. Alternatively, you could join a historic pub tour, which will allow you and your dad to explore some of the city's best pubs, taverns and alehouses. Starting from St Paul's station, this tour lasts 3 hours and will take you on a 2 mile walk through London's backstreets, from the city to the West End.

2. Spend the afternoon at a trampoline park

Trampoline parks are fun for all the family, and you won't have to worry about your plans being ruined in the off chance that it rains on Father's Day. Oxygen Freejumping has parks in Acton, The O2 and Croydon, and each session lasts an hour. You can expect to find 100 interconnected trampolines, as well as a foam pit, jumping runway and dodgeball courts. All Oxygen Freejumping centres have cafes that serve a selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks. There's also Flip Out (locations include Brent Cross, Wandsworth and East Ham), Jump In (Elstree and Enfield), or Jump Giants (near Heathrow). Remember to wear your mask whilst walking around the trampoline park.

3. Visit a board game café

Embrace your competitive side this Father's Day and challenge your dad to a round or two of your favourite board games. Draughts is a hugely popular board game café with branches in Hackney and Waterloo, and you can choose from over 800 board games. Stick to a classic such as Articulate and Backgammon, or try a lesser known game like Kamisado or The Noodle Game. Draughts also offers a range of drinks, light bites, larger meals and desserts to keep you going, especially if you've picked a lengthy game like Monopoly.

4. Have a picnic in Kenwood

The weather is set to be nice next Sunday so why not organise a picnic for Father's Day? There are hundreds of picnic spots all over London, ranging from the major parks to smaller neighbourhood parks to commons to nature reserves to garden squares, but one of my absolute favourites has got to be Kenwood Estate. Situated on the edge of Hampstead Heath, between Hampstead and Highgate, Kenwood is a former stately home surrounded by 112 acres of gardens. Kenwood may not be considered a major tourist attraction, but it still draws hundreds of picnickers at the first sight of sun. Kenwood has an abundance of spots for a picnic – either by the lake or nearer the house, which is worth checking out if you have time. Kenwood also has plenty of trees to shelter under for protection from the sun. stock up on food from your local supermarket or grab some drinks and sandwiches from The Brew House or The Stewards Room.

5. Enjoy the evening at a comedy club

If you and your father share a similar sense of humour, why not take him to a comedy club? Spend the evening laughing out loud and support an emerging comedian (or one who's already established). Check out The Comedy Store (which saw over 3,500 guests every week before the pandemic hit); the 99 Club (branches in the West End and Camden); Backyard Comedy Club (based in Bethnal Green); or The Top Secret Comedy Club (previous performers include Jack Whitehall and Ken Jeong).

6. Go on the Arsenal Emirates Stadium Tour

Take your football-obsessed dad on a tour of the Arsenal Emirates stadium this Father's Day. This tour will give you both the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of your favourite football players and listen to their matchday experiences. You'll have access to some of the most exclusive parts of the stadium, such as the Director's Box, Diamond Club, Home and Away Dressing Room, Players Tunnel, Flash Interview Rooms and Media Lounge. You can choose to listen to commentary from either Lee Dixon, Charlie George or Nigel Mitchell during your tour. Tickets for the Arsenal Emirates Stadium Tour are available from the stadium website for £27.00 per person.

7. Check out Van Gogh Alive

At the beginning of the month, a new exhibition dedicated to Van Gogh opened in Kensington Gardens. 'Van Gogh Alive: the Experience' claims that it'll be "the most visited immersive multi-sensory experience in the world" and it has already been viewed by over 7 million fanatics across 65 cities, including Florida, Chicago, Toronto, Alicante, Dubai and Moscow. Some of Van Gogh's most iconic masterpieces like Sunflowers and The Starry Night will be presented at the exhibition on big screen. With colours, sound and even fragrance, you'll truly feel like you're inside Van Gogh's painting. Tickets for this unique exhibition are priced from £24 for adults and £14 for children.

8. Explore Battersea Park

Venture south of the River Thames to Battersea Park this Father's Day. Spanning 200 acres, Battersea Park has been around since the 1850s and has a range of activities for all the family. Marvel at the stunning Peace Pagoda; get up close with the animals in the children's zoo; wander around the boating lake; and look for the Three Standing Figures. Adrenaline junkies will enjoy Go Ape, a treetop trail of bridges and platforms that look down over the mini-golf course. Stop by Pear Tree Café or Lemon Tree Café for a bite to eat. Battersea Park is a 20-30 minute walk from Sloane Square station or Clapham Junction station, or you can hop on the South Western Railway at Waterloo and get off at Queenstown Road.
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When: Sunday 20th June 2021
Cost: Varies
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