Keeping the kids entertained on the weekend or the holidays might sound like child’s play, but anyone with a brood of their own will tell you it’s not quite as simple as that. First, you’ve got to find something suitably fun to entice them away from their tablets, then, you have to persuade them that it’s actually worth their while to go - all of this can get very tiring very quickly.
However, if you find something so fun and exciting that their ears prick up as soon as you mention it, this part becomes much easier. In a city like London, it’s usually not too difficult to find something on your doorstep, wherever you live. In Shadwell, the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre could be the perfect solution to your childcare conundrums.
What activities are on offer?
The most impressive thing about the centre is the sheer amount of activities that they have on offer - even the most stubborn of kids will find it hard not to enjoy themselves canoeing down the iconic Thames!
Kayaking is one of the centre’s most popular activities, with the waters of the safe waters Shadwell Basin providing the perfect place for kids to learn the proper rowing technique. As mentioned above, some excursions do go out onto the Thames, but these are usually reserved for more seasoned paddlers.
Then there’s the canoes. These large, three-person vessels are great for siblings to have a go on the water and learn the meaning of the term teamwork. For children and young people who want to tackle something a bit more challenging, there’s sailing training which allows them to take on the rigours of the sea, all from the safety of Shadwell Basin. Other water activities include bell boats, two open canoes linked with a walkway down the middle that can take up to ten people, and rowing, another great team activity that’s great fun for all ability levels.
Off the water and back on dry land, the centre has a number of other great activities to get involved in, it’s just, well, they aren’t quite on dry land. For those who laugh in the face of tall heights, the climbing wall and high ropes could be the ideal way to spend the afternoon.
The former has many different climbing routes for people of all different abilities and is ideal for groups up to ten. The latter is a high-wire obstacle challenge where safety and looking out for the others on your team is the name of the game.
Not only are these activities great fun for younger people, they all have an educational quality to them as well and help kids develop valuable life skills such as teamwork, co-operation, patience and endurance.
Another great aspect of the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre is that it’s not just for kids, you can join in too - There’s always some sort of event going on.
If your kids want to get involved more often (aged between nine and 18), the centre also puts on a fantastic youth club on a weekly basis. This is ideal for making friends and giving your young ones something to look forward to outside of school.
The centre even does trips away during the school holidays, which can be a great experience for younger people looking to develop their social skills and learn what it’s like to be away from home for a short period of time - not to mention a well-earned break for you!
With the centre being run by highly trained and passionate instructors, you can rest assured that your kids are in the safest of hands.
Where is it?
The centre is right in the heart of east London, a 10-minute walk away from Shadwell DLR Station. The centre’s address is at 3-4 Shadwell Pierhead, Glamis Road, London E1W 3TD, right on the banks of the Thames.