Even in the midst of London’s gritty east side environs, a bit of rustic charm from the old days remains. Hackney City Farm is more than just a fun and educational kids activity, it’s also a treat for parents and a boon to the local community. Let your little ones lead the way through the short green gate, making sure to close it securely behind you before any of the roaming chickens escape. Once you’ve entered the farm’s cobblestone central hub, decide which of the barnyard brigades you’d like to see first.
You might want to meet Pepper and Pearl, the farm’s resident Tamworth (ginger) pigs, who love playing in their paddock and rolling in the mud to keep cool. Then, say what’s up to Larry and Clover. These two handsome donkeys are the stars of the zoo, and you’ll laugh as they scamper up their enclosure’s grassy mound. After those animal experiences, hone your vegetable farming skills in the garden. As the kids dash through the raised planters with other tots, one of the green-shirted volunteers will be happy to share a few home gardening tips. Pay attention to the crops before you head to café Frizzante for a little refueling. Almost every piece of produce used in the café is grown just outside its doors, meaning you can enjoy a little peace of mind–and a tasty snack–as you wind down the day at this urban escape.