Have fun in the fountains, get your hands dirty at the Skip Garden, find some magic at Harry Potter’s Platform 9¾ or take a dip in an outdoor swimming pool – its all waiting for you at King’s Cross.
Splash in the fountains at Granary Square
Hands down the most popular thing for kids to do at King’s Cross is to splash and play in the fountains at Granary Square.
There are 1,080 choreographed jets – each individually controlled and lit, meaning they squirt and splash in great leaping patterns, providing hours of fun.
This is the perfect way to cool off on a warm day. Even a bit of cloud and a chill in the air usually isn’t enough to stop a kid’s urge to take their socks off and get wet. It’s virtually car-free here so you can relax and your children can have fun without the noise and worry of London traffic.
For those who’ve packed a picnic, there are benches and tables around the square, or grab something to go from Waitrose or the Benugo van. Also here is Yumchaa tea shop, with seating on the square. You can enjoy a cuppa while the kids splash around. Toilets and changing facilities can be found on the square. Don’t forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes, you’ll need it!
For older kids, as the sun starts to go down, you can use your smartphone and an app called Granary Squirt to take control of the fountains and play a giant game of Snake!
Granary Square fountains are open daily from 07.40am – 23.30pm. And just around the corner at Lewis Cubitt Park, you’ll find more fountain fun!
Uncover the magic of Platform 9¾
In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, the students head to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by dashing through the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10.
Ordinary muggles can find this secret Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station. Just look out for the lines of Potter fanatics and a luggage trolley complete with cases and a fluffy Hedwig. Once here, you can don a scarf and capture a photo as you’re off to board the Hogwarts Express. This is a must for any serious Harry Potter fan!
While there, don’t miss the Harry Potter Shop next to the platform. Styled like Ollivander’s Wand Emporium, it’s full of goodies like school robes, games, models, horcruxes and chocolate frogs.
Get mucky at The Skip Garden
Bees, worms and mucky fingers – the Skip Garden is just the place for an adventure with the kids.
This wonderful community garden is run by Global Generation with the help of local young people. Kids of all ages can visit to sample yummy food grown and prepared right here in the garden.
Learn how things grow, watch the bees in their hives or visit the worms in their very own worm factory! There are even some resident chickens. Global Generation regularly run fun, hands-on workshops where you can learn about all things green.
The Skip Garden is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 4pm.
Enjoy family fun every Saturday at the Skip Garden
Grab the kids and head to the Skip Garden for some free, hands-on family fun every Saturday. Global Generation host a series of creative gardening, cooking and craft workshops. Expect little fingers to get properly mucky!
Family Saturdays at the Skip Garden will take place in the garden every Saturday from 23rd July until 1st October. Sessions run from 2pm – 4pm and include delicious homemade snacks, all for free. Spaces are limited so reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find magic and more at the House of Illustration
Just in time for the summer, and perfect for a day out with the kids, House of Illustration welcomes a new addition: the permanent Quentin Blake Gallery. The new gallery will be the only place in the world to see an exhibition of original artwork by Blake, one of the world’s foremost illustrators and the founder of the House of Illustration.
The gallery will hold an exciting continuous series of different aspects of Quentin Blake’s work, with illustrations, roughs and preparatory drawings from work such as Matilda and The BFG.
The first exhibition held in the Quentin Blake Gallery is the enchanting Seven Kinds of Magic. Curated by Blake, it explores various depictions of magic both in his own books and in those of other writers such as Russell Hoban, John Yeoman and Roald Dahl.
Also in the House of Illustration, don’t miss another Dahl & Blake collaboration, The BFG in Pictures, opening 24th June.
Build, Create and Climb at SNUG soft play
SNUG is soft play like no other. Instead of fixed play equipment, the kit is made up of soft, buildable shapes that children can use to create their own play landscapes. Dens, tunnels, obstacle courses, trampolines, houses… the possibilities are endless!
The play equipment will be at Lewis Cubitt Park daily between 10am and 4pm, throughout the summer (provided the grass is not too wet).
There is also space here for older kids to kick a ball around on the lawn, and lots of kid-friendly food options nearby.
Get close to nature at Camley Street Natural Park
King’s Cross may be known as a transport hub, but at its heart is a hidden gem – two-acres of wild green space, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
Camley Street Natural Park is an urban nature reserve on the banks of the canal. It’s home to an incredible array of wildlife. See if you can spot geese, herons, rabbits, amphibians or even bats! The best place for a bit of nature spotting is Viewpoint, a floating platform with peepholes at different heights, so you can look out over the canal, woodland and meadows completely hidden from view.
The London Wildlife Trust runs more 150 family-friendly activities and events throughout the year, so you can try your hand at bird box making, pond dipping or bug hunting on your day out.
Get your game on with table tennis
If you’re a ping pong fan, then head to the wide open area in the Granary Building known as The Crossing, and you’ll find four full-sized ping pong tables.
Parents can challenge the kids to a game – there is plenty of room to show off your moves, and its completely free to play with no booking required!
If there’s an event in The Crossing, the tables are moved outside. Head to the Visitor Centre on Stable Street for bats and balls and all you need to know.
Climb, swing, slide and splash at Handyside Gardens
Tucked away just off Granary Square you’ll find the lovely pocket park, Handyside Gardens.
Follow the water channel to the children’s play park. Here you’ll find swings, a slide and a sand pit to keep the little ones entertained. Tots can have all kinds of fun pumping water into the water rill and splashing about afterwards.
The park is lit in the evenings.
Bzzz around King’s Cross with the Bee Trail App
We rely on bees to pollinate two thirds of our food, and yet their numbers are dwindling. Now you can do your bit to help! Take part in the King’s Cross Bee Trail, an app-led, interactive walking tour that leads you and the kids around King’s Cross. The kids will learn about bees, why they’re important to us, and how we can help them to flourish.
You can also earn vouchers to some of London’s hottest places to eat.