Back to the Olympic Park

Just time for a photo post as the weekend draws to a close. It’s been a bit of a drizzly one but we’ve managed to have some fun. We had no plans on Saturday, so on the spur of the moment – and feeling decidedly optimistic about the forecast – we chose to visit the 2012 Olympic Park (now the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park).

Our optimism was rather unwise as the heavens opened as soon as we parked up, so we amused ourselves in the Westfield Shopping Centre children’s play area and then having a rather damp picnic under an awning outside!  But thankfully things improved, and the sun came out just as we were running out of things to do.  So we took the familiar route we took so many times back in 2012, and took our children into the Olympic Park!

It still gives me a complete buzz to see it all – and I was delighted to see how well the park has been adapted since the games.  The Aquatic Centre looks stunning in its reduced form and the velodrome is still one of the most gorgeous buildings around.  It’s sad to see the stadium losing some of its scale, but the Orbit tower looks dramatic and is a fab reminder of the Games.

Alex has finally clicked with his balance bike, and the wide open paths in the park were perfect for him to get up some speed and confidence.  There was a huge live concert going on on the site for Holi, the Festival of Colours, so we had a very funky soundtrack to accompany our exploration.
olympic

I’d been keen to visit Tumbling Bay Playground with the children – a new outdoor play space near the Velo Park.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  The kids got stuck straight into the sand and water play.

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Sadly their playtime was curtailed by a massive torrential rainstorm which saw us huddling for shelter in the little cafe next door.  Thankfully it didn’t last too long and the sun came back out.  Matt was keen to have a look at the VeloPark so we wandered off in the direction of the velodrome – and discovered even more play space.  Alex was delighted to find a huge network of bridges, slides and a very tall treehouse.  So cool!

treehouse

He climbed up to the top immediately and loved the high rope bridge.

treehouse2

Sophie scared me a bit by insisting on running around the bits she could reach – very relieved she didn’t fall off as it was pretty high!

olympc3

It really was excellent – and very quiet (perhaps because we were the only crazy people to venture so far into the Park in a rainstorm!)

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After a quick peek at the BMX track and velodrome, we made our way back to the car and home.

We popped down to Herne Hill to pick up some new bedtime stories at the children’s bookshop – and bought Alex a joke book.  We’ve all been a bit tired of his single joke (What do you call a train with a cold?  A choo-choo train!) and decided we needed a bit of variation.  We spent the rest of the day giggling at the silly jokes.  Alex laughs hysterically after each one, even if he has no idea what the joke means.   He has three memorized ready to dazzle Jacqui tomorrow!

joke

After our Sunday morning swim today, we headed back to Herne Hill for a delicious bbq at Alex’s best friend Sam’s house.  The sun held out long enough for us to enjoy a leisurely lunch and glass of wine in the garden while the children played.  Alex and Sam are so similar – they had a great time in each others company.  I’m sad they won’t see as much of each other in this coming year as they will be at different nurseries, but hopefully they’ll be together when they start school.

bbq

After the BBQ and Sophie and Una’s naps, we headed to Sunray Gardens for more playtime.  Alex, after his balance bike success yesterday, was desperate to try a bike with pedals – so Matt tried him out on a little bike given to us by a neighbour.  We have no photographic evidence, but he actually did really well on it.  I suspect if we keep trying, he might master it sooner than I expected!  How can I have a child old enough to ride a bike!?

We ended our day chilling out at home and watching Glastonbury.  Both Sophie and Alex seem to love music (they both loved Dolly Parton!).  Sophie bopped along and Alex sat really engrossed for a while.

glasto

 

I am hopeful they’ll both be musical (am not a pushy mum at all!)

 

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