Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

“Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” — J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

September 20, 2010 · 2 Comments

The thing that strikes me most about the parks here in London, aside from the astonishing size and quantity of them, is how kid focused they are. A couple of the girls and I paid a visit to Kensington Gardens last week and discovered this first hand. Before we even entered the park, we could hear the squeals of kids playing on the Diana Memorial Playground. Its design is actually based on the story of Peter Pan. Children can climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship or play in Tiger Lily’s teepee. We wanted to go inside and get some pictures, but the sign on the gate states that if you do not have a child with you, you are not permitted in. I hadn’t ever encountered a child only park, and was honestly a little bit jealous that I couldn’t climb onto the pirate ship.

As a New Yorker, I’m partial to Central Park, but even I have to admit that the Brits seem to be beating us in this department. Although Central Park has many things to offer children, it doesn’t have anything that is kids only. I think its really admirable that London’s parks are so devoted to providing kids with a fun and safe environment. The State’s should seriously think about adopting this attitude.

Other locations in the park that seemed geared towards children were the Peter Pan statue, the Round Pond and (spreading into Hyde Park) the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Although these places were not created specifically for children, it seemed like it was mostly families that were visiting.

Categories: 2010 Sarah
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2 responses so far ↓

  •   Mary Kate // Sep 20th 2010 at 11:32

    I totally agree with you on this point! I’ve noticed in places from parks to places of worship to the Tube that London seems to be very kid-friendly. The parks definitely reflect this openness to letting children be children. Very admirable.

  •   Karl // Sep 20th 2010 at 11:36

    You have been to a kids-only park. Remember my tour of Bloomsbury where we saw Corram?

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