alf-term may kick off this weekend but playtime doesn’t just have to be for kids. This month, the capital has transformed into one big adventure playground, from grown-up seesaws in King’s Cross to boozy ball pits in Shoreditch.
Start your play date at Draughts. Tonight the Hackney board games café hosts chess club, a three-hour games extravaganza with a free drink included in your ticket, while Drink Shop Do has a booze-fuelled Lego robot building night on Tuesday. Entry is free when you buy a drink and you’ll be judged on your design, name and special skill.
London’s Lego scene is building. This week Snapchat used AR to transform an empty shop into a pop-up Lego Wear Store in Fitzrovia and from tomorrow the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is hosting a Lego exhibition featuring half a million colourful bricks. The old London Bridge, the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef are among the sights.
Elsewhere, playtime has gone hi-tech. Coal Drops Yard at King’s Cross is currently home to a set of illuminated musical seesaws that burst into sound as you ride. Gather your friends after dark and create a symphony of sound.
East Village in Stratford has a new laser tag outpost featuring 30 VR games while Bounce in Farringdon and Old Street offers digital ping pong: an immersive table tennis experience that uses projection mapping to turn each table into a giant computer game.
Sister venue Puttshack puts a hi-tech spin on mini golf. The cutting-edge games hub in Westfield features automatic points scoring, smart ball tracking and digital leaderboards — full marks if you can master the beer pong hole.
Continue your playful booze cruise to the giant adult ball pit at Ballie Ballerson. The Shoreditch ball bar’s new bottomless brunch starts tomorrow featuring two hours of unlimited pizza, prosecco and pornstar martinis while Queens in Bayswater has the UK’s first rink-side bar for hitting the frozen margaritas post-ice karting.
Finish your play date with a movie night at the Natural History Museum — tomorrow’s screenings include A Star Is Born and Love Actually — or Biscuiteers is hosting after-hours biscuit decorating workshops, kicking off with a glass of prosecco.
London’s best activity bars, in pictures
The London Shuffle Club
Draughts Board Game Cafe