Thursday, 10 June 2010

Father's Day in London

This Father's Day is special and marks something that can only happen every four years, but more of that later. First things first, and the best way to start fathers day. If fellow fathers are anything like me then one of the things I miss most (well apart from the occasional lie in) is having a chance to read the papers undisturbed on a Sunday morning, so (mums) why not get this Father's Day off to a cracking start, rally the kids and make an early trip to the newsagent to pick up the papers, deliver them (with a tea) and then beat a hasty retreat to let the dad in your life enjoy 10 minutes squinting at the sport news and pretending to read the business section.

While the paper reading's going on the kids can be co-opted into helping to prepare breakfast and whilst their involvement will depend on their age, level of skills and attention span you should hopefully be able to cobble together something resembling breakfast in bed, which you can then take upstairs and start to think about the rest of the day.

When choosing a family day out for Father's Day, why not go for something a bit 'dadsy'? There's plenty out there - the RAF museum in Hendon is always a favourite, the Imperial War Museum in Duxford is a bit further afield for anyone fancying a day trip. If cars are more the thing then the Brooklands Museum in Surrey should have enough to keep all the kids (big and small) in your family happy and if you want to add rockets to cars and aeroplanes then the Science Museum is a great (and free) alternative, though do check that the district line is running as it's prone to closures at the weekend (Transport for London website).

Alternatively, if the weather's good then there are lots of great places for a Father's Day picnic - the new outdoor play area at Kew Gardens is a great place for the kids to burn off some energy, the Isabella Plantation at the heart of Richmond Park should be in full bloom, while at Morden Hall Park you might just be lucky enough to catch site of one of the kingfishers that still patrol the river Wandle that runs through the park and for those in North London why not try Cherry Tree Wood which has a playground, a dog free area and a child friendly kiosk (once the picnic's run out!).

And now for the climax of the day! For once Father's Day coincides with the World Cup and to make things better England has even qualified, though they're playing on June 20th. So depending on what you're up to, and how tired the kids are, you can let their dad slump in front of Slovakia vs Paraguay at 1.30pm, Italy vs New Zealand at 4pm or Brazil vs Croatia at 8.30pm - there's a full schedule of games at FIFA's website.

That looks like a great day to me - newspaper and breakfast in bed, followed by a family day out with cars, rockets and maybe a picnic and then all rounded off with the World Cup - Happy Father's Day!

- Tim

As featured on BeingDad.co.uk

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