For a dinosaur loving child, Crystal Palace Playground is a great destination. We always start by following the dinosaur trail in the main park and the old dinosaurs sculptures from the 1850s are just fascinating. As opposed to the historical dinosaurs, in the playground, you can tumble and climb on top of all the creatures!
The Overground is our favourite way of transportation these days. It’s generally easier to access the platforms compared to the tube, it’s more spacious and there’s, of course, more to see for the kids! Getting on at Canada Water Station, the trip to Crystal Palace Station went really smooth. Coming out of the station, the sign towards the dinosaurs is impossible to miss. Walking past the free to enter Crystal Palace Farm, you soon get glimpses of strange creatures popping up in the landscape. These are the dinosaurs from the 1850s that doesn’t really look like how we know them today.
These scientific inaccuracies are a bit hard to comprehend for a 2-year, but they are nevertheless fascinating creatures to enjoy. The Iguanadon sculpture is probably the most famous one, since it was first thought to resemble an Iguana but was later discovered to have looked completely different. There are plenty of benches and boulders to sit on, just perfect for a small snack while admiring the same mean looking beasts as generations of parents and children before us.
Continuing on the path for another 10 minutes you come to the popular Brown and Green Life café. Serving warm dishes and drinks, this looked like a great hangout for families so we sat down for a hot chocolate. We haven’t tried any of the food there yet, but the breakfast options look delicious! There’s also a baby change within the cafe by the way which is quite small, but still better than the public toilets on the other side of the road.
Dinosaur mania at Crystal Palace Playground
The playground itself is very spacious, with lots of room between the equipment. The centrepiece of the park is the sandpit with dinosaur skeletons and eggs sticking up from the ground that can be uncovered and climbed on. Our six-year-old daughter loves to play archaeologist brushing away sand and guessing what type of dinosaur she is uncovering.
The slide is just about challenging enough for our toddler to get on top of on his own. For kids 5-6 years and older it’s not that much equipment to play with, except for the mandatory swing. It would have been nice with some more challenging climbing frames to keep the older kids busy. Despite this, they both had a good time many thanks to the half-hidden dinosaur skeletons and the sandpit.
Considering how popular dinosaurs are these days, it’s great to have a free place like this to take the kids. Even if the vintage dinosaurs are inaccurate and the playground has its limitations, the kids really enjoyed the day out. We also like the dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum, but the crowds tend to get huge during weekends.
Attractions close to Crystal Palace Playground
There are three things that we usually spend time on visiting Crystal Palace are; The 1850s dinosaurs, the playground and the city farm. When done with this, the kids are usually exhausted and we get on the Overground going home. There is also plenty more to see in the park, such as a huge maze, a boating lake and a skatepark. The Horniman Museum, one of our favourite child-friendly museums is not far away either. If you fancy a bigger playground, we can recommend the Peckham Rye Adventure Playground with plenty of challenging climbing equipment for older childrenDon’t forget to check the rest of the London playgrounds we have rated as well as our favourite city farms!