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Fun-filled things to do

End of term excitement is building in children across the borough as the long summer holidays loom ahead, but it can be tough on parents and carers finding things to do and juggling the family finances.

The cost of childcare and finding fun activities that suit your budget can cast a cloud over what should be a happy time for families.

But there are lots of fun, interesting and free or low-cost things to do that you don’t have to stray far from home to enjoy. And, while we have a great choice of green spaces to explore, there can come a point when yet another trip to the park just doesn’t fill you with excitement. So, what else is on offer?

Holiday club

Activities are being organised for Ealing Council’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) at locations across the borough. It is available to pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals, and some limited additional places are also given to others. Activities range from educational trips to arts and crafts, and from cookery to film making, as well as lots of sport. And there is a meal, too.

girl drawing
Creative fun

HAF is running from 5 -30 August and bookings will be taken close to the school holidays – so keep an eye on the HAF website pages.

Eligible children and young people will have a code to book their activities. Other vulnerable children and young people can be referred for a place on the programme by a professional such as their school or social worker.

HAF is funded by the Department for Education.

Family fishing days

Sample the joys of fishing at a series of taster sessions being offered at the council’s Northala Fields in Northolt this autumn, by the charity Get Hooked on Fishing.

two boys from behind sitting fishing at Northala lakes with one of the mounds in the background
Get hooked on fishing

Anyone who would like to try their hand with a rod and a line can book on to a session and receive some expert help and guidance from the staff and committed volunteers there. All equipment and bait will be provided.

The next sessions are:
⦁ 7 and 28 July
⦁ 11 and 25 August

The 25-minute sessions are free but a £3 donation per person is encouraged. To book a slot email hello@ghof.org.uk

Free fun for older children

This summer, Ealing Youth Service is running free activities for 11-19 year-olds (or up to 25 if you have additional needs) on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, 6:30-9pm.

You can get involved in trying your hand at a music studio, cooking, art and craft, sports, box fit, games and competitions or Oculus VR/Play Station/Xbox. You can make new friends or just chill with your mates – this is at:

  • Westside Young People’s Centre – Churchfield Road Ealing W13 9NF
  • Dormers Wells Hub – Longridge Lane, Southall UB1 3JH

There are also activities being run Monday-Friday at Bollo Brook Youth Centre, 2 Strafford Road, Acton, W3 8YD.

At Westside on Wednesday evenings (6:30-9pm), there is also a Disability Project session for young people with additional needs or a disability, aged 11-25.

For more details, visit the Young Ealing website.

Get creative

Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery is running free drop-in art workshops each Sunday throughout the holidays and, on the first Sunday of the month, there will also be interactive sessions such as storytelling and family yoga.


aerial view of maze
aerial view of maze

A trip to Hanwell Zoo offers a great, low-cost day out with entrance fees starting at £4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children. Under-3s go free. There’s a pretty cool maze close to the entrance too, near the playground, which is totally free to explore.

Book your zoo visit.

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