Nestled between the Stratford International Station and Westfield Stratford City mall is the newly built Biodiversity Playground. Brightly coloured and beautifully themed around a lily pond, the playground almost feels like it has been dropped into what was formerly a dead space. It’s not really what you’d expect to see hidden behind a station.
I had initially happened upon the opening of the playground through an article in the local paper about its official opening towards the end of October but only visited it by chance whilst walking past. Since The Toddler is more than just a little bit obsessed with slides we thought it was worth letting him blow off some steam before heading home. I know it probably seems a bit odd to review what is essentially a playspace that’s part of a shopping mall but hear me out.
There are loads of parks in East London that are worth a shout with one of the biggest and newest being the Olympic Park and whilst you can’t fault the scenic planting, waterways, and acres of space, the main play area itself is a bit lacking if you have younger children.
What makes the Biodiversity Playground so good is that it is catered for toddlers upwards and, unlike most toddler play equipment, it is actually exciting to look at. Themed around a pond, the main feature is a massive koi fish with a giant slide and climbing wall. The fish is just one of 3 slides that are at the playground. Cue The Toddler thinking all his Christmases have come at once and throwing himself down the biggest slide first. He might be two but he knows no fear!
As you can see from the picture above, everything is well laid out for maximum toddler running space and makes the most of the area by including interactive sensory panels and musical instruments on the fencing, plenty of benches, slides, boats, and bouncy lily pads to provide the most adorable photo op with The Baby.
One of its bonuses for being right next to Westfield is that you have all the benefits of the fab parent and baby rooms (cloud lights and CBeebies anyone?) and a number of child friendly eateries which is always a good thing in my book. Well worth seeking it out.