I heard about Vauxhall City Farm from a nanny I sat next to at E’s swimming lesson, and it sounded worth checking out. It’s a quick train ride (only about five minutes) from Clapham Junction and then a five-minute walk from the Vauxhall station. And it’s free!
For a “farm” in the city of London to take little kids to, it was really good. There are animal food dispensers so kids can pop in 20p and get a cupful of duck food to feed the ducks and geese, or some grass pellets to feed the sheep and goats. And this was a good time of year to go because OMG BABY LAMBS ADORABLE!
There’s a nice-looking cafe too, and you can host a child’s birthday party there, which I would seriously consider if I hadn’t already booked E’s party for her gymnastics place.
They also offer horse riding lessons there, though obviously that is NOT free.
The only issue was it closes at 4 p.m., which I didn’t realise, and we didn’t arrive till 3:40, so we got kicked out pretty quickly. At least we didn’t have to pay admission. We will definitely go back another day when we can spend more time (and I remember to bring some 20p coins).
The nanny also said there’s a good playground nearby, which I didn’t see but will look for next time we go. May 23 Update: We went back this afternoon when we had more time, and this time I came prepared with 20p coins to buy food to feed the animals. We got to stroke a 2-week-old lamb, which was soft and fuzzy. (Side note: they say “stroke” rather than “pet” here, and I’ve had children ask if they may stroke my dog, and the other day a young boy asked me if he could stroke my baby, which I found hilarious. And he then happily stroked her fuzzy head.)
We had time to go to the cafe for a treat, too.
And then we found the nearby playground, which had a pretty great slide built into the hill, plus an in-ground trampoline.