I remember taking my two boys (Jed was still in a pushchair) to Westfield Stratford on the second Saturday after its grand opening. While I was impressed by its size and scope, I could also barely move past the crush of shoppers. Daft move.
But since then I’ve made many happy trips to Westfield Stratford as it’s so easy to get to (20 minutes from Islington via overground), accessible (it’s right outside the station) and more convenient than any major shopping zone, especially if you have kids.
We love the mix of restaurants and the huge variety of stores, both indoors and outside on The Streets (although we seem to spend most of our visits in the Lego Store). And I’ve always been a fan of the Parent & Baby rooms with toys and play area, kids shows on TV, ample baby changing stations, mini toilets and sinks that little ones can reach. They even provide microwaves so you can warm up baby bottles and food!
To add to Westfield’s parent friendly status, they offer Child Safe Shopping so parents can pick up wristbands for their kids and get a hotline number to call in case of emergencies. And the kiddy cars are always a hit with the knee-high crew, Jed still begs to ride one even though he’s now too big (spot him above, rolling with Rachelle @LoveLearnCook’s cutie Rufus).
We were invited to see Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train live show at Westfield Stratford this week. When we got there, my 8-year-old gave me some serious ‘side eye’ as it’s clearly a show aimed at toddlers. Even the 5-year-old thinks he’s too cool for CBeebies, so neither was too fussed that we only caught the tail end (ba boom) of the dinosaurs.
And none of us had any complaints because we were in such a relaxed mood. Coming to Westfield Stratford on a mid-week morning is awesome. There aren’t that many people about, you have space to swing your arms and even chill on a seat and take in features like sun pouring in through the glass roof.
Throughout the year, Westfield Stratford and its sister store Westfield London put on fun, family friendly activities. We’ve been ice skating at Westfield, bowling at All Star Lanes, watching family films at Vue Cinema and hanging out with Diversity’s Perri and Jordan at a Westfield showcase.
This summer there have been tons of things to do with kids at both shopping centres.
Coming up at Westfield Stratford, your kids can settle in for tales from Compton Valance, the most powerful boy in the universe, at Foyles Summer of Stories (Thu Aug 28, 3-4pm). And at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, there are pizza making workshops for kids at Spaghetti House (Thu Aug 28, 10-11am).
Do keep an eye on both sites for details of family events and special offers including Kids Eat Free deals. And if you pop down to either store, remember to sign your children up to the Kids Club for a free goodie bag.
Visit Westfield Stratford
Disclosure: We received a gift voucher as part of our experience at Westfield Stratford.