The best free things to do in the Park during National Park City Week

Did you know it’s National Park City Week? This week-long, London-wide event aims to celebrate the capital’s parks and green spaces – and with 560 acres to explore there’s plenty to celebrate at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park! The Park has a fantastic variety of parklands, playgrounds and places to relax, so there’s a day out waiting for everyone – it’s also one of the most accessible parks in the UK too. Read on for some ideas and inspiration on fun – and free – days out on the Park during National Park City Week.

Get exploring

The Park has plenty of hidden nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. If you’d like to explore at your own pace, download one of our free trails for a themed adventure, or simply have a stroll through the canal paths and parklands to feel transported from the capital to the countryside!

Our expert Park Champion volunteers will also be running guided tours throughout the week for a small fee, along with free tours for visually impaired visitors run by trained Sighted Guides. Find out more here.

Get settled

If you prefer soaking up atmosphere to upping your step-count, you’ll find plenty of places in the Park to while away some time. Settle down on the grass bank by the river opposite the London Aquatics Centre, or grab a book and relax on one of the comfortable lounger benches along Tessa Jowell Boulevard.

Over in the north of the Park there are benches overlooking beautiful meadows, or patches of grass that are perfect for a picnic. Bring along your own or take a look at the food and drink options around the Park to put together something extra special on the day.  

Get wet

Over the closing weekend of National Park City Week, we’re opening up our pontoon in the south of the Park free water sports! These activities, including rowing and paddleboarding, are part National Park City Splash Festival and open to all ages and abilities. All sessions are free but should be booked in advance, which you can do here.

If you love the river but love keeping dry even more, why not take a trip on one of the boat tours or swan pedalos? You can see the Park from a whole new angle (and the boat tours are dog-friendly too!).

Get playing

Let your little ones loose on the Park’s custom-built playgrounds for hours of fun – and you’ll find cafés nearby to keep adults entertained too! There’s the Pleasure Gardens in the south of the Park, with a colourful play area, sandpit and climbing wall. Over in the north of the Park sits Tumbling Bay, a play area complete with treehouse structures, swings, rock pools and water pumps for hours of interactive fun.

National Park City Week is set to be a hot one, so once they’ve had their fill of fun in the play areas there’s no better place to cool off than the famous Waterworks fountains outside the Stadium!

Get active

The Park is home to not one but two outdoor gyms, which offer a range of resistance-based equipment to use for free! Challenge yourself on the pull-up bar, see how fast you can cycle or spread out into the high-impact paving surrounding the gym equipment to do some floorwork too.

Get snapping

From the iconic Olympic rings and swoop of the Lee Valley VeloPark to colourful flowers and dreamy reflections on the canal, the Park isn’t short of photo ops! Whether you do it to document your day or to share on social media (psst… don’t forget to tag us!), there’s plenty to get you feeling inspired.

For views like no other, book in a visit to the ArcelorMittal Orbit and soak up the skyline views of London, or stay at ground level and capture the contrast of the bright red sculpture against a blue sky.