“When I grow up, I want to be…” As a 26-year-old, I still start many, many sentences like this. Even though I am legally an adult (gah!) I rarely feel like one. One thing I have learnt is that adulting is two things; constantly being tired no matter what you do and acting like you know what you’re doing, when you actually know f*** all. Sound familiar?
Yeah, my friends and I constantly discuss our lack of adultitude (is that even a real word?!) and dating plays a huge role in that. How are we meant to be finding people to get serious with when other people are still acting like kids about it?! So, with that in mind, this post is dedicated to all those adults that feel like kids. Maybe the problem is that dating feels so grown up, let’s take it back to the sand pit! Here are 7 kidulting dates to appeal to your inner child…
I don’t know about you, but I have been known to work with a Disney playlist as my personal soundtrack (peak kidulting, amirite?) If you can’t at least partially sing along to the songs from Lion King, did you even have a childhood?! You’re never too old to sing along to a movie, so why not let your inner child out at a movie sing-a-long at Clapham Grand?
Not just limited to Disney, the event covers all musicals. From Mulan, to The Greatest Showman, to Grease. They also have food (popcorn and hot dogs) drinks and actors who keep the energy going by running competitions. Everyone really gets into the event and the atmosphere will sweep you and your date up in it. Afterwards, you can return to adulthood and club the night away in the same venue! Best of both worlds 🙂
Details: Clapham Grand, check their website for cinema screening dates. Nearest station, Clapham Junction.
The ultimate kidulting experience! Being able to drive fast without breaking any real speed limits! You don’t even need a license (for all you guys who are still using your provisional ones as ID. I get it, why drive in London when we have an almost reliable tube system?!) Team Sport in Tower Bridge have you covered. They now have an 800m, multilevel track after undergoing a recent revamp, they also use electric karts (environmentally friendly too?! Yes, they are!)
To top it all off, they also have specific adult karts, food and a bar. They also have a lot of offers. You can check out their Super Sundays (tickets can be up to half price off) and they offer student discounts too. Get us our helmets, we’re in!
Details: Team Sport, head to their website to book now! Closest station, Bermondsey.
God’s Own Junkyard
Who loves neon lights?! Then this is the one for you! The most Instagrammable option on the list, it appeals to your kidulting sensibilities and the millennial in you too. God’s Own Junkyard is a place that can keep you captivated for hours. On each trip round, you’ll spot something else new and exciting to love. A culmination of new, used and found signs, as well as vintage movie props and art. It’s a light lover’s dream.
After being dazzled, you can take a break at their Rolling Scones Café on site (great play on words, aren’t you sold on that alone?!) This is no after work date though; this little paradise is only open on weekends. If you’re not convinced yet, just know that they have been featured as a backdrop for a Vogue cover shoot. Now, get over there and create your own cover shoot!
Details: God’s Own Junkyard, open Fri-Sat at 11am-9pm. On Sundays, open at 11am-6pm. A short walk from Walthamstow Central Station. Plus, it’s free to visit!
What kind of date ends with a sore back and legs… a trampolining date, of course! Get your mind out of the gutter, people! This is about kidulting dates afterall. Anywho, back to the topic at hand. If you’re one for active dates, head over to Oxygen Free Jumping. There are multiple sites in London (Acton and Croydon) and they’ll have a new site opening at 02 arena from the 22ndOctober.
They have free jumping (meaning that you can just decide to stay on the trampoline throughout your slot.) You can also jump into the foam pits, use the obstacle course style facilities or attempt to shoot some hoops while bouncing on the trampoline. If you’re looking for more of a workout, they do run exercise classes too. Just be prepared to dodge a lot of actual kids while you’re there.
Details: Oxygen Free Jumping, check their website to see prices based on the park you decide to visit.
Sadly, not all of us can afford to jet off to the Alps for a weekend ski trip, but never fear! You don’t even have to go far outside of London to get your ski fix seen to. You can trek over to Hemel Hempstead, where you will come across The Snow Centre, an indoor skiing haven. They are prepared for all levels of skiers and if your date has never been before, what better way to show off your skill and your patience. If you’re more into snowboarding, they got your back there too.
If you find yourself famished after your session, head over to The Lodge. Their bar and kitchen continue the après ski theme, whilst also giving you a view of the slopes. The temperature on the slopes is between -2 and -6, so wrap up warm guys! If you’re worried that you don’t have the appropriate clothing, you can buy/hire the essentials there. Bringing sunglasses or googles isn’t necessary, all you need as a go getter spirit and the will to indulge in some kidulting!
Details: The Snow Centre, open all week (listed below.) You can drive (they have free parking) take a train from Euston to Hemel Hempstead or take a train to Apsley. You can find all the details on their website.
Mondays: 10am – 4pm
Tuesdays: 7am – 10pm
Wednesdays: 10am – 10pm
Thursdays: 10am – 10pm
Fridays: 10am – 10pm
Saturdays: 8am – 8pm
Sundays: 8am – 8pm
Not finding dating enough of a challenge? Why not take it up a notch by taking your date to the extreme kidulting playground? We are, of course, referring to a Go Ape obstacle course. You don’t even have to leave London to find one of their sites high up in the treetops. You have the option of Alexandra Palace, Battersea, Cockfosters or even Chessington World of Adventures (home to their 30thsite.)
Warning, this is not a date for the faint hearted. You can go for a tree top adventure (2-3 hours complete with ziplining and obstacles under a forest canopy.) There’s the option of an all-terrain, forest Segway or you can decide you only want to zipline and feel the (strong) breeze in your hair. Alexandra Palace even features obstacles at greater heights, along with a free-fall Tarzan swing and the (aptly) named drop known as The Plummet. Are you ready?
Details: Go Ape, check out their website to decide which location is best for you and their prices.
Is it a good night out if you didn’t dive into a glowing pit of a million balls? Answer? No. Lucky for you, we know just the place where we can indulge that very specific impulse, Ballie Ballerson, of course! Surrounded by a wall of ball-based puns (perfect for a cheeky Instagram shot or two) and delicious candy inspired cocktails (for the ultimate sugar rush) it’s the ultimate adult’s playground. In the ball pit, aside from a lot of ducking, you’ll also make a lot of new friends.
The ball pit is set in a mirrored corner of the bar (I’m talking walls AND ceiling) making the pit seem infinite. If you’re truly a baller (wow, I’ll just see myself out now…) you can spring for the exclusive golden pit, if you want to book a table. You can also head over to Ballie Ballerson for bottomless brunch and they offer student discounts, along with Christmas specials. They have two sites: Dalston and Shoreditch. All that’s left is for you to pick which edgy location works for you 😉
Details: Their opening hours are listed below and head over here if you want to book beforehand
Tuesday: 6pm – 11pm
Wednesday: 6pm – 12am
Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 11:30am – 2am
Sunday: 1pm – 3pm
So, that concludes our list of 7 kidulting dates to appeal to your inner child. We hope that if you choose any, you’ll enjoy it. It can be easy to forget that dating can be fun, these are just a few of the outside the box ideas that can help create a more relaxed environment. Maybe if we approach dating with a little more of a kid-like wonder, it might be just the thing to remind us that dating needs a little magic to work 🙂
By Jordan Enaboifo