Only thirty minutes on the train from central London, Purley has plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Close to Croydon in South London, Purley is much more than your average greater London suburb - you'll find everything from pottery cafes to laser tag to outdoor farm attractions right on its doorstep. Whether you're local or from out-of-town, there's something for everyone to enjoy come rain or shine.
We've rounded up the top eleven things that you and your children can do down Purley way - so why not give them a try.
GO Laser Tag
Why kids will love it: Kids can unleash their competitive side at this outdoor Laser Tag, set in a forest. They'll be armed with the latest Laser Tag guns (Scoped Assault Rifles, Semi-Auto Sniper Rifles and Light Machine Guns), and we love the super-cool Ninja Camouflage suits they'll get to wear.
Why parents will love it: No one will really get hurt as laser tag is 'no impact', unlike its close relative, paintball, and uses cool-looking infra-red light guns. That means plenty of fun, but no nasty bruises or pain. Children as young as six can play too, so they won't feel left out, and the natural setting gives it a healthy outdoor vibe.
Nearest station: Whyteleafe, near Croydon - forty minutes on the train to London, or a one-hour drive away (sixteen miles). There's a free car park at the venue.
Why kids will love it: It's a chance to get messy and make their own mini-masterpiece to take home. This pottery painting centre has all kinds of unpainted pottery (bisque) to decorate including mugs, plates, animals, vases and more.
Why parents will love it: Pottery painting is a great way to help children explore their creative side, and feel proud they've made some great art - without the mess and havoc paint-based activities at home can create. All colours are non-toxic, too.
There are plenty of stamps, sponges or stencils to experiment with, plus friendly staff on standby to help; once your pottery is fired in the kiln, it's ready a week later for pick up. There's also baby hand and foot-printing available, using soft clay (minimum age for a print is four weeks; these take twenty minutes to make and up to eight weeks to get fired and returned).
Nearest station: Purley Station is close by.
Why kids will love it: If your children are animal-mad, we reckon this is one of the best attractions in town. As well as your usual farmyard friends - pigs, goats, cows - you'll find a soft play barn, and adventure play park offering sandpits, zip wires, and even a dinosaur trail with life-size models! Plus there are tractor rides and, for Babe fanatics, pig-feeding sessions.
Why parents will love it: There's plenty to fill a few hours here with fun activities indoors and outdoors - so a great option whatever the weather. There is a baby zone and a toddler area for under-fours in the play barn.
Nearest station: Caterham, Surrey. Godstone Farm is about fifteen minute drive or five miles from the town of Purley.
Why kids will love it: Because what kid doesn't love the adrenaline-rush of jumping and bouncing? There are over 150 connected trampolines and twelve zones to explore at this super fun bounce centre.
Why parents will love it: Special sessions for under-fives help keep things safe for younger ones. It's a great way for kids to burn off some energy, and hopefully wear them out before bedtime.
Nearest station: Croydon
Why kids will love it: Virtual reality is exciting, whatever your age. There are over 35 different games to dive into at this Croydon centre, so something to suit every player's taste. There are multiplayer and solo games available, too, so they don't have to rock up with friends.
Why parents will love it: For once parents can see what their kids are playing, as each VR station has a screen attached - smart idea. There are also retro game consoles and table football if you fancy a less high-tech experience, or want some nostalgia.
Nearest station: Croydon
Why kids will love it: This magical outdoor farm park is based on a book of the same name, featuring 'hobblers' and other strange creatures, giving it a fantasy feel.
Animal lovers will find llamas, meerkats, otters, giant rabbits and camels to peek at, as well as birds of prey. We love the play area's secret tunnels and mazes for over-fives (tunnels only open at peak times, so be sure to check first).
Why parents will love it It's way more imaginative than the average park. There's a truly magical outdoor play village featuring medieval-style leaning towers, and tonnes of nets to scramble over.
Nearest station: Epsom, around 24 minutes on the train from Purley.
Why kids will love it: On those inevitable rainy days, this town centre soft play gives kids a great way to blow off some steam. Kidspace has a fun beanstalk-shaped climbing wall that gives it the edge over other play parks.
Why parents will love it: The fairytale theme is lovely. It's a safe way for kids to hone their climbing skills, and it caters for kids from 0 up to age 12.
Nearest station: Croydon.
Why kids will love it: What kid doesn't love the idea of Zorbing? Rolling around in a huge clear ball is as much fun as it sounds, and feels just a little bit sci-fi, too.
Why parents will love it: This centre in Kenley is one of the top places to give Zorbing a try if you are a newbie! The Aqua Zorbing ride is suitable for ages 7 and up. Adults can have a go at more adventurous experiences like Harness Zorbing, if they dare.
Nearest station: Whyeleafe. Kenley is a twelve-minute drive from Croydon. There's a free car park on-site.
Why kids will love it: Bowling is super fun for kids. Even better - this bowling alley in Croydon Town has neon pins and UV lights, for a futuristic computer-game vibe.
Why parents will love it: Adults also get to play a game or two if they like. There are 25 lanes, so you hopefully won't have to wait long for your turn to attempt that lucky strike. Kids' birthday parties can also be booked at Tenpin.
Nearest station: Croydon.
Mayfield Lavender Farm
Why kids will love it: Seeing fields of purple flowers is uplifting, whatever your age - and the smell is simply amazing.
Why parents will love it: This is a lovely way to get your kids engaged with nature. There's a gift shop, selling things like lavender oils and sachets - and a plant nursery, as well. Mayfield is pretty near to Purley - just five miles away.
Nearest station: Banstead, Surrey. Twelve-minute drive to Purley.
Croydon Airport Visitor Centre
Why kids will love it: It might not seem like the obvious day out for kids - but this micro-museum has cool interactive displays and special open days that are tonnes of fun. Kidadler Hannah says: "For any and every airplane enthusiast, this centre opens its doors to families on the first Sunday of every month. There are plenty of aeroplanes to see, fancy dress boxes for the kids and a flight simulator for visitors to try their hand at being a pilot."
Why parents will love it: You can discover your inner plane spotter at this airplane paradise. Learn about the history of air travel - something, until recently, many of us have taken for granted. Check out the world's first air traffic control tower too - impressive stuff.
Nearest station: Waddon is the nearest rail station, a fifteen-minute walk away. Purley is ten minutes by bus. You can park here for free on open days.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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