- 1 Discover Story Centre for a SUPER FUN day out with the kids!
- 2 Fire Up Your Creative Spark!
- 3 Indoor Play
- 4 Two New Levels of Story Trail Fun!
- 5 Crafty Handmade Storytelling Fun!
- 6 AND the SUPER FUN Outdoor Playground!
- 6.0.1 Slide Down a Monster’s Slide
- 6.0.2 Spider Picnic & Activity Table and a Climbing Wall
- 6.0.3 Enjoy a story in the story glade and bramble path.
- 6.0.4 Sail away in a pirate ship
- 6.0.5 Knock Knock on the door of the Cubby House
- 6.0.6 Drive a Taxi
- 6.0.7 Play with Giant Musical Instruments.
- 6.0.8 Climb on a Space Craft
- 7 Exhibitions
- 8 World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
- 9 Starting 30th July 2016…The Fantastic World of Dr. Seuss
- 10 The Inside Scoop
- 10.0.1 Opening Hours
- 10.0.2 Term time (*As per Newham school holiday timetable.)
- 10.0.3 Weekends and School Holidays
- 10.0.4 Entry Fees
- 10.0.5 Contact
- 10.0.6 Travel options
- 10.0.7 By Train
- 10.0.8 When coming from Stratford station,
- 10.0.9 When coming from Stratford High Street,
- 10.0.10 By Stratford buses:
- 10.0.11 By Car (Parking)
- 10.0.12 Location and Map
- 11 Eat and Drink
- 12 Our Top Tips
- 13 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
- 14 Instagram: Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
- 15 Click here to follow us!
Discover Story Centre for a SUPER FUN day out with the kids!
Every child is a storyteller and this super fun place, the Discover Story Centre, has been created to ensure that the natural innate storytelling ability of children is protected, nurtured and pumped up. Discover Story Centre is the UK’s FIRST hands-on creative literacy centre for children 0 to 11 years old. It’s a bright, happy place for kids, and their parents, friends, teachers, and carers.
Over 60,000 people a year visit and take part in activities and fun experiences but in our eyes, it’s still very much a hidden secret in London. The Discover Story Centre has just completed a major refurbishment to their building, expanding Story World and creating a new entrance and café too.
There’s SO much to do, but our favourite thing about this place? The interactive backyard! Read on to see what we are talking about…
Fire Up Your Creative Spark!
Imagination-building is the BIG GOAL here. Every activity station, craft, play space, and interaction is designed to “spark children’s imaginations, curiosity and creativity in a magical and stimulating environment” . (Note on Entrance board.) There’s workshops, family art activities, artists and writers in residence, a literature program led by children’s writers and illustrators, and professional training opportunities on offer here. The Discover Story Centre also commissions artists to create multi-sensory installations and exhibitions.
The indoor areas quickly become a higgledy-piggledy muddle of mess once the children start playing and creating, (minimalists will have a heart attack in this busy, chaotic, art-is-everywhere space) but overlook that. The heart, message and motives of the place, and the super-friendly and helpful people who run it, creates storytelling magic that is good for the soul of both young and old. Roam the Gnome, the boys and I LOVED it.
The indoor space is designed as a Story Trail.
When we visited, there was a musical room where stepping on rainbow-coloured lights plays the drums. There was a Lions Tunnel climbing tunnel and gym. On the way there, the kids stepped over the Trip Trap Trip Trap wobbly bridge, rode on the ‘pull-along’ rope raft, and pranced across the letter bridge. There were nooks for hiding and nooks for reading, stairs and soft climbable furniture to scale, bubble windows to peer through, an indoor slippery slide, a magical boat to steer, toys to commandeer, buttons to press, and a little bit of room to wiggle and run about.
At the newly reopened Discover Story Centre, kids can join Discover Story Centre’s resident space alien, Hootah, on a story collecting mission. He’s come here because everyone on his planet has lost their imagination and there’s no more stories being told. Oh no! The team of dedicated Story Builders at Discover Story Centre guide children and families through the space both indoors and out, and encourage them to create their own stories to help Hootah fuel his spaceship to return to his home on the planet Squiggly Diggly.
Two New Levels of Story Trail Fun!
On the Ground Floor, kids can find their way through giant trees, take a trip on a special steam ship and watch out for the Hootahpotamuses.
On the First Floor, children can climb a crow’s nest to the clouds and crew the control panel on Hootah’s Observatron.
Crafty Handmade Storytelling Fun!
As a teacher and storyteller myself, I’m super excited to see cute and clever craft opportunities intermingled with storytelling. In my world, the best way to encourage storytelling in children is with simple props, and when they can make those props themselves, they take ownership of the story too. My boys made a spoon puppet each. A whole family of spoon puppets were strung along one wall too, just waiting for more stories to be told.
AND the SUPER FUN Outdoor Playground!
Just outside the back door though, is a little path leading to one of the most magical spots for children in London. The Discover Story Centre Story Garden is huge, and there are so many adventures waiting to happen. Take a look outside!
Slide Down a Monster’s Slide
Spider Picnic & Activity Table and a Climbing Wall
Enjoy a story in the story glade and bramble path.
Sail away in a pirate ship
Knock Knock on the door of the Cubby House
Drive a Taxi
Play with Giant Musical Instruments.
Climb on a Space Craft
World Schooling – teaching your kids as you travel!
Changing once every six months to a year, the Discovery Story Centre’s interactive exhibitions immerse families in the world of their favourite authors, from Oliver Jeffers to Michael Rosen and Dr. Seuss. Throughout the year, the Discover Story Centre invites much-loved and up-and-coming authors, illustrators, poets, musicians, artists and storytellers to run exciting workshops and take part in their annual The Big Write Children’s Literature Festival. Their aim is to help improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills for children in fun and imaginative ways.
When we visited, the exhibition was “Once there was… The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers”. Ned, Jack, Roam the Gnome and I explored Oliver Jeffers’ magical worlds in an interactive exhibit that brought his picture books to life. Ned and Jack played in life-size recreations of some of his most iconic picture book scenes from How to Catch a Star, Up and Down, Lost and Found, and The Way Back Home.
We joined a Walking Story through a series of themed story sets, led by a musical team member singing songs, and reciting Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found to us, while inviting the kids to take part and play roles with costumes and lines. Engaging and fun, our visit to Discover Story Centre was a highlight of our last London trip.
Starting 30th July 2016…The Fantastic World of Dr. Seuss
Sat 30 July 2016-May 2017
Term time: Mon-Thurs: 3:15 & 4:15pm
Friday-Sunday and school holidays: 10:15, 11:15am, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 & 4:15pm
Sessions last approximately 40 minutes. For children aged 0-7
The first exhibition in the all-new Discover Story Centre will bring to life the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss. Step inside this vivid and immersive exhibition inspired by the beautiful illustrations from Dr. Seuss’s funny and fantastical stories including: The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham and Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Climb onto the Once-ler Wagon, dress up as Thing 1 and Thing 2, play music with the Boom Band and maybe even come across The Cat in the Hat or Sam-I-Am. Dr. Seuss’s books will explode into life, for all to discover the sense of fun explored in his words and language, making them some of the most popular books of all time.
The Inside Scoop
Term time (*As per Newham school holiday timetable.)
- Ground Floor only, open 10am-5pm. Plus, Dr. Seuss – timed sessions at 3:15pm and 4:15pm
- Friday (‘Family Fridays’). All floors open 10am-5pm
Weekends and School Holidays
- All floors open 10am-5pm. NB: On Saturdays, First Floor Story World opens at 11:15am.
- Tickets are £6.50 for adults and children. Children under 2 FREE!
- Family ticket (4 people): £24.20
- Included in your Day Pass is entry to Discover’s Story Trail and Story Garden, events and our interactive family exhibition, The Fantastic World of Dr. Seuss.
- Discover recommends that you book in advance for your exhibition session and any events you would like to attend, as spaces are limited and they don’t want visitors to be disappointed on the day.
- Book online here, or you can book over the phone by giving Discover a call on 020 8536 5555 Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm
- Phone: +44 20 8536 5555
- Discover Story Centre Website
- Email (guest relations): firstname.lastname@example.org
- The nearest stations are Stratford High Street (DLR), and Stratford which is served by the Central and Jubilee lines, as well as the DLR, Overground and main line services to and from Liverpool Street.
When coming from Stratford station,
- take the exit marked Town Centre (this is the opposite exit to the Westfield Shopping Centre and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Travel through the Stratford Shopping Centre and then turn right onto Stratford High Street. Discover Story Centre is approximately 150m from the shopping centre on the far side of the road, and is easy to spot with red flags on the front of the building.
When coming from Stratford High Street,
- turn right after exiting the station. Discover is approximately 50m away on the same side of the road, and is easy to spot with red flags on the front of the building.
By Stratford buses:
- 25, 86, 108, 425, D8, 257, 308, 104, 238, 241, 262, 158, 473, 276, UL1 and 69.
To help you plan your journey visit the Transport for London website.
By Car (Parking)
- Unfortunately there is no parking available on the Discover site. The closest parking is in the Stratford Shopping Centre (10 mins walk).
Location and Map
- Address: 383-387 High St, London E15 4QZ, United Kingdom
Eat and Drink
- There’s a new cafe on site with all your favourite kid-friendly (and healthy) foods and drinks at reasonable prices
Our Top Tips
- Check out their shop at the front of Discover Story Centre. There’s books, toys, merchandise, and oh so cute stuff!
- If you have time, head back over the other side of the station to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the TWO playgrounds you’ll find there over the bridge. Pleasure Gardens is first (look for the giant red mounds), and Tumbling Bay, featuring rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about, further on.
- Thinking about a family trip to London? Then visit here to find LOTS of other family-friendly info you’ll need – ground transportation, places to stay, where to eat, and SUPER DOOPER fun things to do in this great city
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome