After years of scouring London for great indoor playgrounds and soft play areas, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite places across the city. Check out these absolutely wicked indoor play areas in London, perfect for babies, toddlers, kids and tweens to blow off steam!
Updated for summer 2022
Indoor Playgrounds by area (jump to section):
Indoor Play Areas in East London
The Brewery | Waterloo Road | Romford RM1 1AU
Age Guide: 0-12s
Voted the UK’s most-loved sports and activity attraction, Kidspace in Romford is one of the best indoor play areas we have visited. Our kids had much fun in the gigantic multi-level soft play frame with thrilling slides, tunnels and vertical mazes. Our 8-year-old loved the interactive elements, such as the softball cannons and suction pads, while our 4-year-old enjoyed the slides the most.
This is more than just a soft play space, with Go-Kart rides included in the price, as well as a climbing zone with a 6m tall beanstalk and chimney stack. The interactive sandbox area was also a great hit. Our 1-year-old enjoyed the toddler area very much, shielded from older kids in a safe environment.
One of the best things about Kidspace in Romford is its parent-friendliness. Plenty of seating is available in the central area, even on busy days, and you’ll have a complete overview of the different play sections. The cafe serves a good range of kids’ favourites such as pizzas and burgers. We recommend Jacket Potato with cheese and beans, which was delicious.
Owls Play Centre, Fairlop Waters
Fairlop Waters Country Park | Forest Rd | Ilford IG6 3HN
Age Guide: 0-12s
Fairlop Waters Country Park is an area in North East London where you’ll find a range of family-friendly activities indoors and outdoors. The Owls Play Centre is located in a beautiful setting surrounded by a lake and a golf course. And it ticks all the boxes you expect from a decent indoor playground with classic soft play features like climbing nets, bridges, tunnels, ball pits and slides on multiple levels. There’s a maximum time limit of 2 hours during busy periods, and you should always try to book sessions in advance.
Mudlarks Gallery, Museum of Docklands
No.1 Warehouse | West India Quay | London E14 4AL
Age Guide: 0-8s
A short hop across the river from us, the Museum of Docklands near Canary Wharf has an excellent play area called Mudlarks Gallery. While kids up to 8 years can enter, the play area is mainly designed for toddlers and young kids. In addition to a lovely soft play area for toddlers, kids can enjoy role-playing as dockworkers loading cargo on board the ships. There’s also a very popular water play area with lots of opportunities for splashing (waterproof aprons provided).
You’ll need to book a free ticket in advance through the museum website, and you’ll get your token at the museum ticket desk located at the entrance when you arrive. There’s a cafe area next to the play centre as well as a buggy park. We also recommend checking out the museum while there. With several hands-on displays and interactive galleries, this is an excellent place for children to explore.
Discover Children’s Story Centre
Stratford | 383-387 High St, London E15 4QZ
Age Guide: 0-11s
The Discover Story Centre located in Stratford is a magical place for children. In the intimate storytelling sessions, kids can step into the story and become real characters as they discover things from the books. Full of oddly shaped objects and fairytale play areas, this is no ordinary soft-play area but rather a journey into the unknown sparking the kids’ imagination.
Covering two floors, plan for plenty of time for the kids to run around and explore the “Story Worlds”. There’s also a decent outdoor playground with plenty of climbing equipment called the “Story Garden” for nice weather.
Indoor Play Areas in South London
Under 1 Roof: A Kid’s Urban Oasis
The I O Centre | Skeffington St | London SE18 6SR
Age Guide: 0-5s
Based in Woolwich, Under 1 Roof offers a cute little soft play area for children aged 5 and below. There’s a cafe and a children’s hair salon with little cars for the children to sit in while they get their hair cut. It’s a popular place to organise kids’ parties; it’s an excellent place for imaginary play and lots of fun.
Wavelengths Soft Play Area
Giffin St | London SE8 4RJ
Age Guide: 0-10
Just off Deptford High street, Wavelengths is a modern leisure centre with several facilities, most notably a big swimming pool great for the whole family. The soft play area is located just above the swimming pool and features a two-level climbing frame, a ball pit and a giant slide with several lanes. There are also special areas for babies and young toddlers.
Big Little Fun Soft Play
137 Creek Rd | London SE8 3BU
Age Guide: 1-5s
Big Little Fun is a classic indoor soft play area in Greenwich, South East London. This is a compact play space for younger children five and under, and you’ll find all the typical features you’d expect like a slide, climbing wall, ball pit, air juggler and an arts and crafts area. There’s also a separate area for under 2s to stay out of harm’s way.
The Colonnades | 619 Purley Way | Croydon CR0 4RQ
Age Guide: 0-12s
Almost identical to Kidspace Romford (reviewed above), you’ll find an amazing selection of play areas. The biggest feature is the gigantic multi-level soft-play structure with huge slides and lots of interactive equipment like cannon balls. To top it all up, both go-karting and climbing wall sessions are included in the price which means that kids will have an absolute blast while the 2-hours sessions last.
We really like the design of the Kidspace playground making it really easy and convenient for parents to keep an eye on their kids at all times, with plenty of seating and some really nice food and drink options at reasonable prices.
Soft Play and Climbing Wall, Sutcliffe Sports Centre
Eltham Rd | London SE9 5LW
Age Guide: 4+
Sutcliffe Sports Centre in Eltham offers a range of modern indoor sports areas for kids to stay active, including soft play, climbing walls, a skatepark and indoor athletics tracks. We tested the assisted climbing sessions, and the kids had a perfect time learning how to get high up on the climbing wall.
The “Clip ‘n climb” sessions are offered from age 4 and upwards, and no climbing experience is required. Full training is given, including a thorough safety briefing, and they provide all the equipment necessary. Make sure to come at least 30 minutes before your session starts to have time for the introduction before your session begins.
The indoor playground is a classic soft-play area located right next to the climbing wall, perfect for young siblings to have fun while their older brother or sister takes part in the climbing class.
The Oxygen Trampoline Parks
Peninsula Square | London SE10 0DX
Age Guide: 1+
You’ll find three Oxygen Trampoline parks across London; North Greenwich, Croydon and Acton. We’ve visited the North Greenwich Park located within the O2 Arena and always had a good time. After all, most kids love jumping, and for adults, it’s an excellent chance to bring out the inner child again :-)
If you have a toddler under 5, try to take advantage of the Little O toddler trampolining sessions, which take place in the morning at discounted prices. You will need a ticket for a supervising adult per 2 toddlers, and the sessions include connected trampolines, airbags, games and much more! It’s a true toddler’s paradise.
Discovery Planet Planet
Redriff Rd | London SE16 7LL
Age Guide: 0-11s (height restriction of 53 inches (134 cm))
Located on the first floor within the Surrey Quays shopping centre, Discovery Planet is a local long-standing local favourite. There’s a separate section for toddlers and multiple climbing framed divided into sections, making it possible for children to make a circular journey through the indoor play area. You’ll find all the classic soft play features like soft blocks, swing balls and soft mats. If you would like more ideas about what to do in the area, we recommend a trip to visit Surrey Docks Farm nearby.
Ahoy! Children’s Gallery
National Maritime Museum, London SE10 9NF
Age Guide: 0-7s
You’ll find the Children’s Gallery on the ground floor of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. A popular spot for families with young children, Greenwich has a lot to offer when planning a day out. The Ahoy! Gallery is free for children under 6 months and costs £3 for 6+. Make sure to check out the other interactive areas for kids at the museum, such as the Great Map and Sea Things Gallery.
Indoor Play Areas in West London
Gambado Indoor Playground and Soft Play
7 Station Court | Townmead Rd | London SW6 2PY
Age Guide: 1-11s
Gambado in Chelsea offers children the chance to play, learn and explore in an exciting indoor play area. With good reviews on both Google and Tripadvisor, this is a soft play facility that does not disappoint. There’s a large climbing area with several slides great for children around three and above. Children under three can enjoy a separate play area, with no risk of clashing with older kids.
You can also try the bumper cars (included in the entry price), which come in two sizes; a large version that allows you to sit with your child and a smaller car that children can drive on their own.
Socks are sold at the front tills if you need them; they have rubber grips, so you will need to bring them with you if you need anti-slip. Parking on the street is limited, but the car park down the side of Tesco express is accessible at weekends if you get Gambado to validate it.
Play Base, National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Rd | London SW3 4HT
Age Guide: 0-8s
The National Army Museum is a popular spot for local families in Chelsea, with several interactive galleries and activities for children of all ages. Children under 9 can look forward to a military-style soft play course, taking the kids on a journey through different obstacles. There are various military themes and functions like communication, mobility, driving, and mechanical repair. One of the most popular activities is to climb aboard an army command liaison vehicle, and the Camp Kitchen and Mess Hall will ensure that the troops are nourished. How do soldiers get their uniforms? What are the best ways to send messages and get supplies from home? All these questions can be answered in the army storeroom.
The Garden, Science Museum
Exhibition Rd | South Kensington | London SW7 2DD
Age Guide: 3-6s
The Science Museum is a classic family favourite in London. While areas like Wonderlab and Space are popular with school-age children, younger children have a designated play area in the basement called “The Garden” (not sure if ironic). This indoor playground is a celebration for the senses, with different spaces playing with water, light, and sound concepts.
The play area is free of charge, but you need to remember to book in advance together with a general admission ticket to the museum. Note that it takes at least 10 minutes to walk from the museum’s main entrance until you reach this area. If you’re planning to go during the weekend, make sure to book far ahead (i.e. weeks) to secure tickets since the gallery is so popular.
Clip ‘n Climb Chelsea
19 Michael Rd | London SW6 2ER
Age Guide: 2+
Clip n Climb Chelsea offers climbing sessions perfect for a fun-filled day out for daredevil kids aged four and upwards. No climbing experience is necessary, full training is given, and all the equipment is provided.
Members of staff clip climbers onto walls with carabiners, and automatic belay devices take in the slack as you climb before lowering you gently to the ground. Supervisors are close at hand at all times. Special weekday morning sessions are also offered for toddlers aged 2-4, giving young ones time and space to get confident without being intimidated by older kids.
Westfield London Shopping Centre | Ariel Way | London W12 7GA
Age Guide: 4-14 (age 1-3 very limited activities)
KidZania is an international chain of family entertainment centres. Started in Mexico in 1999 as an indoor mini-city allowing children to role-play adult jobs, the concept quickly gained popularity and has since then expanded to more than 30 countries worldwide. The London version of KidZania is located in Westfield shopping centre, Shepards Bush.
Types of jobs and activities kids can enjoy include:
- Aviation Academy
- Banking Services
- Children’s Intelligence Agency
- Cleaning Company
- Courier Service
- Dance Club
- Fashion Studio
- Fire & Rescue Unit
- Hospital and A&E
- Police Department
- Pet Wellbeing Centre
- Science Lab
- TV Studio
Many of the activities are offered in partnership with real-life businesses such as British Airways for the Aviation Academy and H&M for the Fashion Studio. You’ll be allocated an overall 4-hour limited timeslot for your visit, so it might make sense to make a little plan for which activities and areas you want to prioritise as you won’t have time for all of them.
Children aged 7 and under must attend with an adult, while kids 8 and older can be left to explore the activities independently. At the same time, the parents do something else (like going shopping in Westfield London). All the kids will have special electronic wristbands as an extra safety measure and can only be removed by an employee with the parents’ consent.
Kids get 50 kidZos (Kidzanian money at the start of their session and will learn how to earn and spend their play money on their journey, taking them through all the different city activities. Role-playing is a fantastic way for kids to use their creativity, and it’s incredible to see how quickly they adapt to each type of job.
Indoor Play Areas in North London
Snakes & Ladders
Syon Park | London Road | Brentford TW8 8JF
Age Guide: 0-11s
With a gigantic three-level playframe, Snakes & Ladders is a hugely popular indoor playground in Brentford, West London. With solid reviews across Google and Tripadvisor, this is an excellent place for pretend play with a hospital, post office, shop, home corner, construction zone and even a London bus! Children under 3s have their own special area packed with soft play, swings and bouncy castles.
Soft Play, Sobell Leisure Centre
Tollington Rd | London N7 7NY
Age Guide: 0-11
Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington is a leisure centre with lots of family-friendly activities like a trampoline park, ice rink and a big soft play area. The indoor playground consists of 3 floors bursting with fun activities like slides, tunnels, rope bridges, vertical and horizontal rollers, hanging snakes and a sky glide. There’s also a particular area for under 2s, with lots of interactive and soft elements to play with.
Treetops, Talacre Community Sports Centre
Dalby St | London NW5 3LN
Age Guide: 0-11
Talacre is a council-run leisure centre in Kentish Town, North London. Located next to Talacre Park, this is a multi-purpose indoor facility with opportunities for lots of different activities for all ages and abilities like football, basketball, badminton and gymnastics. The “Treetops” area houses a gigantic indoor adventure soft play structure where kids can have a lot of fun. Older children can enjoy climbing to the top of the structure, while younger kids can play safely in their dedicated areas with soft cubes and ball pits.
Sorted! The Postal Play Space
15-20 Phoenix Pl | London WC1X 0DA
Age Guide: 0-8s
The Postal Museum’s fittingly named indoor play space is called Sorted!, which is just perfect for young kids with a Postman Pat obsession. The play area is created like a mini town full of streets and buildings, and it’s up to the children to sort out the mail by moving packages and postal bags across different stations. It usually ends in complete chaos with loads of fun for the kids.
The Postal Museum is a brilliant place to take the kids, but make sure to book tickets to Sorted at the same time as you book the general admission to the museum. In this way, you avoid disappointment in case Sorted! is fully booked. You can also book separate tickets to visit Sorted! at a lower price if you want to see the main museum.
Little Dinosaurs Soft Play, Alexandra Palace
The Grove | Alexandra Palace Way | London N22 7BA
Age Guide: 6 months – 11s
Hidden away on the western side of Alexandra Park, you’ll find Little Dinosaurs Soft Play located in its own little house. Here the kids can enjoy multiple levels of play and classic play equipment like cubicles, climbing frames, bridges, slides and a ball pool.
There’s also an outdoor play area and a cafe on site. The outdoor playground in Alexandra Park is located opposite Ally Pally, where you’ll also find the GoApe treetop challenge. And inside Ally Pally, you have all year ice rink at your disposal. There are lots of things to do for families around Ally Pally, in other words.
N20 KidsClub Indoor Playground
1105-1111 | High Rd | London N20 0PT
Age Guide: 0-6s
N20 KidsClub is another classic play venue with all the soft play features you’d expect like slides, tunnels, climbing ropes and ball pits. Children up to 11 years old are allowed in, but it’s best suited for your younger children up to around 6 years old. The indoor playground is also a popular birthday venue.
Indoor Play Areas in Central London
All Aboard, London Transport Museum
Covent Garden | The Piazza | London WC2E 7BB
Age Guide: 0-7
London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is an excellent choice for kids fascinated by London’s bus and tube network. In addition to the fantastic collection of different types of vehicles in the museum, you’ll find two highly interactive play areas suitably named “All Aboard”.
There are many opportunities for pretend play activities like driving a tube simulator, sitting in the driver seat of a modern double-decker bus and being a mechanic fixing a tube carriage. There’s a small soft play area for babies, with an interactive wall and building blocks to play with.
Are soft play centres clean?
Cleanliness varies a lot when it comes to soft play areas. While many play centres have a rigorous cleaning regime in place, other locations are reported to have sticky surfaces in need of a deep clean. Checking reviews on sites like Google and Tripadvisor usually give you a good indication of the level of cleanliness.
Are indoor playgrounds in London expensive?
You’ll find play areas that are completely free (like The Garden in Science Museum) as well as more extensive entertainment centres like KidZania in West London costing more than £30 per child. For an average-sized soft-play centre in London, expect to pay around £5 per child.
What age is soft play best for?
The age guide for soft play centres is usually somewhere between 0 and 11 years old, with most equipment targeted towards 3 to 6 years olds. Many soft plays have a special area for 0-3 years olds, and a few have more challenging climbing equipment suitable for children older than 6.
Do you need to book soft plays in advance?
Not always, but it’s usually recommended in case they get sold out. You’ll often get cheaper tickets if booking online in advance.
Can children be left on their own in soft plays?
Usually, no. But there are some exceptions like KidZania in Westfield Shopping Centre where children 8 years and older can be checked in by their parents.