cheap london Things to do

Top Indoor Play Areas (and soft play for the younger ones)

we have compiled a list of the best london based indoor play centres for kids of all ages (and ones that do good coffee too!)
Children in the cockpit simulator at KidZania London

Ah the world of indoor play. On days when the weather is not great and cabin fever sets in from too much time spent indoors. We get it – theres only so many craft activities one can do with the kids, so we have compiled a list of the best London based indoor play centres for kids of all ages (and ones that do good coffee too!)

KidZania London

This is one of the biggest indoor play centres in London, a child-sized city where the kids are 100% in charge. They even have their own money (KidZos) which they are given on entry and can earn a wage at the various jobs on offer.

Everything at KidZania has been created to engage, educate and entertain little ones with over 60 role-play activities available, including becoming a pilot or cabin crew, fighting crime on the streets as a police officer, working in the Cadbury chocolate factory, fighting fires as a fireman, transporting goods around the city as a courier and being a journalist at Metro Newspaper.

What’s more, if your kids are 8 or over, you can check them in while you enjoy the sights and shops of Westfield. (Say what?!)

There’s so much on offer at KidZania that it’s unlikely they’ll get to do everything they want during their four-hour visit which means another one or two visits will be required to get the most out of the city. Further information can be found here.

Mudlarks Gallery

Mudlarks Gallery – Museum of London Docklands

Possibly the best soft play space in London.  It’s an interactive space for children up to 8 years old and tells the stories of the museum in a hands-on, stimulating environment while also supporting children’s learning and development.

Choose from cargo loading in Tip the Clipper, exploring the Victorian docks in Docklands Playtime or becoming a builder in the building role-play area using giant bricks and wheelbarrows.

Entry to the gallery is free but you must have a ticket, which can booked online or by collecting a ticket from the front desk on arrival.

Discover Children’s Story Centre

Discover is for children aged 0-11 and their families. At Story World, spread over two floors, children can unlock their imagination by stepping into a magical forest, dressing up, manning the control panels in a giant space ship, and putting on a performance in the puppet theatre castle and writing and drawing stories.

If the weather is on good form there’s an outside Story Garden where kids can slide down a monster’s tongue, sail away on a pirate ship and play with giant musical chimes. You can find opening hours and prices here.

The National Army Museum

The National Army Museum has five permanent thematic galleries – Solider, Army, Battle, Society and Insight, a Templer Study Centre, plus Play Base; a soft play centre for kids age 0 – 8 years old.

Play Base sessions last an hour and cost £4.50 per child and with a limited amount of slots available on the day, you might want to pre-book online (it’s also a pound cheaper than booking on the day).

Central to the facility is the Assault Course which is surrounded by immersive role-play areas including a Cookhouse, a Quarter Master’s Store, a Field Training Area and a Command Liaison Vehicle. Each play theme reflects an aspect of the army story

Bramley’s Big Adventure

Bramley’s Big Adventure has a three level play frame with slides, ball ponds, climbing, swings and a separate area for under 5’s and babies.
Parents can keep an eye on the fun in the on-site café and when the kids have tired out, they can use the book swap, toyshop or use one of the many kids’ rides.Rooms are available for private parties. Further information can on their website.

Clown Town

Clown Town is the largest children’s indoor activity centre in North London with a three level multi-activity play-frame including slides, aerial runways, rope climbs, ball pond and spook room, a toddler/younger kids’ area with a ball pond and climbing area. Very young children have their own gated area with soft toys and shapes.
The new on-site 6 seater 5D cinema lets you become part of the short film as you feel every movement and effect, including water sprays, breezy winds, smoke and bubbles.
Clown Town pride themselves in offering something for everyone and parents of children with special needs are encouraged to visit.
Prices and offers can be found here.

The Sherriff Centre

A standard soft play centre for the kids but a stunning venue for parents to grab a coffee and cake while the kids blow off some steam. Hullabaloo children’s soft play area has three levels of play and a capacity for 40 children from 2 – 10 years old on the junior side, and an adjoining but separate play area for babies and toddlers up to 2 years old, with a capacity of 14.

Children can wriggle their way around this exciting play frame, spy on their parents in the café via the hideout, have races on the rainbow slide, crawl through tunnels, whizz down the spiral slide, and generally have all kinds of fun. Babies and children under 2 can enjoy a ball pool, soft toys and interactive games and puzzles, safely separated from the more boisterous goings on but still within eye sight for parents with children of both age groups.  Further information can be found on their website

Kid Space Adventure

Kidspace is an award winning indoor adventure park, described by The Metro newspaper as ‘the Rolls-Royce of children’s play centres.’ With play centres in Romford and Croydon, it remains a cut above the competition thanks to its enormous play frame, inclusive Go-Karts, sky trail, new climbing zone, toddler area and Thunderball City.

Chuck in a load more cargo nets, rope bridges, tunnels, vertical mazes, exciting slides and cannons galore and you have a recipe for hours of fun and exercise in disguise. Mum and dad can join in too or sit back with a coffee in the spacious seating areas. It is also well known for its fantastic range of parties which include Laser Tag and its deluxe range.  Visit their website for further information via this link.

Battersea Arts Centre

They serve great food and coffee and The Bee’s Knees their magical indoor play space for under 5s is great on a weekday and they host ‘Family Saturdays’ with fun and free activities food and shows for ages 0-11. Find out more here

Other honourable mentions:

N20 Kids Club
Suitable for children age 0 to 11.
1105 – 1111 High Road, London, N20 0PT

Kidz Adventure Zone
Kids age 0 to 12 can enjoy the indoor play and working parents can use the centre as an Ofsted registered after school club.
Kidz Adventure Zone, Unit C, 2 Coburg Road, WoodGreen N22 6UJ

Little Dinosaurs
Suited to children age 0 to 9, there’s an outdoor garden enclosure and on-site café.
Little Dinosaurs, The Actual Workshop – The Grove, Alexandra Park, N22 7AY

Under 1 Roof
Whatever your child is in to, whether in term time, the school holidays, or the weekend, it’s probably on offer at Under 1 Roof.
Under 1 Roof, Unit 9 The IO Centre, Skeffington Street, Royal Arsenal Riverside, SE18 6SR

Wacky Warehouse
Choose from a range of centres across London.
Find your nearest centre here.

For more ideas of things to do with the kids in London visit our events and activities area which provides details of cheap and free events, fun cafes, classes, exhibitions, libraries, special offers and lots more.