Easter Holidays: Occupy The Kids At London’s Best Indoor Playgrounds
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Easter Holidays: Occupy The Kids At London’s Best Indoor Playgrounds

Soft play sensations

Being young is all about the joy of play, and where better to unleash this spirit than at a soft play centre? Here are the best indoor playgrounds in London, complete with bouncy castles, ball pits and superior slides – perfect for occupying energetic little monsters during the school holidays.

Best Indoor Playgrounds London

Hullabaloo Soft Play At The Sherriff Centre, West Hampstead

Budding young architects will love this indoor playground in London: The Sherriff Centre is situated in the lofty interior of St James Church. The Hullabaloo Soft Play area is kitted out with slides, ball pits, tunnels and plenty of vinyl-coated foam; keep an eye on your little ones while supporting a coffee and tucking into a slice of cake from the Sanctuary Cafe, with proceeds supporting The Sherriff Centre charity.

Details: Suitable for children up to 10 years of age. Hullabaloo Soft Play is open Monday–Saturday, 9am–5pm at The Sherriff Centre (St James Church, 2 Sherriff Rd, London NW6 2AP). One and two hour time slots can be booked at thesherriffcentre.co.uk

Rainbow Soft Play & Cafe, Cockfosters

Nestled in leafy Bramley Park, Rainbow is a small but comprehensive soft play area that packs a colourful punch. Think climbing frames, ball pits and slides, while caregivers sit back and enjoy one of the delicious hot drinks and cakes. Hungry? The food here is also a cut above, featuring fresh ingredients selected by a team of chefs.

Details: Suitable for children up to the age of 11. Open everyday, 9.15am–6pm. Rainbow runs four sessions throughout the day, seven days a week, allowing 15 minutes of hygiene and sanitation cleaning between each session. Entry is £7.50 per child and £2 per adult, and can be booked at rainbowsoftplay.com

A young boy bouncing on an indoor trampoline

Kidspace, Croydon

Is this kid heaven? Kidspace is an absolute mammoth playground, featuring distinctive zones showcasing everything a kid could ever desire. Think bouncy slides and climbing walls, go karts and mini golf, UV lit tunnels and ball blasters, plus special multi-sensory zones designed especially for toddlers. If you’ve got an older kid and a young tot, this is the perfect place to entertain both in one go.

Details: Suitable for children aged 0–12 years old, with a specific area for under 5s. Open 10am–6pm Monday–Thursday, and 9am–7.30pm Friday–Sunday at The Colonnades (619 Purley Way, Croydon CR0 4RQ). Book your two hour slot at kidspaceadventures.com

The Kids Club At Cloud Twelve, Notting Hill

This chic family members’ club is home to a gorgeous indoor playground in London with an enchanted forest theme. There’s a climbable treehouse complex, a bumble bee sensory pod, and a cute ball pit complete with a ball blower. Hungry? There’s a vegetarian and vegan cafe alongside the play area, plus a relaxing lounge and plenty of rooms for art activities. Pure delight.

Details: A Cloud Twelve membership is required to use the space in Notting Hill (2-5 Colville Mews, London W11 2DA), which can be purchased at cloudtwelve.co.uk

Mudlarks At Museum of London Docklands, Canary Wharf

For a London themed indoor playground, the Museum of London Docklands is the place to be. It’s an incredibly stimulating environment featuring soft play and games tailored to growing minds, including a squidgy DLR carriage, giant building blocks, tiny cranes, a water play table, and even train-driving experiences.

Details: Suitable for children under 12 years of age. Open 10.10am–4.45pm Monday and Tuesday, and 9.10am–4.45pm Wednesday–Sunday at Museum of London Docklands (No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL). Tickets are £3 and can be booked at museumoflondon.org.uk

Inflata Nation, Colindale

Nothing says soft play like a bouncy castle – and Inflata Nation offers everything bouncy you could ever dream of. Think bouncy pillows, stepping stones, slides, ball pits, duelling rings and more, all housed in a huge industrial unit, perfect for getting some energy out of their systems. There’s also a mini inflatable area for kids under four, including a ball pool and soft play.

Details: Suitable for children up to the age of 15. Open Monday–Friday 12–7pm and Saturday–Sunday 10am–7pm, with last entry at 6pm, at Unit 1 Colindale Retail Park (355 The Hyde, Edgware Road, London NW9 6TH). Book your slot at inflatanation.com

A child placing a colourful Jenga block onto a tower

Museum of the Home, Hoxton

Following a huge £18 million overhaul in 2021, the Museum of the Home is a haven for kids – especially the Reading Room. Here, find comfortable seating accompanied by tasteful kids toys: think play kitchen, teepee and adjoining sensory space.

Details: Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm at 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA. museumofthehome.org.uk

RAF Museum, Colindale

This criminally underrated London museum is tucked away in Colindale – so it’s perfect for north Londoners looking to blow off some steam. There’s an outdoor playground, but head inside to experience a huge, hands-on permanent exhibition where budding engineers can fix planes, dress in uniform and perch in miniature planes. Better still, it’s totally free.

Details: Open everyday from 10am at Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL. rafmuseum.org.uk

Ding Dong Fun Bus, Tottenham

If your little one hasn’t tired of ‘the wheels on the bus’ yet, they’ll love Ding Dong Fun Bus – a soft play area centred on a vintage bus. Don’t worry about the claustrophobia factor: the play area isn’t actually on the bus, but inside the community centre attached. But Ding Dong Fun Bus still has the novelty factor that small bus lovers will get very excited for. Plus, there’s lots of child-friendly food on offer to refuel.

Details: Ding Dong Fun Bus is open everyday except Wednesdays, 10.15am–5.15pm at the Selby Centre (Selby Rd, London N17 8JL). Entry from £3 for two hours. dingdongfunbus.com

Science Museum, South Kensington

What is the Science Museum if not one giant indoor playground right in the centre of London, perfect for inquisitive young minds? The Garden is the dedicated ‘play area’, designed for children under the age of six years old, but there’s also the Wonderlab and Pattern Pod to explore for bigger kids – and the whole museum beyond.

Details: Open everyday at Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD. Admission is free. sciencemuseum.org.uk

A child's foot covered in colourful dust from playing with chalk

London Transport Museum, Covent Garden

The ever-brilliant London Transport Museum is home to a great transport-themed indoor play area, aimed at children up to the age of seven. There’s a whole fleet of scaled down vehicles to explore, including a double decker bus, a black cab, a baby DLR and a Thames Clipper boat. Older kids can put their transport knowledge to good use and attempt to fix an Underground train, while budding performers can try busking or little helpers can man the lost-property desk. Perfect for any rainy day in London.

Details: Open everyday, 10am–6pm at 39 Wellington St, London WC2E 7BB. Adults need to purchase an annual pass (priced from £18) and book a timed slot to enter, but children can visit for free. ltmuseum.co.uk

Old Bank Coffee House, East Barnet

This cute London indoor playground is situated in a spacious and modern coffee house – which was once the vault of a Barclays bank. With tasteful hues, it’s gentler on the eyes than many other play areas, but you can still expect all of the fun in the form of soft floor, squishy blocks, a play kitchen, a library and a TV. Sip on your coffee or tuck into a delicious sandwich while the little ones run wild.

Details: Open Monday–Friday 8am–4pm and Saturday–Sunday 9am–3pm at 253 East Barnet Road, EN4 8ST. @oldbankcoffeebarnet

Sorted! at The Postal Museum, Clerkenwell

Why do kids love the Postman so much? If your youngster is Postman Pat obsessed, a visit to The Postal Museum is definitely worth the trip. Better still is Sorted!, a mini post office and depot where children can sort parcels and deliver post around a gorgeous model village, complete with conveyor belts, pulleys and chutes, to boot.

Details: Open Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm at 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA. Admission is £16 and can be booked at postalmuseum.org

Ball pit in a play area

Jaego’s House, Kensal Green

Another private members’ club perfect for families, Jaego’s House is home to an idyllic drop-off kids’ club as well as two somehow-stylish state-of-the-art soft play areas. While kids play to their heart’s desire, parents can enjoy the coffee and snack kiosk, and even grab a tipple from the wine vending machine. Yes, you read that right.

Details: A membership is required to access Jaego’s House (557 Harrow Rd, London W10 4RH). Join the membership waiting list at jaegoshouse.co.uk

Babylon Park, Camden Town

Indoor rollercoaster? This subterranean indoor playground seems to have been dreamed up by a thrill-seeking child. There are two soft play areas – one for under fives and one for older kids – with tickets lasting all day should you wish. There’s also a plethora of coin pushers and a merry-go-round alongside the honeypot rollercoaster.

Details: Open seven days a week at 8 Castlehaven Rd, London NW1 8QU. Tickets can be booked at babylonpark.com

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

If you find yourself in Greenwich, a stop by the National Maritime Museum is a must, not least for its two interactive indoor playgrounds: Ahoy! for kids aged 0–7 years old, featuring child-sized fishmongers, colourful lighting, an air hockey style game with foam boats and a house ship to explore below deck; and All Hands for older children aged 7–12, where they can fire a cannon, shoot down a dastardly pirate ship and explore life at sea. Outside, kids can clamber around The Cove, which features a giant Kraken. Elsewhere, The Great Map is a giant floor atlas complete with moveable ships – think life size battleships, without the sinking…

Details: Open everyday 10am–5pm at Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF. Entry is free but timed entry slots may need to be booked for busier times (weekends and holidays). rmg.co.uk