London is brimming with options when it comes to indoor play centres. Crammed with climbing frames, slides and bouncy castles, they offer an ideal environment for using up excess energy. Time Out's round-up has something for everyone, from babies and toddlers to older kids. Think we've missed a great soft play centre? Tell us in the comments box below.
Eddie Catz Putney
68-70 Putney High St, First Floor, London, SW15 1SF
For tinies, Eddie Catz offers a soft play area and movement and music classes (for which an extra charge applies). Toddlers and older children, meanwhile, can enjoy a modestly sized adventure play frame, a dressing-up area, video games and air hockey.
7 Station Court, Townmead Rd, SW6 2PY
Cheery staff and masses of things to do mean Gambado is eternally popular, despite the hefty entry fee. Kids soon vanish into the depths of the thrilling multi-level climbing frame, which incorporates ball ponds, slides, trampolines, assault courses and mini dodgems.
Unpredictable Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd's latest work is a very hands-on sort of creation. 'The Idol' is a 21,000 square metre soft play centre – a permanent installation in Abbey Leisure Centre which is due to entertain hundreds of thousands of children in its first decade. The two-storey robotic figure features chambers, ramps and two giant's eyes for children to peer out of.
279 Magdalen Rd, SW18 3NZ
If you find the decibel levels and commotion of bigger play centres unbearable, this sociable, small-scale outfit will come as a welcome alternative. Children swarm over the two-tier play zone and soft-play area while their parents look on from the café.
Venue says: “Don't miss our fantastic new Climbing Zone, featuring a beanstalk and medieval castle (included in your admission fee).”
619 Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 4RQ
This enormous indoor play centre is a cut above the competition, thanks to its towering wooden climbing frame, the Orb. Unusually, parents are allowed to explore alongside their children, zooming down the 'black hole' slide, getting lost in the labyrinth or dodging cannon fire in Thunderball City.
The Grove, Alexandra Park, N22 7AY
Indoor adventure play centres are loved by kids and tolerated through gritted teeth by adults in a fix on a cold or rainy day. Little Dinosaurs is a thoroughly pleasant venue for all the family, whatever the weather. Inside is the usual playframe, but Little Dinosaurs has plenty of windows and it's also in the middle of a lovely park.
This centre offers south London parents four storeys of soft play, an outdoor playground and a charity shop packed with clothes, toys and other bargains. During school holidays there are special activity days and there's free paring for those visiting from further afield.