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The Sherriff Centre soft play
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The best soft-play centres in London

Because your kids deserve superior foam-based fun

Written by
Jimi Famurewa
,
Sarah Cohen
&
Rhian Daly
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Let’s face it, there's a ton of things to do with kids in the city, but fun and games are much better in cushioned surroundings – see bouncy castles, ballpits and inflatable slides. So if you’re looking for a superior way to treat your little ones, look no further than soft-play space. 

And if you’re going to take your toddler to a foamy pleasure palace, you may as well go for the best version of the experience. Our list of London’s best soft-play centres includes one that used to be a nightclub and retains that vibe, and another, housed in a church, where you can grab coffee and cake while the kids run riot. 

If you’re looking for some sun-safe, indoor entertainment, these are the places to experience a better class of padded pandemonium.

RECOMMENDED: 101 fantastic things to do in London with kids.

London’s best soft-play spaces

Kidspace
  • Kids
  • Playgrounds
  • Borough of Croydon

Got an ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ approach to soft play? Croydon behemoth Kidspace is the one for you (if your eardrums can take it). Split into distinctively designed zones, it features enormous undulating slides, climbing walls, go-karts, mini-golf, ball blasters, multi-sensory toddler areas, trippy UV-lit tunnels and much more. Billed as suitable for anyone under 13, it’s particularly good for older kids who like a challenge and for grown ups who still find giddy joy in hurling themselves down children’s tunnel slides. Also in Romford.

 

  • Museums
  • Isle of Dogs

There are newer museum play spaces in the capital (such as the impressive Postal Museum in Clerkenwell), but the Museum of London Docklands’s Mudlarks gallery still packs plenty into a small space. As well as a dock-themed soft play – complete with a squidgy DLR carriage – there are giant building blocks, divers’ helmets, tiny cranes and a waterplay table you may well have to forcibly drag the kids away from. You’ll need to book a 40-minute session in advance, with tickets £3 per person, regardless of whether you're big or small. 

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In truth, the indoor play area at socially conscious West Hampstead venue the Sherriff Centre  is hardly unique. There’s the usual jumble of ball pits, slides and netted walls, with separate sections for babies and under-11s. But, while some soft plays offer parents little more than a few chairs and an erratic vending machine, this place is nestled in the striking, vaulted interior of St James Church. That means you can grab a coffee or some cake from the Sanctuary Café while your charges scramble madly over vinyl-covered foam.

 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sport and fitness
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Queen’s Park
  • Recommended

Yogaloft isn’t just a space for adults to get zen. It also boasts a spacious soft play area for the kids to race around in while you chill out on the couch with a smoothie. Expect all the usual soft play attractions – slides, brightly coloured vinyl, climbing spaces and a great half-see-through tunnel for the sprogs to survey you from.

 

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  • Things to do
  • Borough of Brent

If your children are happiest when they’re bouncing from colourful space to colourful space, they’ll have a ball at Inflata Nation. The Colindale venue boasts everything from bouncy bubbles, inflatable slides, and an obstacle course, all of which are guaranteed to wear the little tykes out so you can have peace and quiet come home time.

  • Attractions
  • Tottenham

This Tottenham soft play space doesn’t just have a fun name, but a myriad of entertaining bits inside to keep the kids happy. Let them run wild through the rainbow-hued array of platforms, slides and ball pits while you tuck into some of the affordable – and tasty – food from a distance.

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  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Camden Town

Did you know there’s a sci-fi theme park under Camden Market? Babylon Park is part of a small international chain of mini-amusement parks that packs in a number of kiddie-friendly rides. Head to the Gymboree area for a soft play extravaganza and, when you’re done, check out the other attractions, from an alien ride to a baby rollercoaster.

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