…might involve a long walk or hefting the buggy onto the bus…
Nearby Streatham is jam-packed with places to go and parent-friendly classes, check out our sister website StreathamBaby.co.uk for the daily calendar and more listings!
We have a separate page on Tooting Baby for local soft play and outdoor play areas.
We have a NEW page on Tooting Baby for children’s theatres.
at Garratt Park Children’s Centre.
Fantastic inner-room with sensory lights, bubbles, darkness, sounds, ball pool and a waterbed (all free) enjoyed by all babies including very new ones. Quite chilled for the parents too – the waterbed is impossible to get up from! Daily except Wednesdays (check homepage calendar/Children’s Centre timetable for details), 1.30pm-4pm.
Address: Garratt Park, Siward Road, Earlsfield, London SW17 0LA.
Travel from Tooting Broadway: buses 270, 44, 77
Easily reached from Tooting national rail station (steps to/from platform at Tooting but lifts at Wimbledon!) or buses e.g. 57, 219 or walk up from South Wimbledon tube station. Lots of spacious baby-friendly cafes/restaurant chains e.g. Costa, Wagamama, Wahaca, Pret and good baby clothes shops (H&M, Gap, Next).
Wimbledon Leisure Centre
Drop-in swimming lessons (“Tots Waterworld“) from 11.30-12 noon on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday (on Fridays there is an extra class 10.00-10.30am) – no need to sign up for a whole course. Check with leisure centre before attending, as pool was being refurbished in summer 2014 and these times might have changed. Also Toddlers’ World soft play every Friday.
Tots Landing (formerly Jitterbugs Play Café)
7-10 Broadway Court, SW19 1RG (off The Broadway between Oxfam and Clarks, very near Wimbledon station)
A great range of interactive toys for toddlers, with separate play zones for babies and a playframe and slide for the more adventurous. There is also a café serving homemade, wholesome food using locally sourced ingredients. Open all day, 7 days a week. £1.75 on weekdays for under 2s (under 8 months free), more info on the website: www.totslanding.co.uk
Polka Theatre - Cafe/Playground/Reading Corner
The adjoining children’s theatre is well-regarded and worth investigating but its cafe comes in for specific praise! The cafe is very child-friendly with buggy parking, plenty of highchairs, a kids menu and mini-banquettes (styled like train carriages) for the older ones to sit on. Limited space though, so not good for big groups. You can also just drop in to enjoy the lovely playground at the back, or reading and dressing-up corner. Closed Sunday/Monday. Web: www.polkatheatre.com
YMCA – Pod2
200 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1RY
Soft play for under 8s. Open 9.30am-5.30pm daily. Under 6 months, free. Under 3 years, £3.50 off-peak (£4 peak). Child-friendly cafe upstairs. Not yet reviewed! Web: www.ymcalsw.org/pod-2-ymca-wimbledon/
Day or half-day trips
Public transport suggestions included where possible, use TfL.gov.uk‘s Journey Planner or the free Citymapper app for your phone.
Morden Hall Park
Attractive National Trust park which is a very pleasant place to stroll around with babies in buggies, good for picnics over the summer. Has natural climbing area made from tree stumps, tyre swings and a zip wire! Shares the plot with a big garden and homeware centre. A river runs through the site and alongside the NT shop and very good quality cafe which has highchairs, baby-change, toys and a patio with adjoining grassy play area. Easy free parking.
21 Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD
Travel from Tooting: Tube to Morden and then walk, or tube/bus to South Wimbledon or Colliers Wood and a walk along the Wandle.
Deen City Farm
Basic but fun urban farm, better for slightly older babies who can distinguish an animal from an inanimate object. Great to drop in at any time of day. Cafe on site serving mediocre hot/cold drinks and snacks, if you fancy lunch nearby check out Merton Abbey Mills (also nearby: big M&S with cafe). Also hosts toddler classes, see TootingBaby calendar for details, and Deen City Farm’s website. Open 10am-4.30pm, closed Mondays. Free!
Travel from Tooting: Bus (219, 57) or tube to Colliers Wood and then walk along the Wandle (round the big Sainsbury’s/M&S)
Hampton Court Palace
Trains twice an hour from Clapham Junction or Earlsfield. Direct route with 25 min journey time. The Palace is a 5 min walk over the bridge from the station. It is fairly expensive (£15 per adult) but the ticket gets you into everything – or you can just pay to get into individual sections such as the gardens. Very nice cafe. Some parts of the Palace are tricky due to stairs but they have a buggy park. Stunning gardens for a picnic, and really interesting looking around the Palace.
Lovely large green park with a children’s play area, paddling pool, lido, cafe, miniature railway, beautiful views! Parents rave about Brockwell lido cafe (book on weekends to avoid disappointment), miniature railway every Sunday from March-October (weather dependent).
Travel from Tooting: national rail from Tooting (steps) to Herne Hill (lifts!) – trains heading in the direction of the city.
Brilliant aquarium, unusual musical instruments for kids to play on, nice grounds to potter around when the weather’s pleasant and a good cafe with lots of highchairs. Free entry, although adults have to pay £2 for the aquarium, or buy a £6 annual membership for free entry from next visit. Open daily 10.30-5.30.
100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ Web: www.horniman.ac.uk
Travel from Tooting: limited parking nearby but driving is the most direct route, otherwise Forest Hill is the nearest station
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org details of any activities or events you have enjoyed which can be accessed fairly easily from Tooting, with a brief review, for inclusion on the list above.