Below you’ll find a list (in alphabetical order) of parks, playgrounds and softplay centres to keep your kids entertained whatever the weather…
205-207 Balham High Road, Balham, SW17 7BQ
A softplay centre where children can walk the plank into ‘shark-infested’ ball pits or ‘sail the seven seas’ and dig for ancient buried treasure, as well as join the daily teddybears’ picnic. Bertie and Boo play specialists are on hand for weekly story time with puppets, balloons or song and dance sessions. Open all day Monday-Friday, Saturday 9-12pm and Sunday 9-12pm and 2-4pm.
175 Northcote Rd, London SW11 6QF
Quirky, fun, family-friendly restaurant that serves great food for all ages. With an adjoining play room that is a safe, monitored environment where children can run around and have fun in whilst mums and dads take a little time to themselves, meet friends or family for coffee or lunch and are able to relax and enjoy good food and good company without worrying about their little ones. Caters mostly for under 5s. Under 24 months must be supervised by an adult.
42 Station Rd, Merton, Wimbledon, SW19 2LP
Softplay for babies through to 12 years old Eddie Cats Wimbledon is a large space with lots to do. Play centre for babies and toddlers, featuring: padded toddler-only soft play area, bouncy chairs, kiddie rides, music, movement & “Parent-&-Me” classes. Baby food, bibs, high chairs, microwave, bottle warmer and nappy changing facilities all available. For children aged 3 to 12, there’s a huge playframe, video games and air hockey, weekday morning classes, a disco room, sports arena and reading zone. They also run after school and holiday time camps and special workshops. For grown-ups, there’s a cafe or upstairs lounge with newspapers and magazines. Socks required in play frame. Limited parking but you can park at Sainsbury’s next door.
279 Magdalen Rd, London SW18 3NZ
A smaller and less manic setting than Wimbledon, this Eddie Catz caters for babies through to 7 years old. There’s a padded toddler-only soft play area, a padded baby area, bouncy chairs and high chairs, parent-&-me pre school classes, baby food, bibs, microwave, bottle warmer and nappy change areas.
Bendon Valley, Wandsworth SW18 4LZ
London’s biggest trampoline park, Flip Out Wandsworth is a trampoline park that offers something for all ages. It boasts a huge arena of over 3530m2 with nearly a hundred trampolines to choose from -including olympic and toddler trampolines-, 2 foam pit areas, 2 basketball areas, go carts, battle beams, a slide with a breath-taking drop that ends with a ball pit, an under 5’s dedicated area with jungle gym. Tots Time 10am – 12pm every weekday during term time is a dedicated session where a section of the park is open with no others besides fellow parents/guardians and their under 5s using the arena.
Furzedown Rec is an incredibly popular hang out for kids of all ages. There’s a playground with a slide, baby swings, swings, monkey bars and a climbing wall for older kids, a skate park (which my toddler enjoys just as much as any teenager!) as well as tennis courts. With no dogs allowed it’s a great space to let your little ones run free without the fear of them treading in poo!
7 Station Court, Townmead Road, London SW6 2PY
Softplay in Chelsea. Great for older kids as there is a large play frame with 100+ activities, including laser play and climbing wall. Better for toddlers and pre-schoolers at quieter times.
The Colonnades, 619 Purley Way, Croydon CR0 4RQ
A huge softplay centre catering for 0-12 year olds. There is a good area for under 5s including sensory area, high level climbing frame and mini trampolines. There is also a multi-level area for over 5s with lots of challenges. A pleasant cafe and lots of seating for parents. Lots of parking.
Priory Retail Park, Christchurch Road, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2PP
Huge play frame. Better for preschool and slightly older kids unless you want to go clambering about with your little ones too!
Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD
A wonderful park that gives you a taste of the countryside without having to travel miles. The River Wandle runs through which is great for the kids to paddle in throughout the year. In summer the rose garden makes a fantastic place for picnics. There’s a decent play area with a pulley, stepping stones and balancing beams. Better for toddlers and up but still great. There is also a brilliant walkway through the nature reserve. And it’s only a short walk from here to Merton Abbey Mills and Dean City Farm.
200 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW12 1RY
Very small but sweet soft play area, with slide and ball pool, along with a small kitchen / home area and soft matting. A few tables to sit at for parents and a small cafe offering light bites / sandwiches from the YMCA canteen. Messy play is also offered on a Monday. Most suitable for under 3s and can get crowded.
London Road, Figges Marsh, outside Lavender Children’s Centre
A short walk from Tooting rail station. Good playground and in the summer the interactive water play area is excellent.
Football Ground for Tooting and Mitcham FC, Bishopsford Road, London SM4 6BF
Pretty good and relatively cheap at around £2.50 for toddlers for a 2-hour session. Has a cafe area which does cheap and cheerful food for the little ones.
Tooting Common is a great place to take kids. It’s big enough that you don’t feel constantly surrounded by traffic. As well as the famous Tooting Bec Lido, there’s a large pond with ducks and swans, tennis courts, a cafe and two playgrounds! Tooting Bec Lido is open to the public from 1 May to 30 September 2019. There is a paddling pool for under 5s but please be aware parents/carers must supervise their children. Tooting Common Playground is located next to the tennis courts and is equipped with baby swings and small slide, plus lots for older children). Tooting Triangle Playground is located on northern part of Tooting Common. Here you’ll find baby swings and a roundabout. There is also a sandpit which is always open (bring your own bucket and spade).
Cranmer Terrace SW17 0QS
Has fun seated roundabout, baby swings, slide etc plus lots of low fencing/ropes enjoyed by babies starting to cruise around.
10 The Broadway, SW19 1RG
Catering for 0-5 year olds, Building Blocks Play Cafe has 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 cafe serving homemade, wholesome food using locally sourced ingredients.
66 Streatham High Road, SW16 1DA
The Adventure Club is an activity centre for children between 0-7 years old. The adventure club is full of challenging activities to encourage children to explore and take risks in a safe environment. There are rope bridges, clatter bridges, a 7ft slide and an indoor sandpit to name a few. There is also a toddler softplay zone perfect for children under 2 year olds. Pay and display parking in the pub car park round the back, or easy bus access (e.g. 319, 57, 333)
Upper Tooting Park, opposite Tesco on Balham High Road
Recommended by local parent with one word review: “sweet”. Great facilities for very young and older children, pirate ship-style climbing frame.