…sometimes a trip to the swings is the only answer…
Tooting Common Playground (Tooting Common, by the tennis courts) – Has the usual baby swings and slide, plus lots for older children. Nearest toilets: Tooting Athletics Track.
Tooting Triangle Playground (northern part of Tooting Common) – Has baby swings and roundabout, not much else for babies, but is close to sandpit which is always open (bring your own bucket and spade).
Furzedown Rec Playground (Furzedown Rec, Ramsdale Road) – Has baby swings, roundabout, slide etc plus lots for older children.
Tooting Gardens Playground (Tooting Gardens, Cranmer Terrace, behind St Georges Hospital/Tooting Leisure Centre, playground also accessible from end of Coverton Road by hospital entrance) – Has fun seated roundabout, baby swings, slide etc plus lots of low fencing/ropes enjoyed by babies starting to cruise around.
Upper Tooting Park Playground (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.
Tamworth Rec Playground and interactive water play area (London Road, Figges Marsh, outside Lavender Children’s Centre) – a short walk from Tooting rail station, and even though it’s a bit further away it’s worth a special mention as in the summer the interactive water play area is excellent.
SOFT PLAY VENUES:
Eddie Catz, Wimbledon (42 Station Rd, Merton, Wimbledon, SW19 2LP) and Earlsfield (279 Magdalen Rd, London SW18 3NZ)
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 café or upstairs lounge with newspapers and magazines. Socks required in play frame. Limited parking but you can park at Sainsbury’s next door.
Babies under 8 months are FREE, under 90cm £3.75, 90cm to 1.55m (weekdays) £5.90, 90cm to 1.55m (weekends and school holidays)£6.90. Adults and children over 1.55m £1.
Bertie and Boo’s Adventure Island (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.
Prices are £2.90 for an hour or £4.50 unlimited all day play (with the option to go and come back). Open all day Monday-Friday, Saturday 9-12pm and Sunday 9-12pm and 2-4pm.
Blossom’s Jungle Gym (66 Streatham High Road, SW16 1DA)
New in late 2014, cafe and jungle-themed soft play, climbing frame with slide and ball pit! Open daily, suitable for babies and toddlers, friendly staff, good coffee. Under 1s free, £4.50 for 2 hours play for 1-3 year olds, more prices/info on their website. Pay and display parking in the pub car park round the back, or easy bus access (e.g. 319, 57, 333)
Kiss Me Hardy Wacky Warehouse (Priory Retail Park, Christchurch Road, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2PP)
Not reviewed but recommended by local parent. Attached to a pub which may be a great or awful feature depending on your personal preferences!
The Hub (at the 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.
Gambados! (7 Station Court, Townmead Road, London SW6 2PY)
Not reviewed but recommended by local parent. A bit further afield and expensive for over-1s (£7.50!) but FREE for under 1s. Adults £2.50.
Kids Space (The Colonnades, 619 Purley Way, Croydon CR0 4RQ)
Great, and huge space. Good area for under 5s including sensory area, high level climbing frame and mini trampolines. Multi-level area for over 5s with lots of challenges. Good cafe and lots of seating for parents. Does parties, lots of parking. Expensive as you pay for the adult as well, but their annual passes can work out good value.
Tots Landing, Wimbledon (10 The Broadway, SW19 1RG)
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.
POD2 at YMCA, Wimbledon (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. £3/4 per child depending on age.
For more listings slightly further afield, check out our sister site Streatham Baby