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Toddlers on the run in central London - any ideas?

(15 Posts)
itsalwaysthequietones Wed 05-Aug-09 15:14:26

Dear ladies (and gentlemen) of mumsnet,

I am meeting a friend on Friday morning she lives a long way south and I am in the north so we need somewhere to hang out for a couple of hours where our toddlers will be welcomed, can have a run around play etc (preferably while we have coffee and a cake) There seems to be a real lack of such places in London - does anyone know of any of those soft play areas with cafe attached that are central, or alternatively a good playground within one of the london parks where we can hang out all being well weather-wise?

Thanks for your help.

itsalwaysthequietones Wed 05-Aug-09 15:16:10

Ah, have just seen the weather forecast for Friday - think it'll need to be indoors. Any thoughts?

Sunshinemummy Wed 05-Aug-09 15:27:16

If you do get the chance to be outdoors the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens is fab.

For indoors I know of a good one in Chelsea. Is that central enough for you?

itsalwaysthequietones Wed 05-Aug-09 15:40:12

The Diana park does look great, thanks.

Chelsea is quite a long way because I'm working in the afternoon so would need to belt down to Chelsea, then back up north to the childminder then back into the centre to my office. Was thinking more like leicester square/Oxford circus type area but I imagine it's pretty unlikely.

ohmeohmy Wed 05-Aug-09 16:15:09

depending how long you want to be out, the ramp in the tate modern turbine hall can keep children amused for a while.

Or the festival hall cafe is spacious if they just need room to play, lots of comfy seats and you can head for the rear where there is lots of space between tables.

If the weather is ok you can get into Regent's Park easily from Gt Portland street tube and there is a playground a bit further over towards baker st.

TheWorstWitch Wed 05-Aug-09 19:52:35

What about the Mamas & Papas cafe?
Or one of the bistros in John Lewis?

If you bring a couple of buggies for the toddlers, they can just wheel them around while you have tea and cake.

slyandgobbo Wed 05-Aug-09 19:54:07

Hmmm, if you can get to Bloomsbury, Coram's fields is lovely - playground, sand, fountains, animals, nice cafe.

Miamla Wed 05-Aug-09 19:58:19

the museum of childhood in bethnal green is perfect for toddlers and there's a cafe there too. upstairs there are a couple of specially designed play areas...one's a soft play, there's one with lights and mirrors etc etc

itsalwaysthequietones Thu 06-Aug-09 20:56:41

Excellent - thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

squeaver Thu 06-Aug-09 20:58:36

Coroams Fields is exactly what you need. I don't think it's going to rain tomorrow.

Miamla Fri 07-Aug-09 17:16:07

soooooo... where did you decide to go?

itsalwaysthequietones Wed 12-Aug-09 15:47:50

Sorry, v rude of me not to answer. Busy week it's been.

Actually my friend decided to come to me in the end, which was an absolute Godsend because my 1st-trimester tiredness would not have allowed me two manic trips into the centre as well as fraught business meeting etc BUT I'm definitely going to try out your suggestions because I am always looking for places in town that are ok for toddlers.

BTW, apparently the Wetlands Centre in Barnes (though obviously not central) is absolutely brilliant.

caughtintheact Wed 12-Aug-09 15:58:28

On a nice day, go see the changing of the guards at buck palace - the playground of st james park is right next to it and has a fantastic sandpit and cafe/kiosk

Maria2007 Sat 12-Sep-09 15:56:48

Coming to this thread a bit late- I'm very interested in suggestions too, particularly cafes with soft play (not huge loud ugly dirty places, preferably smaller spaces if they exist). Most of the suggestions here are for outdoor spaces (e.g. Coram's fields, which is excellent). Any ideas for indoor spaces? The only soft play areas I know are huge ones... any smaller ones?

naomi83 Wed 23-Sep-09 22:09:55

london aquarium is fab for toddlers, and right on the tube line, although not cheap, and they can gawp at fish whilst you catch up

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