Soft play and indoor activities for rainy days

child in a ball pool

Looking for ways to keep children entertained on rainy days? Stop them (read: you) from going stir crazy with a trip out to one of these indoor activity centres - recommended by our Local editors

Greater London | East of England | Midlands | North | South East | South West | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

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Greater London

Better extreme trampolining

Better Extreme Climb Zone Dagenham

This indoor adventure playground is perfect for little ones past the ball pool stage. The skate park has ramps and a challenging keyhole-shaped bowl - as well as a beginner zone for new boarders. There are 100 trampolines, and designated areas to shoot hoops and play dodgeball while you bounce.

The Jolly Jungle Dagenham

Kids can climb to the top of the highest (safest) slide, and crash land into a ball pool. Little ones up to 148cm tall are welcome, making it a great option for family birthday parties when you're catering for various ages.

Rocky's Fun House Hornchurch

Suitable for babies to age eight, this bright, fun factory in North Street features two play structures. You can hire the place for private parties at the weekends - and (most importantly) they do a good cup of coffee.

Mothercare Play Romford 

Perfect if you need some alone time in the shops. There's a pre-walkers area and a separate play area for under-fives. Activities focus on helping little ones get more exercise. Bonus: there’s an on-site Costa. 

Kidspace Romford 

This play park is a proper adventure, with multiple storeys of tunnels to climb and bury through. Bigger kids can play laser tag in a child-friendly environment and the classes on offer range from beginner’s running and dance to junior yoga.  

Challenge Activity Course Mitcham

An indoor activity challenge course that is great for older kids. There are nets, ladders, pole and crawl space to get through. A good option for an active birthday party.

Pod2 Soft Play Wimbledon

A soft play area for kids up to eight years old. The bright structure is multi-sensory, aiming to engage little imaginations as well as get kids active. There’s a coffee shop and child-friendly canteen on site too.

Ahoy! Children’s Gallery Greenwich

A free, immersive indoor play area in the National Maritime Museum, for little ones up to seven years old. From stoking an engine to working in the interactive boatyard, there are lots of opportunities for interactive play. And a cafe one floor up for provisions, too.

Ten Pin Bowling Raynes Park

A bowling alley set not in a noisy leisure complex, but in the popular health and sports club - ideal if you enjoy the game but are after a quieter setting. There’s a grown up and child-friendly menu, and you can book parties.

Crafty Wizards World Eltham

A great place for children to get creative, and find fun in learning. There’s a mix of adult-led classes and child-led play, with a two-level soft play frame which is used for reading, role play and number hunts.

Tiger Cubz Thames mead

Find an play centre with multi-level play frames for under-fours and older children, complete with ball pools and slides. There’s a cafe serving hot and cold food, and lots of excellent party-friendly facilities, including a disco room.

Ruxley Manor Garden Centre soft play Sidcup

A free soft play area in a massive garden centre (where you can also pick up books, toys and homeware) situated near to the restaurant, so you can also sample the cream teas.

The Crayzee Barn Sidcup

An indoor play centre suitable for children up to age 10. There’s a large adventure play frame, a special area for babies and toddlers and multiple slides to play on. Healthy, home-cooked food is served in the cafe and you can pick up local produce in the farm shop next door.

Crook Log Leisure Centre Totzone Crook Log

A sports centre activity session that’s designed to stimulate and develop co-ordination, social and motor skills through soft play and gymnastics equipment, trampolines, bouncy castle, songs, games and a parachute. Parent/carer supervision is required.

Full of Beans Play Cafe Highbury

Serving up proper coffee, home-baked pastries and healthy, child-friendly finger food - plus loads of ways to keep little ones entertained. As well as soft play and a ball pool, there are costumes for dressing up, music classes, chalkboard tables and tonnes of toys.

Talacre Treetops Kentish Town

A spacious soft play centre for children from six months to 11 years old, with a maze of ball ponds, slides and rope swings which children can run and explore in. There is a height restriction of 1.39m, so check beforehand.

Little Dinosaurs Alexandra Palace

An indoor play centre for children up to nine years old. There’s a newly extended soft play area, and a cafe serving proper meals. Crafts and other sessions are scheduled throughout the week and, if the rain clears, head to the outdoor parkland enclosure.

Jungle Gym Marylebone

Within Seymour leisure centre, tucked away behind the busiest streets of London’s West End, is a maze of ball ponds, slides and rope swings. Jungle Gym gives children a chance to get active and use their imaginations.

The Rotunda Kingston-upon-Thames

A soft play cafe on the ground floor of the Rotunda centre with a ball pit and wavy slides to keep little ones occupied. The cafe serves an excellent range of barista coffees and smoothies and there’s a good balance of sweet treats/healthy meals on offer.

The Pod Kingston-upon-Thames

A play centre at the YMCA Hawker Centre that has an excellent range of activities and equipment suitable for babies up to 11-year-olds. There’s a ball pit, ball cannon, multiple slides, bash pad - and even a mini zip wire! Perfect for little adventurers.

Owls Indoor Play Centre Barkingside

A woodland-themed play centre that caters for babies up to 12-year-olds, with dedicated zones for each age group. The multi-tiered playframe, complete with slides and swings is great for adventuring. There’s also a cafe for adults to refuel or chill in.

Sutton Soft Play & Cafe Sutton Central

Babies and toddlers have the freedom to explore their capabilities within a safe environment, while the bouncy castle, ride-on cars, and lots of colour will entertain children up to age 12. The cafe has lots on offer, and free wifi.

Craggy Island Sutton Carshalton

No connection to Father Ted - instead, one of the largest indoor bouldering centres in the country, where you can get the benefits of climbing without having to scale a mountain. Perfect for children of all ages (and grown-ups) who want a bit of a challenge.

Blossom’s Jungle Gym Streatham

A small, indoor soft play area complete with climbing frame, slide, ball pool for children up to nine years old, and an area for under-twos. They also offer arts and crafts, interactive consoles and a book corner.

Southbank centre Waterloo

A cultural hub in the heart of London, perfect for entertaining bigger kids with music, film and entertainment venues, as well as a plethora of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. At some restaurants in the area, children even eat for free. 

Clowntown Coppetts & Friern Barnet 

A large indoor activity centre with a multi-activity play frame for older children, while younger ones have a bouncy castle and ball pool, plus a gated area for crawlers. The homemade cafe menu includes veggie and healthy options.  

Go Kids N20 Whetstone

An all-ages play area with a large play frame, high rope bridges and slides down into ball pools - and an area for younger ones, too. Adults can enjoy food, drink, and free wifi in the cafe with unrestricted view of the play area.

Clay Cafe Staples Corner

A paint-your-own pottery cafe, perfect for getting creative in a relaxed setting. All ages are welcome and there are hot drinks and snacks aplenty to keep everyone going. If you’re booking in for a party, you’ll have your own room.

Soft play at Enfield Garden Centre Enfield 

A colourful soft play area for children aged eight and under in Wyevale garden centre. There are swing ropes, play frames and interactive games. Coffees, cakes and child-friendly food can be had in the nearby restaurant - and 50p from your entrance fee is donated to Marie Curie and the NSPCC. 

The Play Centre Edmonton

A bright soft play centre, the perfect place for children to explore, make friends - and get some exercise. The main frame features a sports arena, complete with balls, slides and tunnels for burrowing. Children are in vision at all times.

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East of England

Farmer fred's, norfolk

Farmer Fred's Adventure Play Barn Heacham

A next-level soft play centre for children up to 12 years old with slides, rope swings and drop slides for daredevils - plus a toddler area where younger children can play safely. Parents can look on from the cafe, where a good range of coffees and homemade cakes are on offer.

Manic Monkeys Soft Play St Albans

Morning play sessions for babies and preschoolers with soft play, ride-ons, tunnels and separate baby and toddler areas with sensory toys. There are also blocks and jigsaws for when anyone fancies a break. Free tea, coffee, biscuits and banana are included.

Gambado Watford

A next level play centre, complete with dodgems track, climbing wall and large play frame. The under-fours play area includes a mini frame, slide and trampoline and under-twos have their own sensory play area. There’s also a varied cafe menu and adult lounge with free wifi and TV.

Get Wild!  Hatfield

A jungle-themed adventure centre suitable for babies up to 12-year-olds. There are slides, tunnels, rope walks, climbing frames and a dedicated area for toddlers. There’s also a space for adults to grab a coffee and restore their energy - while kids burn theirs.

Partyman World of Play! Stevenage

An adventure centre with a large playframe, air cannons and soft play. There’s also an arts and crafts area and an interactive stage for artistic stimulation. Adults can enjoy a good range of fresh food and - bonus - a fully licensed bar.

The Science Project and Discovery Centre Ipswich

A centre that aims to introduce young minds to science. Interactive exhibits include building a body, operating a crane, and trying to solve the mystery of the treasure chest. Plus there are plenty of fun facts to find out and optical illusions to unravel. There’s an adventure play area in the same building and a cosy cafe for downtime.

The Tollhouse/Time & Tide Museum Great Yarmouth

Discover the fate of thieves, smugglers, witches, pirates and murderers at one of the oldest prisons in the country. The hands-on activities are great for getting children excited about history - in all its gory detail.

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Thinktank, Birmingham

thinktank Birmingham Science Museum Birmingham 

Ignite kids’ interest in science by exploring 10 themed, hands-on galleries, including a full-dome planetarium. Toddlers will love water play and dress up games in Kid City and interactive exhibits for under sevens in the Kid’s Park. There’s also a mighty steam engine to admire - and real scientists to meet. 

Wicky’s Play Factory Kettering

A new soft play area inside the greenery at Wicksteed Park. It’s airy, secure and open all year round. While children play in the ball pool, adults are able to recharge in the cafe - where childminders get 10% off on weekdays. 

Star City Birmingham Aston

A leisure complex with loads of options for family entertainment. Bowl, play indoor five-a-side football, climb with the whole family at the Twin Peeks centre or catch a show; Star City is home to one of Europe’s largest cinemas and acts including Cirque Du Soleil have performed there.  

Wonderful World of Trains & Planes Birmingham

Good for locomotive fans of all ages, this centre provides an interactive history of the railway including a 1930s English village, the Eurostar and the Orient Express. Wannabe plane and train drivers can simulate the pace of slot car racing and hear the roar of a 747 engine.  

Eden Soft Play Nottingham

A church-owned soft play centre for under-10s. Facilities include a multi-storey soft play enclosure, a designated toddler play area and a cafe stocked with Fairtrade coffee, cakes and healthy meals. All in an airy setting, under the grand church arches. 

Pirates Play Centre Sherwood

A soft play activity centre with with three-level play frame, a giant slide, rope bridge, rollers and a Little Tikes car track. For toddlers there’s a smaller ball pond and slide, and for babies there are toys, bouncers and walkers. There’s an ever-changing calendar of events, and the cafe serves allergy-friendly and Halal food. 

Planet Bounce Nottingham

Thought bouncy castles were fun? Planet Bounce is home to over 70 interconnected trampolines! Adults and children can jump together during the Jump sessions, while Space Cadet times are especially for little ones aged between four and eight.

National Videogame Arcade Nottingham 

Explore and celebrate videogame culture over three floors of playable exhibitions, and a workshop space and library where children can learn how to become developers. Check the website for the latest events. Under 12s need an accompanying adult. 

The Lost City Adventure Golf Nottingham

Two 18-hole mini golf courses in the Cornerhouse complex. Each has dramatic interactive features: talking Inca statues, towering rock faces and tropical rain storms. Adventurers of all ages can play at being Indiana Jones - and work on their putting skills. 

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The North

Play Factore, Trafford Park

Play Factore Trafford Park

Play Factore is home to the biggest soft play frame in Europe, and boasts the tallest indoor slide in the world. It has a separate interactive play area for children under five. There is also an electric go-kart track, staff-led dance off sessions, a laser tag quest arena and a zip wire. 

Jungle Kids Soft Play Amerly

Enjoy slides, crawl tubes, cargo nets, ball pools and a ball canyon - plus a designated football/basketball area for older kids and a kiddie kart track for toddlers. A large cafe offers parents somewhere to relax while children play.

Tumble Town Adventure Play Guiseley

A soft play centre for children under the age of six. With a 'town theme, the play area encourages children to engage in roleplay with each other, as they visit the shop, petrol station, car wash and cafe. There is also a ball pool and slides.  

Jigsaw Gyms Pudsey

An indoor soft play featuring slides, a ball pool, trampolines, space hoppers, a rope bridge, climbing areas and a mini football pitch. It offers birthday parties and has a cafe, with a full range of hot and cold drinks, as well as healthy snacks and children's meals.

Jackaboos Play Gym Pudsey

An indoor soft play centre with trampolines, slides and ball pools. There is a cafe where parents can enjoy a cappuccino and panini. 

Funsters Childrens Play Bradford

Children can have fun on the large soft play frame while parents enjoy coffee and cake from the snack bar. Party packages are available. 

Dragons Den Soft Play Keighley

A multi-level soft play with ball pools, slides, tunnels and bridges. There is also a dedicated zone for toddlers full of age-appropriate toys. 

Megaplay Bradford

Accommodating children up to the age of 15, the main play structure features a four-lane astra slide, a 4m drop slide, a zip wire and ball cannon, and an enclosed arena for football and basketball to keep budding sports stars entertained. Tea and filter coffee is available for free. 

Dan’s Den Ilkley

A non-profit making project, Dan’s Den aims to reach out to families in the local community. As well as a large soft play aimed at children up to the age of eight, there’s a cafe, a quiet space with books, puzzles and drawing equipment, and weekly craft activities. There’s also toys and facilities for disabled children, including a sensory area. 

Planet Play Knutsford 

Planet Play is an indoor soft play for children up to the age of 11. There is a separate area for babies and toddlers, with sensory toys and a piano floor mat. For older children, there’s a sports court with football nets and a basketball hoop. 

Rough 'n' Tumble Marple

Facilities include three large play frames, a four-lane astro-slide, video games and an astro-turf area. Party packages are available for children up to the age of 12, and there's special events during holidays. 

Gioco Play Centre Wigan

A play centre with a vast array of activities on offer, including slides, sports pitches, a ball pool, quad bikes, soft play and rockers. Activities are suitable for children up to the age of 12.

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South East

Rock Box, Guildford

Crazy Climbing in the Rock Box Guildford

Rock Box has several climbing walls and offers sessions designed for all ages from five up. They run open sessions as well as catering for parties or groups. No previous experience is necessary. 

Airhop Guildford

Consisting of 50 interconnected trampolines, which go along the floor and up the walls - bouncing on the sea of trampolines is not only great fun, but it’s also a brilliant way to exercise. There’s a viewing gallery and a cafe for spectators. 

Swimming, Soft Play and more Maidenhead

Facilities include a soft play area and a swimming pool, equipped with a wave machine, giant slides, an interactive water play feature and a spa pool. A number of sports clubs are also based at the centre. 

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South West

Crazy Monsters Kids Soft Play Blandford Forum 

North Dorset’s largest indoor soft play area, with a three-storey adventure play zone and a restaurant. A first floor viewing area enables parents to watch their children as they climb. Booking is not necessary for open sessions.

The Ark Poole Park Poole Park 

Featuring a year-round ice rink, a large soft play with slides, tunnels and interactive zones for children up to the age of 11, and an ice cream parlour. Homemade snacks and meals are also available from the cafe. 

123 Jump Plymouth 

The largest indoor soft play centre in South Wales, including a large play-frame, an enormous inflatable, an indoor football pitch and a zone just for toddlers. There’s also themed party rooms, a cafe and different activities every day. Adults are encouraged to join in the fun.      

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Northern Ireland

We are vertigo, Belfast

We Are Vertigo Belfast outskirts

With a trampoline park, an indoor high-ropes course and indoor ski slopes, this is a great place for children to work off their energy and get a taste for adventure. The centre offers skiing lessons and holiday camps for children, too. 

Funky Monkeys Kennedy Centre West Belfast

A large soft play area that caters for children up to the age of eight and shorter than 4’5. The centre offers birthday parties and has an on-site cafe. There are other Funky Monkey branches across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.  

Lunarland Adventure Playground North Belfast

As well as a lunar-themed soft play area, this amusement park offers kiddie rides and an arcade area with Bowling, pool, air hockey and the latest gaming equipment. 

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Clambers softplay, Edinburgh

Clambers Soft Play Edinburgh

Clambers’ three-storey soft play has been designed to make supervising children easy. There are three zones targeted at different age ranges, allowing all children to play safely and have fun. There is a pool on the same site.  

The Edinburgh Dungeon Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Dungeon brings together actors, rides and special effects for an exhilarating walk-through experience, which is hilarious and frightening in equal measure. The recommended minimum age is eight, and a 1.4m height restriction applies for one of the rides. 

KidzWorld Glasgow

Children can climb, slide and explore for hours on KidzWorld’s three-storey play frame. The soft play area caters for children up to the age of nine, and there is also a designated area for toddlers and smaller children.

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Coconuts play, Pernarth

Coconuts Play Penarth

A large indoor play centre for children 1-12 years old, Coconuts puts on fantastic themed parties where children can dress up as monsters, princesses and pirates. The centre is also open to the public throughout the week.  

Parc Play Cardiff Bay

Indoor, outdoor and undercover play areas enable kids to have fun whatever the weather. For toddlers there’s an artificial grass meadow, swings, a sand pit and a water play area. Older kids can enjoy a zip wire, a huge double slide, a timber fort and table tennis. 

Cwtch Network Play Cardiff Bay

Set up exclusively to gie children with disabilities/additional needs - as well as their siblings, families and carers - a space to play and have fun in. With a sensory room, a soft play area, and a range of organised activities, there’s something on offer for everyone.

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Last updated: over 1 year ago