Need a break from looking after a demanding youngster? The Charlton Champion‘s LARA RUFFLE COLES has been taking her son out to investigate the local soft play options.
Getting out and about with young children can be equal parts stressful and rewarding, but luckily for parents and carers wanting to sit down for five seconds, soft play was invented.
Charlton‘s options tend to be small-scale and more ‘stay and play’-oriented, but they are free to use unlike most of the larger scale soft plays detailed below.
- The Space on the Springfield Estate at the top of Victoria Way
- Sherington Children’s Centre on Sherington Road
- The Big Red Bus Club in Charlton Park
- Pound Park at the western side of Maryon Park
- Charlton House Library has a small play area with toys
Woolwich has Under 1 Roof, a large warehouse building, 10-15 minutes walk from General Gordon Square, with multiple areas for different ages (up to 11) including a large soft play room.
At the bottom of Kidbrooke Park Road, Sutcliffe Park Sports Centre has a multi-level soft play with plenty of space for crawling, climbing and sliding. It also has an outside playground and a cordoned-off soft play area for smaller children.
In Blackheath, Mycenae House has a large programme of activities (for all ages) including a regular soft play session run by Toddler Sense.
East Greenwich Pleasaunce has The Bridge, and the venue runs regular ‘stay and play’ sessions that include soft play.
Staying in east Greenwich, round the corner on Woolwich Road is The Greenwich Centre, which currently runs seven soft play sessions a week. Each session lasts an hour and a half and includes a bouncy castle, numerous toys and soft structures to climb.
In Greenwich town centre the National Maritime Museum has a free play area called Ahoy! It isn’t a soft play but it is full of different interactive activities focusing on our maritime history. The museum also has The Great Map, a large open space perfect for children to crawl and charge about. They can also play with three ships that ‘sail’ on the map’s oceans and seas.
Just over in Deptford, next to the creek, is Big Little Fun, a smaller scale soft play with a slide and climbing area, plus a separate area for smaller children. It is also has an arts and crafts area, dressing up outfits, various toys including a play kitchen, a ball pit, plus an air chute game played with the balls.
For adventurous parents and carers happy to take the DLR to the Isle of Dogs, Mudlarks at Museum of London Docklands combines soft play, water play and river-themed fun. Each free session is 40 minutes and booking two or three sessions in a row is allowed.
And for adults needing some let off some steam, you don’t need to leave Charlton – head down to the Thames Barrier for Bunker 51, a riverside Cold War bunker with airsoft, paintball (alright, not so soft play) and laser tag.
Alternatively, if you want to go a little further afield, Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch has two giant ball pits for you to dive into. Cocktails are also on offer so hopefully someone else can look after the children the next morning…
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