It's every parent's dream to find a space that both you and the kids can enjoy in equal measure. Play cafés make that dream a reality - you can sip a soothing cuppa or tuck into some teatime treats whilst your little ones play away to their heart's content. Read on to discover the best play cafes in London, providing the most delicious soft play areas at a centre near you!
Bear + Wolf
This family-friendly brunch spot in Tufnell Park is the perfect place to wile away weekend mornings. With a breakfast menu that boasts everything from brilliant buttermilk waffles to classic bacon rolls, there is something for every member of your family to enjoy. Kidadler reviews rave about the kids play area inside - Arlette says: “Bear + Wolf is so nice! It’s got a great menu and a nice play area for kids too,” while Elisheva says: “It’s got great food and coffee and even its own playroom.”
Little Highness Play Cafe
Highbury's Little Highness is a beloved family-run play café whose owners really make you feel like one of their own. It's play corner is full of toys and close-by so parents can feel completely relaxed over their exclusively homemade food.
Coffee & Crayons
This child-friendly coffee shop in Finchley Central features a secret play den, an engaging array of classes and soft play sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you're just outside of London and looking for the perfect play café in Hertfordshire, head to Doodle Caboodle in Tring. This adorably intimate cafe and play space has family and community at its heart where you can keep kids playing close by without a worry. We recommend parking in the town centre as it can prove tricky on-site!
Hygge Pygge Cafe
Hygge Pygge is a trendy independent café in Camden hosting special Sofar community music nights, baby yoga classes and a newly-revamped kids' play area featuring a green meadow carpet, fun farmyard animals and a quirky children's house.
Yummy Yummy in my Tummy
Full of adorable illustrations, this Stoke Newington cafe aims to prioritize kids whilst making parent's lives that bit easier. As well as their soft play area downstairs, Yummy also boats a variety of arts and language classes and specially-designed creative projects for children.
Husband and wife power couple Rachel and Jason founded this children's shop/cafe/event and play space with fellow parents in mind when they couldn't find what they needed in London already themselves. Head to the back area of this Swiss Cottage shop for coffee and play, pick up some kid's essentials and book onto a baby ballet class on your way out!
Bertie and Boo
Your search for a weekend brunch spot that’s as much fun for kids as it is for grown-ups is over. Beyond being family-friendly, this little cafe-come-restaurant in Clapham is designed especially for parents and their kids. Nestled in the popular Northcote Road, Bertie and Boo is home to a magical (and supervised!) playroom where children can run around and have fun while parents enjoy their brunch. Kidadler Caroline confirms: "My boys loved the soft play."
Apple Tree Children's Cafe
Specifically targeting 0-5 year olds, the adorable Apple Tree café in Dulwich features a baby sensory play area, indoor climbing frame, ball pit, quirky toad-stalls and - best of all - a role play corner for children to explore everything from fireman to florist.
This great Crystal Palace play café hosts tonnes of kids' parties and engaging classes throughout the year - whatever can dream up, they're probably catching it at Dreamcatcher! Let your little ones try the babychino and you'll definitely be coming back for more.
Avocado & Coffee
Avocado & Coffee is a lovely organic café in Greenwich with an adorable 'Avocuddle' stay & play room downstairs. It's open daily but we recommend checking their Facebook page in case of weekend private parties. Try the chai latte and any of the brunch/lunch dishes where everything (yes, everything!) comes with avocado - what more could you want!
Opened by 10 local Wandsworth families, discover the 'back kitchen' play space inside this community-focused kid-friendly café.
Swing by Cuckoo Hibou in the heart of Fulham, where you can relax in the cosy café and savour a baked treat whilst your little ones enjoy a play area designed just for them. Kids will love exploring all of the new toys and books that are on offer in the main space, and if you're looking for more there's is an ever bigger play area on-site for just £2 extra!
Sindbads Soft Play Cafe
This Wimbledon-based pay-at-the-counter café features an inclusive soft play space with indoor slides, and exciting pirate's treasure chest and adjoining baby crawling area. If you're outside the area then don't worry, there's lots of free parking nearby!
Gracelands is a Kensal Green café with a chic menu that aims to cater for the whole neighbourhood. Run only by locals, their play area offers an eclectic toy box and the best children's books to delve into.
This Hammersmith café/florist/soft play space has it all from sensory rooms, interactive screens, drawing blackboards, bubbles and even a disco ball and music for little ones (and adults!) to dance along to!
Meaning 'kids on the floor', this unique kid-friendly cafe in Haggerston aims to 'bring Japanese home life to London' serving home-cooked Japanese fair alongside their special play areas for kids. Try their array of authentic Japanese teas served in gorgeous specially-commissioned pots! Just note that Toconoco is closed on Tuesdays.
Adults and children alike will love this endearing Alice in Wonderland themed pottery cafe in Victoria Park, where you can paint ready-made ceramics or even try your hand at the potter's wheel there and then. Comparing itself to Doctor Who's Tardis, this cafe really is a wonderland to discover and even has Lewis Carroll's stamp of approval (in the form of his handwriting...) throughout the space.
Roka Canary Wharf
You might not associate chic Japanese restaurant Roka with kids' play, but their Canary Wharf location features a hidden gem corner with heaps of books and toys for children to enjoy after their delicious kid's bento box!
Plus a couple of honourable mentions for a few of our faves...
The Kids Table
Think of them as a pop-kids corner featuring at a variety of your favourite cafes and restaurants! The Kids Table run a supervised play area with a fully-qualified, CRB-checked childcare professional providing all sorts of activities for curious children. Expect fun and games galore with other kids, plus lots of arts and crafts activities to keep little hands busy while you wait for their food to arrive or enjoy a meal yourself. From Victorian pubs like The Bull & Gate to gorgeous Greenwich gastropub The Sail Loft to the eclectic menus of MOMMI, you'll be sure to find a Kids Table 'play cafe' to suit you in London.
Whilst it doesn't technically have a play area, the famous Rainforest Cafe in Piccadilly is designed as an exotic jungle that recreates the sights and sounds of the Amazon rainforest to create a spectacular dining experience like no other! Enjoy great food and drinks whilst the unique jungle surroundings are brought to life with the help of special-effect tropical showers and lifelike animal animatronics.
For more of the best children's play spaces in London, head to Kidadl.com.
Laura grew up in London and loved special family trips out to the theatre, Science Museum and all of the city's wonderful parks. She loves travelling, writing, drawing, exploring new art exhibitions and finding the best food and drink spots in the capital! At Kidadl, Laura handles our social media channels and is part of the busy brief writing team, creating the blueprints for the diverse range of articles you'll find across the site. She also dabbles in graphic design pieces for Kidadl's Instagram and writing blog articles full of family fun herself.