Pools and Indoor Play
Quick Links to London’s Best Indoor Play Areas
Purple Dragon, my review of this amazing member’s only family club: http://www.london-baby.com/2011/09/purple-dragons-opening-in-chelsea/
Army Museum’s New Play Area: http://www.london-baby.com/2011/08/worth-the-cover-charge-the-national-army-museum%e2%80%99s-new-kids-zone/
The Garden at the Science Museum: http://www.london-baby.com/browse-by-category/museums/
Read on for More Information Regarding Pools and Indoor Play schemes
I was very keen to get my child in the pool as soon as possible and immediately began checking out different pools in different areas. Having an extremely active child, I enjoyed how much she slept after going in the water and would go frequently. My reviews for the pools do not include gyms where you have to pay monthly dues or a large membership fees. I have only reviewed venues that allow you to pay as you go for the same reasons that I only reviewed baby groups and classes that do so. All of these pools require you to bring your own towels and soap. It is advisable to bring your own flotation device if you want to guarantee that your child can use one.
Latchmere Centre, Battersea
Although this pool is much farther a field than I would normally consider travelling, it is so amazing, I had to include it. If your child likes to swim, this is the perfect way to spend a morning.
The locker rooms have big family changing rooms, the lockers are on the way to the showers, the showers are close to the pool, the pool is like a beach, it begins shallow and gets deeper, there is a slide for the children that splashes them right into the shallows. At five minutes to the hour, they turn on the wave machine. Upstairs, they have a basic café with an indoor play area. Prices are reasonable and your child will sleep for hours after going to Latchmree.
Queen Mother Sports Centre, Pimlico
This is an excellent pool located very close to Victoria Station. There is a “Teaching Pool” that is very warm and has steps leading down into it. You are not permitted to place you child on the edge of the pool, due to the steep drop-off, a major drawback for many. The “Leisure Pool”, while not nearly as warm, has a giant slide that you can take your infant down, making it great fun for carers. There is an excellent gym and a crèche that you may use on Mondays and Thursdays during term-time. Call ahead and get the details. The carers are lovely and it’s a nice open space in a windowed studio.
This is a lovely building with marble statues and glass ceilings in the pools, located at the end of Queensway, near Paddington station. It is a full-service gym, but without a crèche. It’s a bit chilly coming in and out of the water and the small pool is only a little bit warmer than a regular pool. That being said, they have a great baby swim on Fridays, but check the schedule ahead of time: it changes during school holidays.
Seymore Leisure Centre
This Marylebone gym has a small lap pool where you may take your child during any open swim. It is a bit basic, but the schedule allows for swimming on most days. Inside the Leisure Centre is a large indoor play scheme. I have to admit, the last few times we were there it seemed in the need of a good cleaning, but we had a blast and my child and I both got a workout running around inside.
Kensington Leisure Centre
Located near the Ladbroke Grove tube stop, the Kensington Leisure centre has swimming facilities and an indoor play scheme called Bumpers Backyard.
This is a nice space and good equipment that makes for a wonderful indoor playtime on a rainy day. For £50, you can buy a lifetime membership at Gymboree which allows you access to all of their open gym sessions.
The Army Museum has an indoor kids zone that is just perfect for the under 3’s, I would not hesitate to take two toddlers to this well-designed play area. There are two main climbing areas, a forest and a castle where children slip through giant rollers, push hanging bags away and crawl good distances to go down slides. The Kids Zone even wore out my energy everlasting child.Tweet