There’s soft play, and there’s soft play Walthamstow style! It’s been a year since the borough’s basic leisure centre bounced back as the all-new Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre, and it’s the ultimate padded heaven for children.
The newly updated centre incorporates an Extreme Park featuring a clip and climb wall, ninja run, trampoline park and extreme play area with bouncy obstacles and slides, plus a two-storey soft play area for under 6s—and it really is as fun as it sounds. Installed in a massive sports hall, the Extreme Park looks like a cross between Gladiators and It’s a Knockout. It offers fantastic ways to encourage kids to challenge themselves while having fun and getting active, either solo or alongside their adults. The Extreme play and trampoline areas are for over 5s, the clip and climb for over 6s, and the ninja run for over 8s.
With a little one, we were restricted to the trampoline and soft play areas, but that didn’t restrict the excitement. He and his friends loved the trampolines, where you can bounce, somersault and tumble across the floor and, quite literally, bounce off the walls. Adults must supervise either from the sidelines or on the trampolines too (any excuse…). Just don’t forget to buy your special non-slip trampoline socks for both kids and adults at the reception desk (which you can reuse for future visits).
In the soft play area, under 6s can continue the fun over three levels of slides, climbing tunnels, nets, ball pits and bubble tubes. Again, kids must be supervised but adults can get involved too—there were a surprising number of parents “helping their children” climb through the padded maze.
Once the kids are thoroughly worn out, you can grab a coffee or lunch in the Feel Good café. All of the usual sandwiches and snacks are available, although it would have been better to see more healthy options alongside the pizza and ice cream. While we recovered with a coffee, Feel Good Centre staff were offering free trials of the gym and swimming pools, the latter of which hosts dedicated toddler swimming sessions, so we’ll definitely be returning.
Soft play and trampolines for under 6s are available as a combined hourlong pass (you can split your time between them any way you like). Tickets cost £7.15 per child for non-members (trampoline socks are £2 per pair) and one accompanying adult goes for free.
Hourlong slots are from 10am to 4pm Monday through Wednesday; 10am to 5pm Thursday and Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for school holiday times.
Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre is at 170 Chingford Road, Walthamstow, London E17 5AA. For more information visit their website.