The Bee’s Knees, Battersea Arts Centre
By Jennifer Barton
Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) is a true family destination in south London, with family-friendly theatre shows, kids’ classes, a café and bar and one of the best indoor playspaces in London, The Bee’s Knees.
The Bee’s Knees, created in collaboration with designers Jeannine Inglis Hall and Gary Campbell, is a haven for the 0-5 set. Entry to the playspace is £3 per child for open play during the week.
Ideal for igniting the imagination – young or old – it replicates nature indoors: there’s a bridge, painted trees and animals on the walls, caves to duck into and even ‘grassy’ knolls and steps for rolling and running.
There are also toys aplenty, from wooden blocks to baby mats to books (there are lots of different book nooks to cosy into with your tots). Since you’re in the Battersea Arts Centre, you also know you’re in close proximity to a loo and food – the café is just across the hall, and there’s a special child menu.
The Bee’s Knees also hosts regular kiddie classes, including Monkey Music and Hartbeeps. Homestart, the family support charity, runs friendship hubs via referral on Monday afternoons.
The last Saturday of each month is Family Day at The Bee’s Knees/BAC, with activities from 10am-3pm, including face painting, music, toy and clothes swaps and storytelling sessions – all free of charge. There are also often crafts workshops that over 6s can take part in while grown-ups hang in the café (under-5s are also welcome, but need to be accompanied by an adult).
On all other Saturdays, the playspace is available to rent out for kid’s parties (starting at £270 + VAT), which includes use of the fab Bee’s Knees space, a host to help with set up and clearing away, use of the PA system for music and an indoor picnic area (choose from various catering options for kids and adults). You can bring in your own cake and entertainment, or just let the kids run wild.
Rainy day and a toddler in tow? We know where we’re heading…
The Bee’s Knees, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN
Open play, £3 per child during the week
M: 10am-12:30pm, T: 10am-1pm, W: 10am-5pm, Th: 10am-1pm, F: 10am-12:30pm
Family Saturdays, 10am-3pm, last Saturday of every month and free for families
Website / Instagram / Twitter