Before I had kids, I was blissfully unaware of what soft play centres were. In fact, when a friend was planning to visit Maidenhead with her two young children and asked where our local soft play was, my pre-child response was ‘Oh, I don’t think we have any soft play places in Maidenhead!’ How wrong could I be!
Fast-forward to being a mum with a five-year-old and a two-year-old, and my knowledge of such things has had to expand considerably. I wouldn’t exactly say that soft play is my favourite thing to do at the weekend, but there are times and places that they really come into their own. When my son started crawling in Winter and wanted to explore but it was cold and wet outside? Softplay to the rescue! When I want an activity that both of my children can enjoy equally despite the pouring rain? Softplay it is.
In and around Maidenhead we have soft play centres of varying sizes and with varied facilities. Some are open 7 days a week, some are available for hire for parties, and one of them even has a hairdresser on site! I’ve been to a few, but in order to create this guide, I asked the expert mums of Maidenhead on my Maidenhead Mum Facebook page to tell me about their favourites and why. There were even a few suggestions of places to go that aren’t soft play, but they will still keep you all warm and dry when it’s miserable outside.
I’ve included a few photos of places I have been to, but I will add more to the post when I check out some of the new locations that were recommended by the other mums. It’s a pretty big post so I’ve made a handy pin for Pinterest at the end in case you want to save it for a rainy day.
The soft play centres and activities are ordered by driving distance from central Maidenhead; I hope you find this post useful!
Soft Play in Maidenhead itself
This soft play is for children up to the age of 10 and has a ball pool and lots of places to climb and slide. Most of the action seems to take place way above your head, so if you have younger ones you will find yourself having to decide to stay with them, or to let them be ‘out of sight’. It offers great value for money and there is a café area serving hot drinks and snacks. The kids lunch boxes are reasonably priced, and you can choose what they have in there. My daughter is 5 and loves going to Cheeky Charlies, but if you have ‘babes in arms’, you’ll find that you’ll spend most of your time sitting in the ball pit with them. It’s open weekdays 10-4.30, Saturdays 11-3, and on Sunday it’s closed for parties. You can find out more on the main RBWM website.
If you don’t fancy going to Cheeky Charlies, then one mum suggested swimming at the Magnet Leisure Centre as a fun thing to do when the weather is miserable. We’re also a big fan of Maidenhead library: my children love sitting on the book train and playing with the building blocks. Maidenhead Heritage centre also often have child-friendly activities: my daughter liked the real skeleton that was on display when she visited with her Dad.
Soft play 0-10 Minutes Drive from Maidenhead
Thames Valley Adventure Playground
- Distance from Maidenhead: 1.9 miles 7 mins
The Thames Valley Adventure Playground is located on the outskirts of Maidenhead, just before the Tesco centre at Taplow. There is an outdoor playground, and there are activities inside too. Primarily it is for children with special needs and their siblings, but they have a toddlers group on a Wednesday morning from 9.30-11 which is open to the public.
You can also visit on a Saturday for an integrated play session which is for children of all abilities aged 12 and under. You will need to book any session in advance though; you can’t just turn up on the day. There is lots more info and photographs on the Thames Valley Adventure Playground website.
Andreas Café, Ockwells Park
- Distance from Maidenhead: 6 mins 1.6 miles
Ockwells park is one of the most child-friendly parks in Maidenhead, and it’s a firm favourite of ours. The old pavilion building has been converted into a café and a privately run soft play for younger children (up to age 8 approx). There is a small baby area and a bigger section for the older children, with a large carpeted area with toys and a mini playhouse too. Outside the café, there are some Little Tikes cars to play with, as well as a lovely playground. Parking is easy, and you have lots of other things to do on site if the weather picks up. My children enjoy running around the exercise track, watching the planes from the nearby airfield and playing in the playground, more of which you can read about in the ‘12 things to in Maidenhead before you’re two‘ blog post.
Be warned that at weekends the softplay is usually closed for private parties so you’ll need to call in advance to check. (there currently isn’t a website or Facebook page)
Andreas Café: 07769 794062
- Distance from Maidenhead: 3 miles 7 minutes
Phoenix Gym is located in a huge building just off the Windsor road on the way to Windsor from Maidenhead. They have flexible drop-in play sessions for under 5s on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and they are open on a Sunday once a month too.
I like the fact that it feels very open and you can see where your kids are at any point. I found it particularly good when my daughter was 4, and my son was crawling. It was one of the only safe places to play where they both had as much fun as each other. Now that my daughter is at school she doesn’t get to go as often, but she chose to have her party there last year! Keep an eye on the Phoenix Gym Facebook page for extra weekend and school holiday dates which often include additional classes and sessions for older children too.
Wyevale Garden Centre Windsor
- Distance from Maidenhead: 4.3 miles 10 minutes
We have 4 branches of Wyevale Garden centre in easy reach of Maidenhead: Windsor, Harehatch, Marlow and Beaconsfield. The opening times are the same as the restaurant, but best check the website before you go.
According to one Maidenhead Mum, Wyevale Windsor has one of the smaller soft play areas, but there is an aquatic shop in the garden centre which the kids enjoy looking at too.
Soft play 10-15 Minutes Drive from Maidenhead
Jungle Mania Bourne End
- Distance from Maidenhead: 4.9 miles, 14 mins
There are two Jungle Mania soft play centres in easy reach of Maidenhead.
The Bourne End one has been recently refurbished, and I have to confess that I am yet to visit! It’s suitable for children up to 10 years old and has giant slides and lots of places to climb and explore. This was very popular with Maidenhead Mums who have twins as they offer a great sibling discount. It’s also open 7 days a week and right up until 6 pm in the week (last entry 5.15 pm). Some of the mums, (myself included) expressed concerns about the parking being a bit tricky, but apparently at weekends it’s much less of an issue:
“At weekends it is much, much easier as we have lots of additional parking (e.g. the whole Candy Company car park on the right as you pull into the estate) and all around the back of the unit too. Plus a few other neighbours that let us use their spaces as they only work Monday to Friday.
The only thing to watch at Bourne End is NOT to park where there are PCP Parking signs (only one of our neighbours to the right!) as people WILL get fined even at the weekend.”
- Distance from Maidenhead: 6 miles 14 minutes
Odds farm is an epic family friendly location that we have on our doorstep with a farm, tractor rides and multiple playgrounds to keep the kids busy in good weather. But there is also a huge indoor soft play area (The Play Barn). If you visit in good weather, make sure you do the outdoor stuff first as your kids will never want to leave the Play Barn! There is seating for over 300 people, and to give you an idea of how busy it gets, I have seen all of these tables full! If you have smaller children, there is an area for the under 5s and babies. At Half Term and on Bank Holidays there are often extra activities with entertainers on hand to get the kids singing and dancing. I wrote a post all about Odds Farm, whatever the weather, if you’d like to find out a bit more.
It’s not the cheapest option, as you cant just pay to go into the soft play, but when you look at it as a whole day it then its better value. Some of the Maidenhead Mums on my Facebook page commented that they had bought an annual pass which means they can nip there for a few hours whenever they want.
And in case anyone from Odds Farm is reading, we’d love to see the option of a half day pass or an off-peak option! Smaller children don’t always have the stamina to survive a whole day.
- Distance from Maidenhead: 9.5 13 mins
I’m yet to visit the Marlow Wyevale, but I’m reliably informed that it has a small soft play area which is often quieter than the others. It’s particularly suited to the younger children as all of the equipment is one on level instead of them having to climb up to access areas.
- Distance from Maidenhead: 8.4 miles 14 mins
I like going to this soft play as it’s a really simple, stress-free drive from my side of town: just straight down the Bath Road and there’s plenty of parking when you get there. The play area is pretty compact and is at the back of the restaurant. If you’re lucky you can get a table nearby, but at least one adult will need to go into the play area with the child, you can’t just deposit your child and ignore them while you have a cuppa! There is a small playground outside too, so if the weather picks up, you can get some fresh air. Elsewhere in the Harehatch Garden Centre, they have an excellent toy shop section which is great to find presents for parties, but can be tricky to leave without being pestered into buying something. Consider yourself warned!
Soft Play 15-20 Minutes drive from Maidenhead
Jungle Mania Woodley
- Distance from Maidenhead: 12.7 miles 17 minutes
This is one of our most frequented soft plays. I like the fact that Jungle Mania in Woodley is an easy drive down the Bath Road from Maidenhead, parking is fine and inside there is lots to do for kids of all ages. There is a separate under 5s area and plenty of space if you have a crawling baby. It can get really busy here though so if you do have a crawling baby or a toddler that’s not too confident on their feet, you’ll need to keep an eye out for bigger kids speeding past! They are open 7 days a week, and unlike some of the smaller soft play centres, they stay open to the public when they have private parties booked.
Jelly Lounge Windsor
- Distance from Maidenhead: 6.3 miles, 17 minutes
This is a soft play with a difference: the Jelly Lounge is more of a family club where adults and children are equally welcome. I’m yet to visit with my kids, but I have heard lots of good things. There is a supervised play area and you can book additional classes for the kids while you are there (things like ‘Mini Master Chef’ or ‘Mini Rockers’ for £5.)
As one Maidenhead Mum said: “The coffee & food were fab & the noise level better than most soft plays.”
- Distance from Maidenhead: 8.4 miles 19 mins
This one is yet to be explored by my kids, or by any of my Facebook followers! The main website for Wyevale lists the Beaconsfield Wyevale as having a soft play though. Please let me know if you visit, and I can update the listing.
Jump in Slough
- Distance from Maidenhead: 7.5 miles 17 min
This is a trampoline park which also has a soft play, ideal if you have children of different ages. My daughter was very excited to visit. We went when she was 4, along with my son who was just crawling at the time. I was rather shocked to learn that they don’t have a baby or under 5 rate at all and as I had visited in peak times I had to pay £9 each for both of them, even though he couldn’t walk or jump!
Having said that, friends have advised me that you can get vouchers on Group on and other discount sites, and if you’re able to visit in off-peak times, it’s just £5 for a 2hr soft play and jump session.
Play Train Activity Centre High Wycombe
- Distance from Maidenhead: 12.2 miles 18 mins
A few local mums were quick to recommend the Play Train in High Wycombe, and it’s now on my list of places to visit. It has soft play, an area for under 3’s, a dress up village, a café…..and wait for it: A HAIRDRESSERS!
I couldn’t believe it and had to double check this wasn’t for mums having a luxurious blow dry while their children played?! It turns out that ‘Snipz Salon’ is a children’s hair salon which has cars you can sit in while you have your hair cut. Sounds like a genius idea to me. A haircut and free play is £15.
Here’s what one mum had to say:
“The max age is 9 so no big kids running around. The staff are great (all adults!) & the owner is always there. Food is lovely, plenty of places to sit & there’s even a hairdresser!”
High Wycombe Leisure Centre
- Distance from Maidenhead: 12 miles, 18 minutes
The Active Play and Bounce sessions at High Wycombe Leisure Centre seem to be another local well-kept secret. They offer soft play sessions for children up to 10 years old on a Monday and Wednesday from 9.30-11.30 and also at the weekend on Saturdays from 10.30- 12.30. Alongside the soft play there is a bouncy castle and a trampoline during term times on a Monday.
Rush Trampoline Park High Wycombe
- Distance from Maidenhead: 12.4 miles, 18 minutes
If you’ve not been to a trampoline park yet, you really should give it a go. It’s quite a sight to behold: Rush at High Wycombe has over 100 wall-to-wall trampolines! They have special time slots for kids under 4 in the week and first thing on Saturday and Sunday morning. There are even some toddler classes on a Thursday where you can leave your child with a qualified instructor while you have a drink in the café. My daughter went to a friend’s birthday party here and had an absolute blast! The mums at the party also liked the viewing gallery and café which serves rather tasty cakes and hot drinks.
Older kids can opt to bounce, play dodgeball or practice their somersaults as they throw themselves into the foam pit.
New for 2019 was a large soft play and a desert parlour which has gluten free and vegan treats. My two loved their day exploring the soft play and trampolining too.
As one Maidenhead Mum says:
“Trampoline jumping still works when the kids get older. It is good fun, helps with all sorts of body & mind coordination and movement and is something that even teenagers still enjoy doing no end and without feeling embarrassed.”
Look out for discount vouchers on the internet and follow the Rush Facebook page for special events.
This is a great activity for the kids of different ages – ideal if you have older siblings.
R Crazy Play Marlow
- Distance from Maidenhead: 10.9 miles 19 mins
This is a soft play session aimed at 0-5 year in the Sea Cadets Hall at Marlow. There are hot drinks and snacks available, but you can bring your own lunch if you want to. Sessions are only in the week at the moment on a Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 1.30-4.30. Check out the R Crazy Play facebook page for more info.
Soft Play 20-25 Minutes drive from Maidenhead
Mad House in Reading
- Distance from Maidenhead: 15.9 miles 22 mins
The Mad House is in ‘Green Park’ business park on the outskirts of Reading and offers soft play and fun for children from babies up to 1.45m in height. There is a main climbing and softplay area with tunnels and a slide. There is a separate area for under 4’s.
I’ve not been, but one Maidenhead Mum was keen to recommend it. Apparently it even has windows so you don’t feel like your camping out underground away from daylight.
“It’s one of the cleanest I have been to. They have a slighter better range of food, and it’s a good size. Somehow even when they have a banding system in place, it never feels ridiculously crowded.”
The Lookout Bracknell
- Distance from Maidenhead: 10.8 miles 24 mins
Although not technically a soft play, the Look Out in Bracknell has lots to keep toddlers and children busy. There is a water play area, a construction site, a mini shop and lots of interactive exhibits that make learning fun. Outside there is an extensive playground for children of all ages and a huge ‘Look Out’ tower that you can climb up… or climb half way up and then think better of it like my husband did. (He’s not great with heights!) During the week they have extra toddler days when they focus on the little ones instead with extra activities like storytelling, arts and crafts. One mum mentioned that she had bought an annual pass for £29 for one adult with an under 3 going free, which seems great value. Check out their website and Facebook Page for up to date prices and offers.
Henley River and Rowing Muesum
- Distance from Maidenhead: 11.6 miles, 24 mins
The River and Rowing museum was an undiscovered treat for me! I can’t believe that I only went last year when they had the Beatrix Potter exhibition on. When we visited, there was a mini shop and an area where the kids could plant toy carrots: brilliant!
The museum itself is very family friendly with free backpacks, colouring, crafts and a museum trail for all ages. Downstairs there is a ‘Wind in the Willows’ exhibit which the children can even climb inside in places.
There is a new ‘hands on’ space with a play theatre, shop and bakery. When you’ve finished playing and learning, the café has an excellent menu, and they were really good at accommodating my dairy-free requests. On Wednesdays, there is ‘Taylor Tug’s Under 5 club’ with a session in the morning 10-11.30 and one in the afternoon 3-4, more details on the website.
Once you’ve paid your admission, you can return unlimited times within the year.
Also worth noting that there is lots of free parking (a rarity in Henley!)
One Maidenhead Mum said: “it’s brilliant on a rainy day, it’s full of wooden toys and crafts’.
The website for the River and Rowing museum doesn’t really do it justice in terms of showing just how family friendly it is, give them a visit to find out for yourself!
The Roald Dahl Museum Great Missenden
- Distance from Maidenhead: 19.1 miles 38 mins
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to venture across the border into Buckinghamshire, then the Roald Dahl Museum in the village of Great Missenden was suggested by a Maidenhead Mum. Aimed at 6-12-year-olds, the museum has some ‘hands-on’ galleries, and they have lots of events and workshops too.
“It’s great for grown-ups and kids. The walls smell of chocolate, there is a height chart to see how tall you are compared to the characters, fancy dress, storytelling, arts and crafts. And a fab park nearby if the weather clears.”
About this post
This post was written with the the help of my followers over on my Maidenhead Mum Facebook page. I’m not affiliated to any of the soft play centres mentioned here, I just wanted to pull together a useful guide that I would have found useful when I first moved to Maidenhead. If you know of any places I’ve missed, please comment below or drop me a quick email and I can add it in.
Here’s a Pinterest Pin in case you want to save it for later:
You might also find these posts useful to read:
About this Blog
I write this ‘Maidenhead Mum’ blog to share my experiences of life here in Berkshire and beyond. I fit blogging into my ‘spare time’ around my day job and family life, but I love to share the beautiful things that I find to see and do. For more posts like this, you might like to follow my Maidenhead Mum page on Facebook or on Instagram as they are the most frequently updated.
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