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Where to take Babies & Toddlers in Southend

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If you're looking for something different to the usual class or baby group, we've collated some great ideas that we've tried and tested to visit with your baby and young children. Trying to entertain really young babies can be difficult but we have something on our list for all ages to enjoy. Whether it's a sensory room you're looking for or somewhere to take children of multiple ages.

Also see:

Cafes with play areas
Children's activities, clubs and classes 

From birth onwards

The Megacentre Rayleigh Sensory room

The sensory room at The Megacentre Rayleigh is a thoughtfully designed space filled with soothing colours, gentle lighting, and a variety of sensory objects. The room is equipped with a range of sensory-friendly features including soft textures, mirrored walls, bubble tubes, fibre-optic lights, and soundscapes. A member of staff runs the sessions, allowing time for free play and then some singing, musical instruments and bubbles at the end of the session.

There are sessions every weekday for ages between birth and 36 months and can be booked via The Megacentre website. Sessions are 45 minutes long and a good amount of time for the younger babies who get over-stimulated very easily. 

You are able to use the cafe before or after the session and there are baby changing facilities available near the main reception area.

   

Baby Wonderworld 

Baby Wonderworld is a sensory space for babies from birth to 36 months, based in Canvey. They hold sessions for various ages with time to explore at your own pace, socialise with others and take part in nursery rhymes and bubbles. The room is a lovely safe space with an LED ball pit, sensory tube, musical instruments, fibre optics and lots more. Babies are free to explore and play and it's really one of a kind in our area. - Please note - there are stairs to get up to the room so you can either park opposite and carry baby in or leave prams downstairs. 

   

From 6 months - 3 years 

The Essex Soft Play 

The Essex Soft play on Leigh Road is aimed at babies and younger children. It has a small soft play area and ball pit, along with a play house and lots of toys and books. There is a seating area upstairs and you can order food and drink from The Eggbro's downstairs. A baby changing area is upstairs too and it's all lovely and clean. Pushchairs will need to be folded and left downstairs though as space is minimal. Sessions are for 90 minutes and can be booked online to avoid disappointment


      

Miles of Fun

Miles of Fun, based in truGym Thorpe bay is a stay and play aimed at children aged 0-3 years. The play space is beautifully set up with a warm and inviting atmosphere. With lots of carefully selected wooden toys and materials for the children to explore, the space has been really well thought out, promoting hands-on exploration and independent learning. The room caters for all ages with soft play mats and equipment, a role-play area and small world toys, including lots of natural resources. The play area is immaculately maintained and aesthetically pleasing! 

There are toilets and a changing area within the room along with a cafe situated within the gym. The cafe offers a children's menu and you can also buy drinks and take in with you. The stay and play is open on Wednesdays and Friday's and can be booked ahead or just drop in! Parking is free but you must enter your reg number at reception.

      

Castle Cove Soft Play 

Castle Cove, based in Canvey is a soft play structure aimed at babies and young children from 6 months - 6 years with an underwater, pirate theme. Having visited myself, I would say a 6 year old may be a little bored here but would be fine accompanying a younger sibling. The soft play room is fully enclosed and padded with no hard floors so is a safe area for little ones to run about, especially those just learning to walk. At only £3.20 for 1-2 year olds and free for under 1's, I think the price is really reasonable. 3-6 years is £5.90 and adults are £1. 

The room is split into two areas with a baby and then a toddler area. The baby area consists of a climb and slide, sandcastle puzzle blocks and a play panel. The toddler area includes a two-storey structure with a twin lane wavy slide, dizzy disc, open rope bridge, wobbly mirror plus other features. Both areas are easily accessible to go between the two which makes supervising two or more children a lot easier.

There is also a cafe downstairs with highchairs and baby changing facilities available.

        

Little Adventurers 

Little Adventurers is a stay and play, located in The Victoria Shopping Centre in Southend. They hold affordable stay and play sessions every weekday where you can either drop-in or book ahead. Babies are free to play and it's a really lovely, airy open space. They have all kinds of toys, role play, small world and creative activities. As well as a general stay and play,  Little Adventurers hold a variety of sessions for children up to five years old including baby play, craft sessions and soft play. Prices start from as little as £1.50 for 30 minutes of play but you can find more information on cost of sessions and their weekly timetable on their Facebook page.

     

Creations 

Creations is a stay and play, based in Hullbridge. It hosts two separate rooms, one being for messy play and the other for toys. The messy play area has painting, drawing, play dough and sensory activities. The toy area has a role play and dressing up area, lots of small world toys and books. There is also an outdoor area with slides, ride-on cars and more! Each session lasts for two hours and children are free to play and explore all the areas. The age is advertised at 0-8 years and there is soft mats and baby mats for younger babies and crawlers.

You can buy drinks and refreshments, including toast for the children. There are toilets, a nappy changing area and space big enough to change your children if they have got particularly messy or wet.

   

Larger soft play's/activities with small baby areas 

Indirock soft play and climbing session

Indirock is an indoor bouldering wall and coffee shop, however on Tuesday and Friday mornings, they have sessions for under 5's. These sessions are unstructured, free play sessions with just parental supervision. The area has some small soft play and climbing toys, tunnels and ball pit. There is also access to a small climbing wall for the slightly older ones to start learning. Sessions can be booked online via Indirock website. The coffee shop is a great stop for afterwards and includes highchairs and a small children's play area too.

     

Monkey Bizness, Rochford 

As well as having a huge soft play area for older children, Monkey Bizness also has a great section for babies, split into two areas. The smallest is specifically for Under 1's with some soft building blocks, tunnel and space to run/crawl around. The second section is for under 3's equipped with a multi-story play area including a ball pit, slides and lots of features to climb in/over. 

Additionally, they have a sensory room which is a large, dimmed room with flashing lights. They have some features on the wall including LED mirrors and some sensory objects and although is a great addition, I wouldn't travel just for the sensory room as it's fairly empty other than the few features mentioned. 

     

Oxygen - Under 5's soft play 

As well as the large trampoline Park, Oxygen has an under 5's soft play area which you can book for 1 adult and 1 child for 60 minutes. The area includes a double slide, a ball pit and lot's of tunnels and soft areas for crawlers and new walkers. Oxygen also hold sensory play sessions every morning for toddlers which includes free play and sensory activities such as building blocks, animal sound games and parachute games.

      

The Megacentre Rayleigh

The Megacentre has an area for under 3's which includes a soft padded area with two slides, a ball pit and a few things to climb on. It's great if you have an older child as the bigger play area is just above the baby area, so you can still see/hear your older children if they need you. Additionally, they have the sensory room and a cafe with highchairs and baby menu.

   

Kids Kingdom 

Kids Kingdom near Garon's has a designated area for Under 3's. It includes a soft play area with slides, a ball pit, sensory mat and bubble tube. Upstairs, there is a toddlers role play area with including a play house and toy kitchens. There are lots of toys suitable for under 1's as well as baby bouncers and walkers. The cafe has highchairs and a children's menu which includes hot and cold food and children's lunch boxes. Children under 1 are £3.50 but free with a paying sibling. All other prices can be found on their website.

Sealife Adventure

Sealife is a local aquarium that not only has underwater creatures, but also penguins, monkeys, meerkats and dinosaurs too. (not real ones of course) It's a great place to take the littles ones and even babies for the sensory experience. Sealife is mostly indoors so perfect for the colder weather but it does have a few outdoor areas too. Very buggy friendly with changing facilities and a large spacious cafe. Online entry is £14 and children under 90cm are free.

     


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