What?: Finding SNUG was a happy, nay ecstatic, accident. We were on our way home having just spent a grim half an hour in a queue in the King’s Cross ticket office, Bab was whining because she was revoltingly snotty and I was trying not to cry because I had horrific backache, when suddenly I spotted brightly coloured plastic on the horizon. And brightly coloured plastic can only mean one thing. Soft. Freaking. Play.
Now it might not look like much but SNUG is actually ingenious in that rather than consisting of traditional soft-play apparatus it’s made up of a series of soft(ish) plastic shapes that can be fixed together to create an infinite number of ‘play landscapes’ comprising tunnels, trampolines, slides, houses; whatever – their imagination is the limit (that and the fact that there are only about four different shapes to choose from, so perhaps don’t expect your five-year-old to build a scale model of the Taj Mahal).
Where?: Lewis Cubitt Park, a new green space that’s part of the massive rejuvenation project happening behind King’s Cross station. It’s a bit tucked away, but only a 10-minute walk from King’s Cross St. Pancras (Eurostar, National Rail, Victoria, Northern, Hammersmith & City, Circle, Metropolitan), and 20 from Euston (Northern, Victoria, National Rail), Caledonian Road & Barnsbury and Camden Road (Ginger). The website says that the SNUG equipment is available to use between 10am and 4pm daily throughout the summer, provided that the grass isn’t too wet, though we stayed well past 5 and it’s barely even spring.
Facilities: This is a small, relatively unestablished park so at present it’s basically just a patch of grass with some benches, though there are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and toilet/baby-change places within the King’s Cross complex.
Best Bits: If you love lying on the grass surrounded by skyscrapers and pretending you’re in Central Park then this is the park for you. Personally I live for doing this. The equipment also looked very clean considering that this is an unstaffed, outdoor play area that’s presumably been clambered on by thousands of snot-faced children
Worst Bits: We visited on a warmish early-April afternoon and pretty much had it to ourselves, but I get the feeling it’ll be a different story come summer. Also, while I love that the adaptable kit encourages imaginative play I’m concerned that it might also encourage injury – particularly where very tiny people like mine are concerned.
Would We Come Back?: Yes,this is a really nice spot that’s ideally placed for post-train-journey child emancipation but far enough from the station to be peaceful. Bab found the bouncy shapes endlessly hilarious and cried when we left, though to be honest that’s not really indicative of anything these days.
Bab plays at SNUG, Lewis Cubitt Park, King’s Cross