Hangouts

Let them cut loose at Peckham Levels, London’s coolest urban playground

The kids' play area, despite being popularly referred to as 'soft play' is in fact anything but, consisting of a brightly painted half-pipe situation and a few concrete shapes.

What?: Multi-storey-carpark-turned-cultural-destination known for its Insta-friendly rainbow stairwell and rooftop bar. Reopened late last year as Peckham Levels, the carpark in its current incarnation was developed by Make Shift, the team behind Pop Brixton, and includes office space, an auditorium, bars and a cafe, shops, a hair salon, a live music event space, a yoga studio and – crucially, for our purposes – a kids’ play area. The latter, despite being popularly referred to as ‘soft play’ is in fact anything but, consisting of a brightly painted half-pipe situation and a few concrete shapes – although, honestly, I’ll take that. I mean I will take most things if they afford me 10 minutes to drink my coffee in peace. And even if a bunch of concrete blocks don’t cut it for your kid, this whole building is pretty toddler-friendly with its endless space, slopes and colours – although admittedly rather less baby-friendly because, y’know, concrete.

Bab’s absolute favourite thing about this place was the billions of steps (this was not my favourite thing) – particularly the bright red ones leading up to WEST, the Californian-style bar. I loved Natalie Christensen and Jim Eyre’s alteredstates/alteredscapes wall art, Wildflower‘s delicious coffee and fudgey brownies, the positively bargainous £3-for-four-shots photo booth, and the fact that the kids felt simultaneously safely contained and free to explore. There were, predictably, moments when one of them wandered into Cahoona’s Hair Hub, tried to topple the panda-headed mannequins outside the little clothes shop and generally just went completely AWOL, but everyone we met was friendly and there’s not too much disaster potential here. Just watch out for the stairs – they are hard and steep and plentiful.

Where?: Peckham Levels is located at 1 to 6 Peckham Town Centre Car Park, just off Rye Lane, and is a one-minute walk from Peckham Rye station.

Best Bits: Just so cool.

Worst Bits: Frank’s Cafe rooftop bar was closed for winter so we missed out on the amazing views across London (note it also closes on Mondays).

Facilities: Step-free access, toilets with room for baby-changing (but bring a mat), kids’ play area, numerous bars and a cafe.

Would We Come Back?: Yes!

www.peckhamlevels.org

Bab explores at Peckham Levels, Peckham.

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