Soft Play in Bristol: Why choose us?


Soft Play in Bristol: Why choose us?


Bristol is a vibrant city, jam-packed with fantastic small and independent businesses – and we’re delighted to be one of them! This also means that there is an awful lot of things to do with kids in Bristol, and a huge range of soft play in Bristol too. Aside from our incredibly handy location in The Mall, Cribbs Causeway (making us the perfect pit stop on family shopping trips), there’s lots of other things that make us completely different from all the other soft play in Bristol – including:

  • Our all-natural, non-toxic take on soft play
  • REAL food from local businesses
  • The benefits of outdoor adventure – inside!
  • A dedicated baby room
  • Quality barista coffees and artisan teas

Let’s find out more…

Our all-natural, non-toxic take on soft play

1. Our all-natural, non-toxic take on soft play Traditionally, soft play centres are made almost entirely of plastic - which we think it pretty outdated.

Plastic originally earnt its place as the go-to soft play material in the 90s, back when the world was plastic mad and we were unaware of the impending environmental disaster that was landfills. Sure, plastic could be used to create cushiony soft, wipe-clean surfaces, but it turns out that:

  • Plastic attracts a lot of germs

You don’t have to be a germophobe to wince when your child dives head first into a suspicious-looking ball pit. While bodily fluids come part and parcel with children, the thought of garishly-coloured ball pits being designed as such to conceal dirt… certainly makes me queasy. One report found that 99.9% of public play areas were contaminated with harmful bacteria, and germs live longer on plastic than wood. Our indoor play area is made mainly of wood, which has been found to kill bacteria in as little as 3-10 minutes.

  • Plastic is full of mystery chemicals

If you weren’t already anxious enough watching babies hold ball pit balls up to their mouths, the fact that plastic is full of chemicals won’t help either. While the brightly coloured plastic surfaces of soft play might look innocent, plastics have been proven to contain flame retardants, heavy metals and endocrine disruptors. In fact, 13,000 different chemicals have been found in plastic and one study suggests harmful chemicals are present in 25% of children’s toys.

  • Play doesn’t have to be ‘soft’

Our play area is made mostly of wood, with some recycled plastic used for slides and tunnels. This means that we are more akin to adventure play than soft play, which we believe is more enriching and beneficial for kids. We’ve found that when the cushioned edges of soft play are removed, children engage in more mindful, caring and creative play. Rest assured, we’re just as safe as soft play and are risk-assessed by RoSPA every year.

2. REAL food from local businesses

Our mission to make indoor play slower and more mindful comes hand in hand with how we stock our Bristol play cafe. The sugar-fuelled menus found at soft play centres can lead to extra excitable and loud kids, which can be intimidating for smaller, quieter children. The food found at soft play also doesn’t usually appeal much to adults, despite it being one of the few moments where the kids are distracted enough for you to sit down and treat yourself to something nice.

We’re proud to stock our cafe full of delicious Tiffin sandwiches, wraps and toasties that cater to a range of dietary requirements, and we also have an impressive selection of cakes from Bristol-based Cakesmiths.

3. Our soft play offers the benefits of outdoor adventure... inside!

We feel strongly that all kids, regardless of where they grow up, should experience the sights, sounds and smells of playing in the natural world. Research has found that children prefer play areas that include natural forms and materials, and this makes them more likely to engage their imagination, muscles and critical thinking skills. This is why we were so disappointed with the garish, plastic soft play areas available on most high streets, and felt like they needed a change.

Our Cribbs Causeway play area has been designed to recreate the feeling of wide open woodland indoors. Children are free to run WiLD, explore real-world forms, natural textures and hidden nooks.

4. We have a dedicated baby room

Most soft play centres say they are suitable for ages 1+, but playing can bring so much enrichment to under 1s too! Play is essential for brain and muscle development, and play centres offer lots of sights, sounds and textures for babies to engage with. However, taking babies to a traditional soft play can be a daunting experience. Many soft plays allow children up to age 12, and 12 year olds running round at speed can make a play centre an anxiety-inducing environment for parents of babies.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during termtime, our back room turns into our dedicated baby room – full of specific age appropriate sensory play equipment.

5. Quality barista coffees and artisan teas

When we set out to create Wild Things, we wanted to create a play cafe where both kids AND adults would enjoy spending time. A big part of this was making sure that we served up real barista coffees – from cappuccinos to cortados. We also do hot chocolates, babyccinos and offer a huge range of TeaPigs teas. Our team have lots of fun coming up with our limited edition seasonal drinks menu, whipping up pumpkin spice and gingerbread lattes for much less than the usual high street price tag!

Soft play in Bristol - with a difference Come and visit our Cribbs Causeway indoor play centre!

If you’re looking for soft play in Bristol, why not try something a little bit different, more modern and enriching? Find us in The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, right next to Nando’s!

Times & Prices