Under the Sea Soft Play

Slide, balance, climb and bounce at the Horniman’s Under the Sea Soft Play. Perfect for young children, our aquarium-themed play area is designed to delight and challenge.

Soft Play has now finished at the Horniman.

This summer we are making a splash with the creation of our first soft play experience in the Museum.

Inspired by the Horniman’s popular Aquarium, the marine-themed equipment includes netted play frames, bubbling ball ponds, fish-shaped rockers and soft toys.

Children will also find aquatic inspiration in the reading and dressing-up areas.

Please note that all children must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Please see our Rules of Play below for more details.

Please note that Under the Sea Soft Play is not included in Horniman Membership.

Visit information

  • Sessions last one hour.
  • To avoid disappointment we encourage you to book in advance.
  • If buying more than one child ticket, only one adult is required to attend for every two children.
  • No shoes in the play area, and socks are required. We advise children wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts in the play area.
  • Children aged 6 and under and supervising adults only.

Rules of Play

Responsible supervision

  • Children must be supervised by a responsible parent or guardian at all times. We advise one adult supervising for every two children.
  • No climbing on the outside or on top of the play frames. It’s more fun inside them anyway!
  • Please help your children to keep the soft play equipment on the mats.
  • Only children aged 6 and under on the equipment.

Clean play, happy play

  • For safety, no food or drink allowed. An exception is made for water outside in the seating area.
  • No chewing gum, vaping, or littering please.
  • No foreign items in the play frames i.e. books, toys.

Dressed and ready to go!

  • No shoes anywhere on the mats, but socks must be worn. That’s for the adults too!
  • We recommend wearing non-slip socks to prevent slipping on areas outside of the play area.
  • We recommend long trousers and long-sleeved tops, tucked in.
  • We ask that all jewellery including badges are removed before entering the play area. Children wearing glasses or hearing aids should take particular care.
  • Please empty all pockets before entering the play areas.

Personal belongings

  • Pushchairs and buggies are to be left outside the play area. There will be limited space available within the Studio. The buggy park outside in Gallery Square should be used.
  • We have shoe storage available but provided storage is used at the owner’s risk, the Horniman does not accept any responsibility for the loss or damage of personal belongings at any time.

Feeling under the weather?

  • Children who are unwell should not visit.
  • We advise children should not go on the play equipment immediately after eating.
  • Please inform a member of the Horniman team if there is any accident or injury.

A great time for all!

  • Children (and grown-ups too!) can sometimes forget their p’s and q’s; we want everyone to enjoy their time here. Please be mindful of how you and your children interact with those around them. Disrespectful and abusive behaviour towards others could result in being asked to leave.