Purpose built for families with under-5s, One O’Clock clubs are council run centres where you can go to play with your child, try out new activities together (especially the messy ones you wouldn’t want to do at home) and meet other local families. They also offer various classes for little ones and advice sessions for parents. They take their name from their opening hours which are generally between 1pm and 3.30pm every weekday (although this can vary slightly from centre to centre). Wandsworth has no less than 12 centres each offering slightly different facilities and activities. Here’s our guide.
Alton Activity Centre One O’Clock Centre, Roehampton
Set beside Putney Heath, this centre has a good range of indoor and outdoor toys and play equipment. There’s also a multi sensory room which, with special lighting, mirrors, relaxing music, range of textured toys and soft padded interiors, offers a great stimulating environment for babies and younger toddlers.
Alton One O’Clock Centre, Roehampton
Confusingly, Roehampton has two One O’Clock Centres and they are both called Alton! This one has the usual range of indoor and outdoor toys, singing sessions and story times but shouldn’t be confused with the Alton Activity Centre One O’Clock Club which has the sensory room.
Battersea Park One O’Clock Centre
Located just next to the adventure playground and toddler playground in Battersea Park this centre has a nice fenced in garden area and good range of toys and craft materials. There’s a multi sensory room for younger children too.
Bolingbroke One O’Clock Centre
On the Northcote Road side of Wandsworth Common, this centre is one of Wandsworth’s larger clubs. There’s a multi sensory room, good range of creative and messy play, outdoor playground area and lawn. They run a good range of classes and courses too including training courses to help you get back into the world of work, parenting courses plus information and access to counselling and support.
Coronation Gardens One O’Clock Centre, Southfields
This centre just across the road from the tube station in Southfields, offers a good range of indoor and outdoor activities including craft, messy play, sand and water play and painting. They also have regular visits from nursery nurses, midwives and other child professionals.
Fayland One O’Clock Centre, Furzedown
Recently renovated, this is one of the cleanest and tidiest clubs around (you can imagine the wear and tear One O’clock clubs are subjected to!). There’s a good range of toys, crafts and messy play materials and a well thought out outdoor area too. They run a variety of free activities and courses too: recent ones have included first aid, baby massage, kids’ cookery and even tent building in the garden! Upstairs there is a health visitor clinic where you can get your baby weighed.
Garratt Park One O’Clock Centre, Earlsfield
Another centre with a multi sensory room, this club also has plenty to entertain older children. There’s a nice outside area with a good variety of ride on toys and water play in the summer. This club is located in Garratt Park which also has a nice junior playground.
Heathbrook Park One O’Clock Centre, Battersea
At the very edge of Battersea on the border with Lambeth, this centre is set inHeathbrookPark. Although the park could do with some TLC, it does have a children’s playground that was recently revamped. The centre itself is also a little unloved but has a range of indoor and outdoor toys and offers free classes for little ones and advice sessions for parents.
King George’s Park One O’Clock Centre, Wandsworth
Despite being in central Wandsworth, and close enough to the Southside Shopping Centre that a visit can easily be combined with a spot of shopping, this centre has a lovely location in the park alongside the River Wandle. The park has plenty to keep the kids occupied, with three playgrounds, tennis courts, ball games area and lake. The One O’Clock Club is in the park’s pavillion and offers a very wide range of activities from singing and stories to woodwork and cookery.
Triangle One O’Clock Children’s Centre, Balham
Next to the Triangle toddler’s playground and huge sandpit, this club is at it’s best in the summer. There’s a large enclosed garden with plenty of ride on toys, see-saw, slide, roundabout and sand pit. The indoor area is on the small side but there is still a reasonable range of toys and lots activities and support available.
Windmill One O’Clock Centre, Wandsworth Common
Being on the edge of Wandsworth Common, this club has a nice big outside area with climbing frame, slides and ride-ons. Inside there’s a good range of toys and messy play activities with regular activities like singing sessions and one off events like Christmas parties. They also have regular visits and talks from childcare professionals including nursery nurse surgeries and talks on starting school.
York Gardens One O’Clock Children’s Centre, Battersea
Behind the Winstanley Estate near Clapham Junction, York Gardens houses not just the One O’Clock club but also a playground and exciting adventure playground for over 5s. The Club has a good range of indoor and outdoor toys and offers a wide variety of activities and courses with groups for everyone from new mums, toddlers, children who speak other languages and childminders. The nearby York Gardens Library which has recently reopened also runs an impressive range of drama, dance, music and craft activities for children of all ages.