Changing the look and feel of traditional soft play

Changing the look and feel of traditional soft play

Are indoor Natural Themed Play areas a level above Soft Play Centres?


In the past, soft play centres have been popping up on industrial estates and in city centres across the country for many years now and are often seen as the go-to place for families when the weather outside is cold, grey or wet. Attracting families with young children, brightly coloured soft play provides children with the opportunity to burn off steam whilst the adults can take the opportunity to grab a quick sit-down and a drink… but are soft play centres really stimulating our children’s senses and imagination?


Soft play centre


Some of our recent themed indoor play projects are breaking the soft play mould by bringing the outdoors inside. People have found that indoor natural timber play and themed areas are proving to be a lot more attractive and popular than the overpopulated noisy soft play centres. This has proved itself particularly within the area of farm diversification where heritage and history remain high on the agenda, and where play value is of utmost importance.



In a Play England report, it states that…

“Successful play spaces are located and designed with reference to their surroundings. Play equipment and features are chosen for the way they can complement and enhance their setting as well as for their play value.” (


Over the past year, we have worked with many venues to design and build some spectacular themed indoor play spaces.


Recent indoor play projects, including Amerton Farm and West Lodge, reflect this idea of complementing the surroundings and enhancing the setting in a brilliant way, using inspiration from the local area and nature. A massive step beyond the familiar, primary coloured, padded surroundings, these new indoor play areas stimulate children’s senses with natural materials, textures, and historically-themed landscapes, all within an indoor space!


The ‘Outdoors – inside’ playscape provides an opportunity for children to immerse themselves in an interactive, imaginary world, far beyond the often, predictable features of a ‘traditional’ soft play centre. The new breed of natural indoor playscapes offers a vast array of stimulating features that stretch a child’s physical abilities, providing an element of surprise and fun around every corner to ensure that they remain fully engaged.


In answer to the question:

Indoor play doesn’t have to be soft play. Indoor play needs to look great, be educational and offer a lot of fun and play value.

Break the mould… with themed natural or timber play spaces and you can have all of the above, plus you can be unique, have a clear USP and become an Instagram worthy play space!  Although Soft Play may offer some of these points and may better suit some location, we believe that naturally themed timber play areas will always be a better option for many venues and will offer a superior experience for children and parents.



See below a selection of themed natural timber play spaces we have completed.

West Lodge Farm Park:

A large immersive play area all centred around a large enchanted oak tree with an internal spiral slide. View full case study here. 

Ice Cream Farm – Sticky Paws in the Flavour Forest:

A heavily themed indoor play space based on the story of where ice cream comes from and how it is made. View full case study here.

Windmill Farm Park:

An indoor adventure playground designed around a multi-level windmill, themed on the original windmill located in the farm grounds. View full case study here.

Amerton Farm – Billy’s Play Barn:

An indoor play space that incorporated historic and well-known local buildings from past and present. View full case study here.


Are you looking at installing a themed indoor adventure play space at your venue?

There are multiple benefits… some of these are.  


  • Good return on investment
  • Great referral and repeat custom
  • ‘Instagram-able’ spaces – Self-marketing
  • Offer excellent play value
  • Look amazing an create the ‘wow factor’
  • Integrate a café or restaurant for parents to relax whilst watching their children play.


We can help with any design and build requirements you may have. Contact us today by clicking here, or call one of the team on +44 2380 476 737


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Latest Project

Fairhaven Lake 18 Hole Adventure Golf

About the Project:

Greenspan is proud to have successfully completed this stunning 18 hole adventure golf course for Fylde Council. The themed mini golf course is located next to Fairhaven Lake and offers so much fun for all ages. The course is themed on area history, famous landmarks, and local wildlife. Some of the iconic landmarks include St Annes Pier, The Royal Lytham Hall, Singleton Fire Station and more.

The course also features some of the famous signature holes from St Annes Old Links and Royal Lytham & St Annes golf clubs.


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