There’s a huge indoor beach outside John Lewis in Centre MK – one of the main shopping centres in Milton Keynes. Entrance is free and you and the kids can spend as long as you like playing there. It’s there until 3rd September 2017. Watch our video below and then scroll down for more information.

What tips do you have for visiting the beach at Centre MK – and not spending much money?

It can get really busy particularly on a cloudy / wet day, so I’d go earlier in the day rather than later. Take a bucket and spade with you if you can. There is a shop that sells them if you forget, but they’re not cheap, so to save money take your own. The beach itself is free to enter, but your kids may be tempted by the rides and the cost can add up if you have more than one child or they want a couple of goes, so it’s worth knowing how much they cost before you go so you’re well prepared – train and mini wheel £2, helter skelter £2 per slide or 2 slides for £3, crazy golf £3, bungee trampoline £4. There are plenty of places to eat of course, but you could easily take a picnic and sit on the deckchairs – assuming you can get one and the whole of Milton Keynes isn’t there.

beach at centre mk 2017
beach at centre mk 2017

When can I visit the beach at Centre MK and where is it?

The opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.30am – 6.00pm, Saturday 9.00am – 6.00pm, Sunday 10.00am – 5.00pm up to and including 3rd September 2017. Centre MK is one of the two larger shopping centres in Milton Keynes and is between Midsummer Boulevard and Silbury Boulevard, between Saxon Gate (V7) and Marlborough Gate. The beach is at the John Lewis end of the centre. Don’t park in a premium red parking space, it’ll cost a fortune. We often park in a 50p an hour purple space. Apparently – although we haven’t checked it out – you can park for free for 3 hours in the Iceland car park – just keep an eye on the time.

beach at centre mk 2017
centre mk beach

What else can I do for free in the area whilst we’re there?

There’s a small soft play right at the other end of the other shopping centre, Intu MK. Apparently there’s also a small playmobil area there too. If you come out of the shopping centre and walk to Xscape MK (the building with the ski slope) then there is a small soft play facility which is suitable for under 5s and there’s a walking dinosaur there on selected days in August too. If you don’t mind jumping in the car and want to explore Milton Keynes, then just refer to Milton Keynes Kids the map so you can plan where you want to go.

What other beaches and sandpits are there locally?

Despite being 2 hours from the coast there are quite a few beaches and sandpits you can take the kids to locally. We’ve put together a list of the ten of the best free ones. If you’ve found this blog post useful do take a look at our big list of ten really cheap days out.


I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.

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