Our local soft play, Crazy Chimps, has been overdue for a revisit since we made a hasty exit from the opening party. There have been a few weeks of glorious weather, when the park has beckoned instead….and there was that inconvenient trip to middle-of-nowhereshire last week. But this Saturday was rainy and grim and we had nothing else to do, so we left Eva sleeping at home and headed down there.
(Nathan was at home too, in case you’ve hit the “Social Services” speed-dial key. I imagine most readers have their fingers on that key every time they read the blog…)
It’s changed a lot since we last visited. I met the owner, Sally, on the way in and she was kind enough to show me round to see all the new bits. There’s a lot of them, so hang on…I will try and remember!
Firstly, the toddler area. On the opening weekend, it looked like this:
There’s a green music-wall on one side, and a low white wall on the other side, enclosing the space so that the bigger kids are diverted around the outside. And the music wall includes a glockenspiel and some drums:
Then, within the toddler area there’s a separate bit for babies, which is even more enclosed, like a giant play pen:and that has all the foam blocks and things in that babies like to throw around. So, I think we can all agree it’s much improved. Safer and more stuff to play with. I know a few other parents were worried about the babies being trampled, so it’s handy to know you can stash them away!
There are also a few new sections – a hair salon, with ingenious car-shaped seats for kids that Roo rushed to as soon as we got there (sadly I didn’t get a photo), a treatment room and -coming soon – a cinema room that can be hired out for parties. There’s a cafe as well, which sells teapigs tea and innocent smoothies. I do love a cup of teapigs.
There’s also a reception-operated gate between the play area and the outside, which should reassure parents again. And new tables with little chairs, and a screen showing CBeebies for when kids need a bit of time out:
I had a chat with Sally about the pricing too, and she assures me there are some good deals coming up, like a lunchtime entry price that includes a snack box. The 30% off admission also runs till the end of May and there’s also membership available.
Anyway, Reuben had a great time running around, jumping and stacking. He told me “I like the trampoline, it’s soooo springy” but he also liked the ball pool and the light-up slide. We also utilised the toilets a couple of times and they have those child-seat-within-adult-seat things that his friend C has. Very clever, and he managed to…err….perform in the right place (less said about other occasions the better). It wasn’t too crowded this time, the atmosphere was a lot more peaceful, although it was fairly busy and I was mainly able to watch him from the cafe area. So, a definite improvement on the opening party and we’ll be going back. I would recommend other local parents give it a look as well. For more info, visit the Crazy Chimps website