To absolutely hate soft play parties...so much that when I know I have to attend one..

(158 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 13:25:21

it ruins my entire day. I can't BEAR the places...we never visit them as a family because the noise and constant selling of crap annoys the hell out of me.

DD2 is 5 and has 2 this week. The parties are both for good friends of hers.

She's not comortable with me leaving her with a friend's mum yet so I have to stay. DH can't take her...they're both at 4.00pm.

I HATE THEM! Sitting for 2 hours in a loud, grubby place and being obliged to spend 8 quid on 2 coffees just to have something to do.

Am I alone? My hatred of them seems quite imbalanced almost.

Wallison Mon 15-Apr-13 23:31:27

OP you are definitely not BU. They are vile places. Shitty fucking coffee, shitty fucking cakes, squillions of feral kids careering around with sweaty red faces and, yes, shit in the ball pool.

Soft play centres are where hope goes to die.

SpanishFly Tue 16-Apr-13 07:38:06

To be fair I've never been at a soft play thats as awful as some of you are describing. We've got a couple of quite nice ones near us. I used to quite like when ds1 was old enough to disappear for an hour while I had coffee and read a book with my feet up. Was a lot less stressful than many of the other options

ll31 Tue 16-Apr-13 07:48:54

It's how long-two hours? Won't kill you

anniroc Tue 16-Apr-13 07:54:03

Am genuinely shocked about the poo/uncleanliness mentioned. Ours aren't like that but then we live in a very smug m.class area. YABU - I love soft play, but then our children are still very young and I just like having a bit of a rest and cup of coffee!

kungfupannda Tue 16-Apr-13 08:37:05

I've a fair few gripes with soft play - mainly related to parents who smile benignly while their ten year-old flattens toddlers in the under-three section and then gets all huffy when I scream "Out! OUT!" at said ten-year old - but I've never been to one which isn't clean and vaguely comfortable.

We've got a fair few within driving distance. One is huge and expensive and has very nice tea and cake, but gets absolutely rammed during the holidays or after school. One is smaller and family run with a pretty basic cafe, but tables right next to an enclosed toddler section so DS2 can do his own thing while I drink tea and pretend I'm somewhere else. We've also got a tiny one with a nice cafe, big windows (why does softplay never have windows?) and again, tables right next to a big toddler area.

Our nearest one is good.

It's clean, coffee is decent. Slightly lower than average cafe prices for the area, and they do snacks. Toilets, changing facilities and plenty of seating for adults.

Admission charge is per child but seemingly no limit on adults. We took DD and it cost us £4.25 to get in. For as long as we wanted.

My only criticism of our nearest is that it's too small!

aldiwhore Tue 16-Apr-13 08:43:55

Our local one is probably perfect. It's clean, fairly cheap, healthy food and they have a strict child limit so it's never overcrowded.

It is still hell on earth though.

I would probably work on extolling the virtues of partying without mummy to your dd!!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 16-Apr-13 09:03:59

We have two...one u[p the road from me is nice...clean and well managed....the one yesterday was 4 miles out of town on an industrial estate in a less salubrious part of town...it does a cheaper deal. I don't blame parents for going there but I also think ffs WHY have a party for the whole class in this shithole....if you can't afford the decent one then why not have 3 or 4 kids over for a tea party?

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 09:14:38

is it really trendy these days to be above all this kind of stuff and sneer at it? I always quite enjoyed soft play (some much more than others), usually an easy few hours sitting on a couch chatting or reading while your kid has a ball and gets loads of exercise, especially when the weather is crap.

Wallison Tue 16-Apr-13 09:34:26

If it's trendy then I am a trail-blazer because I've always hated them. And I have never managed to sit and read a book and relax etc at them; it's just not a relaxing environment. The noise!

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 09:55:15

Oh God, not said any of this because it's 'trendy' shock They just genuinely give me the fear. I wish I was more relaxed about it.

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 09:57:42

not sneering either. some of the best parents I know have parties there. I'm just choosing my battles iyswim. If we go to something I can't stand it makes me a crap parent for the rest of the day. I admire people who are more laid back.

Scottishtanguera Tue 16-Apr-13 09:59:54

OP, YADNBU. I agree with what most have said here - soft play are vile, noisy, smelly, expensive and soft play parties are a special kind of hell. Even though it's short, it's still the longest 2 hours of your life.
yy to what someone said about having to make small talk with the other parents then shuffle into a room to watch our kids eat!

Im genuinely envious of those who can take a book/magazine and "relax" while their kids play. Granted, it's a lot easier when they reach the age where you no longer have to go in with them to the wee-smelling ball pits, but relax?? I wish I was capable of blocking out that much noise.
I leave with a headache. Everytime.

Floggingmolly Tue 16-Apr-13 11:26:28

Jesus! Is it "trendy" to dislike soft play?.
Some of the "best" parents have parties there... hmm Go or don't go, it doesn't make it any better or worse that complete strangers have validated your choices, ffs.

bedmonster Tue 16-Apr-13 11:49:24

I love soft play, especially with DS when it's term time and generally very quiet. We have about 6 within a 10 minute drive of us, and none of them have ever had piles of shit lying about when i've been to them. I would be disgusted and wouldn't be in a hurry to return. The 2 I like best have good food for adults and children, are clean and have clean loos. I don't drink coffee or tea, so I couldn't tell you if they were overpriced or not.
They are an excellent place to take all 3 of my DC to, although at the weekends it's a totally different kettle of fish as it's so busy and noisy. But if we go, we get there for when it opens and stay an hour or 2 before it gets very busy. I can think if relatively few indoor activities that appeal to the different age ranges of them all, but soft play is one of them.
Having said that, I wouldn't be staying at a party, it would be a drop and run situation. I cba with making small talk with.

bedmonster Tue 16-Apr-13 11:49:48

That last with shouldn't be there!

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 11:59:20

FloggingMolly what is your problem with what I posted? Someone asked/assumed I/others were sneering.

I wanted to reassure them that I wasn't sneering. And yes it is true that some of the best parents I know have their kids' parties there. I'm saying that I don't consider people who go to soft play to be beneath me in any way. Just more tolerant.

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 12:01:04

Do you think that it's wrong to say 'best' parents? I'm talking about people I think are really good parents. Better parents than I am.

I don't understand what's wrong with that.

MarvinMedium Tue 16-Apr-13 12:11:35

I stopped taking DSs to soft play parties the day DNeice came home from one covered in someone elses poo...in fact they were all covered in someone elses poo.

Didn't miss it though mind - also hated sitting in the park watching them play on the slides / swings and get pushed around (not in a good way) by bigger kids. Give me a nice doggy nature walk any time grin

MarvinMedium Tue 16-Apr-13 12:12:31

Ah just read the thread now and realised that makes me a bit of a snob or something confused

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 12:13:36

No, it doesn't Marvin - I think only one person commented that people thought themselves above that kind of thing because it's trendy.

I don't think most people think that. I hope not anyway.

MarvinMedium Tue 16-Apr-13 12:16:17

I find it's the middle class centre parks parents round here who have the parties at softplay anyway.

I also worried there was too much scope for injury blush - all those swinging padded bars and bottoms of slides...esp with the littler ones.

Floggingmolly Tue 16-Apr-13 12:16:46

I didn't think you were sneering, Mandragora, just, you know, soft play is sheer hell soft play, the fact that what you define as better parents take their children there doesn't make it any more or less palatable than it would be anyway.

MandragoraWurzelstock Tue 16-Apr-13 12:29:30

God I can't win smile

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 13:34:07

MarvinMedium - so where do the non middle class/centre park folk have their parties?

i've always noticed centre parks gets sneered at on here as well.

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