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.

MidniteScribbler Tue 16-Apr-13 14:13:14

If I have to go to a party with parents that I can't stand, then I take the laptop and a handful of very official books. Mutterings of "Due this week" and "Can barely spare the time for poor DS to get to a party" seem to be enough to get other parents giving you sympathetic looks and buying you coffee while you "keep at it". wink

tarajupp Tue 16-Apr-13 14:22:26

I went to my first soft play party in a local hall last year - and the birthday girl's parents provided wine!! So it was a shock when I then took DS to a commercial one and there was only coffee grin
Round here they are mostly clean, but we do tend to stick to the one's just for under 5's - less noisy and don't get jumped on/kicked quite as much!

piprabbit Tue 16-Apr-13 14:28:06

Our local commercial one sells wine and beer - they obviously know how desperate the parents get grin.
I've never been brave enough to buy myself a glass of wine when it's just me and the kids on a weekday morning.

mumofweeboys Tue 16-Apr-13 15:16:25

Our local one is fab but do tend to go in the morning when first open. Its lovely and clean. Actually see staff crawling through to do checks. No rides or anything u have to pay extra for. Have been to a few in our area and some are just nasty.

Was shocked when went to england and there were cars on race track u had to pay for

Gemini1974 Tue 16-Apr-13 15:21:26

I live taking my boys (3 and 4) to our local soft play centre. It helps them work off their excess energy when the weather is bad and we can't do activities outside. It's £5 all in for entry including unlimited squash and a cup of tea/coffee for one adult. I view it as 2 hours mind space to keep my sanity!! There are the occasional instances of mean behaviour from other kids, but it's small enough to see what's going on. I try not to get involved in the kids arguments cos they're happily playing together 10 minutes later, but sometimes, you see instances of nastiness from other kids which is worrying.....the only negative about ours is the miserable staff who can't crack a smile but they have a proper latte machine so I can ignore that (grin)

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 16-Apr-13 16:28:21

Gemini our closest costs 4.50 per child and nothing included...once I've paid for drinks and some lunch or a snack, I'm looking at almost 30 quid all together!

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 17:03:26

Another Mum asked me if we wanted to go to our local soft play over the holidays.

Oh how I laughed!!!!! Never. Ever. Never. Again.

The lovely lovely Mum took DD along with her and her DD - I returned the favour by taking her DD out on another day out. Hooray!!

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 17:04:07

it's the noise - my head rattles and pounds for days afterwards.

drjohnsonscat Tue 16-Apr-13 17:07:28

In our local softplay centre you are not allowed to take a drink - "for health and safety reasons". As if it's not bad enough having to sit and stare at the little beauties rampaging for an hour, you have to do so without a cup of tea. Oh and you only get an hour, from the top of the hour, so if you arrive at 3.20 you get 40 minutes - for £5 per child.

I love you Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre .

soverylucky Tue 16-Apr-13 17:09:08

I hate them too but the children like them. We go for a couple of hours and I can go without a brew for that long. The most extra I ever pay is for a carton of drink for the children. They ask for sweets and those silly ball things and I just say no. I also take a book with me.

soverylucky Tue 16-Apr-13 17:09:57

Soft play places though do need to be cleaner!

Sparklingbrook Tue 16-Apr-13 17:22:49

I think the people need to be cleaner TBH. sad

MamaBear17 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:32:50

I love taking my dd to soft play but I hate going to parties at soft play. I feel like you are on a conveyer belt!

Gemini1974 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:45:27

Neomaxi - that is expensive and would put me off! The £5 is for term time only, it's double at weekends and holidays but I avoid those times for all the reasons detailed above!! But for mid week term time when the little darlings are (ahem) a little 'trying', it's perfect. I sometimes meet my friend there too which is lovely, but as a rule I keep to myself and read. I tried going in there and my kids soon ejected me!

idiot55 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:51:16

me too, but the enjoyment of my child comes fisrt I hate parties altogether , so I just grin and bear it!!

MummytoKatie Tue 16-Apr-13 21:09:50

I really like soft play. Dd was a very late walker and really unconfident physically so it was a good place to encourage her to try climbing / jumping / balancing.

I've never been at a weekend or in school holidays though. We have our first soft play party on Saturday so maybe I'll change my mind.

Have to decide who is going with her soon - I'm currently 8 months pregnant so not convinced I'll be able to carry her over the "scary bits" but don't want to miss the full horror by sending dh on his own....

LaGuardia Wed 24-Apr-13 11:36:09

Indoor soft play are the centre of the bacterial universe. How often do you thing that equipment is cleaned? 'Never' is the correct answer. It is covered in barf and other equally revolting bodily fluids you can't see. They may give the cafe area a cursory wipe when they aren't gossiping behind the counter, but that's all. The one we went to had all the grubby lost socks hanging from a washing line over the cafe <boak> There is absolutely no way I am taking my toddler to soft play again.

Startail Wed 24-Apr-13 11:51:10

Also I'm no greatly bothered about cleanness as long as the toilets are reasonable. I'm not greatly into housework myself.

Yes climbing frame in the garden or a trip to the park are great, but sometimes it's cold and it's windy or wet and DD1 is still on the dinning table and the nursery teacher has peeled her down off the big school wall bars twice ready this week.

Then soft play is wonderful, ours is also quite big so out of school holidays the noise isn't too bad.

Khaleese Wed 24-Apr-13 12:06:01

Not a fan. I'd much rarther have an hour in the woods or riding bikes. Good waterproofs and fresh air keep me sane. Much less stresfull then hour in soft play.

The children like them, we do go to parties it always reinforces why i dislike them.

itsblackoveryonderhill Wed 24-Apr-13 12:17:04

I admit soft play prices on drinks etc are a bit extortionate, but we go regularly to ours.

I wouldn't get my studying done for my Masters without it. As already been said upthread, we get in, DD runs off, comes back every 15 mins or so for a drink and I get on read and do my studying. Win, win for both of us.

nisaac01 Fri 26-Apr-13 12:45:03

Can I ask.. if there was a softplay that catered more for adults would you be more keen to go along? Im thinking all the usual (clean) facilities for children but also a cafe which is actually nice to sit in. Nice furniture, great coffee, delicious cakes and pies, magazines, wifi. Possibly an area for Dads (or mums) with a playstation and TV for the footie. Would this appeal to you.. what are the impracticalities of it. Also, would you be keen to pay a monthly price for unlimited access ? Just a mum, trying to think of a good idea for a business and a way to look after my 3 kids.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 26-Apr-13 12:59:12

Nisaac I love a good business idea but I'd say no because the parents generally have to keep an eye on the children, they can't just sit there chillin'. Which is why I hate them unless they're quite contained which many of the ones near us aren't. There is one I absolutely despise - the DCs could literally be anywhere in a nest of tunnels etc... Packed with birthday parties...horrors...I'm sure there's an inverse correlation between how hard it is to supervise the child and how much they enjoy it......I wouldn't refuse to go but I don't like them at all.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:54

"Upthread someone mentioned "Lord of the Flies" and I certainly witnessed a couple of really nasty incidents with some low life white trash types that I had to intervene at."

White trashhmm Love how the racism goes unnoticed when it's about a white personsad

Beatrixpotty Fri 26-Apr-13 13:49:31

YANBU to dislike them.
They are horrible.Got told off in one 2 weeks ago for drinking my own drink.The manager "couldn't be sure of the safety of food & drink not purchased there."I'm breastfeeding a newborn.There was a massive queue at the cafe with a 30minute wait for food & hot drinks and I would have had to stand there with the baby and my 2 year old for 30mins as it was rammed full & not safe to let him play unsupervised.
I object to paying £11 for 3 DCs to play in a smelly overpriced dark hell hole.
Next time it rains on the last day of school holidays they are all wearing rain coats and going to National Trust where they can run around outside & I can drink my own drink.
BUT if it was a birthday party I would let them go despite what I said,they usually have a separate room for party food so at least you can escape from the main bit so YABU to not let your child go.

MurkyMinotaur Fri 26-Apr-13 15:10:37

I had my own birthday gathering at a softplay centre! I love them! I've got some good friends with small children who I arranged a group trip with. My friends have a coffee while I chase around having the time of my life supervise and the children relish the attention. Win-win-win scenario. I'm available for hire at competitve rates. grin

When DH finished work we went out for a meal, but being autistic, nothing can match the sensory feast of softplay. Bright colours (visual), ball pool and squashy foam etc (tactile) and slides (vestibular). Amazing places. Although, I've yet to find a poo... That sure would dampen my enthusiasm.

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