To absolutely hate soft play 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.

MandragoraWurzelstock Mon 15-Apr-13 13:27:06

no not just you. I just decline.

squeakytoy Mon 15-Apr-13 13:27:10

Do you not chat to the other mums? Is it really £4 for a coffee? Even Startbucks dont charge that much..

Ooh. Not sure. They're not my favourite places but I don't find them that bad nor the coffee that overpriced! I also dont think they're that noisy - as someone who struggles to hear conversation I find it easier to chat to other parents at these parties than in many restaurants. I quite enjoy a coffee and a chat with the other parents at school. By constant selling of crap I assume you mean the ride on machines that always take a pound? Some places worse than others for those, I agree they're very annoying.

Sidge Mon 15-Apr-13 13:29:11

Take a flask and your earphones for your phone/iPod and a book.

They're not my number 1 choice of a place to hang out but my girls love parties there, so I suck it up.

cazboldy Mon 15-Apr-13 13:29:55


I hate them - but mainly as i seem to always end up watching loads of kids while other mums have a coffee/gossip.....

My heart sinks when we get an invite.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 13:31:09

Squeaky I do chat...but sitting for 2 hours isn't a good thing for's fecking boring and though the other mums and Dads are nice, they're not my best mates or anything.

Ok it's not 4 quid for a's 2.20 for one. Which I still think is a lot.

Stealth I'm also hard of hearing...maybe that's part of my problem...I never thought that. THe constant selling of crap I mean is the machines with shite in them for a pound a go...I don't buy them but it doesn't stop the nagging. This particular place seems to have 4 machines per wall!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 13:32:01

Sidge they'd chuck me into the street if I took a flask private food or drinks are allowed.

The other's would think me rude if I had earphones on. sad

Yes the pound (or even two) for a piece of tat in a ball are very very annoying.
I honestly don't struggle with the noise in the same way as I do with other places though. Maybe it depends how well you get on with the other parents, I'm not friends with many, and rarely see them, so it's nice to catch up and compare notes on the school grin and I have a couple I do consider friends so it's nice to see them.

Horrible places, the last one we went to ( birthday party) charged parents £1 entry fee to go and sit in the cafe, you could only sit down if you bought coffee & it was too far to drop and run, but my ds has sn so I couldn't leave him and ended up crawling around the place to keep an eye on him.

I have witnessed some really horrible behaviour in several different soft play places - it reminds me of Lord of the Flies, brings out the worst in some children & their parents turn a blind eye. Once saw an older girl holding my ds and punching him in the stomach - "because he wouldn't do what she was telling him to do" was her excuse - luckily I was there & saw it happening, ds would not have been able to tell me and I might have just thought he got a bump.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 13:39:57

Yes Tap....disgusting behaviour there too often. And the Dads! They wander about all BIG in the tiny spaces between tables and get in the way!

I want to yell "Just frigging SIT DOWN!" at them.

MandragoraWurzelstock Mon 15-Apr-13 13:41:50

I quite like most of the other parents, but I don't really want to socialise with them iyswim.

Other parties are fine but soft play gets an arbitrary no every's not just the hygiene aspect, though that does figure - it's the chaos, poor lighting and general atmosphere where it's assumed that 'kiddies' just need a large padded cell to be happy.

jennywren45 Mon 15-Apr-13 13:42:30

Vile, hideous places. I dump and run. Or they don't go - their choice.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 15-Apr-13 13:44:42

Where the hell do you lot live? I have been to about six different sofyplay centres a couple of them heaps of times and have never had any of this craziness people describe on here.

The worst thing that's happened to me was a little girl trying to be snotty!

NynaevesSister Mon 15-Apr-13 13:46:16

I like ours it is big and light and airy. No machines selling tat and no hidden charges. It is hellishly noisy tho the place is in what uses to be a squash court and the acoustics amplify noise.

GreenShadow Mon 15-Apr-13 13:46:29

I miss Soft Play sad. Genuinely.

My DC are too old now and I used to enjoy going with them.

I don't particularly like other people's cups of tea, so was quite happy not to buy anything there. Also ours never used to sell 'crap'. Maybe that's new.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 15-Apr-13 13:50:09

I find the thought that little kids are refused to be allowed to friends parties just because the parent doesn't like soft play a bit sad really.
I don't mind soft play-plenty of seating, a cuppa and a chat for an hour is fine by me. What I hate is the bouncy castle party that our local leisure centre offer- a room with a couple of huge bouncy castles in, great for the kids - but that's it. No coffee/tea, and NO seating! You have to stand and watch or sit on the floor. I still do it though-parties are supposed to be for the kids, so I just suck it up.

MandragoraWurzelstock Mon 15-Apr-13 13:55:04

I know, I feel guilty about it. I take them to other parties. This is my compromise. They get to go to nearly everything else but soft play is a horror that will wipe me out for the rest of the day, so on balance it is better for them that we don't endure it.

Aside from the fact that one time we did go, there was a poo in the ball pit but no one stopped the children going in it - and no one wanted to clean it up, unsurprisingly.

forevergreek Mon 15-Apr-13 14:02:23

I hate them! Admittedly we have only been twice, once to try and once for a party.
First time it was v v loud, vomit was on the top floor for at least 15 mins ( we left, so no idea how long), and both children were repeated pushed over by other random children ( we were next to them pretty much as young)
Second time was a 3rd birhday. There was poo in the ball pit, poo on trampoline, poo smeared all over toilets and a women letting her child use a potty on the table ( prob poo related again!)

Both in supposedly 'posh' areas.

littleducks Mon 15-Apr-13 14:08:02

I used to take my two pre-schoolers to soft play every week, was lovely mostly same mums every Thursday and we would have tea there. The food cake was ok and the prices fair.

Then we moved, soft play places around here require a yearly membership fee (WTAF?) so my kids only go to parties. One was hideous, I normally dump and run but it was too far away to do that. It was a bank holiday Monday and raining, the place was packed and so noisy my 4yr old complained of a headache! The place was called 'Parent's Paradise' somewhat ironically.

MrsMacFarlane Mon 15-Apr-13 14:08:48

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 15-Apr-13 14:10:05

Always with the poo tales! So surely you reported poo to staff! If the staff were uninterested and did not jump to I would report the centre to environmental health

Birnamwood Mon 15-Apr-13 14:11:37

I fucking hate soft play places.

But, what would you want from a good one?
My list is
1. Clean
2.decent coffee
3. Adequate heat/ventilation
4. Proper food
5. Clean
6. Staff knocking about and stopping the big children going into the toddler areas
7. Comfy seats
8. Clean toilets
9.reasonably priced

EnidRollins Mon 15-Apr-13 14:11:40

Aw, am I the only one who's feeling sad for the little child who is having the birthday party? Their friend can't go just because said friend has parents who don't like soft play and can't just suck it up for a couple of hours.

moogy1a Mon 15-Apr-13 14:12:39

yabvu. I love soft play. Admittedly ours seems to have few problems with feral kids, but I take a book or read their papers and magazines and enjoy having 2 hours off!! The kids run back all sweaty every 15 mins. or so for a glug of squash but other than that it's a couple of hours of relaxing ( I am ver good at blocking out noise though)

nenevomito Mon 15-Apr-13 14:12:42

Love this thread, especially since I booked my DS's birthday party at a soft play yesterday grin.

The knowledge that while the kids are having a great time the parents are suffering brings me untold joy.

forevergreek Mon 15-Apr-13 14:14:14

Herrera- yep the poo was reported several times by several people at least. Friends who's child's party it was actually received a full refund as it was so disgusting, but still the staff didn't really do anything ( think they just shut bouncey castle for a while)

I'm sure they aren't all shit city's with lord of the flies recreated but those two trips were enough.

piprabbit Mon 15-Apr-13 14:14:42

I quite like soft play one my own with the kids. I take a magazine, have a coffee and hide.

Softplay parties I can live without. Having to make conversation with people who are strangers, but who I can't hear because of a dodgy ear. And if you do find a quite corner for a chat, one or other you is always leaping up and down to see to the kids (because we are all doing super-dooper public parenting). Then everyone shuffles into a small room and stands around watching the children eat. And it is always too hot or too cold, or not enough seats or something which makes it an uncomfortable 2 hours.

Loulybelle Mon 15-Apr-13 14:15:56

I sodding hate them too, one near us, is always noisy, i leave with a headache, because its always so bloody hot.

TerrysNo2 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:16:55

YABU if you don't take them because you don't like it.

I love soft play - me, DS and DD chasing each other around, going down slides and throwing DS around the place without worry of him being hurt - we all love it!! Its far far better than going to the gym IMO.

OzmaofOz Mon 15-Apr-13 14:17:13

I like soft play when we are the only people there, before the plastic smells like sweaty bums.
Hate it otherwise.

SomeBear Mon 15-Apr-13 14:20:06

Thankfully my DCs are too old to be invited to soft play parties, but no, YANBU. The smell and the noise are just too much, I used to make DH most times as he's good at that sort of thing. I can't block out background noise so conversation is difficult - I hadn't made the connection before but it might be a big factor.

Floggingmolly Mon 15-Apr-13 14:20:16

They absolutely are that noisy... Complete hell holes.

SomeBear Mon 15-Apr-13 14:21:43

** used to make DH take them most times. I didn't send him alone.

WaitingForMe Mon 15-Apr-13 14:28:14

I loathe them. I don't even go to my own stepkids' parties there blush

Tailtwister Mon 15-Apr-13 14:28:48

Depends on the soft play tbh. We have a couple of good ones nearby and although they're not my favourite places to go they can be useful on occasion. DS had his party at a soft play place, mostly due to the numbers involved and we simply couldn't fit that many people in our house. Most people came and although I'm sure the parents didn't have the time of their lives, I think they found it tolerable. After all, it's not really about them is it. As long as the kids have fun that's what matters.

If you really can't face it just decline OP.

Jacksterbear Mon 15-Apr-13 14:32:18

A poster on a recent thread described soft play centres during the school hols as the "devil's playpen", which I thought was a bloody brilliant description. grin

OHforDUCKScake Mon 15-Apr-13 14:41:28

I love soft play, for all the reasons you hate it!

I love it when they get to an age when youmcan just sit down and read a book and let the, wonder off and play.

My youngest isnt yet 2 so hes not there yet but I'll take them more when I can.

Its pissing expensive though, cost me £15 to take a 1 year old and 6 year old last week. shock

LadyVoldemort Mon 15-Apr-13 14:58:22

Well I enjoy them if they're at the right venue. I take a magazine and let DS get on with it

Theicingontop Mon 15-Apr-13 15:04:13

I suppose we're lucky, ours ticks all boxes. Reasonably priced food and drink, clean (well, I'm sure they don't manually polish the play pit balls but as clean as you can expect) and the toilets are brilliant and well adapted to potty trainers.

Never been to a softplay party! You have to sit there and chat to the adults? I generally go in and have a play myself, chatting to adults would be very boring. Yanbu.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 22:35:51

Well I'm back and survived but I feel totally wiped out. I don't know why these parties do it to me they just do. The kids had a great time that's what matters really.

The place was gross tho...loo STANK of poo and was dirty. It was dank and not even brightly decorated...rank really. The staff were fun though and the kids loved them.

Sparklingbrook Mon 15-Apr-13 22:40:59

Did it smell of cheesy feet Neo? That will be my lasting memory of soft play places. And unknown liquids at the bottom of the ball pit. sad

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 22:47:41

Yes Sparkling it did! With a strong undertone of cheap burger. sad

Startail Mon 15-Apr-13 22:49:15

You obviously don't have a compulsive climber.
If you did you would think soft play was heaven.

A couple of hours with coffee and a good book while DD1 scrambled about somewhere where she was allowed to climb.

Two hours off from, no, get down, don't fiddle with that. that. No you can't stand on the chair arm, get off the back of the sofa. DD1, please, you know you can't stand on the radiator. DD1 where on earth did you find a pen, I thought Id hidden them all. DD1 how on earth did yoy get on the draining board????

Sparklingbrook Mon 15-Apr-13 22:50:56

I couldn't wait to get my two in the bath when the got back from the Wacky Wearyhouse and all clothes straight in the wash. Then I would wash my hands up to my armpits with anti bac soap. grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 22:53:09

Star she's 5 so at home she plays in the garden mainly...on the climbing frame! She does climb up the bannisters but Im too tired to care quite relaxed about these things.

SpanishFly Mon 15-Apr-13 22:53:35

I wish soft play places would sell wine.

OP, the soft play years don't last for long, just suck it up. Try to find a way to enjoy it - take a book or ipod? Have a massive slab of cake (who cares about the cost if it helps you enjoy it?) Would DD really care if you left her there? Is there a coffee shop nearby you could go to, and allocate a parent DD knows to watch out for her and text you if youre needed?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 15-Apr-13 22:58:49

Well I can't afford to splash out on loads of cafe food Spanish..too tight a budget in general. Also, I can't take ipod or anything as the other Mums would think me very rude.

DD would care if I weren't there...she's 5 and though confident with her mates she's not happy being left without me there in case of anything going wrong.

SpanishFly Mon 15-Apr-13 23:12:49

Buy a cheaper gift for the bday present and buy a slice of cake!

SpanishFly Mon 15-Apr-13 23:13:29

Could you explain that you'd be there in a flash if something happened?

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 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 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 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.

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.

Like someone else mentioned, if you have a compulsive climber then soft play can be a godsend! DS is autistic and a completely obsessive climber with no sense of danger, It is nice to be able to let him free in an environment where he has not got someone yelling "Dude, get DOWN from there" constantly!

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 15:13:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MurkyMinotaur Fri 26-Apr-13 15:15:24

Oh, but I did meet one Mum who said, 'Go f**k yourself' when I said 'Thanks' in the carpark when she reversed to let us out. That was weird.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 15:31:06





ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 15:42:31

Well if any other race were called trash in a derogatory way there would be an uproar. It is sad how acceptable it is when it is about white people sad

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 15:43:09

I'm new to this. I've no idea what biscuit means. Have I to eat one? I have a lemon muffin in my desk, will that do?

MerylStrop Fri 26-Apr-13 15:46:20

Depends on the play centre
Went to a well posh one at the weekend. And there was a tab for parent's drinks (key to success)
Was vvv relaxing

I think you need to unclench, OP and leave your DD,
or take a book

What I like about those kind of parties is they are usually whole class -which I think is fab for them to get to all play together out of school and usually, ime, no-one is left out.

So ner, OP, YABU

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 15:46:27

Whatever ChocolateCake, you're just coming across as sanctimonious. And I'm white incidentally.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 15:50:03

Not rising to it.

I quite like my local soft play after visiting there earlier this week but it used to be a hell hole. In the 90 mins or so that we were there I saw the ride on car things being cleaned twice and signs up asking parents to remember to wash DC's hands before eating and signs saying that if your child had had D&V in the past 48 hours to please think of other children.

I wouldn't go during the busy time though, too much sweat stink.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 15:54:39

What do you mean "not rising to it"? I genuinely have no idea what you mean by "Biscuit...seriously....biscuit". I've only been posting on this site for a couple of weeks and the acronyms and emoticons baffle me.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:05:50

So what exactly did you mean by "low life white trash" when describing the people at the soft play?

If i said "low life black trash" how would that sit? It would be racism.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:10:05

Could you get any more self righteous?

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:14:00

So pointing something derogatory that would be dubbed racist if were about anyother skin colour makes me self righteous. Okay then.

You didn't answer the question - What exactly did you mean by "low life white trash" when describing the people at the soft play?

CheesyPoofs Fri 26-Apr-13 16:17:37

I like soft play.

The one here is MASSIVE, and not that noisy really.

Coffee is about £1.50 ish. Cakes are similar price.

DD disappears and I get some peace to read or chat for a couple of hours with no interruptions smile

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:18:09

Once on MN a whole 1000 post long thread went on because someone called their chinese food "having a chinky." They didn't mean it offensively and soon learnt the error of their ways. Unfortunatly "white trash" does go unnoticed because it's "white."

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:19:20

MrsMacFarlane, (I cannot believe you don't realise how offensive your language was) please think about what you are writing and its impact on other posters.

It is not being 'self righteous' or 'sanctimonious' to protest about your use of 'white trash'. This phrase, along with others of the same ilk are loaded terms that are used to deride sections of our society in an ignorant simplistic manner.

If you feel you can generalise like this about part of your community then it is presumptuous to say the least.

<goes for a lie down>

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:19:43

Against my better judgement I'm going to respond to your hectoring, pious post.

The soft play I was hosting my son's 8th birthday party at was jam packed full. A child aged about 11 was punching, kicking and verbally abusing members of my son's party. I approached her Mother, Father and Sister who were sitting at a table ignoring their feral daughter's behaviour. I advised them that I found her behaviour unacceptable and was told to "fuck off". Here's the thing. They were WHITE, they behaved like low lifes and in conclusion they were TRASH. Got it now?

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:22:32

Oh, and the management agreed with me. They were swiftly escorted off the premises. I spoke to the manager who said they'd seen her on the CCTV and that as they took the names and addresses of all patrons, they would ensure that they would not be welcomed back.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:24:22

MrsMacFarlane - oh dearhmm

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:25:21

ChocolateCake...oh dear, oh dear. Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!!??!?? Go and have a lie down and take your Helen Lovejoy impersonation elsewhere.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:25:37

So you had a horrible incident with a horrible family, I am sorry that happened but it is an enormous leap from judging that family to judging an entire section of society no? We all know what you are talking about when you say 'white trash', it is a common phrase, used in a hideously derogatory way, for poor white people.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:25:40

So if they were black in skin colour would you have come on and refered to them as "low life black trash?"

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:26:36

Thing is, I bet you think we're all too politically correct too hmm

IllegalYoniFarm Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:21


MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:40

Low life black trash isn't common phraseology which you know only too well. You're being completely disingenuous now. Give it up, you're rubbish at it.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:28:17

It's kind of like me having a row with the Asian man next door then going on to insult a whole section of the Asian society from this one mans behaviour. It's not on.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:28:19

Thing is, I bet you think we're all too politically correct too
Ha ha, now who's making unfounded assumptions, lol.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:29:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:30:24

You wouldn't say it because you know it would be racist to say such a horrible thing and it's no different with white trash either.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 16:30:45

Love them, we meet friends there every week.
I just look upon them as a coffee shop with excellent play facilities.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:31:26

God, you're boring.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:32:12

Yes it is. You had a barny with one trouble family yet manage to insult a whole section of society based on that one family and their behaviour.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:33:57

I would say that almost every unpleasant person I've ever met is white. Members of other races and creeds I mix with are much, much nicer on the whole.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:35:54

I prefer to base my like/dislike based on the individual person rather than just based on what colour their skin is.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:38:03

So do I. It just so happens that nearly all the nasty bastards I've encountered in my 48 years on this earth have been white. FACT.

It's actually amazing that this thread has gone from soft play to racism on the basis of the comment of "white trash"

Is it actually necessary to bring racism in to every thing?
When it isn't actually there?

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:42:00

And? That gives you the right to call a whole section of society white trash? Your justifications are shocking.

MN doesn't tolerate racism, no matter how well you try to justify it with your "all the nasty people i have encountered have been white" nonsense.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:42:22

Thank you TantrumsandBalloons. I made a throwaway remark upthread and ChocolateCake pounced on it like a tramp on chips.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:44:05

And? That gives you the right to call a whole section of society white trash? Your justifications are shocking.

MN doesn't tolerate racism, no matter how well you try to justify it with your "all the nasty people i have encountered have been white" nonsense.

Oh dear dear me, I'm possibly going to be reported/kicked off an anonymous forum...however will I pick up the pieces....

chocolate it's not racism.

Racism is my son being repeatedly called the n word whilst playing football last month.

There's so much actual racism in the world. You don't have to try and find it where it doesn't exist.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:45:56

"Is it actually necessary to bring racism in to every thing?
When it isn't actually there?"

"White trash" is a very offensive and derogatory term towards a section of society.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:46:52

Racism is my son being repeatedly called the n word whilst playing football last month.

There's so much actual racism in the world. You don't have to try and find it where it doesn't exist. sorry your son is enduring this. I work in a multi racial school and for the most part, racism is not an issue simply BECAUSE it's so diverse. However, in the wider community a lot of the children are enduring this kind of crap.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:48:31

Tantrums - if someone kept saying to your son "Come on you low life black trash, get a move on" during the game would that be acceptable?

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:49:23

^^ Man alive, you really are clutching at straws aren't you. For your own self respect Chocolate, give it up.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:50:12

It's not so much racism but an offensive term used for a specific socio-economic group. I'm not sure what that would be called, classism maybe?

It was unnecessary and uncalled for hence being picked up for it. Just because people use this type of language in everyday life it doesn't take away its power.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:50:47

"However, in the wider community a lot of the children are enduring this kind of crap."

Yes they are and also there is a section of society who have to take being called low life white trash on the chin too.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:53:35

Chocolate, you're like a stuck record. What do you expect to happen? Me to "retract" my statement and "apologise" to the "white community" (of which I am a member).

Eh, naw.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:54:36

The racism is in the word white.

"Low life trash" is not racist, more insulting.

"White low life trash" is.

Why bring the colour of skin into it? Trouble families aren't exclusive to white people so why bring the colour of skin into the insult?

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:56:07

MrsMacFarlane, I opposed your use of this term too and yet you seem stuck on entering into an argument with ChocolateCakePlease, are my opinions of no worth here? <ponders own invisibility again>

Prejudice is just that, prejudice. It is never nice and is always offensive.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 16:56:17

So are you because you think it is perfectly ok to insult a whole section of society based on one encounter with a problem family who happen to be white.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 26-Apr-13 16:57:24

You really are one of the dullest posters I've ever encountered. I have to go now so don't think you've "won". I'm off to a birthday party, thankfully not at soft

Keep polishing your halo sweetheart and find something more pressing to be canting and specious about next time.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 16:59:36

Are my posts really invisible? I'm starting to worry now.

Figgygal Fri 26-Apr-13 16:59:57

Christ not getting into the racism debates ..... mainly because I haven't read as far enough to work out what this is all about.

But in terms of the soft play they really aren't that bad or maybe you have just been to really bad ones!!

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 17:11:49

No breath you are not invisiblegrin

If not being racist or insulting towards a section of society makes me dull then great! I will enjoy my dull life. wink

I've enjoyed many hours with my 2 DCs at local soft plays over the years - a couple of hours peace to settle down with a good book and a brew after picking them up from school, or on a slightly drizzly Saturday afternoon in November. Also been to and hosted some very happy BDay parties where everyone can catch up in a child-friendly space without the hassle and stress of hosting a party at home.
There is one soft play from hell though - where the cafe part is right up against a towering wall of soft play madness - children walled in like in some American ghetto prison. Indescribable noise. That one is a tad less relaxing grin

BTW Perhaps it's apparent that I hadn't read the "white trash" derailment before posting. Not nice to call any person "trash" now is it ?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 26-Apr-13 19:27:01

snort. I bet this discussion wasn't anticipated when they made this a Discussion of the Day. grin

I really have nothing to add to this, except that this thread is far more entertaining than any soft play hell I've been to. Thankfully ASD DS rarely gets random party invites (it always seems to be the group invites from nursery which are soft play) so the parties we do go to are smallish and at someone's house.

rosabel Fri 26-Apr-13 21:27:59

ha ha, as Proud black woman, I salute you Mrs MacFarlane!! You go girl, hmmmm

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