To think that soft play shouldn't charge for adults?

(48 Posts)
KenAdams Wed 17-Jul-13 12:40:07

When child's prices are between £6 and £9? They charge £3 for adults.

That's about £24 for a family of 4 to go!

Ginocchio Wed 17-Jul-13 12:52:32

That's crazy! Do they have any free facilities (refreshments etc) that might explain it?

And TBH the children's price seems pretty high too, but maybe our local ones are just cheap...

flipchart Wed 17-Jul-13 12:54:26

Sounds standard tbh.

I have to pay £3.00 when I go into the Ice Arena to pick the kids up from skating lessons whether I stay for the 2 hours or just have 10 mins.

At least in soft play it is warm!

livinginwonderland Wed 17-Jul-13 12:55:21

they're a business, of course they're going to charge!

goldenlula Wed 17-Jul-13 12:58:43

I have been to lots of soft play places, none charge for adults and their entry prices have been a lot cheaper than that!

Burmobasher Wed 17-Jul-13 13:00:21

Don't know where you live but round here it's always free for adults and about £3 for children. On certain days its completely free for everybody including the kids.

JollyShortGiant Wed 17-Jul-13 13:01:02

None of the ones round here charge for adults.

freddiefrog Wed 17-Jul-13 13:03:18


No soft play I've ever been to has charged for adults, and I wouldn't darken the door of one that did

Our local one is a lot cheaper for kids too, about £4 a head

Unless it is dh who feels the need to make sure ds 'is ok'

MiaowTheCat Wed 17-Jul-13 13:05:15

Ours doesn't charge for adults, or non-walking children come to that (a fact I've been using for DD1 who is cruising with the intent of injuring herself in a multitude of interesting ways for a good month or so).

Sleep404 Wed 17-Jul-13 13:07:51

I agree. Our local is only £1.50, but I begrudge paying it especially as I normally have lunch or at least a hot drink there.

On the other hand I think they should charge £1 or so for babies. I took DS there yesterday as he has just started crawling and it's nice for him to have free reign in a safe and soft environment. He was free but I would happily have paid for him instead of paying for myself.

Solo Wed 17-Jul-13 13:28:02

Ours tried charging adults, but seem to have stopped. It wasn't popular.
I think as they sell refreshments that most adults buy, that they should not charge entry. If I had to pay to get in, I would make a point of not buying anything extra at all.

Solo Wed 17-Jul-13 13:30:00

and children are £7 each to get in.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 17-Jul-13 13:30:13

"they're a business, of course they're going to charge!"

But charge for what? If you're going to charge it has to be for something. You charge the children in for the obvious reasons. What are they charging adults for?

umpti67 Wed 17-Jul-13 13:39:27

One of ours charges for adults which I think is shocking. Particularly as the prices for coffees and food are high and the entrance fee for the dc is high. I go to the other one here that doesn't charge for adults and is around £3 cheaper per dc. My dc only spend an hour in these places before wanting to go - paying £24 is too much for that. Just seems like daylight robbery to me.

bearleftmonkeyright Wed 17-Jul-13 14:17:53

Yanbu, they don't charge for adults here. I have paid as an adult to go into Chatsworth adventure playground and found that annoying as well, because I'd paid for three kids and parking. I don't really understand what I was being charged for.

katese11 Wed 17-Jul-13 14:20:54

OP, is this one in Central London....? If not, it sounds similar!

"Jump" charge for adults during busy periods, and the price goes up for children as well. Hence, I only go in term time during school hours, and when DD starts full time school in September I won't be taking her again! I suppose that if they can get away with it, they will. It's no different really to Alton Towers charging for people who won't be using the rides (mainly parents again).

flipchart Wed 17-Jul-13 14:30:06

what are they charging for?

Heat, lighting, staff wages, public liability insurance etc.
It's all got to be paid for somehow.

Even if you go and sit and read a book for an hour or so as some people do you are using a facility.( I know, I know, it's not you
MN's you all too busy watching your kids like hawks but some people like to relax while their kids play)

ElizabethHornswoggle Wed 17-Jul-13 14:32:28

YANBU, and I stay away from ones that charge the adults!
They cost enough as it is without charging the adults as well. The adults spend enough in there anyway on teas, coffees, snacks or lunch when they're in there anyway, so it's really cheeky to charge them entrance fees on top.
I mean, it's not like they're going to actually GO on the equipment, is it? Actually, I might try that, and if they say anything about me going down the slide shouting "wheeee" I can retort " well, I have paid to come in and play!" grin

LadyBryan Wed 17-Jul-13 14:33:43

Wow I'm quite surprised soft play charges for adults! I cannot think of one around here that does. The last one I went to was £4.50 then free drinks for children until 3pm.

The only place I have been charged was at a farm with a play barn. They charge adults £1 if you want to go on the equipment grin

sarahtigh Wed 17-Jul-13 14:35:21

locally £3 in term time unlimited £4 for 2 hours at weekends and holidays (2 hours enforced if busy but let go if quiet) no charge for adults children under 2 cheaper, cafe reasonably priced too we are in Scotland

JedwardScissorhands Wed 17-Jul-13 14:36:42

It's up to them if they charge, just like it's up to you if you go. Simples.

Thurlow Wed 17-Jul-13 14:37:59

Blimey. Around us, if they charge for adults its something like £1 for adults and £3 for children, or if they don't charge for adults its then £4 for children. But then kids under 1 are free, so the £1 for adults was a sort of token gesture to get some money out of parents with babies.

Most parents buy a coffee or something, don't they? I always imagined that was how they made their money on free adults...

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 17-Jul-13 14:38:12

Hmm, well £4-7 a kid should cover all expenses and then there's the money you spend on overpriced coffee etc whilst there.

One near us charges £3 an adult! As I pointed out to the owner "It's not like it's an option is it? We HAVE to go and supervise our children!" Cafes don't charge you £3 to sit at their tables and buy their drinks.

flanbase Wed 17-Jul-13 14:40:18

I'd never pay to go to one of these places

nancerama Wed 17-Jul-13 14:42:19

We have 2 near us that I go to. The naice one doesn't charge for adults, but has a fabulous cafe so I spend loads when I go there.

DS prefers the other one, as the soft play is more challenging, but they charge per adult, claiming that they have free wifi and magazines. Given that I'm supervising my child I don't get my money's worth. In reality their food and drink is so vile it's the only way they can get enough money out of their customers.

That's ridiculous, OP! Dreadfully overpriced. Here's our local one C & P'd from their website (I have a gardening club card so we get the cheaper deals):

6 months - 2 years £1.50 for Gardening Club members (£3.50 for non-Gardening Club members)
2 years - 8 years £3.50 for gardening club members (£5.50 for non-Gardening Club members)
Under 6 months (babies in arms) - FREE
Accompanying adults - FREE

AND the adults get to play, too wink

Our local soft play doesn't charge for adults, gives free wifi and makes its money from parents staying ages and surfingthe net while buying lots of drinks and foods.#

A farm thingy a few miles away however, wonders why no-one goes much. They charge twice as much for adults as for children, and there is nothing for adults to do (not much for the kids to do tbh, they don't get much repeat business).

I object to paying for something for ME to enter a site which has signs everywhere saying children are not to be left unsupervised! We are not there to have a good time, we are there to supervise our kids!

Bubbles1066 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:28:40

YANBU. £3 is extortionate. My local charges 50p for adults which I think is OK. If you have an annual pass you get one adult in for free. I never buy any food/drinks and have an annual pass which is much cheaper than paying each time so it doesn't cost me much at all.

forevergreek Wed 17-Jul-13 15:32:54

Yes around here it's £9 per child. £5 for under 2 and £3.50 for an adult.

So the time I went with 3 week old ds2 and 16 month old ds1 and myself to let oldest run about safely it cost £13.50. We only stayed about 45 mins as he was finished after that.

Haven't really been since but would now cost £21.50 as both over 2.

They are way to noisy for me to pay and sit in noise

TerribleTantrums Wed 17-Jul-13 15:33:48

They might be doing it to keep the number of adults down. One pfb could have two parents, two grandparents and an aunt all milling around, admiring the pfb's first attempts at walking and generally getting in the way of the other children. Although, if this is the case, they would probably be better off allowing one adult free per child and then whacking on a big fee for extra adults.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 17-Jul-13 15:41:25

We have far too many soft play centres near us, some charge for adults, some don't.

In my experience its the nicer ones that serve good food that charge for adults, but I think it's understandable when some people use it as a coffee shop. I've seen entire families of 5+ adults go with one or two children. I know they are likely to buy lunch, but there isn't always a lot of space for adults.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 17-Jul-13 15:42:51

We have a few around here - some charge for adults, some don't. Some sell good coffee, some don't. Some have a better set up for the older one. Some have a better set up for the younger one. Some I can climb around easily, some I can let them roam free....

Whether they charge for the adult or not is only one small part of the decision making process grin and it's the 'overall' price that I consider anyway, not how it's broken down.

It's lovely to be going to the park instead at the moment - wild horses couldn't drag me inside a soft play at the moment (unless I could find one with superb air con!!).

Jinty64 Wed 17-Jul-13 16:09:48

Ours doesn't charge for adults, £6 for over 5's, £4 for under 5's. you can't take in food or drink and the cafe is good but expensive. It is beyond freezing in winter but was lovely and cool today.

KenAdams Wed 17-Jul-13 16:18:02

Katese no it's in the Midlands. There's a restaurant that you pay for stuff in but you can't see the play area from there really.

There's nothing for your £3, you're just paying to go and supervise your children. DD isn't walking yet so its a case of sitting with her and watching her constantly. I wish I could read a book or something!

primallass Wed 17-Jul-13 16:23:09

Our local farm park does this. But now my kids are big enough that we can sit the other side of the fence and just pay for them to go in.

Look at the Playfactore in Manchester if you want to see extortionate...

KenAdams Wed 17-Jul-13 17:06:56

manchestermummy that's steep but at least you get laser tag and stuff.

Chunderella Wed 17-Jul-13 17:18:50

Playfactore's ok if you have an under 1 and don't go during peak time. Whenever I've been, there's change from a fiver for DD and I, plus I don't buy food there either. During school holidays and with older DC, it takes the piss.

cannotfuckingbelievethis Wed 17-Jul-13 17:37:29

Glasgow here and I've never been to one or know of one that charges for adults... Local prices range from about £2.50 for 1 hour to £3.75 for unlimited play...It's taking the piss I think to charge for adults. As others have said, it's not like you have the option of not going in with your kids and leaving them unsupervised. I always try to make a point of feeding my two lunch before I go (as the food is over priced) and will occasionally smuggle in the same kind of Capri Sun that they sell as they're 3 times the price in the shop (yes, yes I know, I'm terrible, slap on the back of the wrist for me). I'll buy my own coffee though grin

evertonmint Wed 17-Jul-13 20:12:54

Lots if the soft plays cgarfe for adults round here. Pisses me off no end. I have an issue with anywhere that is a child attraction which charges more for adults than children. Local farm thingy charges more for adults than children, and the adult annual pass needs a photo so you can't swap between parents. It's as if they think childless adults would actively want to go to see 2 sheep, a pig and a rusty old tractor. Bonkers!

evertonmint Wed 17-Jul-13 20:13:31

Cgarfe?? Charge!

MortifiedAdams Wed 17-Jul-13 20:15:09

Ooh its quite good round here - most places £3.50 for one pair of adult/child. Then £1 for every extra child or adult. Under ones free.

umpti67 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:23:43

*what are they charging for?

Heat, lighting, staff wages, public liability insurance etc.
It's all got to be paid for somehow.

Even if you go and sit and read a book for an hour or so as some people do you are using a facility.( I know, I know, it's not you
MN's you all too busy watching your kids like hawks but some people like to relax while their kids play)*

But surely that's covered by the huge entry fee paid for the dc and the £3 coffee? Free wifi - come on - how many people can actually use it? Yes places like Alton Towers do this but that is a one off treat for a full day. Not something my dc will have had enough of in an hour and used to be a weekly activity.

DeepPurple Wed 17-Jul-13 20:30:23

The one local to me has just closed for a refurb. They were free for under 6m and £3.25 per child. Free wifi and free unlimited juice for kids. They also did an unlimited monthly pass for £12! Cracking value! The food was a decent standard and was great value. £3.50 for a sandwich, yogurt, chopped carrot & cucumber and a handful of chopped fruit. (For kids obviously)

I've gone to a new one today and was aghast at it being £4.50, no drink but free wifi and a more expensive menu. Maybe that isn't too bad after all!

FlatsInDagenham Wed 17-Jul-13 21:02:06

I have never heard of soft play charging for adults and I am shock at the idea! I always assumed they made most of their profits through the cafe, which I patronize regularly seeing as entry for my dc - one of whom is free because she is a pre-walker - is cheap as chips.

katese11 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:15:54

thanks ken, just thought it was the same one causing controvesy round here!

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